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Category Archives: ZZ. March 2015

THE WAR ROOM: POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN, PART 6 (3.30.15)

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 center fielders and right fielders, two groups that have plenty of talent both close to and far from the majors.

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:

And here are the links to the previous positional breakdowns:

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

Center Fielders

  1. Clint Frazier (4)
  2. James Ramsey (7)
  3. Tyler Holt (10)
  4. Tyler Naquin (19)
  5. Bradley Zimmer (25)
  6. Todd Hankins (42)
  7. Silento Sayles (98)
  8. Logan Vick (132)
  9. Bobby Ison (154)
  10. Ollie Linton (165)
  11. Joel Mejia (171)
  12. Matt Carson (172)
  13. Nyjer Morgan (189)
  14. Michael Bourn (205)

Top performers: Cleveland’s penchant for drafting and targeting up-the-middle talent really shines through in this portion of the rankings, with five center fielders ranking in the Top 25. Most impressively, Clint Frazier finished fourth overall in his first full professional season at 19 years old thanks to some impressive power and quality of contact. He needs to start making more contact, but along with fellow first round pick Bradley Zimmer — who shot up all the way to #25 in only 48 games — Frazier is showing real promise and is one of the organization’s top prospects. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, March 30, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZZ. March 2015

 

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THE WAR ROOM: POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN, PART 5 (3.23.15)

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 third basemen and left fielders, two groups that are not as deep as the organization’s middle infielders, but are both still strong.

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:

And here are the links to the previous positional breakdowns:

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

Third Basemen

  1. Giovanny Urshela (1)
  2. Paul Hendrix (13)
  3. Yandy Diaz (26)
  4. Grant Fink (89)
  5. Nathan Winfrey (90)
  6. Yonathan Mendoza (96)
  7. Ordomar Valdez (109)
  8. Grofi Cruz (187)
  9. Justin Toole (193)
  10. Adam Abraham (195)
  11. Drake Roberts (198)

Top performers: Many of the names at the top of The WAR Room’s prospect countdown coincide with Tony’s IBI Top Prospect Countdown, though some may be higher or lower by a number of spots. But while the stats or scouting may favor a prospect one way or another, few disparities are as stark as Paul Hendrix. Hendrix finished in these rankings as a solidly above-average player close to cracking the Top 10 while not placing in Tony’s Top 50. That does not really come as a surprise given Hendrix is entering his age-23 season without ever making an appearance above Low-A, but despite a high strikeout rate and what appears to be a utility infielder ceiling, Hendrix’s performance in 2014 at least keeps him interesting entering 2015. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, March 23, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZZ. March 2015

 

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THE WAR ROOM: POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN, PART 4 (3.16.15)

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 second basemen and shortstops, two groups where the organization is extremely deep.

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:

And here are the links to the previous positional breakdowns:

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

Second Basemen

  1. Zach Walters (9)
  2. Jose Ramirez (23)
  3. Claudio Bautista (36)
  4. Steven Patterson (41)
  5. Joe Wendle (57)
  6. James Roberts (81)
  7. Willi Castro (93)
  8. Jason Kipnis (146)
  9. Garrett Smith (157)
  10. Ronny Rodriguez (204)
  11. Ryan Rohlinger (219)

Top performers: Though both are fairly far from the majors, Claudio Bautista and Steven Patterson both put up some solid numbers in 2014. Bautista put up roughly average numbers with Lake County, and while being just average in Low-A does not mean much, the fact that he combined a decent strikeout rate with above-average isolated power at such a young age gives him potential. Patterson, on the other hand, may have been old for his level, but by putting up a strong performance in his draft year gives the 2014 10th round pick some momentum heading into 2015. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, March 16, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZZ. March 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULES: C/2B TONY WOLTERS (3.11.15)

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. The final one is catcher/second baseman Tony Wolters.

Tony Wolters, C/2B

Bats: Left — Throws: Right — Entering his age-23 season — Contract: Pre-arbitration Player (under team control through 2020, on track for arbitration eligibility in 2018)

2014 Overview: The transition from middle infield to catcher continued for Wolters in 2014, with the catcher also making his first appearance in Double-A last season. The overall results took a step back, with Wolters putting up below-average numbers at the plate in Akron, but despite those on-the-surface setbacks, he was still added to the 40-man roster in the offseason. Things are not quite all put together for Wolters just yet, but they are on the right track. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, March 11, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZZ. March 2015

 

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THE WAR ROOM: POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN, PART 3 (3.9.15)

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 catchers and first basemen, two groups that have plenty of prospect depth and high-end options.

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:

And here are the links to the previous positional breakdowns:

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

Catchers

  1. Eric Haase (14)
  2. Roberto Perez (18)
  3. Jeremy Lucas (20)
  4. Francisco Mejia (34)
  5. Li-Jen Chu (35)
  6. Tony Wolters (38)
  7. Sicnarf Loopstok (49)
  8. Alex Lavisky (55)
  9. Alex Monsalve (68)
  10. Richard Stock (88)
  11. Luke Carlin (106)
  12. Simeon Lucas (112)
  13. Kevin Calderon (123)
  14. Dusty Brown (133)
  15. Gian Paul Gonzalez (134)
  16. Jake Lowery (158)
  17. Martin Cervenka (166)
  18. Shane Rowland (175)
  19. Chris Wallace (179)
  20. George Kottaras (190)
  21. Ryan Battaglia (202)

Top performers: Though he struggled in his High-A debut, Eric Haase still put up All-Star level numbers last year. He will need to start moving through the system soon in order to keep his prospect pedigree, but Haase is definitely off to the right start in his career. Haase did not finish all that high above Jeremy Lucas, who put up numbers in 2014 despite not being a highly-ranked prospect. If Lucas continues putting up these kinds of numbers, soon he could force his way into the major league picture. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, March 9, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZZ. March 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULE: INF/OF ZACH WALTERS (3.9.15)

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 utility man Zach Walters.

Zach Walters, INF/OF

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

2014 Overview: After being acquired from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Asdrubal Cabrera at the trading deadline, Cleveland witnessed one of the more extreme boom-or-bust players at the plate in Walters. During his time in the majors, Walters struck out nearly one-third of the time but has also posted a .259 isolated power. With the strikeout rate of Drew Stubbs and the power of David Ortiz — plus some defensive flexibility — Walters is certainly an enjoyable player to watch. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, March 9, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZZ. March 2015

 

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2015 IBI PREVIEW CAPSULE: 3B GIOVANNY URSHELA (3.8.15)

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 third baseman Giovanny Urshela.

Giovanny Urshela, 3B

Bats: Right — Throws: Right — Entering his age-23 season — Contract: Pre-arbitration Player (under team control through 2020, on track for arbitration eligibility in 2018)

2014 Overview: Heading into 2014, the book on Urshela was that he had the glove to play in the major leagues but, after struggling in his first season in Double-A, may not hit enough to make it there. Urshela changed all of that last year, however, reining in his free-swinging ways and posting big offensive numbers both in Double-A and Triple-A. The third baseman probably still needs some polish in Triple-A this year — especially after suffering a sprain of his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) while playing winter ball — but Urshela definitely looks ready to make a major league impact with his glove and his bat. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, March 8, 2015

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ZZ. March 2015

 

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