Monday, April 4, 2016

25 (and 40) man roster decisions

Every team has those prospects who you continue to hope against hope that they find some spark and make it.   Two of those guys for the Indians are/were Zach Walters and James Ramsey.   Both had flashes that tantalized you. 

Walters hit HRs.  He could play multiple positions on the infield and outfield.   He could run a little.   All he needed to do was put the bat on the ball, which he hasn't been able to do.   Even if he could hit .260 and cut his strikeout rate to 20%, with the power and the positional versatility he had, he could be a super-sub with pop.  He just hasn't put it together so far.

James Ramsey is a similar case.  He came to Cleveland off some gaudy numbers in AA for the Cardinals.   However, he really has not hit, almost not at all, for the Indians.   He can play center field, he can run a bit, hit for a bit of power.   He can handle the corner outfield spots.   But, so far, he can't hit for the Indians.

The minors are full of prospects like this.  Guys who stand out for their tools and promise, guys who once stood at the top of prospect lists.  Some reach their potential in another organization leaving the fans in their former organization gnashing their teeth, some never reach it at all.  Tony Wolters was that same kind of prospect.  A catcher/second baseman.   Think Craig Biggio, but without the hitting.    Let's hope we keep Ramsey and Walters but, frankly, I have seen guys like them over and over in the minors.  You think they are close but they never find that spark.   The only reason to keep them, really, is in case they figure it out you don't want them doing it for another organization.    When you are an Indians fan, you don't want any repeats of Hector Rondon.   Our resources are not deep enough to lose prospects on waivers who go on to good ML careers elsewhere.   So you hold on.  But for the Indians to DFA Wolters, Ramsey, Walters and future LOOGY Giovanni Soto, four prospects, in the past couple of months is pretty unsettling.   Whereas these guys had played (or not played) themselves into being fringe prospects, it hurts because you were hoping at least one in four of them became a useful major Cleveland.    Maybe they all pass through waivers and we keep all three of them and one of them figures it out in Columbus this year.   Or maybe not and this time next year they are playing in the minors for someone else...just like Michael Choice is doing for the Indians this year. 

Seeing what has happened to these prospects has to make you wonder about the quality of the Indians player development system.  It also has to make you wonder about how good Rob Kaminsky can be if the Cardinals parted with him to get the mediocre Brandon Moss.  We are the Indians.   We hope against hope.   It's what we do.

No comments:

Post a Comment