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Category Archives: ZU. October 2014

Around the Farm: October 30, 2014 (10.31.14)

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 fall and winter ball did yesterday:

Venezuelan Winter League

  • Giovanny Urshela (DH, Aguilas del Zulia): 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SF. Urshela left his three-game hitless streak in the dust Thursday and, for good measure, also added his third walk in four games. Those walks are helping to assuage fears from earlier in the offseason when the third baseman did not draw one in his first 13 games. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 31, 2014

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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in ZU. October 2014

 

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Around the Farm: October 29, 2014 (10.30.14)

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 fall and winter ball did yesterday:

Venezuelan Winter League

  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Leones del Caracas): 4-for-4, 3 R. Following a 1-for-10 start to his offseason, Aguilar has gone 7-for-8 over his last two games. Just more examples of the fun that happens over small sample sizes! Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 30, 2014

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in ZU. October 2014

 

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The WAR Room: 2014 Columbus hitters season in review (10.26.14)

The WAR Room is back again, bringing you the 2014 advanced stats for every Cleveland minor leaguer. With the minor league seasons at an end, we continue bringing you seasons in review, with today’s featuring the 2014 Columbus Clippers hitters.

The list of previous season in reviews are below:

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 finish our look at the Columbus Clippers with the hitters before moving to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers next week. For the full stats, go ahead and click here.

It was only 53 games, yet catcher Roberto Perez still put up 2.8 great-defense WAR, more than enough to be above-average in a full season’s worth of games. Some of Perez’s value is helped by his .388 BABIP (125 BABIP+), but the 25-year-old’s power surge (.213 isolated power, 161 ISO+) and plate discipline (13.9 percent walk rate, 157 BB%+) were much more important. A high number of strikeouts will likely always be a part of Perez’s game (24.4 percent strikeout rate, 126 K%+), but his walks, power, and defense more than make up for them and leave Perez, at worst, as Cleveland’s backup catcher of the future. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 26, 2014

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in ZU. October 2014

 

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Analyzing Cleveland’s draft history: A surprisingly decent 2003 (10.25.14)

An often repeated phrase surrounding Cleveland baseball over the past two decades regards how poor the organization has fared in the draft.

But exactly how bad has Cleveland been? And how do they stack up against the rest of baseball?

Those are the questions this series will seek to answer. Using a combination of Baseball-Reference and Baseball America’s respective draft databases, I compiled the total WAR of each draft pick and compared it to the expected value of the respective pick (as calculated using Sky Andrecheck’s 2009 findings). There is a difference between picking first and picking 30th, which is represented in this analysis (Andrecheck gives different formulas for high school and college draft picks as well as pitchers and hitters, but for our purposes, we will just be looking at the average value). We will be also only judging teams based on the picks they signed since those are the ones who actually entered the system.

We started this series in 2004, since 10 years gives us a decent sample to judge the players in that draft class by. Here are links to the previous articles in this series:

Now, we move on to the 2003 draft: Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 25, 2014

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in ZU. October 2014

 

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Picking up Aviles’ option goes beyond the numbers (10.24.14)

Strictly based on the numbers, Cleveland exercising utility man Mike Aviles’ $3.5 million option for 2015 makes no sense.

Going beyond the surface numbers, however, shows why the move is defensible.

No one will ever confuse Aviles with an impact player. His offense over the past three seasons has been remarkably consistent, with the 33-year-old posting the following lines:

  • 2012: .250/.282/.381 line, 75 wRC+
  • 2013: .252/.282/.368 line, 79 wRC+
  • 2014: .247/.273/.343 line, 74 wRC+

What we have here is a player who is consistently below-average and adds next to nothing from his bat. Even giving Aviles credit for being able to play shortstop — a position that does not require as much offense — does not bail him out.

Major league shortstops posted a .251/.306/.363 line and 87 wRC+ in 2014, marks that still leave Aviles decidedly below-average offensively. Plus, Aviles is not a full-time shortstop, spending only 15 games there in 2014. Aviles’ other positions he played more frequently have higher thresholds for offensive success, driving the utility man’s value even farther down.

That value bottoms out around replacement level, with Fangraphs rating him out at exactly 0.0 WAR in his two seasons in Cleveland (Baseball-Reference is slightly kinder, scoring him at 0.6 WAR). The definition of a replacement level player is one that can be had for next-to-no cost, and given that Aviles has essentially played at that level, the idea of paying him $3.5 million for something a decent Triple-A player could feasibly replicate seems nonsensical.

But that is where going beyond Aviles’ raw WAR total can make sense of picking up his option. Aviles may not hit much or have an Andrelton Simmons-like reputation in the field, but he adds hidden value in another way. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 24, 2014

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in ZU. October 2014

 

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Around the Farm: October 23, 2014 (10.24.14)

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 fall and winter ball did yesterday:

Venezuelan Winter League

  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Aguilas del Zulia): 2-for-4. Nothing can stop Urshela right now, as the third baseman is currently running a .440 batting average and 1.031 OPS through 11 VWL games. No one can stay this hot forever, but right now Urshela is definitely putting his top-notch contact ability on display in Venezuela. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 24, 2014

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in ZU. October 2014

 

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Around the Farm: October 22, 2014 (10.23.14)

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 fall and winter ball did yesterday:

Arizona Fall League

  • Nick Maronde (RP, Peoria): 1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR. In five games in the AFL, Maronde has two shutout outings, one solid appearance, and two like this. More importantly than the raw results, however, the left-hander is looking to get some innings and reps in after only throwing 47.1 innings in 2014. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 23, 2014

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in ZU. October 2014

 

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