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Indians: A look into Keith Law, Baseball Prospectus' prospect top-100s and farm system rankings

By Ryan Lewis Published: January 29, 2014
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Here’s a look at where the Indians rank, who’s highest on the list and where the other teams in the AL Central stand, per Law, Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America.

Top-100 (or 101)

Only two Indians—shortstop Francisco Lindor and outfielder Clint Frazier—made Law’s top-100 and BP’s top-101. Both cracked the top-45 on each list and had glowing profiles, which signifies some star power in the system but also little depth after them, as has been the case for some time.

Lindor was ranked No. 6 in all of baseball by both Law and BP at an absolutely loaded position this year (he’s sixth overall but the fourth shortstop on both lists).

Both services cited his growing BB:K rate (14-7 in Akron last year) and, of course, his stellar glove. Law said he’s not sure what remains for Lindor to learn before he’s “ready to take over the position in Cleveland.” Baseball Prospectus ended their assessment of Lindor, which focused on his defense and ability to spray hits to all fields, like this: “… there is one word to describe what lies in the near future: stardom.”

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ESPN's Keith Law ranks Indians minor-league system No. 17; Francisco Lindor No. 6 prospect

By Ron Ledgard Published: January 29, 2014

Keith Law (@KeithLaw) of ESPN posted his ranking of each team's minor-league system and top 100 prospects today. Here is what he had to say about the Indians minor-league system, which he ranked No. 17:

-- Danny Salazar reaching the majors was great for the system, but deletes him from the Indians' top 10, and they had several prospects who had disappointing years, none more than former No. 3 overall pick Trevor Bauer, whose stuff wavered and who couldn't throw strikes. Aggressive promotions for Dorssys Paulino and Jose Ramirez hurt their performances, although both are still promising middle infield prospects.

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Introducing Indians power prospect Jesus Aguilar; director Ross Atkins talks Winter Development

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 29, 2014

Truth be told, one of my favorite things to do in January has nothing to do with the cold or snow. Instead, it’s visiting the Indians Winter Development Program held annually at Progressive Field to talk with farm director Ross Atkins (picture above) and a number of the Indians top prospects.

Here's one you'll want to remember: Jesus Aguilar.

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Tribe signs versatile infielder Elliot Johnson to minor league deal with invite to big league camp

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 27, 2014

The Indians signed free agent infielder Elliot Johnson to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to major league spring training camp.

 

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Indians GM Chris Antonetti, assistant Derek Falvey show support for Terry Francona at event

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 26, 2014

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti and director of baseball operations Derek Falvey attended the Baseball Writers Association of America dinner in New York with Tribe skipper Terry Francona, who was honored as Manager of the Year over the weekend.

No word as to whether the pair just wanted to see the usually casually dressed Francona sport a tuxedo. 

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Jason Kipnis open to contract talks with Indians

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 26, 2014

Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said he is “absolutely” open to contract extension talks during a brief sit down with the local media Sunday during Tribe Fest at Progressive Field, a conversation from last year that he expects to pick up again during spring training.

“Both sides were trying to get something done,” Kipnis said. "We just didn’t come to the middle point yet. We didn’t agree on years or numbers yet. Both of us are still trying and looking for the right number.”

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Former Omar Vizquel won't get a statue like teammate Thome, but instead inducted into Tribe HOF

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 26, 2014

If the Indians ever built a statue in honor of former shortstop Omar Vizquel, he envisions it featuring one of his patented barehanded throws.

 

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Tribe fans switched role, cheer up Nick Swisher after Wild Card loss

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 25, 2014

Weary of seeing her husband mope around the house the day after the Indians Wild Card loss that abruptly ended the Tribe’s exciting late postseason push, JoAnna Swisher suggested her and husband Nick Swisher go for a walk near their Westlake home to help clear his mind.

But it wasn’t the expected peace and quiet of the couple’s walk that did the trick. Instead, what cheered up Swisher were the 15 to 20 fans that approached the couple as they strolled around the popular Crocker Park area.

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Former Tribe pitcher Charlie Nagy returns to club in unspecified coaching or advisory role

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 25, 2014

Charlie Nagy doesn’t have details yet, but he’s thrilled at the prospect of being back with the Indians in an unspecified role that begins next month in spring training.

Nagy,46, happily revealed his return to the organization he spent 13 of his 14-year career with during Saturday’s Tribe Fest at Progressive Field.

