Saturday, May 28, 2011

Last non-draft post for awhile - Opinions on every team in the Indian's system

OK, the draft is heating up and I will be posting exclusively on that for the next 2-4 weeks or so. 

Before I jump into draft mode I wanted to make a couple of comments about the teams in the Indians' system.

Major league team:  Baseball America, in their almanac, has a section for each team.  In that section they mention the high point and low point of the season for each team.  The Indians were 30-15, which I hope is not the high point of their season.  However, to keep on keepin' on, the Indians will need some miracles.  Well, not miracles, exactly.  They will need their hitters to start carrying this team.  Just like ACab carried this team for a few games, Sizemore, Choo, Santana and, when he comes back, Hafner will have to start carrying this team.  Otherwise, we will need REAL miracles like some of our AAAA guys (Kearns, Hanrahan, Duncan) getting career-record hot.  The pitching doesn't really need to change except that Talbot needs to be right physically and mentally.  If that happens I think the rest of the pitching takes care of itself.  If we don't get all of the above, we are in for a long summer.  Still, looking at this team, I predict that, through the mid-point of the season, the Indians will be 49-32, meaning, from this point to them, they will play 19-14 baseball.  That, of course, depends on a miracle or two because, just like the Cavs this year where it DIDN'T happen, without benefit of star-power players the Indians' early season success was based on a house of cards or a 20 year old clunker having all cylinders firing in tune, whichever analogy you want to use.  If anything goes wrong, the house falls down (or the clunker breaks down). 

Columbus:  The magic is happening for this team.  As long as the Indians continue to go with their plan you will see this team continue to dominate.   They are already starting to see life from Corey Kluber which is a great sign as he was a hole in the rotation.  Adding Justin Germano helps the bullpen.

Akron: This team is starting to show life and Matt Packer's game last night is a great sign.  If Joe Gardner can get it going, Pomeranz can be effective and Packer can build on last night, this team could make some noise.  If Bryce Stowell and Nick Weglarz ever get out of extended spring training purgatory, this team could take off like a rocket.  Plus, adding Adam Miller and calling up Pomeranz (if and when it happens) will keep the buzz about this team going and fill the seats, which will help the players' performance.

Kinston: This team will struggle all year.  Their hitting is really bad.  All we can hope for is good performance by our prospects and maybe the second half effect where teams gut their rosters of their prospects, leaving the K-Tribe's roster mostly unchanged making them the de facto best team in their division and maybe the league the second half.

Lake County: It's hard both this early in the season AND in a minor league season in general to call any team a disappointment.  However, this team has been very disappointing and that starts with the starting pitching.  Anthony Dischler was totally ineffective before he was hurt (I think he's hurt, isn't he?).  Kyle Blair and Cole Cook have been EXTREMELY disappointing and I am hoping they heat up with the weather.  Michael Goodnight  and Mike Rayl have been pleasant surprises but add to the disappointment over Blair and Cole, who are much more talented and Dischler, who is probably AS talented as Goodnight and Rayl.  Add Trey Haley to the list of disappointments as, despite his control problems, you would expect him to dominate just based on this being his 3rd trip to Lake County AND the fact that no one has really stepped up as a prospect on the offensive side and this team, which I expected to dominate this league based on its pitching, is really starting to make the 2010 draft look less shiny than it did before the season.  As far as hitting, Washington and Lavisky are having very predictable struggles and fringe but interesting prospects like Moncrief, Aguilar, Urshela, Monsalve and Martinez are doing nothing more than cementing while they are intrguing suspects and no more.

OK, on to the draft.

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