Friday, October 15, 2010

Random thoughts 10/15

***Adam Miller is back pitching in the fall instructional league and has signed a minor league contract with the Indians as he was a 6-year minor league free agent.  I guess this was necessary for him to continue his rehab with us but it also exposes him to the Rule 5 draft.  A question I have to ask is would it have made more sense to let him remain in minor league free agent until after the Rule 5 draft so he wouldn't be exposed to that draft, as he is now.

***I will have an article later but my guess is that Indians had the youngest playoff rosters in the IL, CL and Midwest Leagues.  Certainly in the IL they had the fewest AAAA players of any of the playoff teams, maybe counting the PCL, as well.  This is a testament to the DEPTH of our system.

***I saw a recent blog article from a known FO supporter that rationalized the Indians' late season winning ways that dropped them about 4-5 spots in the draft this next June.  I wonder if the writer realizes that this drops the Indians down 4-5 spots in EVERY round?  Also, an analysis like that is begging to be picked apart as its premise was too simplistic for the complex system that is the draft.   Sometimes teams draft guys like Casey Weathers or Matt Bush and this really skews the results.  A better way of looking at it is if you compare how the players ranked, talent-wise, at draft time and how they ended up as players.  This removes stupidity and cheapness from the equation.  Face it, there is no rationalizing that these meaningless September winning streaks while all the rest of the loser teams are tanking it or winning just enough to keep a top slot, are costing us BIG TIME.  It's all about draft options and we have a lot less at #8 than we would have had at #4, no matter how the FO supporters try to spin it.

***I'd really like to see us package Andy Marte and Trevor Crowe for an AZL or GCL top 20 prospect or two.  The Yankees have a couple of interesting ones   I mean, Brian Bixler brought one (Jesus Brito) to Pittsburgh.   The Branyan trade to Seattle proves, once again, that there ARE suckers out there.  You just have to find them.

***I guess we are now done with the 'There was not market for Cliff Lee because he wasn't highly sought after' argument.  Good sales people make their own market, especially when they have good products to sell.  The returns on the Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia deals look more pathetic every day.

***I noted that Baseball America completed their league rankings.  The most humerous commetn I read from a known FO-supportive blogger was wondering if the Indians had no high-ranked prospects because most of their teams played in the Midwest.  Priceless!  Fact is that the Indians don't have a lot of high end prospects, despite their recent bad records (i.e., high draft slots) and veteran-for-prospect trades.  The team with the supposed deepest farm system in baseball had a total of SIX guys ranked in the top 20 prospects of the 6 US leagues they had teams in.  In the bottom three levels (low A, shortseason A and rookie leagues) they had ZERO guys ranked in the top 20 of these leagues.  Here are some thoughts:

1. Arizona League - This league was mostly Latin players and it reflects the Indians' philosophy of not signing expensive Latin amateurs.  While I approve of that in most cases I would like to see the Indians take the plunge every year for a $2 million guy.  Just one.  Also, their signing of their top HS guys at or near the deadline hurt them here.

2. NY-Penn League - Ditto for signing of their top college guys late.  However, this team should have been populated by guys from the AZL team last year, as well and that shows how questionable most of our 2009 HS and Latin signees are and points out, once again, if you don't draft quality guys who have dropped, you usually get nothing out of the draft after the first couple of rounds.

3. Midwest League - Another example of a bunch of low end prospects can win.  Guys from the NY-Penn and AZL 2009 teams should have populated this list showing how devoid of prospects those teams were.  Yeah, some of the top picks are looking good but, after that, it looks like we just mailed it in.

4. Carolina, Eastern and IL. -  Here is where the depth starts to show up but note that we had only one guy higher than #6 in any of those leagues (Santana) which means, at best, we are looking at solid ML careers but not superstardom from Chisenhall, White and Kipnis and #4-5 starter upside for Carrasco (even though I think it may be a lot higher) and 4th outfielder status for Jordan Henry (we have somewhere on the order of 100 prospects and ML outfielders who fit that profile, however).

Note that we were better than league average (20 prospects divided by # teams in the league) in FOUR of those 6 leagues.  The Yankees beat us in prospects in the IL and EL.  Heck, so did the Pirates in the IL.

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