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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Coaches Corner ’14: Akron hitting coach Rouglas Odor (6.25.14)

In today’s Coach’s Corner, Jim Piascik brings you his recent Q&A with Double-A Akron RubberDucks hitting coach Rouglas Odor.

This is a regular in-season and off-season premium piece on the site where Tony Lastoria or I sit down with a coach in the Cleveland minor league system and really break down and discuss several players on the roster and talk about some of the philosophies surrounding the development of players.

In my talk with Odor, we discussed Tyler Naquin’s recent hot streak and the adjustments that made it happen, what work Francisco Lindor still has to do at the plate to become a finished product, Bryson Myles’ recent surgery, his timeline for recovery, and what was working well for him pre-injury, what Jordan Smith needs to do to turn his season around, and much more.

As always, these pieces are in a Q&A format in order to provide the raw, uncut comments from the manager or coach.

Q: So to start off, the hottest hitter it seems right now is Tyler Naquin. What have you seen out of him, especially since he started off a little slower? There was talk of making some adjustments, so what’s he been doing to find this hot streak?

Rouglas Odor (RO): The ability to make adjustments at the plate and the ability to understand that the game is about handling adversity and he’s been handling it pretty good. He went through a rough time early in the year, the first couple of weeks, and since then, he’s been taking a lot of good quality at bats, his routine has been unbelievable. He gets into the cage, he’s locked in right now doing exactly the same thing day-in and day-out. He takes it into batting practice and is ready for the game. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, June 25, 2014

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in ZQ. June 2014

 

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The WAR Room: Aguilar, Ramirez stay hot in Columbus (6.22.14)

The WAR Room is back again, bringing you the 2014 advanced stats for every Cleveland minor leaguer. After looking at the pitchers last week, today we focus on the hitters.

Of course, it is always important to keep context in mind, just like with scouting. A pitcher who is old for his level using that experience to succeed against young, inexperienced hitters must be taken with a grain of salt; the same goes when looking at these WAR totals.

But it is a useful tool to put each player’s performance into context and look at where they sit in regard to the rest of the league.

For reference on how I computed WAR, a reminder on the problems inherent in the stats, and everything else you need to know, click here. For a refresher on WAR and what it is, click here.

As a reminder, 0.0 WAR per 162 games is replacement level — otherwise known as the kind of performance an average player from the level below could offer — 2.0 WAR per 162 games is average, and 5.0 WAR per 162 games is All-Star level.

Also, the lack of good defensive metrics for the minor leagues means we have to adjust for a range of defensive abilities. To account for this, I will give you each player’s WAR with a qualifier: either poor-defense WAR for a poor defender (-10 runs below-average per 162 games), average-defense WAR for an average defender (0 runs per 162 games), or great-defense WAR for a great defender (10 runs above-average per 162 games).

One more thing, all “+” stats are averaged at 100. Anything over 100, like 110, is higher and means that player is 10 percent better than the league average. Anything under 100, like 90, is lower and means that player is 10 percent worse than the league average. In the case of any “-” stats — when lower is better, like with ERA — a 90 ERA- means that player is 10 percent better than the league average.

Today we look at the hitters throughout the system. Next week we will do the pitchers. For the full stats, go ahead and click here. Stats are updated through Friday, June 20. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, June, 22, 2014

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in ZQ. June 2014

 

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Around the Farm: June 19, 2014 (6.20.14)

Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game. 

Will Roberts (SP, Akron): W (7-7), 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO, 1 HBP

Roberts’ longest and best outing on the season is the headline of Thursday’s Around the Farm, but really this performance should bring some light to the rest of the right-hander’s solid 2014. The 23-year-old does not have an outing under five innings, and while he does not strike out a ton of batters, Roberts’ 3.67 ERA and 63:20 SO:BB in 83.1 innings is not bad at all. Roberts does not profile as a front-of-the-rotation starter, but the right-hander does have decent stuff and is showing the ability to harness it. After spending most of 2013 in Double-A, Roberts has thrown 217.1 innings with Akron in his career. Given that mark and Roberts’ performance to date, a push to Columbus once some spots open up would not seem outrageous. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, June 20, 2014

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in ZQ. June 2014

 

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Around the Farm: June 18, 2014 (6.19.14)

Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Note that Carolina and Lake County were off on Wednesday. Plus, Mahoning Valley was rained out and Columbus’ game was suspended in the fourth inning.

