What is the All-Daily Team? What isn't the All-Daily Team... It is everything. Everything rolled into one.
Sort of. What the All-Daily Team represents is the organization's gritty players. The players who come in on a daily basis and just do their job and do their job well. From the Majors all the way down to the lowest level of the minor leagues. These are my favorites at each position. They are not All-Stars, they are not the best players who have the most fame or the best stats. They are just awesome. And this is the fourth year I've done it. Expect the occasional nickname thrown in as always.
Catcher - Lou Marson
I'm running out of things to say about LouMar. But I do have the daily reminder about how awesome he is because the background to my Twitter page has this awesome picture.
First Base - Russ Canzler
Crusty...Crusty...Crusty... Do you hear it? It's getting louder. They want Crusty! We want Crusty! I WANT CRUSTY!
Second Base - Jason Kipnis
Yet another year for Kipnis on the list and he will likely be a staple for years to come when this team is released. Kip is actually what this team is all about and what this team really embodies. If anything, he is the captain of it.
Third Base - Lonnie Chisenhall
It takes a lot to unseat someone like Jack Hannahan, who endeared himself to the public in 2011 and received nicknames to illustrate his "Mannahan-ness". But Chisenhall did it. Not with production or anything, but with pure will. The pure will to come back from a broken arm and play in a season that was past meaning anything. That takes some determination and fight and that deserves some sort of nod or hat-tip, something more than me writing this paragraph at least.
Shortstop - Tony Wolters
The counter to W.A.S.H-God is WOLT-God as little Tony Wolters says. Wolty is a repeat shortstop first-teamer her on the All-Daily Team and this year, with good reason. He has an excellent year at the plate and continues to be someone the Indians can count on do whatever asked. Because Ronny Rodriguez was at the same level and because Francisco Lindor is right on their tail, Wolters did a lot of second base playing, but he is a SS by trade. That's what this team is about!
Left Field - Cord Phelps
Does Cord Phelps play left field? No, not a lot. In fact, quite infrequently compared to others who are at their positions on this team, but that's just it. Phelps is the man and he'll play anywhere and it is what makes him an awesome fit. Second, short, third, first, hell if he could catch, he probably would if you needed him to. He also went to Stanford, so he's probably smart.
Center Field - Michael Brantley
Not only did Mikey have a good year, he remained relatively healthy and when he wasn't, he still played. You have to give it up to him for playing most of the year and playing towards the end banged up. You wouldn't expect any less from the son of a major leaguer.
Right Field - Tim Fedroff
His Twitter handle is Fedheems and to me, it looks like Feed him.. So I say this, Feed Him! Feed him a new pitcher because Fedroff is ready for a new challenge. Another brilliant year at the plate, Tim Fedroff has plate discipline and an excellent eye at the plate.
Designated Hitter - Travis Hafner
This may be the last time I get the opportunity to dedicate something to a hero of mine. Long live Pronk... Long live the king.
Left Handed SP - Giovanni Soto
There are two things about Gio Soto that I love. He was the return for Johnny Peralta. And he was the return for Jhonny Peralta. Okay so that was one thing stated twice, but it really is important. Among his 2012 highlights, including helping the Aeros to an Eastern League title is a no-hitter and 100 strikeouts.
Right Handed SP - Danny Salazar
I'm really digging Danny Salazar all of a sudden. Many were puzzled when this guy got rostered but now we are seeing why the Indians did not want to risk losing him. He's electric on the mound and a pure strikeout machine striking out just 10 less than innings pitched, which is crazy for a starting pitcher.
Set-Up Man - Vinnie Pestano
For the second straight year, Vinnie Pestano is setting things up. It really doesn't matter why other than the simple fact that he and I should be best friends. That and he appeared in 70 games and pitched 70 innings.
Closer - Chris Perez
You may not like him, but not only do I do, he is what the team is about. He's the fire of the All-Daily squad and as you should have learned in years past, even his hair as a Facebook Fan page. Cheap plug? Whatever, Chris Perez, Pure Rage, Fire!
