Indians: Winter League Update

While we haven’t been giving you all the daily updates, I thought it would be apropos to let you know how a select group of Tribe prospects have been doing during their run with winter ball.

The Good:

Wes Hodges, 3B : .393/.414/.696 – Yep, that’s an OPS of 1.110 through 56 at-bats.  Hodges is absolutely tearing up the Arizona Fall league this year with four home runs, 17 RBI and 10 runs scored.  This is great stuff to see out of a prospect at a very key position.  Named to the “Rising Stars” roster, Hodges could be well on his way to a key role with the big boys sooner than later.

Jordan Brown, 1B : .286/.375/.357 – Though the slugging percentage is down a bit, Brown has found ways to get on base during his 14 at-bats in the Dominican League.  The extra base hits will come around as long as the contact keeps up.  The downside to this continues to be the logjam of first basemen within the Tribe system.  Regardless, great numbers to see at this point.

Chris Giminez, C : .212/.422/.424 – Sure, .212 is an awful batting average, but I put Giminez here due to his 11 walks compared to nine strikeouts.  Plus, it seems that he’s making the most of his on-base time, scoring eight times though only being 7-for-33.  Similar to Brown, the big hurdle will be Giminez’s ability to have staying power with Carlos Santana right on his tail. Given Santana’s contact rate, I think we all know who will ultimately win this one out.

The Bad:

Matt LaPorta, OF : .196/.241/.373 – Striking out 17 times in 51 at-bats is not a good start to winter ball.  Of his ten hits, two have gone for round-trip, but LaPorta will need to work on his contact big time if he plans on taking the leap this coming season.  I fully expect him to turn things around, but for now, we have to put him in the “bad” portion of this here update.

Beau Mills, 1B : .212/.325/.424 – Yes, Mills was named to the Arizona Fall League’s “Rising Stars” roster, but he is defnitely showing signs of being one of the younger players in the AFL.  Hitting 7-for-33, Mills does have two home runs.  I’m being a bit tougher on him, but I’m hoping for good things out of this years POY.

AFL Pitching Staff: Granted, these guys are not the only reason that the Surprise Rafters are holding up the back end of their division; but they sure are not helping.  Check out some of these numbers:

  • Chuck Lofgren: 5.2 IP, 28.59 ERA, 15 H, 25 R, 10 BB, 5 SO
  • Erik Stiller: 7.1 IP, 14.73 ERA, 16 H, 19 R,  4 BB, 9 SO
  • Josh Tomlin: 14.0 IP, 9.00 ERA, 24 H, 17 R, 3 BB, 15 SO
  • Neil Wagner: 10.0 IP, 6.30 ERA, 10 H, 8 R, 8 BB, 3 SO

Talk about ugly.  And Lofgren’s ERA has actually been declining since the beginning of the season.  That’s an awful lot of bases on balls that the coaching staff cannot be pleased about.  Let’s just assume that they’re going to use the rest of winter ball to work out the kinks.’

And while he has yet to see some playing time for his Dominican League team, catcher Carlos Santana was named best hitter at the Class A Advanced level for 2008.  I’m obviously a big fan of this kid’s potential, and this only helps elevate my expectations – which could be dangerous.

  • The Bambino

    Cool, nice update. Hope you keep them coming for the baseball nuts like me.

    OMFG what’s wrong with the pitching over there? Do they still run a five man rotation or is it more random than that? I’m kinda bored this winter if they need a short, accurate right-hander out of the pen with some 75MPH cheese…lol

  • Scott

    There are 19 pitchers active on the roster. A few of the guys have racked up double-digit innings, the rest have just thrown a few here and there. Like Lofgren, for instance: His innings have all been an inning here and there. He actually threw an inning and a third of some good ball the other day – just not enough of an opportunity to bring down the sky high ERA.