Anthony Gallas (LF, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Gallas hit his second home run in seven Double-A games Wednesday night, giving him six extra base hits in those games. The outfielder has hits in six of those seven games as he has dominated in his first real exposure to Double-A. Gallas’ surge does not come without some worry — the outfielder has six strikeouts and no walks after posting a 52:17 SO:BB in 58 High-A games — but right now he is simply hitting the ball well. The outfielder is still an older prospect without as much pedigree, but even after getting the call to Akron, Gallas is continuing to hit for power and stuff the box score. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, June 19, 2014

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in ZQ. June 2014

 

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The WAR Room: Merritt continues to dominate in Carolina (6.15.14)

The WAR Room is back again, bringing you the 2014 advanced stats for every Cleveland minor leaguer. After looking at the hitters last week, today we focus on the pitchers. It is still early enough that there is some noise in the numbers, but at this point in the season, we are starting to see some interesting trends emerge.

Of course, it is always important to keep context in mind, just like with scouting. A pitcher who is old for his level using that experience to succeed against young, inexperienced hitters must be taken with a grain of salt; the same goes when looking at these WAR totals.

But it is a useful tool to put each player’s performance into context and look at where they sit in regard to the rest of the league.

For reference on how I computed WAR, a reminder on the problems inherent in the stats, and everything else you need to know, click here. For a refresher on WAR and what it is, click here.

As a reminder, a 0.0 WAR per 162 games is replacement level — otherwise known as the kind of performance an average player from the level below could offer — a 2.0 WAR per 162 games is average, and a 5.0 WAR per 162 games is All-Star level.

Also note that pitchers have FIP-based WAR — which is based on peripherals like strikeouts, walks, home runs, etc. — and RA-based WAR — which is based on runs allowed.

One more thing, all “+” stats are averaged at 100. Anything over 100, like 110, is higher and means that player is 10 percent better than the league average. Anything under 100, like 90, is lower and means that player is 10 percent worse than the league average. In the case of any “-” stats — when lower is better, like with ERA — a 90 ERA- means that player is 10 percent better than the league average.

Today we look at the hitters throughout the system. Next week we will do the pitchers. For the full stats, go ahead and click here. Stats are updated through Friday, June 13.

With a 1.9 FIP-based WAR and a 3.4 RA-based WAR in 76.0 innings, left-hander Ryan Merritt continues to look like a pitcher in search of a bigger challenge. Though Merritt will likely stay in High-A a little bit longer to gain experience before heading to Akron, the left-hander mastered the command-control style at this level. Merritt is not a big strikeout guy, but a 5.4 percent walk rate (62 BB%+) is allowing the left-hander to find success. Some of that success is helped by a .252 BABIP (83 BABIP+) and 0.24 HR/9 (43 HR/9+), but even some regression on those fronts would leave Merritt with one of the best seasons for a pitcher in the organization. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, June 15, 2014

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in ZQ. June 2014

 

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Around the Farm: June 12, 2014 (6.13.14)

Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Note that Carolina was rained out Thursday.

Clint Frazier (DH, Lake County): 3-for-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 2 SO

Much like Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Frazier’s statistical performance largely does not matter this season. Things would be easier if the 19-year-old was tearing up the Midwest League, but as it is, Frazier is still in good shape. Even though his .250/.336/.356 line and 69 strikeouts in 52 games is a little underwhelming, the more important thing in the big picture is getting Frazier adjusted to the professional game in his first full season. As has been pointed out on this site already, Francisco Lindor‘s year as an 18-year-old in Lake County was pretty pedestrian — in 122 games, Lindor posted a .257/.352/.355 line — as the shortstop went through the grind of the minor league baseball season for the first time. Lindor took off in year two, leaving his Lake County struggles behind, something Frazier will look to do in 2015 as well. We can see flashes of Frazier’s talent on nights like Thursday, but though we would all like to see it more consistently, if it does not come all the way through in 2014, it is not the end of the world. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, June 13, 2014

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2014 in ZQ. June 2014

 

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Around the Farm: June 11, 2014 (6.12.14)

Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Note that Columbus was off Wednesday and Carolina was rained out. 

Nick Swisher (1B, Akron): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI

Swisher looked much better in his second rehab game in Akron, launching an opposite-field double in the first inning and another double up the middle in the fifth inning. Following coming out of the game after seven innings — a move that was planned before the game — Swisher expressed confidence that his knee issues are in the past, both at the plate and in the field. Akron manager Dave Wallace agreed with that sentiment, saying he did not see any hesitations or limitations out of Swisher. During the first inning double, in fact, Swisher had to run hard the whole way and slide into second base. Outside of his performance on the field, Wallace also liked the energy Swisher brought to the clubhouse and outfielder Tyler Naquin appreciated the first baseman taking the time to talk about the finer points of the game with him. In particular, Naquin said Swisher told him one of his throws to first base — which was low to the ground and bounced multiple times — was well-executed so Swisher could make sure to keep it in front of him. Now that his rehab assignment is done and Swisher is set to join the team Thursday, the hope for Cleveland is that a few weeks on the disabled list will help the first baseman regain his offensive form, which had slipped greatly (.211/.312/.319 line through 49 games) in 2014. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, June 12, 2014

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2014 in ZQ. June 2014

 

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