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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Around the Farm: December 18, 2014 (12.19.14)

Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Here is the rundown of what Cleveland players in winter ball did yesterday:

Dominican Winter League

  • Audy Ciriaco (3B, Estrellas de Oriente): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SO. Though Ciriaco’s overall offseason does not stand out, Thursday’s game certainly did. The double was the 27-year-old’s first extra base hit since December 11 and the two hits represented his first multi-hit game since November 24. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, December 19, 2014

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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in ZW. December 2014

 

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Around the Farm: December 17, 2014 (12.18.14)

Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Here is the rundown of what Cleveland players in winter ball did yesterday:

Puerto Rican Winter League

  • Giovanni Soto (SP, Gigantes de Carolina): ND, 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO. Making his first appearance since going unselected in the Rule 5 draft last week, Soto struggled in this outing. It is only one start, however, and the left-hander still owns a 2.08 ERA and 31:10 SO:BB in 34.2 innings (and a 2.83 ERA and 20:6 SO:BB in 22.1 innings as a starter) on the offseason. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, December 18, 2014

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in ZW. December 2014

 

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The WAR Room: Performance-based rankings, #90 – #81 (12.14.14)

Over the past three months, IBI rolled out the year-end rankings for every minor league affiliate in the Cleveland system. Next up, we will be running down the top-100 performers based on those WAR rankings, albeit with a slight twist.

Simply ranking each player based on the raw numbers would have some value, but not nearly as much as when the stats are adjusted for how old the prospect was compared to his minor league level. For example, older prospects like Anthony Gallas, who did well at 26 years old in High-A and Double-A, are downgraded, while younger prospects like Francisco Lindor, who did well at 20 years old Double-A and Triple-A, are upgraded (as if Lindor needed anymore help).

Naturally, if Gallas — or anyone else in his situation — continues to hit like he did in 2014, it will not matter that he was old for his level, and vice versa for young prospects. But overall, accounting for a player’s age relative to level is critically important for judging a prospect’s performance.

Before moving on to the honorable mentions of The WAR Room’s performance-based rankings, first some reminders on what these numbers are, their uses, and their limitations:

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, 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).

Additionally, 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.

The 2014 year-end season in review for every affiliate is listed below:

And here are the previous editions of these rankings:

Now, on to the rankings:

#90: Jared Robinson, RHP

Name Lvl Age IP ERA ERA- FIP FIP- K% K%+ BB% BB%+
Jared Robinson R 19 22.0 1.23 31 3.26 81 21.80% 95 8.10% 87

Cleveland’s 11th round pick in this past year’s draft, Robinson put up some really nice numbers in the Arizona League, headlined by his 1.23 ERA (31 ERA-). A good chunk of his value came from his .230 BABIP (73 BABIP+) and not allowing a home run in 22.0 innings, but the recently-turned 20-year-old still had a good debut without the BABIP and home run luck. Though he pitched out of the bullpen in his professional debut, it seems that the organization will at least give Robinson a chance to develop as a starter in the years ahead. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, December 14, 2014

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in ZW. December 2014

 

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Around the Farm: December 11, 2014 (12.12.14)

Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Here is the rundown of what Cleveland players in winter ball did yesterday:

Dominican Winter League

  • Audy Ciriaco (3B, Estrellas de Oriente): 1-for-4, 1 2B. Ciriaco’s time in the Dominican this offseason does not stand out, but the 27-year-old does have an active three-game hit streak thanks to Thursday’s double, his first extra base hit since November 28. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, December 12, 2014

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in ZW. December 2014

 

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Around the Farm: December 10, 2014 (12.11.14)

Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Here is the rundown of what Cleveland players in winter ball did yesterday:

Puerto Rican Winter League

  • Giovanni Soto (SP, Gigantes de Carolina): L (3-2), 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 9 SO. In four appearances out of Gigantes’ rotation (one was not technically a “start” because the game was rescheduled due to rain), Soto owns a 1.93 ERA with 13 hits allowed and a 17:4 SO:BB in 18.2 innings. Whether or not his recent run of success in the rotation will help him be seen as a starter going forward is unknown, but with the Rule 5 draft today, Soto’s ability to pitch effectively for more than one inning this offseason could help his chances of being selected. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, December 11, 2014

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in ZW. December 2014

 

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So what does Cleveland have in Jose Ramirez? (12.9.14)

As the hot stove season heats up, it seems the Cleveland player eliciting the most decisive opinions is Jose Ramirez.

Which raises the question: just what does Cleveland have in Jose Ramirez?

We know what Ramirez has done as a major leaguer. After playing the role of plus-baserunning sparkplug off of the bench down the stretch in the playoff race in 2013, Ramirez spent the first part of the 2014 season in Columbus waiting his turn. Following the trade of Asdrubal Cabrera to the Nationals at the trade deadline, Ramirez assumed the role of everyday shortstop and ran with it.

The results for Ramirez were striking. The shortstop — competing in just his age-21 season — put up 1.8 fWAR and rWAR, while also being +7.0 runs in Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) and +4.0 runs in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). The pleasant combination was easy to see and a sight for sore eyes.

Ramirez finished fourth in rWAR among Cleveland position players (and fifth in fWAR) and was one of the very few players on the team who rated out positively on defense in 2014.

Naturally, given Ramirez’s youth and the way he came on strong at the major league level, the 22-year-old looks like a building block for years to come.

But it might not be that simple. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, December 9, 2014

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in ZW. December 2014

 

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The WAR Room: Performance-based rankings, #100 – #91 (12.7.14)

Over the past three months, IBI rolled out the year-end rankings for every minor league affiliate in the Cleveland system. Next up, we will be running down the top-100 performers based on those WAR rankings, albeit with a slight twist.

Simply ranking each player based on the raw numbers would have some value, but not nearly as much as when the stats are adjusted for how old the prospect was compared to his minor league level. For example, older prospects like Anthony Gallas, who did well at 26 years old in High-A and Double-A, are downgraded, while younger prospects like Francisco Lindor, who did well at 20 years old Double-A and Triple-A, are upgraded (as if Lindor needed anymore help).

Naturally, if Gallas — or anyone else in his situation — continues to hit like he did in 2014, it will not matter that he was old for his level, and vice versa for young prospects. But overall, accounting for a player’s age relative to level is critically important for judging a prospect’s performance.

Before moving on to the honorable mentions of The WAR Room’s performance-based rankings, first some reminders on what these numbers are, their uses, and their limitations:

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, 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).

Additionally, 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.

The 2014 year-end season in review for every affiliate is listed below:

And here are the previous editions of these rankings:

Now, on to the rankings:

#100: Luke Eubank, RHP

Name Lvl Age IP ERA ERA- FIP FIP- K% K%+ BB% BB%+
Luke Eubank A- 20 20.0 2.25 64 2.74 77 19.10% 95 6.00% 79

As outlined in the introduction and honorable mentions last week, given the limited playing time 2014 draft picks have to rack up value, it is hard for them to rank highly when only taking on-the-field performance into account. But thanks to a 2.25 ERA (64 ERA-) and 2.74 FIP (77 FIP-), the 15th round pick sneaks into these rankings. Eubank could use a few more strikeouts going forward — especially if he is going to stay in relief — but the right-hander had a strong debut and should get a shot at continuing that start at Lake County in his first full professional season. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, December 7, 2014

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in ZW. December 2014

 

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