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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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AROUND THE FARM: MAY 17, 2015 (5.18.15)

Cult hero Jerry Sands is doing his best to make the magic last while down in Columbus.

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
Columbus 4 6 0 Akron 11 13 0
Pawtucket 1 6 1 Altoona 1 7 1
Box Score Box Score
R H E R H E
Wilmington 2 5 3 Dayton 5 11 0
Lynchburg 7 12 0 Lake County 4 7 3
Box Score Box Score

HIGHLIGHTS

Jerry Sands (RF, Columbus): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Sands’ 15 minutes of Cleveland fame from earlier this season were supposed to be up after he was designated for assignment, but after hitting his fourth home run in just 13 Triple-A games, the outfielder may still have something to offer the big league club. There currently is not room for Sands on the active roster, but he is hitting the ball hard in Columbus (.231 isolated power) and would have even better raw numbers if not for a .200 BABIP. The balance of probability is against Sands being this good after the track record he built over the years, but at the very least, the 27-year-old is opening the door to the possibility he can contribute off the bench in the majors going forward. 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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THE WAR ROOM: NAQUIN IS RED-HOT IN AKRON (5.11.15)

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 Tyler Naquin’s hot start, how Carlos Moncrief and Eric Haase are better than their averages, 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 9.

Though he is currently down with mild quad cramping, if his start to the season is any indication, outfielder Tyler Naquin will be back on his feet performing at a high level in no time at all. Naquin is leading RubberDuck position players in average-defense WAR with 0.6 in just 13 games, and while performing at an All-Star level is almost guaranteed to come with some unsustainability, much of the outfielder’s performance does not look out of place. The 9.1% strikeout rate (48 K%+) and 13.6% walk rate (161 BB%+) are both likely on the high-end of Naquin’s talent level, but the fact that the outfielder can put up these numbers without much power (.074 isolated power, 65 ISO+) or batted ball fortune (.347 BABIP, 113 BABIP+) is impressive. Naquin will need to get healthy and back on the field, but overall, there is nothing wrong with the 2012 first round pick performing well in the upper levels of the minors. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 11, 2015

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

 

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AROUND THE FARM: MAY 10, 2015 (5.11.15)

Haase continues to show encouraging power despite the on-base woes that derailed him early on.

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
Pawtucket 1 6 1 Binghamton 4 10 0
Columbus 4 4 0 Akron 9 13 2
Box Score Box Score
R H E
Lynchburg 2 7 2
Wilmington 4 10 0
Box Score

HIGHLIGHTS

Eric Haase (C, Lynchburg): 2-for-4, 2 2B, 1 SO. After spending most of 2014 repeating Low-A and seeing his High-A debut fall flat late last year, Haase’s slow start to 2015 seemed to be yet another knock against the catcher. But while Haase’s OPS still sits at just .672 following this strong outing, his .193 isolated power through 17 games offers some hope. Given the catcher’s power has not completely deserted him, it seems likely he will see a few more balls in play go for hits over the course of the season (he only has a .261 BABIP), which will help raise his .269 on-base percentage. The 15:3 SO:BB is not very good, but though Haase needs to improve that plate discipline, the fact that his power remains intact and his results on balls in play seems fluky means everything is not broken for the catcher. Improving defensively behind the plate and with his plate discipline is not an easy task, but it beats needing to fix everything. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 11, 2015

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

 

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