Cleveland Indians 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (3) | 2009 (7) | 2008 (19) | 2007 (10) | 2006 (9) | 2005 (7) | 2004 (6)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [69 – 93] AL Central
AAA: [79 – 65] International League – Columbus
AA: [71 – 61] Eastern League – Akron
A+: [73 – 67] Carolina League – Kintson
A: [77 – 62] South Atlantic League – Lake County
A(ss): [30 – 46] New York Pennsylvanian – Mahoning Valley
R: [21 – 35] Arizona League

The Run Down
The Indians have been abysmal in the majors the last two years, even if they’re off to a fast start this year. They’ve had some exciting talent graduate last year (see: Carlos Santana and Brantley) amongst many others, and this year should be no different. Their system should produce a few more fantasy sleepers with Chisenhall headlining the way in 2011. The 2010 draft class was led by Drew Pomeranz, who won’t get a blurb, but know that he’s a stud with a power fastball and biting curve. Although Cleveland’s King left for the beaches of south Florida, the Indians have the talent to claim Progressive Field as a viable entertainment venue; Flo may not have the right – read, medical – insurance to correctly protect the players though. Ranked as the number seven farm system in baseball for 2011, the Indians will start giving the AL Central leaders a run for their money.

Arizona Fall League Players
Pitchers: Scott Barnes (LHP), Eric Berger (LHP), Chen-Chang Lee (RHP),
Hitters: Jason Kipnis (2B), Cord Phelps (2B), TBA (C), TBA (P)

Graduated Prospects
#1 (C) Carlos Santana; #5 (CF) Michael Brantley; #8 (RHP) Carlos Carrasco; #11 (C) Lou Marson; #15 (SS) Jason Donald; #21 (RHP) Jeanmar Gomez; (RHP) Josh Tomlin

Players of Interest
Rankings are current 2011 rankings from Baseball America.

#1 Lonnie Chisenhall | 3B: Lonnie has a pure swing that is made for moderate power (20 to 25 home runs) with a good average. Last year, he slashed .278/.351/.450 in 460 AB with 42 XBH (17 hr) and a 77:46 K:BB ratio. Defensively, he’ll hold his own. Looks like a mini-Longoria to me. Currently playing at Triple-A waiting for June.

#3 Jason Kipnis | 2B: Think of a mini-Dan Uggla for his ceiling fantasy wise. Floor could be another Felipe Lopez. Kipnis can take advantage of mistake pitches, but his aggressive approach can leave his swing long. He has average power, is an average runner and plays average defense. Doesn’t sound super exciting but did hit .307/.386/.492 in 518 AB with 56 XBH (16 Hr) and a 107:55 K:BB ratio last year between High-A and Double-A. He is currently playing at Triple-A but is blocked by both Luis Valbuena and Jason Donald.

#5 Nick Weglarz | LF/RF: Often injured. Has a sweet stroke. Great OBP player. Moderate power. Defensively challenged. Weglarz is everything a sleeper pick has besides consistency. Weglarz is much like Jason Kubel mixed with J.D. Drew’s health. After hitting 41 XBH (14 Hr) with a 69:50 K:BB ratio in 312 at-bats last year, Weglarz’s bat has nothing left to prove. He’ll try to stay healthy at Triple-A this year.

#20 Cord Phelps | 2B: He’d get an opportunity in the early going if Valbuena or Donald both are hurt. Phelps is what he is. A smart hitter, solid defender and, well, boring. He could provide some value if hot at the shallow middle-infield position. Currently boring Triple-A managers and fans alike.

#2 Alex White | RHP (SP): He has superb control with is 87 to 92 MPH fastball with heavy sink. He also throws a two-seamer, a slider and a splitter. White induces plenty of groundballs. Ceiling is a fringe number one starter, or a number two or three starter. He’ll get a major league opportunity in the latter part of 2011. Currently throwing at Triple-A trying to match last years 150 2/3 innings.

#15 Hector Rondon | RHP (SP): Projects more as a reliever than a starter. Rondon throws a low 90s fastball that tops out at 96 MPH. His slider is fringy and his changeup is average at best. These pitches were good enough for a 8.4 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 last year in 146 1/3 innings. This year, he is still a starter and is pitching at Triple-A

#19 Josh Judy | RHP (RP): The Honorable Josh Judy is a mirror of Rondon. Judy throws a mid-90s fastball with a biting slider. The perfect reliever combination. With a career 10.4 K/9, look for Judy to see some late season innings at the major league level. Currently is pitching at Triple-A.

#27 Jess Todd | RHP (RP): See 1/8 inch above; career 9.3 K/9 pitcher.

Honorable Mentions
Jared Goedert | 3B: Has a good double-swing and moderate power upside. Isn’t a flashy prospect but could have a wandering major league career. Maybe Kevin Kouzmanoff. His slash line at Double and Triple-A last year was .283/.358/.532 in 481 AB with 65 XBH (27 Hr) and a 112:53 K:BB ratio. If Jack Hannahan is hurt before Chisenhall is ready, Goedert is your guy. Currently hitting at Triple-A.

#10 Nick Hagadone | LHP (RP/SP): Hagadone was part of the Victor Martinez trade but his age (25) is starting to catch up with his prospect moniker. Struggling to gain control since Tommy John surgery, he still throws a high 90s heater and an inconsistent slider. Although a starter in the past, projects best as a reliever. In 85 2/3 innings last year, he had a 9.4 K/9 and an ulcer-inducing 6.6 BB/9. Until that control is more, um, under-control he’ll stay at Double-A.

#21 Chen Lee | RHP (RP): What I wrote about him last year still applies, “Lee throws a 92 to 93 mph fastball that has topped 96 mph [from a low three-quarters arm slot]. He also has an average slider and a developing split-finger to combat lefties. His future is in the bullpen” So a career 10.2 K/9 man is on this list for another MR. B. Currently, struggling at Double-A after thriving there last year.

Zach McAllister | RHP (SP): A spot starter at best. McAllister came over from the Yankees in the Austin Kearns trade in 2010. His stuff was good in the lower minors but more advanced hitters are taking BP out there when he’s on the mound. His 88 to 92 MPH fastball and fringe curve, slider and change-up reek of long-reliever and/or spot starter. How bad did he throw last year at Triple-A? To the tune of 5.29 ERA with a 1.54 WHIP and ratio stats of 6.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 n 149 2/3 innings. He has been known to make solid adjustments. Currently is back at Triple-A.