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Other Minor League Information Worth Noting

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Other Minor League Information Worth Noting

Unread postby ArtGold » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:35 am

At Akron, 1st baseman Jordan Brown had 4 more hits, on top of 4 yesterday. He is now only hitting .330, has a good walk rate and more walks than strikeouts. He is really building on his good season last year at Kinston, and the 15 HRs he hit at Kinston indicates some HR power. Hope this isn't another guy getting lost in the shuffle, he appears too good to be overlooked.

Jensen Lewis, a relief pitcher also playing at Akron, has gone over a dozen appearances without giving up an earned run. In his last 10 relief appearances, Lewis has pitched 17 innings, given up only 7 hits, 3 walks and has stuck out 23 hitters. It is a shame we haven't moved him up yet, especially since AAA ball has some more veteran hitters for him to test his stuff against. He was a starter last year, but was projected a reliever when drafted a few years ago.

Between Max Ramirez, Chris Gimenez, Matt McBride and Wyatt Toregas the Indians may have a couple of candidates to play ML catcher. These are always valuable in trades, if no opening exists on the major league roster. Ramirez has the best bat so far, though McBride appears to have a lot of potential too. Gimenez is kind of interesting, capable of playing OF and 3rd too. If nothing else, perhaps he can play all positions in a meaningless September game, after the Indians clinch the title. I think only 3 players have ever done this, Bert Campaneris (KC 1965), Cesar Tovar (Minn 1968) and Scott Sheldon (Texas 2000). Toregas is strong defensively with an inconsistent bat, possibly a good backup.

Finally, RHP Josh Tomlin has had an interesting year. After doing very well at MV last year as a starter, he was buried in the bullpen early this year at LC. Finally given a chance to start, he did very well, earning a promotion to Kinston, where he pitched 6 innings, giving up only 3 hits, in his initial start.
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Unread postby Prosecutor » Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:28 am

Thanks for the update. Both Jensen Lewis and Jordan Brown are 22 years old, so it's exciting to see them kicking butt in AA. They both look like keepers.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:40 am

Jensen Lewis is one I am particularly interested in seeing more of. I was told in the offseason he was being moved to the bullpen because they love his stuff and ability in that role. Plus, his fastball would play up more, and it certainly has. A great move if you ask me. He is someone who could figure into the bullpen mix late next year in Cleveland.

The Indians certainly have a lot of middle relief depth in the system, so if I were Shapiro I would concentrate on filling that backend with good vets until some of the younguns breakout.

And Jordan Brown is growing on me. Not flashy, just a good ballplayer. And, I certainly can see the Wally Joyner comp.
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6/12 Observations

Unread postby ArtGold » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:45 pm

A couple of interesting "secondary developments" down in the minors last night.

Aaron Laffey with his 4th straight good start at Buffalo, showing he appears past the jitters of his first 2 appearances in AAA. Oddly enough, he has pitched about the same innings at Akron and Buffalo this season, and has almost identical BB and K numbers. He may be an end of rotation possibility as a major league starter as easrly as next season (competing for a spot, not handed one).

Chris Gimenez, an OF, 3rd base and catcher (speak about odd defensive mix) is now co-leader in the Carolina League in HRs (15) despite about 90 less ABs than the co-leader. In addition, he is hitting .287 with a very good walk rate and equal strikeouts to walks. Although somewhat old for the league at 24, and with an inconsistent batting history, his defensive versatility and power might still make him a reserve major league player. Keep in mind, the Carolina League is a pitchers paradise.
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Unread postby ArtGold » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:30 pm

I'm using this thread to post brief observations about some minor league players who aren't receiving much attention. This is to try and find obscure players who may be on the brink of "figuring things out" and become possible contributors someday.

I find right handed relief pitcher Luis Perdomo's stats and performances interesting. He is at Lake County, and at 23 a bit old for the league, but he can only pitch were he is assigned, so can't fault him for that.

He has pitched 33 innings and given up only 22 hits and 12 walks, while striking out 40 hitters. Last year at Mahoning Valley, he pitched 20 innings and gave up only 11 hits and 5 walks while striking out 29 hitters. The batting average against him last year was only .155, and this year it is only .183. However, his ERA in both seasons is a little over 3.50.

The reason I find him interesting is that in looking over the strikeouts and hits per inning he obviously is doing a great job, but his age and ERA would cause you to think low ceiling prospect. BUT...his GB/FB ratio last season was 0.94, while this season it is 1.74, which may mean he has figured out how to get opponents to beat the ball into the ground instead of drive it to the fence. His home run allowed rate is OK, so I wonder what gives with him, and what kind of stuff he has and changes he may be making.

Tony, this looks like a good guy to get some extra insights on.

