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Category Archives: ZR. July 2014

Around the Farm: July 30, 2014 (7.31.14)

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 the Arizona League team was off Wednesday.

Tyler Cloyd (SP, Columbus): W (9-5), 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 1 HBP

No hits, no walks, and only one solitary hit batter to start the ninth inning. Cloyd may not be on the same level as Corey Kluber, but he managed to outpitch a beautiful Kluber outing Wednesday night by hurling the seventh no-hitter in Clipper history and the first at Huntington Park on just 88 pitches (this was Columbus’ first no-hitter since Justin Germano‘s on July 26, 2011). Cloyd came out of the gate slowly this season in his first year in the organization, but the right-hander has picked things up recently and currently owns a 3.91 ERA and 92:24 SO:BB in 133.2 innings. The 27-year-old is not a high priority prospect and is more of a depth option for the major league team right now, but that does not take away from the great work he has put in this season and the special night he had Wednesday. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, July 31, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in ZR. July 2014

 

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The WAR Room: Brown coming around in Lake County (7.27.14)

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.

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, July 25.

 

As a second round pick in 2012, there are pretty high expectations for right-hander Mitch Brown‘s career. Though things have been rough for Brown to date, in his second full professional season, the right-hander owns an average 1.3 FIP-based WAR and 1.0 RA-based WAR in 104.0 innings. Brown is still working to rein in his 10.9 percent walk rate (128 BB%+), but the right-hander is getting a decent amount of strikeouts (20.9 percent strikeout rate, 102 K%+) and finding success at Low-A this time around. Not every prospect shoots up through the system or grows linearly and Brown’s progression this season is great to see. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, July 27, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in ZR. July 2014

 

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Around The Farm: July 24, 2014 (7.25.14)

Toru Murata (SP, Columbus): W (1-2), 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

Corey Kluber‘s outing may have outdone Murata’s on Thursday, but seeing the right-hander take a no-hitter into the sixth inning is still impressive. Murata had everything working as he turned in his best start at Triple-A this season. It has not been the best year for Murata — he owns a 5.26 ERA and 27:7 SO:BB in 39.1 Triple-A innings to go with a 4.81 ERA and 32:15 SO:BB in 48.2 Double-A innings — but the 29-year-old is still filling in the gaps of the Clippers’ and RubberDucks’ rotations quite well. Murata’s ability to move from team to team (and from the rotation to the bullpen) as needed and pitch relatively effectively is very useful, and while he is not a prospect at this point, it is great to see him find some success and dominate a game. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, July 25, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in ZR. July 2014

 

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Around the Farm: July 23, 2014 (7.24.14)

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 the Arizona League game was suspended in the fourth inning due to lightning.

Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 3-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB

During Frazier’s struggles in the early part of the season, the similar issues Francisco Lindor went through during his time in Lake County in 2012 were brought up; that first full professional season can be a rough one for players and some immediate struggles are common. The problem right now with bringing up Lindor’s 2012 season in comparison with Frazier’s is now they look nothing alike:

Frazier (First half): .248/.329/.369 line, .699 OPS, .349 BABIP, 74:27 SO:BB in 55 games

Frazier (Second half): .322/.395/.557 line, .952 OPS, .400 BABIP, 33:12 SO:BB in 29 games

Lindor (First half): .285/.369/.410 line, .778 OPS, .330 BABIP, 42:26 SO:BB in 60 games

Lindor (Second half): .228/.335/.299 line, .633 OPS, .260 BABIP, 36:35 SO:BB in 62 games

Lindor’s approach at the plate improved even as his results tanked, with the downturn in results either a result of the shortstop wearing down late in the season or a fluky BABIP (or more likely, a little of both). Frazier, on the other hand, is surging in the second half on the strength of a high (unsustainable) BABIP and his (much more sustainable) impressive power. The 19-year-old is far from having Lindor’s incredible plate discipline, but while he has some work to do on that front, he seems to have a leg up on Lindor when it comes to performing in their first full professional season in Lake County. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, July 24, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in ZR. July 2014

 

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The WAR Room: A trio of Clippers look major league ready (7.20.14)

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, 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).

