By Bob Toth
Last week, I looked into the Indians’ recent draft woes, how it has impacted the present roster, and what the team has done in the recent drafts to hopefully correct the poor drafting and development over the last several years. If you missed the story last week, follow this link – Dispelling the Indians’ Draft Woes
One of the difficult aspects of drafting young players is that there is no way to predict their futures. Even being the very first person drafted is no assurance of superstardom. It cannot even guarantee a moderate level of success professionally.
It really is an impossible task to attempt to judge a draft shortly after it has happened. It is challenging to forecast the ceilings of such young players and the impact that their development, injuries, or their personal lives may have on who they become on and off the field.
It is all just educated guessing.
By Bob Toth
The Cleveland Indians have developed a reputation as a team that does not draft well.
That was certainly the case for the earlier portion of the first decade of the 21st century.
Poor drafts and talent evaluation problems helped to deplete the Indians’ minor league system of valuable prospects. The team was forced to acquire new young prospects through the trades of some of the team’s most popular and productive players or other expendable veteran parts. Moving these players early, instead of allowing them to potentially leave at the end of their contract with the club, ensures that the team procures future talent.
This week’s trade of Shin-Soo Choo and others to Cincinnati and Arizona was no exception to that norm. In fact, such a trade in 2006 with the Seattle Mariners was how Choo arrived on the scene with the Cleveland organization.
By Mike Brandyberry
The Cleveland Indians announced Thursday the organizational staff alignment within the Player Development System for the upcoming season.
Two members of the 2012 Major League coaching staff will resume prominent roles within the system. Tom Wiedenbauer …
Several weeks ago, we chronicled the seven Indians minor leaguers participating in the Arizona Fall League as part of the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Scorpions finished the short season with a record of 15-16, good for a second place, 2.5 games out of first. Here’s how the seven Indians farmhands faired.
The 22-year-old righty made five appearances for the Scorpions. In his five appearances, he tossed 5.2 innings allowing no runs on two hits while striking out three and walking four.
His solid stint continues to highlight his talent as a reliever for the Tribe brass after a solid 2012 campaign.
By Mike Brandyberry
It is widely speculated that major roster changes could be upon the Cleveland Indians this winter with the possibility of Asdrubal Cabrera, Chris Perez, Shin-Soo Choo and Justin Masterson all believed to be on the market for the right offer. While a move that would have any of those players leaving Cleveland would be deemed a major shake up to the roster, a minor tremor could be developing in the next couple days.
Tuesday, November 20 is the deadline for minor league players who are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft to be placed on the Major League 40-man roster and be protected. Any player who was signed at 18-years old or younger and has been in the organization for five years, or any player signed at 19-years old and older who has been in the organization for four years, and not on the 40-man roster is eligible to be drafted in the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee from December 3-6.
Players selected in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on their new team’s 25-man roster for the remaining season or be offered back to their original team. Most times players that are drafted via the Rule 5 draft have a trade negotiated to eliminate the rules behind the draft and create a minor league option. Currently, the Indians have a full 40-man roster and several minor leaguers who are Rule 5 eligible.
By Sean Tuttle
The Columbus Clippers (AAA) finished the season in second place in the Western Division of the International League with an overall record of 75-69. They finished 13 games behind first place Indianapolis, and four games out of the Wild Card spot. Infielder, Cord Phelps, has been named to the IL Postseason All-Star Team. The Clippers finished 75-69 on the season, marking the third straight season the Clippers have finished with a record above the .500 mark. Columbus finished second in the IL in attendance for the 2012 season, averaging 8,732 fans a game. Infielders Matt LaPorta and Russ Canzler were named to the mid- season All-Star team. Columbus had four players named the IL Batter of the Week in 2012 (LaPorta, Canzler, Carrera, Phelps) and one player named IL Pitcher of the Week (Gomez). The Clippers hit six grand slam home runs (Beau Mills, Jared Goedert, Russ Canzler, Ryan Rohlinger, Luke Carlin, Juan Diaz).
The Indians announced right-handed pitcher, Jordan Cooper, as this week’s Minor League Player of the Week.
The 23-year old, Carolina Mudcat, is a native of Berryton, Kansas, and was originally drafted in the 2008 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox in the 17th round. Instead of signing with the Red Sox out of Shawnee Heights High School, Cooper decided to attend Wichita State University. Two years later, in the 2010 amateur draft, he was selected by the Tribe in the ninth round.
