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Category Archives: ZZB. May 2015

RANKING THE 2015 ROSTER AFTER 40 GAMES, PT. 2 (5.26.15)

Cleveland started yet another season slowly, but as we hit the 40-game mark and reach Memorial Day, the franchise has started creeping its way back toward .500 and playoff contention. With about a quarter of the season in the books, it is once again time to rank every player who has donned the Cleveland uniform in 2015.

Cleveland started yet another season slowly, but as we hit the 40-game mark and reach Memorial Day, the franchise has started creeping its way back toward .500 and playoff contention. With about a quarter of the season in the books, it is once again time to rank every player who has donned the Cleveland uniform in 2015.

The rankings are based on performance and playing time, as there is value in putting up strong numbers and on being trusted by Terry Francona and company to be on the field.

Part one ran yesterday, with part two coming up right now.

All stats updated through Friday, May 22.

#15 RYAN WEBB, RHP (PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Despite having quite a bit of right-handed relief pitching available in the minors, the organization chose to give Webb a shot in the majors. Though his peripherals preach patience, Webb’s low ERA so far has been a welcome addition for a bullpen that has largely struggled. It may not be sustainable, but Webb’s performance was sorely needed.

#14 CODY ALLEN, RHP (PREVIOUS RANK: 11)

Though his ERA is not all that great, the good news for Allen going forward is his peripherals do not think he has pitched quite this badly. Of course, there are also some signs of concern for Allen — mainly that he should reasonably expect a few more balls to leave the park over the rest of the season — which is a big reason the franchise should be looking for relief help if the team manages to climb back into legitimate contention. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 26, 2015

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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in ZZB. May 2015

 

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THE WAR ROOM: ZIMMER STILL PLAYING LIKE TROUT (5.25.15)

The WAR Room is back again, bringing you the 2015 advanced stats for every Cleveland minor leaguer. Though it is still early in the season, there are some interesting trends to watch and monitor as the season goes on. Join Jim Piascik as he breaks down Bradley Zimmer’s continued Mike Trout impression, Adam Plutko’s dominance of the Carolina League, and much more as he takes you into The WAR Room.

As always, just like with scouting, it is always important to keep context in mind with these stats. 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.

For the full stats, go ahead and click here. Stats are updated through Saturday, May 23.

In the same way that Plutko is dominating on the mound, outfielder Bradley Zimmerhas been doing his best Mike Trout impression at the plate and in the field, putting up 2.3 average-defense WAR in just 42 games. As of yet, there has not been anything Zimmer cannot do, with the outfielder posting a .412 on-base percentage (130 OBP+), a .214 isolated power (196 ISO+), and a 12.1% walk rate (145 BB%+). Sure, there is a little swing and miss in his game (22.5% strikeout rate, 116 K%+), but given how hard Zimmer hits the ball, he can get away with a slightly elevated strikeout rate. Like Plutko, Zimmer should make his way to Akron shortly, as the 2014 first round pick has done nothing but rake and show that the lower levels of the minors hold no real challenge. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 25, 2015

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in ZZB. May 2015

 

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RANKING THE 2015 ROSTER AFTER 40 GAMES, PT. 1 (5.25.15)

Cleveland started yet another season slowly, but as we hit the 40-game mark and reach Memorial Day, the franchise has started creeping its way back toward .500 and playoff contention. With about a quarter of the season in the books, it is once again time to rank every player who has donned the Cleveland uniform in 2015.

The rankings are based on performance and playing time, as there is value in putting up strong numbers and on being trusted by Terry Francona and company to be on the field.

Part one is running today, with part two to come tomorrow.

All stats updated through Friday, May 22.

#34 T.J. HOUSE, LHP (PREVIOUS RANK: 14)

After impressing in the second half of 2014, House reminded us of the need for larger sample sizes before declaring players fully major league-ready. The left-hander should not be expected to continue walking nearly a batter per inning and allowing one out of every five fly balls to leave the park, but House will need to get back on track before being trusted with a major league rotation spot.

#33 BRUCE CHEN, LHP (PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

The last spot in Cleveland’s rotation has been unsettled essentially all year, with pitchers like Chen taking a crack at filling it. Chen’s brief major league time did not go very well, and after being designated for assignment, the left-hander elected to hang it up as opposed to attempting to make it back to the majors. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 25, 2015

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in ZZB. May 2015

 

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AROUND THE FARM: MAY 24, 2015 (5.25.15)

Clint Frazier’s power continues to return as he highlights the night on the farm.

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.

