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Category Archives: ZS. August 2014

The WAR Room: Breaking down September callup candidates (8.31.14)

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, August 29.

With 3.4 average-defense WAR in 116 games, first baseman Jesus Aguilar has shown an ability to play around an All-Star level in his first taste of the International League. How much longer he is given to accumulate Triple-A stats is up for debate, however. Many are wondering how soon Aguilar will be up in Cleveland, and given his .208 isolated power (157 ISO+), 19.3 percent strikeout rate (100 K%+), and 13.0 percent walk rate (146 BB%+) in Columbus, he really should get a look soon. Cleveland’s lineup remains heavy with left-handed batters, but soon they should be joined by the right-handed Aguilar. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, August 31, 2014

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2014 in ZS. August 2014

 

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Around the Farm: August 28, 2014 (8.29.14)

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.

Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SO

The raw number totals for Rodriguez this season are pretty staggering for a 20-year-old in Low-A: 31 doubles, 21 home runs, 54 extra base hits total, and 137 strikeouts in 127 games. Of course, the strikeouts are less of a problem thanks to Rodriguez’s power, and the first baseman’s .266/.348/.474 line and .208 isolated power will have him moving up the rankings this offseason. Where Rodriguez ultimately ends up is still an unknowable part of the future — even assuming he starts 2015 in Carolina, his realistic major league debut would come in late 2017 at the earliest — but it is hard not to be encouraged by this season’s great performance. Rodriguez struggled in Lake County last year and made the corrections needed to find success. Learning to cope with failure and overcome it is a big part of a prospect’s growth and Rodriguez has already gotten that out of the way. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, August 29, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in ZS. August 2014

 

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Around the Farm: August 27, 2014 (8.28.14)

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.

Francisco Mejia (C, Mahoning Valley): 4-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 1 SB

Wednesday was a big day for Mejia, as the top-five prospect in the system not only went off at the plate, but also had the walk off single for the Scrappers. At only 18 years old, the fact that Mejia is Mahoning Valley’s main catcher and is still hitting at a decent level (.277/.331/.394 line in 61 games) is quite impressive. Plus, that level of performance does not account for the growth and projection that should be ahead for the switch hitter as he progresses through the system. Despite his strong statistical performance, however, some attitude issues have been raised recently which put a bit of a damper on Mejia’s season. The good news is that not only does Mejia being so young add to his projection, seeing attitude problems from a teenager (and one who will remain a teenager until after the conclusion of next season) also makes perfect sense. It is easy to forget that these prospects are sometimes essentially children who are going through the rigors of minor league baseball; sometimes their maturity is not all there just yet. These things happen, and more often than not, simply getting older will do a lot to solve the problem. Mejia should be fine long-term, both on-the-field and off it. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, August 28, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in ZS. August 2014

 

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The WAR Room: Analyzing Marcum on the comeback trail (8.24.14)

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, August 22.

The rehab trail has been slow for right-hander Shaun Marcum, but through 11.0 Triple-A innings, there are some encouraging results. Marcum has 0.1 FIP-based WAR and 0.3 RA-based WAR in that time as the right-hander has gotten results in his return to the upper levels of baseball. But while Marcum’s 1.64 ERA (41 ERA-) looks nice on the surface, the 32-year-old is pretty far from being ready for the majors. In addition to still being stretched out, Marcum’s results are more the byproduct of good fortune (.226 BABIP, 74 BABIP+) as opposed to a good approach (15.9 strikeout rate, 82 K%+; 11.4 walk rate, 129 BB%+). Following thoracic outlet surgery, it is not a surprise to see Marcum struggling with his command, which is why he is not quite ready for the majors. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, August 24, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in ZS. August 2014

 

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Around the Farm: August 21, 2014 (8.22.14)

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 postponed due to rain.

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

If Frazier’s on-the-field performance was all that mattered in 2014, then there would be plenty of issues for the 19-year-old. One would be his 148 strikeouts in 110 games; even though power hitters tend to have more strikeouts, that high level of swing-and-miss makes it harder for a player’s power to come through in games. Plus, with a .147 isolated power that is more decent than above-average, Frazier’s power is not consistently showing up in 2014. Finally, though Frazier owns a solid .346 on-base percentage, it is being propped up a bit by his elevated .373 BABIP. But luckily, it is all about the big picture for Frazier. In his first full professional season, he has more than kept his head above water right out of high school in a full season league. Frazier will need to make adjustments based off of this season in the years ahead, and while those stats will ultimately matter, the ones from his 2014 Low-A season probably will not. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, August 22, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in ZS. August 2014

 

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Around the Farm: August 20, 2014 (8.21.14)

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. 

D’vone McClure (LF-RF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO

The struggles of McClure in his first couple professional seasons are yet another reminder that when it comes to prospects, it is all about the long game. When McClure was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, it was readily acknowledged that the outfielder’s game was quite raw and he was very far from the majors. After two seasons in the Arizona League — where he posted a .586 OPS in 50 games — it is easy to give up on McClure as a toolsy prospect who could not put it together in the actual games. But while McClure’s .652 OPS in 40 Mahoning Valley games this season is still pretty low, the outfielder is still just 20 years old and has plenty of time to grow. A promotion a year would still get McClure to Cleveland at 25 years old, and while that is an aggressive projection for the outfielder, it just shows that even with his struggles, he is not that far behind the developmental curve. McClure is not going to blaze up through the system, but there is still plenty of time for the 20-year-old to become a major league player. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, August 21, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in ZS. August 2014

 

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The WAR Room: Ramsey surging in Columbus (8.17.14)

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. Since I am out of town this weekend, this week’s edition of The WAR Room is abbreviated and the stats are updated through Thursday, August 14.

Though outfielder James Ramsey‘s first few games in the organization were not the best, but the 24-year-old turned things around quite quickly. Through 13 games, Ramsey is already up to 0.6 average-defense WAR, an MVP-level pace that is encouraging in his first experience at Triple-A. Of course, Ramsey’s .424 BABIP (136 BABIP+) is not sustainable, but the 24-year-old is hitting the ball well enough that he should survive the regression. Though Ramsey is striking out at a high 27.6 percent rate (143 K%+), that can work when paired with a .235 isolated power (178 ISO+) and average 8.6 percent walk rate (97 BB%+). With so few games at the Triple-A level, Ramsey will likely need some more time before being major league ready, but as of right now, he looks like he could be a competent player in the very near-future. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, August 17, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in ZS. August 2014

 

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