In 2010, Cooper saw action in 14 games where he started 13 and went 5-5 with a 4.94 ERA. In 62 innings of work, he allowed 79 hits, gave up 39 runs of which 34 were earned, forfeited nine home runs, allowed 18 walks while striking out 41 batters with Mahoning Valley.
By Sean Tuttle
Arizona League Indians infielder, Dorssys Paulino, has been named the Indians Minor League Player of the Week, August 13-19. In addition to this honor, he was promoted to Short-Season Class-A Mahoning Valley of the New York-Penn League.
The Bani, Dominican Republic native was signed as a Non-Drafted Free Agent by the Indians on July 2, 2011 as a 16-year old out of La Academia. Dorssys doesn’t turn 18 years old until November 21st. He was ranked the 7th best prospect in the Indians system by Baseball Prospectus entering the 2012 season.
Paulino, 17, hit .560 (14-25) for the week with three doubles, a triple, three home runs, and nine RBI’s while posting a 1.713 OPS. On August 13th against the Diamondbacks rookie club, Paulino tied a season high by going 4-for-5 with two runs, a double, three RBI’s and followed that with a three-hit game the next night with two home runs and a season-high five RBI’s.
By Evan Matsumoto
The Indians not-so-dramatic slide into mediocrity this season was far from unexpected. Cleveland now sits solidly in third place in the A.L. Central, barely nudging out the Kansas City Royals for bronze.
Eleven games out of first place, and with two-thirds of this west-coast road trip to go, the team’s roster needs a bat that will spark some sort of offense.
Enter Tim Fedroff.
By Sean Tuttle
The Cleveland Indians announced Carolina infielder, Giovanny Urshela, as the club’s Minor League Player of the Week, August 6-13. In addition to this honor, yesterday he was named the Carolina League Hitter of the Week. Urshela, hit .483 (14-29) with five doubles, three home runs, and six RBI’s throughout the week. On August 7th at Salem, Urshela went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and three RBI’s in Carolina’s 6-2 win and followed that up with a three hit game the next night with two more doubles, a home run, and an RBI.
For the 2012 season he is batting .279 (102-366) with 44 runs scored, 26 doubles, 10 home runs, and 52 RBI’s while posting a .744 OPS (.312 on-base pct., .432 slugging pct.). He is batting .400 (20-50) in the month of August, raising his season average from .259 to the current .279 mark.
The 20-year old righty out of Cartagena, Colombia was signed as a Non-Drafted Free Agent on July 2, 2008. In 2011, Urshela ranked fourth in the Midwest League in at-bats (505). In 2010, posted a career high .290 batting average in 58 games with Mahoning Valley.
By Evan Matsumoto
Young talent in the Indians organization is not hard to come by; in a league where the median age is 28.8 years old, the Tribe fields a team whose average age is 27.2 years—the fifth youngest in the majors.
Promotion from the Triple-A Columbus Clippers is a regular occurrence among players on Cleveland’s active roster. Almost a dozen players on Cleveland’s 25-man active roster were promoted from Columbus, including Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall, who is on the 60-day disabled list due to a fractured right ulna bone. It’s not absurd to think, then, that the Tribe is looking to promote from within for the last leg of the season.
Russ Canzler is a name that sparks interest around Clevaland. Canzler made his Major-League debut with Tampa Bay last season but has spent the 2012 season in Columbus after being acquired by the Tribe on January 31 for cash.
By Sean Tuttle
The Cleveland Indians announced Luis DeJesus as their Minor League Player of the Week Tuesday afternoon. DeJesus was also named the New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week.
The 20-year old righty from Diboll, Texas was drafted by the Tribe in the 11th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft out of Angelina College.
In 13 appearances with the Arizona League Indians, DeJesus went 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 46 innings of work. He gave up 41 hits, allowed 20 runs with 17 earned and walked 11 batters, while striking out 45 and hitting one.
This season he has split time between Lake County and Mahoning Valley. In four games with Lake County, DeJesus is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 12 innings of work. He has finished two games and has one save. DeJesus gave up 15 hits, allowed 11 runs with 10 of them being earned. He walked six, struck out 12, and gave up two home runs.