Catcher - Luke Carlin
Snarlin' Carlin is perhaps one of my new favorites. He was around last year, but after reading about him in Out of My League, Dirk Hayhurst's newest book and seeing this picture of him, I'm all about Carlin. Luke is a no-nonsense catcher who does his job and even got a cup of coffee when Carlos Santana had his concussion issue.
First Base - Jarrud Sabourin
He may fizzle out after this season, because the ceiling of undrafted guys who play first base but hit only three home runs does not tend to be very high. But you can't argue with a .297 average and a .369 OBP at any level of baseball when you play 130 games. Sabo has yet to turn 23 this year, so he's young, but very few outside the Sabourin clan probably think he is destined for greatness. You should know we don't care about that here though. Go Sabo Go!
Second Base - Justin (J.T.) Toole
There are some really interesting minor league players on Twitter. One of the more entertaining is "Tooley-J", the Indians versatile infielder. J.T. is pretty much an organizational soldier, someone who will likely never make the major leagues, whoever someone who provides an under-known value filling in at levels and positions whenever asked. he saw three levels, played a total of 97 games and while he isn't a big
Third Base - Jared Goedert
With the nickname of "Rare Breed" you were born to be on this team. Jared Goedert garnered the nickname when he went bananas hitting 27 home runs a few years ago. He only hit 18 last year and 19 this year, but he is still a rare breed.
Shortstop - Jason Donald
One way or another, I find a way to get Jason Donald on this team. If there other comes a year where I can't fit him on, I'll start making positions up. And when he retires, I'll make an honorary retired legends position. Death, Taxes, and Jason Donald on the All-Daily Team.
Left Field - Thomas Neal
We already talked about the awesome story of Thomas Neal, so if you thought it wouldn't result in anything other than recognition on the All-Daily team, then, well, you were mistaken. Not only that, but he's one of the more interactive Indians on Twitter.
Center Field - Bryson Myles
There's something about a guy who is 230 pounds and can steal 20 bases, play a solid outfield and knock in almost 60 runs in 100 games. Myles had a good half a season with Mahoning Valley and should continue to move up the ladder. He has a great skill set and one of those tough-guys that you have to love.
Right Field - Jordan Smith
Who? Yeah. He received a feather for his work in Lake County, but now he's getting some real recognition. Blue eyes hit over .300 and was an MVP-like bat for the Captains in the Midwest League. I know numbers is just a small if not insignificant part of my made-up formula, but that should tell you even more about Smith.
Designated Hitter - Jesus Aguilar
One way or another, I will get some power out of this team and get it from Jesus Aguilar, who hit 15 home runs, down from what you would expect from him. But he seems to be putting it together and is becoming more and more feared as his OBP numbers continue to grow.
Left Handed SP - T.J. McFarland
I've liked T.J. McFarland for a few years now and he is starting to crack that big league radar. He has some potential and having won 16 games in 1012 between two levels, he's certainly putting teams in a position to win.
Right Handed SP - Paolo Espno
I don't know if Paolo Espino will ever get a shot, but he's very much a Josh Tomlin type of a guy. He's not really given much of a set position, or level for that matter, yet he continues to go out there year after year and produce for the Indians organization. This year he started a lot for the Aeros and helped lead them to an Eastern League title. He's valuable to an organization even if he never gets anywhere near the major league mound because he fills many rules and does not complain one ounce.
Set-Up Man - Cody Allen
Here's a fun fact for you. Because he pitched at four levels, yes four levels, you may not know that Cody Allen actually tossed 72 innings this season. And through it all he established himself as just another young arm the Indians have for their back-end bullpen mix. Here's an ever greater fun fact. He struck out 80 hitters. Yeah that's good.
Closer - Preston Guilmet
Yeah so there are really only two guys in the organization that had more than 20 saves, but at least Preston Guilmet deserves this honor. What I like about Guilmet is that he really is very much in this Vinnie Pestano mold of how he is being brought up and what he's capable of. Come 2014, we may be have a deadly duo in Pestano and Guilmet.
Nino can be found with glue and scissors and pictures of Vinnie Pestano and himself on The Tribe Daily, his own Indians blog. Hearts may or may not be invovled.