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Category Archives: ZX. January 2015

2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: 1B/OF NICK SWISHER (1.31.15)

Welcome to the 2015 IBI preview capsules! In order to prepare for the upcoming season, IBI will have a preview capsule running for every player on the 40-man roster and selected non-roster invites. To mix things up, we will be running these roughly in alphabetical order. Next up is first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher.

Nick Swisher, 1B/OF

Bats: Both — Throws: Left — Entering his age-34 season — Contract: $15 million in 2015, signed through 2016 at $15 million a year (vesting option for 2017 at $14 million)

2014 Overview: Though Swisher’s 2013 season was not anything special, it was still an above-average season filled with positive contributions. That was not the case in 2014, however, as some combination of injuries and age left Swisher as one of the worst regulars in baseball and limited him to 97 games. In only the second year of a high-paying four-year contract, Swisher struggled mightily and, despite being the highest paid player on the team, is not certainly someone who can be relied upon going forward. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, January 31, 2015

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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in ZX. January 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: RHP DANNY SALAZAR (1.30.15)

Welcome to the 2015 IBI preview capsules! In order to prepare for the upcoming season, IBI will have a preview capsule running for every player on the 40-man roster and selected non-roster invites. To mix things up, we will be running these roughly in alphabetical order. Next up is right-handed starter Danny Salazar.

Danny Salazar, RHP

Throws: Right — Bats: Left — Entering his age-25 season — Contract: Pre-arbitration Player (Under team control through 2020, on track for Super 2 arbitration eligibility in 2017)

2014 Overview: Salazar did not live up to the potential he showed in his breakout 52.0 innings in 2013, but the right-hander did ultimately find his stride at the major league level. His 4.25 ERA is a little high, but taking into account his encouraging peripheral stats (and the rough defense Cleveland had behind him), Salazar ended up taking a few steps forward in 2014 after taking one backward at the beginning of the season. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, January 30, 2015

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in ZX. January 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: 2B JASON KIPNIS (1.28.15)

Welcome to the 2015 IBI preview capsules! In order to prepare for the upcoming season, IBI will have a preview capsule running for every player on the 40-man roster and selected non-roster invites. To mix things up, we will be running these roughly in alphabetical order. Next up is second baseman Jason Kipnis.

Jason Kipnis, 2B

Bats: Left — Throws: Right — Entering his age-28 season — Contract: $4.0 million in 2015 ($6.0 million in 2016, $9.0 million in 2017, $13.5 million in 2018, $14.5 million in 2019, team option in 2020 for $16.5 million)

2014 Overview: Following back-to-back above-average seasons and an All-Star bid in 2013, the sky came crashing down on Kipnis in 2014, with some combination of injuries and underperformance leading to the second baseman’s first extended struggles in the majors. With his on-base ability, his power, and his defense all taking steps back in 2014, Kipnis has plenty of areas to improve upon to make last year a blip in the radar as opposed to a downward trend. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, January 28, 2015

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in ZX. January 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: LHP T.J. HOUSE (1.27.15)

Welcome to the 2015 IBI preview capsules! In order to prepare for the upcoming season, IBI will have a preview capsule running for every player on the 40-man roster and selected non-roster invites. To mix things up, we will be running these roughly in alphabetical order. Next up is left-handed starter T.J. House.

T.J. House, LHP

Throws: Left — Bats: Right — Entering his age-25 season — Contract: Pre-arbitration Player (under team control through 2020, on track for arbitration eligibility in 2018)

2014 Overview: Though he does not stand out from a dominant, strikeout perspective, House finished his climb through the minor leagues in 2014, tossing 102.0 successful major league innings. Among the 149 pitchers with more than 100.0 innings in 2014, House’s 3.35 ERA ranked 48th and his 3.10 xFIP tied for 19th, yielding hope that despite profiling best as a back-of-the-rotation starter, the left-hander may have a little more to show. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, January 27, 2015

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in ZX. January 2015

 

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THE WAR ROOM: PERFORMANCE-BASED RANKS #40-#31 (1.26.15)

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 and the seasons in review finished, The WAR Room moves to ranking the top-100 prospects in 2014 based on performance. Join Jim Piascik as he breaks down a trio of catching prospects, a trio of near-major league ready prospects, and much more.

Over the past 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 part seven of the rankings:

#40 Greg Allen, OF

Name Lvl Age PA OPS OPS+ ISO ISO+ K% K%+ BB% BB%+
Greg Allen A- 21 270 0.658 98 0.053 50 9.6% 48 10.0% 131

Picked in the sixth round of this past year’s draft, Allen hit the ground running in his major league debut with Mahoning Valley. The speedy outfielder stole 30 bases in 57 games, and while his .658 OPS (98 OPS+) was about league-average, there are some signs it could be even higher. Allen was a little unlucky on balls in play (.274 BABIP, 89 BABIP+), which is especially unlikely to continue given the outfielder’s speed, and walked more than he struck out (9.6 percent strikeout rate, 48 K%+; 10.0 percent walk rate, 131 BB%+). Allen does not hit for much power (.053 isolated power, 50 ISO+), but as he enters his age-22 season, he does have a strong plate discipline-speed-defense combination that could serve him well in the future. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, January 26, 2015

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in ZX. January 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: OF DESTIN HOOD (1.26.15)

Welcome to the 2015 IBI preview capsules! In order to prepare for the upcoming season, IBI will have a preview capsule running for every player on the 40-man roster and selected non-roster invites. To mix things up, we will be running these roughly in alphabetical order. Next up is outfielder Destin Hood.

Destin Hood, OF

Bats: Right — Throws: Right — Entering his age-25 season — Contract: Non-roster invitee to spring training

2014 Overview: A second round pick by the Nationals in 2008 and a regular member of the team’s Baseball America top 15 from 2009 through 2012, Hood finally made his Triple-A debut in 2014, finding some decent success. Hood’s .827 OPS and .188 isolated power in 84 Triple-A games was not enough to get him rostered, however, and the outfielder signed a minor league deal with Cleveland in the offseason. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, January 26, 2015

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in ZX. January 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: OF TYLER HOLT (1.25.15)

Welcome to the 2015 IBI preview capsules! In order to prepare for the upcoming season, IBI will have a preview capsule running for every player on the 40-man roster and selected non-roster invites. To mix things up, we will be running these roughly in alphabetical order. Next up is outfielder Tyler Holt.

Tyler Holt, OF

Bats: Right — Throws: Right — Entering his age-26 season — Contract: Pre-arbitration Player (under team control through 2020, on track for arbitration eligibility in 2018)

2014 Overview: Holt started 2014 as a bit of a stalled prospect in Double-A since it was his third year at the level, but the outfielder finally broke through, getting called up to Triple-A, then to the majors in July. After years of posting offensive statistics around league-average at best, Holt hit out of his mind in Akron and Columbus, which was a key factor in getting him to Cleveland. Though his major league debut could have gone better, Holt is now on the 40-man roster and, at the very least, should serve as a depth outfielder going forward. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, January 25, 2015

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in ZX. January 2015

 

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