Maybe there is nothing there but some luck, but that BA against rate and GB/FB improvement have me curious as to what he throws and what he may be doing differently than last season.
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Unread postby consigliere » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:53 am

Perdomo is a bit of a mystery to me. When I get back to Lake County and my crazy June ends, he and Jensen Lewis were two relievers I wanted to take a long, deeper look into.

I do know Perdomo throws a fastball that touches 94-96 MPH consistently. But, don't know much else about secondary stuff, command, projection, etc.
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Unread postby ArtGold » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:25 pm

I'd appreciate the additional information, he could be a dark horse and we can be the first site identifying him ;-)

What I'd like to know is what changed (if anything) severely altering the GB/FB ratio? I would think that with this change, his strikeout rate would have dropped as would his HR rate per 9 innings, but that isn't the case.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:29 pm

ArtGold wrote:What I'd like to know is what changed (if anything) severely altering the GB/FB ratio? I would think that with this change, his strikeout rate would have dropped as would his HR rate per 9 innings, but that isn't the case.

Off the top of my head, these data whisper "split finger," a pitch that dives down but can still be missed for Ks.
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Unread postby pup » Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:57 pm

Off the top of my head, these data whisper "split finger," a pitch that dives down but can still be missed for Ks.


Unless it is thrown by Paul Byrd
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:04 pm

Pup wrote:
Off the top of my head, these data whisper "split finger," a pitch that dives down but can still be missed for Ks.


Unless it is thrown by Paul Byrd

Hey, he had 7 Ks in 5 innings.

It's his other pitches that blow.
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Unread postby pup » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:11 pm

Steve Buffum wrote:
Pup wrote:
Off the top of my head, these data whisper "split finger," a pitch that dives down but can still be missed for Ks.


Unless it is thrown by Paul Byrd

Hey, he had 7 Ks in 5 innings.

It's his other pitches that blow.



My fault. I guess an 83 MPH fastball isn't quite the same as it was two months ago.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:13 pm

Pup wrote:My fault. I guess an 83 MPH fastball isn't quite the same as it was two months ago.

I'm tellin' ya, some bastard spread the word to disbelieve the Phantasmal Force.

Frankly, my only suggestion left is the Joe Niekro Commemorative Emery Board.
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Unread postby ArtGold » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:55 pm

Next up on the "what is happening here" listing, Adam Davis. The guy hits about .230 with no pop for the better part of 2 months, after doing nothing (.213 BA) last year at MV. Suddenly, the light goes on and he has been hitting around .400 for the past couple of weeks and has hit a couple of HRs to boot. To top it off, he has a "moneyball" walk rate.

So, did somebody spike his kool aid? What suddenly caused Davis to get it? Was it the Goedert shift to 2nd at Lake County a few weeks ago? Did this suddenly give him the idea he may not be on the Indians front burner and make him decide to suddenly play harder?

Looks like a special writeup for Tony this week to me!
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:39 pm

Art, I'll be at Lake County on the 13th.....I'll try and pull Davis aside and se what he says.

I saw the game on TV the other night when he hit a HR, and his bat looks quick all of a sudden.
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Unread postby ArtGold » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:41 am

Thanks, Tony. In following the minors as closely as I do, one of the things I look for is a sudden and sustained change in performance, indicating that a player may have made a change to their approach (self or management initiated) or that a sense of frustration or desperation caused them to change their attitude.

Sometimes this becomes a permanent change, frequently it doesn't. But it is possible that the bulb goes on and they player truly rises to a new sustained level of performance. Optimally, they learn a change in approach which allows them to also make future adaptations, that is always the best outcome. Good examples of this are Gutierrez and Francisco, which is why I closely track year to year performance and look for big changes within a season (like what may be happening with Davis).
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Unread postby ArtGold » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:36 am

Rodney Choy Foo continues to hit pretty well and have an excellent walk rate. Does he have potential to be a utility infielder, or is there a problem with him defensively?

How does he measure up to Inglett or Luna?

Also...a brief update on relief pitcher Jensen Lewis, discussed at the beginning of this thread. He has been in Buffalo for a couple of weeks now, and after getting rid of his "first game jitters" has pitched 8 1/3 innings, giving up 2 hits, no walks and recording 8 K's. Look for him in an Indians uniform soon if he keeps this up.

If we trade either Lewis or Laffey...
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:05 pm

Jensen Lewis has just taken off since being moved into a bully role. I don't know if he will pitch with the Indians this year, but he will be an option in 2008 and beyond. I'm hoping that when I go to Buffalo on Friday that I see him pitch. I'm still having trouble getting things setup to interview the Buffalo players...but if I get setup he is someone I have targetted.