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Indians set to unveil Jim Thome statue at Progressive Field in August

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 25, 2014

Fictitious baseball player Roy Hobbs became part inspiration for former Indians slugger Jim Thome two decades ago in the minor leagues.

Now, a part of Hobbs’ hitting routine that Thome emulated to help settle himself in the batter’s box will be immortalized forever when the Indians unveil a Thome statue Aug. 2 at Progressive Field.

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Video: Indians' Jim Thome talks at Tribe Fest

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 25, 2014

Indians invite 15 minor-leaguers to participate in annual Winter Development Program

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 24, 2014

The Indians invited 15 of their top minor-league players to participate in the organization’s annual winter Development Program. The week-long program, which begins Monday at Progressive Field, helps indoctrinate a group of the Tribe’s young players to major league life each preseason season through workouts and guest speakers.

The 2014 group consists of: first baseman Jesus Aguilar, right-handed pitchers Cody Anderson, Tyler Cloyd, Joseph Colon, Bryan Price and Will Roberts, left-handed pitchers Kyle Crockett and Colt Hynes, infielders Jose Ramirez, Erik Gonzalez, Giovanny Urshella and Joe Wendle, catcher Jake Lowery and outfielders Bryson Myles and Tyler Naquin.

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Indians bring back catcher Luke Carlin on a minor-league deal

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 24, 2014

The Indians today signed free-agent catcher Luke Carlin to a minor-league contract with a non-roster invitation to major league spring training camp.

Carlin, 33, returned to the organization after spending three seasons between Triple-A Columbus and Cleveland during the 2010-12 seasons. Over that span, he played 10 games with the big league club.

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Video: New Indians outfielder David Murphy

By Marla Ridenour Published: January 24, 2014

Indians sign veteran pitcher David Aardsma to minor-league deal

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 23, 2014

The Indians signed free-agent right-handed pitcher David Aardsma to a minor-league contract today with a non-roster invitation to major-league spring training camp.

Aardsma, 32, spent most of last season as a reliever for the New York Mets, compiling a 2-2 record with a 4.31 ERA in 43 appearances. In 39 2/3 innings, he allowed 39 hits, walked 19 and struck out 36. The Denver native also stranded all 19 of the runners he inherited (which marked the best ratio in the majors) and allowed just one run over his final nine outings of the season spanning seven innings. Aardsma attended spring training with the New York Yankees and spent April in the Miami Marlins organization before latching on with the Mets in May.

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Santana experiment at third to continue, likely cleanup hitter

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 23, 2014

The Indians’ experiment with former catcher Carlos Santana transitioning to third base has continued into the New Year, with Santana still playing third in the Dominican Republic Winter League. Manager Terry Francona said Wednesday that a decision has not been made yet, but that he expects Santana to continue his hand at the hot corner through spring training.

“It sounds like he's improving,” Francona said of what he’s read of Santana, who last manned third base regularly eight years ago as a young Los Angeles Dodgers farm hand. “But we don't need to make any kind of decisions today, nor will we at the beginning of Spring Training. If he can handle playing third - some, a lot, little - we'll see. That's all part of Spring Training. If he can handle it, it gives us another option with our middle-of-the-order bat.”

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Tribe invites 6 non-roster minor-leaguers to big league camp

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 22, 2014

The Indians extended non-roster invitations to major league spring training camp to six minor league players today: shortstop Francisco Lindor, catchers Jake Loweryand Roberto Perez, outfielder Tyler Naquin, second baseman Joe Wendle and catcher/infielder Tony Wolters.

 

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Indians streak of 23 years without arbitration could come to halt with 4 players still unsigned

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 21, 2014

The odds aren’t looking good, and Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti knows it.

No, he’s not talking about his team’s chances of making the playoffs again in 2014.

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Former Tribe SS Vizquel & broadcaster Dudley to be inducted in Indians Hall of Fame

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 21, 2014

From an Indians press release this morning:

Omar Vizquel, one of the best shortstops in Indians and Major League Baseball history and a member of the Tribe’s 1995 and 1997 World Series teams, will be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame June 21.

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Large divide exists between ace Masterson and Tribe on salary proposal for 2014

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 18, 2014

Numerous reports, including one from the Associated Press Saturday, paint a big divide between the Indians and All-Star pitcher Justin Masterson on a suitable salary for the 2014 season that could snap the team’s long-standing tradition of avoiding arbitration.

The AP reported the team’s ace asked for $11.8 million salary, with the club offering $8.05. The resulting $3.75 million difference serves as the largest gap among MLB’s pending arbitration cases, according to Yahoo! Sports baseball columnist Jeff Passan.