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, July 18.

 

First baseman Jesus Aguilar has cooled since his red-hot start to the season, yet the newly-turned 24-year-old still has 2.0 average-defense WAR in 81 Triple-A games this season. That rate leaves Aguilar on pace for a borderline All-Star season, something that would translate to around an average performance in the major leagues. Aguilar made real jumps this season, posting a very strong .197 isolated power (149 ISO+), a roughly league-average 20.8 percent strikeout rate (107 K%+), and a great 13.1 percent walk rate (145 BB%+). There is no room for Aguilar on the major league roster right now, but if he were to be called upon, it seems the first baseman would be a solid addition to the team. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, July 20, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in ZR. July 2014

 

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Minor Happenings: Frazier’s surge an encouraging sign (7.18.14)

“Minor Happenings” is a bi-weekly column which recaps the important developments and news in the Indians farm system. Information in this report is compiled from my own research and through discussions with industry personnel inside and outside the Cleveland Indians organization. Unless otherwise noted, the intellectual property contained in this report is owned by IndiansBaseballInsider.com LLC, and any unauthorized reproduction of the information is prohibited. 

In today’s Minor Happenings, I fill in for Tony and take a look at High-A Carolina pitcher Adam Plutko’s adjustment to the level after a stellar debut in Lake County. I also break down Clint Frazier’s recent surge and how the 2013 first round pick has progressed this season. Finally, I talked to Double-A Akron RubberDucks pitching coach Jeff Harris about Cody Anderson and the adjustments he is making, Joe Colon and his approach to pitching, and much more.

Also, if you missed it, be sure to check out the IBI midseason top 30 prospects I debuted earlier this week (you can find part one and part two here). Finally, be sure to view Hayden Grove’s latest episode of “IBI on Site” where he was in Cleveland and talked to the likes of pitcher Corey Kluber, the ever-energized Nick Swisher, and newly-acquired outfielder Chris Dickerson along with Fangraphs and Akron Beacon Journal contributor August Fagerstrom. 

Onto the Happenings… 

IBI Minor League Pitcher of the Week

(from July 8 through July 14)

Adam Plutko (Right-handed Pitcher — Carolina)

1 GS, 1-0 W-L, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO in 7.0 IP

The great performance Plutko turned in last Friday earned him the pitcher of the week award, a beauty of a nine-strikeout, one-walk, one-run performance in seven innings. Plutko has not been terrible since his callup from Lake County, though the 2013 11th round pick has certainly seen his results slip.

Though Plutko’s 3.93 ERA in 52.2 Lake County innings does not stand out, the right-hander’s 2.05 FIP certainly does. That FIP came about in large part thanks to Plutko’s 66:12 SO:BB, both remarkable rates that put his style of command-control pitching on full display.

The long-term question for Plutko revolves around how much of that Lake County performance was the byproduct of unleashing his advanced approach on the young hitters of the Midwest League. Plutko does not have overwhelming stuff, instead getting by with his ability to command those pitches and locate them well. That approach certainly can work in Low-A, but as Plutko moves up through the system, more advanced hitters could take advantage. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, July 18, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in ZR. July 2014

 

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Around the Farm: July 17, 2014 (7.18.14)

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. 

Steven Patterson (2B, Mahoning Valley): 4-for-5, 2 R, 3 2B, 2 BB, 1 HBP

Anytime you can reach base seven times, it is pretty clear you had a special night. Granted, this was a 14-inning game, but Patterson still took full advantage of nearly every opportunity, only recording one out. Patterson’s times on base were not cheap, either, with three of his hits going for extra bases. This season’s 10th round pick, Patterson has made the jump to professional ball well, posting a .301/.383/.482 line in his first 21 games. The infielder’s plate discipline could use a little work — he currently owns a 19:10 SO:BB — but most players getting their first taste of professional ball have things to improve. We will learn more about Patterson’s ultimate upside as the soon-to-be 22-year-old faces competition above the New York-Penn League, but in the early going, the senior sign is doing pretty well. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, July 18, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in ZR. July 2014

 

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