And Choy Foo certainly is a utility option in the future.....he just needs to stay healthy.
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Unread postby MadThinker88 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:00 pm

Consigliere wrote:And Choy Foo certainly is a utility option in the future.....he just needs to stay healthy.


The bigger question is if he will be around. Remember the Tribe drafted him back in 2000 and after this season he definitely qualifies as a minor league free agent.

I'd like for him to stick around (along with Argenis Reyes) but with the other players in the system (such as A. Cabrera, Goedert, Barfield, Hodges, etc) I couldn't fault either man for moving on to what they perceive as 'greener' pastures and better opportunities.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:05 pm

MadThinker88 wrote:
Consigliere wrote:And Choy Foo certainly is a utility option in the future.....he just needs to stay healthy.


The bigger question is if he will be around. Remember the Tribe drafted him back in 2000 and after this season he definitely qualifies as a minor league free agent.

I'd like for him to stick around (along with Argenis Reyes) but with the other players in the system (such as A. Cabrera, Goedert, Barfield, Hodges, etc) I couldn't fault either man for moving on to what they perceive as 'greener' pastures and better opportunities.


I won't shed a tear if he leaves as a six year free agent of is taken in the Rule 5. It is the bigger upside guys like Cabrera, Laffey, etc that I worry about stuffing onto the 40-man for roster protection.
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Unread postby Hoover » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:23 am

Art or Consigliere, what's your evaluation of Reid Santos? He sure is putting together a good season so far. 2.09 ERA and just 14 walks in 60+ innings.

Are they using him mostly as a starter?

Any info is much appreciated.
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My Take on Santos

Unread postby ArtGold » Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:11 am

I can only comment on him from a statistical perspective, I have no idea what he throws.

First off, he turns 25 next month, so he is getting a little old for a prospect only in AA. The Baseball America Prospect Book does not rate him among the 30 best prospects (but they excluded Jeremy Guthrie and Ben Francisco too).

In 2005, he had his only really significant inning exposure and didn't fare very well. At low A Lake County, he pitched 148 innings and gave up 168 hits, plus 46 walks, while striking out 127. That is a fairly poor hit per 9 innings rate of 10.24. His ERA was close to 5.00.

But last year, in more limited action, he improved significantly. Pitching a combined 81 innings between Kinston and Akron he only gave up 66 hits and 28 walks, while striking out 85 batters. He also lowered his HR allowed rate, from 17 to 2, and that is a substantial improvement even taking into account the reduced innings.

So what does this indicate? He appears to be able to pitch better if not pacing himself. Obviously this profiles as a reliever, but he seems to have an odd knack for being able to pitch effectively for a few innings at a time, and has repeatedly demonstrated that this season. So far this year, in 60 innings he has allowed only 42 hits and 14 walks, improving significantly on last years good performance. The Indians have been moving his innings up the past month, generally keeping him in the 5 to 6 inning range. I don't know if they are trying to build his confidence or seeing if he can be an effective long man, but his performance has been pretty good.

Now for some negative information, his GB/FB ratio is only .68, which is quite a bit worse than last year, and as a result he is giving up more HRs this year than last, 6 so far. My reading on this is that they are trying to get him to pitch in a way that keeps him from getting into a shell when giving up HRs, to challenge the hitters. That appears to be the biggest variable in his performance. I don't think we are looking at any more than a long man in the bullpen here, but if he can be comfortable giving up an occasional HR without getting shell shocked, perhaps he can cobble together a fringe major league career, even as a 5th starter.

But that is just based upon my reading of his statistical performances and usage by the Indians.
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Unread postby Hoover » Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:39 pm

Thanks for the info Art. Looks like he might be a serviceable reliever for the Tribe at some point, especially since he's a lefty.

He's going to the AA All Star game, along with 5 other Aeros.

Manager Tim Bogar says--

‘‘I’m not surprised at all that we placed so many guys. Jordan Brown is having a great year, Brian Barton is doing well and Asdrubal Cabrera is perhaps the best player in the league. Wyatt [Toregas]’s catching abilities behind the plate set him apart, and enough can’t be said about the job Reid [Santos] has done in a variety of roles for us and how Randy [Newsom] has stepped right into such an important closer’s role.”

http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/aeros/
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:45 pm

Can't really add much to what Art says except this from a piece I wrote last week:

http://www.theclevelandfan.com/article_ ... hp?id=1932

Last Friday, Santos toyed with a no-hitter through 5.2 innings before giving up a hit. Santos' versatility to pitch out of the bullpen or as a starter, especially since he is left-handed, makes him very valuable to the Indians as a possible swing man down the road. Santos is not overpowering as he is yet another soft tossing finesse lefty in the system, but he has very good command and location of his pitches. His fastball only clocks in the upper 80s, but he compliments it well with a solid changeup to play up the speed of the fastball.
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