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Tribe avoids arbitration with Marc Rzepczynski, signing LHP to 1-year deal

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 17, 2014

The Indians avoided arbitration with a second player, left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski, by signing him to a one-year contract Friday afternoon.

The four remaining Indians who filed for arbitration earlier this week (outfiedler Michael Brantley and pitchers Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin and Vinnie Pestano)  exchanged salary figures with the club Friday night. If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, league aribitration hearings are set for Feb. 1-21. However, the Indians have not gone to arbitration since 1991.

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Former Tribe greats Thome, Vizquel and Nagy to join Tribefest

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 16, 2014

The Indians announced that popular alumni Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel and Charles Nagy will appear at Tribe Fest, presented by KeyBank. The second annual event is scheduled for Jan. 25 and 26 at Progressive Field.

The trio joined forces during one of the organization’s most successful runs, in the late 1990s, playing together on two World Series teams and multiple division champion teams.

Thome, Vizquel and Nagy join manager Terry Francona, current Tribe players including Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley, Mike Aviles, Carlos Santana and others, Indians prospects, and other alumni including Kenny Lofton, in attendance for autographs, interviews on the KeyBank main stage and more.

In addition, more of Progressive Field will be open this year, including the Club Lounge, Kids Clubhouse and more. The Indians also plan to announce their 2014 promotions schedule on the KeyBank main stage during Saturday morning’s session.

 

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Tribe makes it official, adds veteran Nyjer Morgan to outfield mix

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 16, 2014

The Indians made it official today, announcing they've signed free agent outfielder Nyjer Morgan to a minor-league contract with a non-roster invitation to major league spring training camp.

 

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Pitcher Josh Outman and Tribe reach deal. Team still looking to avoid arbitration with five others

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 15, 2014

Less than 24 hours after six Indians players filed for arbitration Tuesday, one quickly struck a deal. The team confirmed late Tuesday that it agreed to terms on a one-year contract with newcomer and left handed pitcher Josh Outman. Salary details were not disclosed.

 

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Indians announce home opener to be 3:05 p.m. start on April 4

By Ron Ledgard Published: January 15, 2014

Here is the Indians' news release today on the team's Opening Day schedule:

 

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Justin Masterson, five other Indians file for arbitration

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 14, 2014

As expected, right-hander Justin Masterson and five other Indians players filed for salary arbitration Tuesday.

Along with Masterson, the agents for outfielder Michael Brantley and pitchers Vinnie Pestano, Josh Tomlin, Marc Rzepczynski and Josh Outman filed the appropriate paperwork before Tuesday's arbitration deadline.

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Tribe appears to have signed OF Nyjer Morgan to minor deal with non-roster camp invite

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 14, 2014

The Indians signed Nyjer Morgan to a minor-league contract and have given him a spring training invitation, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported on Twitter Tuesday night, citing Morgan as his source.

 

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Tribe's top prospects according to Baseball America

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 13, 2014

Baseball America recently released its Indians Top 10 prospects list, with little surprise coming in naming shortstop Francisco Lindor as the organization’s No. 1 prospect.

 

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Hamilton named Ohio Sportscaster of Year

By Sheldon Ocker Published: January 9, 2014

Indians sign veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur to minor-league contract

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 7, 2014

The Indians signed free-agent outfielder Jeff Francoeur to a minor-league contract with a non-roster invitation to major-league spring training camp, the team announced Monday evening.

Francoeur, who turns 30 Jan. 8th, has a career big league batting average of .263 (with 250 doubles, 25 triples, 140 home runs and 618 RBI in 1,227 games with Atlanta, New York Mets, Texas, Kansas City and San Francisco.

He has driven in at least 75 runs over four seasons (2006-07, 2009, 2011), owns a Rawlings Gold Glove (2007) and has the second-most assists (121) of any active major league outfielder. As recent as 2011 for Kansas City he hit .285/.329/.476/.805 with 47 doubles (2nd in AL), 20 home run & 87 RBI in 153 games.

Francoeur was his hometown Atlanta’s first-round pick in 2002 out of Parkview High School in Lilburn, GA and split the 2013 season between the Royals and Giants.

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Tribe signs right-handed pitcher Scott Atchison to minor deal with invite to big league camp

By Stephanie Storm Published: January 6, 2014

The Indians today announced the club has signed free agent Scott Atchison to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to big league spring training camp.

 

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