Back on June 5, I wrote ad nauseam about the top prospects in the Cleveland Indians system. It was a helpful usage of The Diff and I plan to do that a few more times this baseball season.
In the meanwhile, in between those opportunities, I’ll occasionally share some notes in my usual WFNY Stats & Info headlines. For today, here’s six prospects of note from the past few weeks.
SS Francisco Lindor, A+ Carolina, 11/14/93
Season stats: .300/.375/.400 in 65 games with 1 HR, 23 RBI, 29 BB, 29 K, 18 SB, 15 E
Recent stretch: .248/.333/.298 in 37 games with 0 HR, 11 RBI, 18 BB, 16 K, 11 SB, 11 E
The top prospect in the Tribe system has posted some fairly mediocre numbers for more than half of his season. It’s very rare to see an OBP 35 points higher than a SLG, but that’s what happens with elite patience (45th-best BB/K ratio among 901 minor league batters with 180+ plate appearances) and very little power (just 7 extra-base hits, all doubles, in 141 at-bats since May 5th). The increasing errors also are concerning. In the end, he’s still just a 19-year-old. So time is definitely on his side.
RHP Trevor Bauer, AAA Columbus, 1/17/1991
Season stats: 4-4 record, 3.60 ERA, 13 starts, 75.0 IP, 59 H, 47 BB, 72 K
Recent stretch: 1-0 record, 1.02 ERA, 3 starts, 17.2 IP, 18 H, 8 BB, 20 K
Bauer’s combined season numbers between Columbus and Cleveland look quite decent. The one question, as always, is his control. His combined 5.6 BB/9 this year would rank by far last out of 100 qualified MLB pitchers in 2013. That’s an issue. Yes, Bauer has electric stuff, is only 22 and when/if he hones down the walks, should project to be a very suitable No. 2 starter in the big leagues. But every start is an adventure right now.
RHP Preston Guilmet, AAA Columbus, 7/27/1987
Season stats: 2-4 record, 16 saves, 2.60 ERA, 29 games, 34.2 IP, 25 H, 11 BB, 41 K
Recent stretch: 0-2 record, 3 saves, 0.68 ERA, 10 games, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 7 BB, 18 K
Should the Indians be willing to make a 40-man roster move to add a in-house potential-laden bullpen arm, Guilmet should be the next man on deck. He has 16 saves in 20 opportunities along with an impressive 10.6 K/9 for the season. In his fourth year as a reliever and the team’s 9th-rounder in 2009, he’s quietly moved up the system with very consistent production. I’d expect for him to get a shot by September with an outside chance for a bullpen role in 2014.
RHP Cody Anderson, A+ Carolina, 9/14/1990
Season stats: 6-3 record, 2.63 ERA, 14 starts, 75.1 IP, 64 H, 19 BB, 69 K
Recent stretch: 3-2 record, 2.18 ERA, 8 starts, 41.1 IP, 33 H, 10 BB, 46 K
I’m going to keep on writing about Anderson until someone starts paying attention. He’s been by far the best starter in the Indians system in 2013. Among the 515 minor league pitchers with at least 50.0 IP, his K/BB ratio of 3.63 ranks T-80th. That’s darn impressive — although not quite at Corey Kluber levels. The team’s 14th-rounder in 2011, he also posted good numbers in Lake County last year, so he should be on the verge of being a top-10 prospect for 2014.
RF Carlos Moncrief, AA Akron, 11/3/1988
Season stats: .290/.360/.456 in 64 games with 9 HR, 32 RBI, 28 BB, 56 K, 6 SB, 2 E
Recent stretch: .375/.444/.636 in 22 games with 5 HR, 17 RBI, 11 BB, 21 K, 3 SB, 1 E
A converted pitcher, Moncrief has had his best season at the plate thus far in 2013 for the Aeros. He was the Indians minor league player of the week last week and his 15-game hitting streak finally was snapped Tuesday night. He has a plus arm, solid power and is turning himself into an intriguing prospect to watch. He’s a bit old for Double-A, but might have the most raw power of any high-level prospect in the system.
2B/SS Ronny Rodriguez, AA Akron, 4/17/1992
Season stats: .273/.295/.422 in 64 games with 4 HR, 33 RBI, 8 BB, 40 K, 8 SB, 13 E
Recent stretch: .358/.382/.579 in 23 games with 2 HR, 18 RBI, 5 BB, 13 K, 5 E
The No. 7 prospect in the system, Rodriguez has finally caught fire after a very sluggish start to the season. He’s the reigning minor league player of the week, although he’s 0-for-8 in his last two ballgames. His hot streak has coincided with finally being moved to the No. 2 hole in the lineup after usually batting in the bottom half. His lack of patience and free-swinging style is not ideal, but he has a lot of hitting upside for a 21-year-old middle infielder.