SCOREBOARD

R H E R H E
Gwinnett 0 3 0 Akron 4 9 1
Columbus 4 10 0 Binghamton 2 4 0
Box Score Box Score
R H E R H E
Frederick 10 16 0 Lake County 12 15 2
Lynchburg 8 12 1 Great Lakes 11 19 0
Box Score Box Score

HIGHLIGHTS

Clint Frazier (RF, Lynchburg): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Things have not been perfect for Frazier in his High-A debut, but on the whole, things are actually not all that bad for the outfielder. His power has come back after a strangely dry April and now Frazier is up to a .139 isolated power through 43 games. Thanks to that and a strong .336 BABIP (that may be sustainable given his typical quality of contact), Frazier is running a solid .746 OPS while playing as a 20-year-old in High-A. Frazier is one year ahead on the average developmental schedule, and while every player is different, the fact that the outfielder is holding his own at this level at this age is certainly a good sign. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 25, 2015

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in ZZB. May 2015

 

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AROUND THE FARM: MAY 23, 2015 (5.24.15)

Greg Allen’s strange season continues with a big night on Saturday.

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.

SCOREBOARD

R H E R H E
Gwinnett 6 11 0 Akron 4 8 0
Columbus 1 4 1 Binghamton 5 9 0
Box Score Box Score
R H E R H E
Frederick 3 12 2 Lake County 2 7 0
Lynchburg 5 10 1 Great Lakes 5 12 1
Box Score Box Score

HIGHLIGHTS

Greg Allen (CF, Lake County): 2-for-2, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB. It has been a weird year for Allen, as his overall stats are decent (.687 OPS in 38 games), though the outfielder has gotten there in a different way than one would expect. Allen’s game is more speed and defense, but the 2014 sixth round pick’s value is not coming from his .321 on-base percentage, but his .132 isolated power. The speed is still there for Allen (he is 14-for-18 in steal attempts this year) and his plate discipline is solid (25:15 SO:BB), meaning the only thing that seems to be holding the outfielder back is a low .256 BABIP. Given nothing else seems wrong with the 22-year-old, more balls should fall in for hits over the course of 2015, bringing his stats up even more and allowing Allen to end up with a strong year as a whole. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 24, 2015

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in ZZB. May 2015

 

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ASSESSING CLEVELAND’S SLIDING PLAYOFF ODDS (5.19.15)

By this point, I think most people following baseball realize it is important to avoid overreacting to small samples. But while keeping that in mind, it is also important to realize when a team digs a hole that is too deep to get out of.

Cleveland’s 2015 season is starting to trend that way, though many things can still change over the final 125 games of the season.

Per Fangraphs’ projections, Cleveland is currently ranked as the third-best American League team the rest of the way, only falling behind Seattle and Boston. But while Cleveland is expected to win the most games of any American League Central team for the rest of 2015, the fact that the team is already nearly 10 whole games out of first place really complicates things.

Since Cleveland is nine games below .500, Fangraphs’ projection of a .534 winning percentage the rest of the way only gets them to a mean win total of 80.8, essentially meaning that despite being one of the best teams in the American League, the franchise will end the season with a mediocre, middle of the road record because of all these early losses, per the projections. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 19, 2015

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in ZZB. May 2015

 

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THE WAR ROOM: THE STATS ARE SOLID FOR LINDOR (5.18.15)

The WAR Room is back again, bringing you the 2015 advanced stats for every Cleveland minor leaguer. Though it is still early in the season, there are some interesting trends to watch and monitor as the season goes on. Join Jim Piascik as he breaks down how Francisco Lindor is major league-ready, the early struggles of Mitch Brown and Will Roberts, and much more as he takes you into The WAR Room.

As always, just like with scouting, it is always important to keep context in mind with these stats. 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.

For the full stats, go ahead and click here. Stats are updated through Saturday, May 16.

It seems much of the talk surrounding when shortstop Francisco Lindor will be called up involves his underwhelming performance in Triple-A this season. Based on his 1.2 great-defense WAR in 34 games, however, Lindor actually played around an All-Star level with the Clippers to date. The numbers do not jump off of the page, but thanks to a low 15.1% strikeout rate (78 K%+), a high 11.2% walk rate (128 BB%+), and league-average .106 isolated power (101 ISO+), Lindor owns an above-average 117 wRC+ to go with his stellar defense at a premium position. Shortstops do not have to hit much to be impressive, and given Lindor’s talent in the field and even at the plate this year, he looks ready to impact at the major league level. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 18, 2015

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in ZZB. May 2015

 

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