With a new season upon us, it is once again time for me to rank Cleveland’s roster from bottom to top. Many of the names are familiar from last year’s 92-win playoff season, but there is new blood at positions (and a noticeable lack of Chris Perez).
Today includes players ranked #12 to #1, which means a lot of players projected to receive most of the playing time (see: position players and starting pitchers). Cleveland may not have a player on the level of Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw, but what the team does have is quite a few very good players at the top. Teams do not need a star to win (though it always helps) and this Cleveland squad has some pretty good depth in its starters.
In-text photos from ESPN
#12 David Murphy, OF
This ranking of Murphy is putting faith in seeing the outfielder’s BABIP bounce back to something approaching a normal level. With a .227 BABIP in 2013, Murphy will almost certainly see some more balls in play fall in, which should go a long way toward raising his pedestrian .220/.282/.374 line. For his career, Murphy has a normal BABIP and has essentially been the definition of average. If Cleveland gets that Murphy in 2014, it will be an upgrade and a good investment. Plus, if Terry Francona spells him against left-handed pitching (.657 OPS, 71 wRC+ in his career) and lets him feast on right-handers (.816 OPS, 113 wRC+), then Murphy could be even better, especially when paired with a platoon partner like Ryan Raburn. Read More…
From Indians Baseball Insider, March 30, 2014