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Category Archives: ZY. February 2015

2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: RHP BRYAN SHAW (2.28.15)

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 right-handed reliever Bryan Shaw.

Bryan Shaw, RHP

Throws: Right — Bats: Switch — Entering his age-27 season — Contract: $1.55 million (arbitration-eligible and under team control through 2017)

2014 Overview: The 2014 season marked Shaw’s second-consecutive above-average season with Cleveland, as the right-hander’s 2.59 ERA and 3.42 FIP in 76.1 innings established him as one of the better setup men in baseball. Though Shaw does not stand out in the way a Dellin Betances or Aroldis Chapman does, the right-hander has more-than gotten the job done over the past two seasons and projects to continue doing so in 2015. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, February 28, 2015

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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZY. February 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: 1B CARLOS SANTANA (2.27.15)

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 first baseman Carlos Santana.

Carlos Santana, 1B

Bats: Switch — Throws: Right — Entering his age-29 season — Contract: $6.0 million in 2015 ($8.25 million in 2016, team option for $12.0 in 2017)

2014 Overview: Though Santana is still yet to regain the elite form he showed in his 46-game major league debut back in 2010, he has settled in as one of the most consistent players in all of baseball over the past four seasons. Among qualified hitters from 2011 on, Santana is 34th in wRC+ and 45th in Fangraphs’ version of WAR, establishing him as an easily above-average player who can definitely hit. He may not be a traditional slugging cleanup hitter, but Santana has been a valuable player to Cleveland. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, February 27, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZY. February 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: 1B/OF JERRY SANDS (2.26.15)

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 first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands.

Jerry Sands, 1B/OF

Bats: Right — Throws: Right — Entering his age-27 season — Contract: Non-roster invitee to spring training

2014 Overview: Sands’ existence as a post-hype prospect still trying to establish himself at the major league level continued in 2014, as he hooked on with the Rays. Unfortunately for Sands, he only received 22 major league plate appearances — and only 219 in the minors — as a wrist injury contributed to ending his season before the month of June. Now Sands will try his luck in Cleveland, where his right-handed power may just fit in. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, February 26, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZY. February 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW: LHP MARC RZEPCZYNSKI (2.25.15)

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 left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski.

Marc Rzepczynski, LHP

Throws: Left — Bats: Left — Entering his age-29 season — Contract: $2.4 million in 2015 (arbitration-eligible and under team control through 2016)

2014 Overview: After suppressing home runs at a higher degree than his career norms in 2013, Rzepczynski kept the ball in the park even more last year, which was a key factor in the left-hander’s career-low 2.74 ERA and 2.85 FIP in 46.0 innings. His status as the top left-handed reliever in the organization may be in question due to the presence of Kyle Crockett and Nick Hagadone, but those two will have to take the spot from Rzepczynski, because as of right now, the left-hander is still pitching quite well. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, February 25, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZY. February 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: LHP MICHAEL ROTH (2.24.15)

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-hander Michael Roth.

Michael Roth, LHP

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

2014 Overview: Roth spent the 2014 season in the Angels organization, where he experienced quite a bit of success and failure. The left-hander posted an impressive 2.62 ERA and solid 4.02 FIP in 140.2 Double-A innings as a starting pitcher, both numbers that yield a positive outlook for Roth’s future. His 8.76 ERA and 6.70 FIP in 12.1 relief innings in the majors, however, highlight the questions surrounding Roth and are part of the reason he signed a minor league contract with Cleveland this offseason. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, February 24, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZY. February 2015

 

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THE WAR ROOM: POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN, PART 1 (2.23.15)

The WAR Room is back again, bringing you the 2014 advanced stats for every Cleveland minor leaguer. Next up for The WAR Room is breaking down the organization’s minor leaguers by position based on 2014 performance. Join Jim Piascik as he breaks down Cleveland’s right-handed starters and relievers, a group that is deep in talent if not in immediate impact talent.

Over the past months, IBI rolled out the year-end rankings for every minor league affiliate in the Cleveland system and a Top 100 countdown based on age-adjusted WAR. Next up, we will be breaking down the organization position-by-position using the same age-adjusted WAR.

These rankings 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 likeFrancisco 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 position-by-position breakdown, 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 links to the Top 100 countdown:

Now, on to part one of the position-by-position breakdown. Each player’s spot in the overall Top 100 rankings is in parenthesis:

Right-handed starters

  1. Mitch Brown (12)
  2. Adam Plutko (15)
  3. Joe Colon (21)
  4. Will Roberts (22)
  5. Zach McAllister (24)
  6. Gabriel Arias (28)
  7. Cameron Hill (29)
  8. Trevor Bauer (30)
  9. Casey Shane (32)
  10. Michael Peoples (43)
  11. Duke von Schamann (47)
  12. Travis Banwart (51)
  13. Danny Salazar (52)
  14. Jordan Milbrath (62)
  15. D.J. Brown (64)
  16. Shao-Ching Chiang (74)
  17. Tyler Cloyd (78)
  18. Josh Tomlin (83)
  19. Dylan Baker (85)
  20. Grant Hockin (87)
  21. Julian Merryweather (101)
  22. Cody Anderson (114)
  23. Kieran Lovegrove (115)
  24. Mason Radeke (120)
  25. Cole Sulser (124)
  26. Michael Clevinger (128)
  27. Shaun Marcum (137)
  28. Justin Masterson (141)
  29. Brett Brach (153)
  30. Dace Kime (156)
  31. Matt Capps (167)
  32. Juan Santana (191)
  33. Kyle Davies (211)
  34. Toru Murata (221)

Top performers: The raw numbers on Cleveland’s right-handed starting pitchers are not all that great, as only six put up above-average numbers over the course of the whole season. But while only Mitch Brown, Adam Plutko, Joe Colon, Will Roberts, Zach McAllister, and Gabriel Arias hauled enough innings to be above-average, 17 total were above-average on a per-inning basis. Some like Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, and Josh Tomlin did not pitch much in the minors because they were in Cleveland, while others like Cameron Hill and Grant Hockin were 2014 draft picks, unable to pitch as much. There are some issues in Cleveland’s right-handed starting depth — largely that the highest-ranked pitcher is outside of the top 10 and quite a few of those top pitchers are a few steps from the majors, but there are quite a few interesting arms despite the lack of top-end options immediately on the horizon. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, February 23, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZY. February 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: RHP WILL ROBERTS (2.23.15)

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-hander Will Roberts.

Will Roberts, RHP

Throws: Right — Bats: Left — Entering his age-24 season — Contract: Non-roster invitee to spring training

2014 Overview: Repeating the Double-A level in 2014 proved useful for Roberts, as the right-hander dropped his ERA from 4.57 in 134.0 innings in 2013 to a 4.08 mark in 161.0 innings last year. Roberts’ FIP stayed essentially the same between 2013 and 2014 (3.98 in 2013, 3.99 in 2014), but now that the right-hander’s ERA is in line with his peripherals, he can be fairly safely called a Double-A league-average starter, which leaves him only another step or two away from contributing at the major league level. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, February 23, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZY. February 2015

 

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