Sunday, April 16, 2017

Early minor league statistical trends

Ok, I admit I have been very busy and haven't had a chance to see a game on MiLB TV yet.   Still, just looking at the statistical trends from our prospects (excluding minor league veterans) here is what I see so far.

Columbus -

Hitters - Zimmer is showing a good OPS and SB rate.  His K rate of 25% is still a little high but improving.   Erik Gonzalez struggled early but is starting to come around.   Nellie Rodriguez is still struggling.

Pitchers - You can't get any better than Clevinger has been.  Our bullpen depth looks very good but the starting pitching depth, which I rated as one of the best in baseball, is looking pretty shaky as Merritt has been mediocre and Plutko and Morimando have just been B-A-D.

Akron -

Hitters - Mejia has been great.   Chang has a great OPS, especially if he can stay as a middle infielder.  Papi looks good on paper with a high OBP but if you look at his ABs he looks like he is just slapping at the ball (no XBH so far).  I have see n a couple of his ABs and he just looks like he is trying to make solid contact and has given up all efforts to make HR contact.   Bradley, like Nellie Rodriguez at AAA, is struggling mightily.

Pitchers -  Some of our 2nd tier prospects (Lugo, Peoples) are looking solid.  Some of the other pitching prospects (Merryweather, Kaminsky) are not looking sharp early.

Lynchburg -

Hitters - Looking at the lineup there is not a single solid hitting prospect on this team.  A few guys are hitting well but none even qualify as 2nd tier prospects so their early statistical success has less meaning.   Now, they sustain that success for a whole we are talking!.

Pitchers - Pannone has been Clevinger-like so far.   McKenzie is doing well for his age and Chiang has been his usual solid, unspectacular, 2nd/3rd tier prospect self. 

Lake County -

Hitters - Chu, Capel and Jose Medina have surprised.  Overall I thought this team would not hit well but they have. 

Pitchers - Bieber and Civale have been as advertised (too good for this league).   Aiken, Hillman and Garza have struggled early and Aiken's control and Hillman's overall bad results are truly troubling.  Miniard has been OK but his peripherals are not that good.


  1. Always enjoyed your insights, Dennis (albeit sometimes I think you are a bit pessimistic). That being said, I have watched some of three higher rates teams and went to AZ for a few days and generally agree with what you wrote. Appreciate what you do. Keep it up.

    AAA- Clevenger is dominant in AAA (again). Question is whether he can finally do it in majors. Zimmer looks better than last year. Glad Goody is getting a chance. He looked excellent Still needs to work on making contact, especially with 2 strikes. Gonzales should replace Martinez if we are going to keep a defensive player on roster post-Kipnis instead of Diaz.
    AA - Meija is capable of hitting major league pitching at this point. He was not overmatched in spring training and is really strong for a smallish guy. Greg Allen is a guy who will be a good major leaguer. Really plays smart and has enough talent to be a very good leadoff/9 hitter. Both Chiang and Bradley have excellent power and both can hit, but both need to keep themselves from chasing...really a big problem for Bradley. Merryweather has some potential. He can throw.
    High A - agree with comments regarding hitters although I actually think there are 5 position guys who can advance. I am highest on Castro...very very young and he will be able to hit. I think Tom, Calica and Carter (less so) have an outside chance. Finally, Salters is older, but many catchers seem to make it an older age... can potentially make it as a catcher as he can hit a bit. Pannone's numbers are just awesome, but McKenzie has real stud potential. He just knows how to pitch. Question will be whether he can add 2-3 mph to his fastball so that he can be dominant. Linares can throw hard so he's got a shot as a bullpen guy.
    Lower A - Pitching has been horrible. Very concerned that Aiken will never get achieve projection. I'm less concerned about wildness (which is pretty problematic) than I am his lack of a dominant fastball. Obviously, I'd give him 2-3 years more b/c there is no reason not to do so, but I thought guys were supposed to be able to gain a few miles an hour after his surgery, but he is definetely down to the high 80s, 90 at best. Miniard threw a great game when I watched and Siri seems to have a very good fastball. Won't worry about Hillman for a while...he is still very young. Bieber and Cavale look very good numbers wise, but I am not sure that they are all that given their collegiate experience.

    1. First, thanks for reading and responding. I am really concerned with Zimmer vs LHP. He looks so weak in that situation. I love McKenzie. He was my top prospect, even higher than Mejia. I love Mejia's bat. If he keeps hitting like this and doesn't appear overmatched I can see him up in August, maybe end of July. Last year we didn't know he would stay on this trajectory and didn't know that Gomes/Perez would still be struggling offensively. I think this July, instead of trading Mejia, we make him the full-time catcher with Perez as their safety net. I keep McKenzie no matter what.

      Let's face it. Sheffeld (control, potential head problems)and Frazier (potential head case, too) had their issues. I see no issues with Mejia and McKenzie so I see the Indians not using either of them in a trade. They are the next wave, the guys who will keep us competitive through 2025. You trade them, you take a big nosedive after 2020, something that might take us 10 years to recover from.

      Present is bright, future is bright. BTW, I break the bank to sign Lindor long term. Whatever it takes to get him for 7 years. He is the key to this franchise's present and future.