2015 Indians Organizational Depth Chart
Here is an updated Cleveland Indians depth chart for the 2015 season from Cleveland all the way down to Low-A Lake County. These are projected opening day rosters for every team with the current players on hand throughout the organization.
We will continue to update this listing as moves are made throughout the offseason with the addition and subtraction of players via trade, free agency, waivers and releases. Such moves will undoubtedly have a ripple effect on where some guys are projected to open the season. This chart can easily be referenced by clicking the "Depth Chart" link in the navigation bar below the site header.
A few notes:
- The players with a (+) are in a projected piggyback starting situation. A piggyback situation is where two starters split a game with one going five innings to start the game and the other going four innings to finish it. Also, the (*) means the pitcher is left-handed.
- The starting position player spots at Triple-A Columbus are pretty well determined, but the Indians will surely sign a half dozen or so minor league veteran free agents to have on hand in spring training as depth to cover for injuries and fill roles on the team. Two such roles definitely will be at least one starting pitcher (I see the possibilty for two or three veteran starters signed to have on hand in Columbus and push Joseph Colon back to Akron to start). Also they will sign a few veteran pen arms, a catcher or two and probably a versatile infielder.
- Assuming everyone is healthy, there will be a pretty heated battled this spring at Double-A Akron for the one or two reserve outfield roles. All of Bryson Myles, Todd Hankins, LeVon Washington and Luigi Rodriguez will battle for the spots, maybe even a free agent pickup, but I sided with Myles for now because he was in Akron last season and also with Hankins as the other outfielder because of his versatility where he can play the infield.
- I also made an aggressive prediction with Bradley Zimmer opening at Akron. While he could certainly use a half season in High-A, he is advanced enough where I believe the Indians will push him to Akron. Tyler Naquin repeating at Akron would push Zimmer to Lynchburg, but the expectation is that Naquin will open in Columbus. The Indians have made an aggressive push like this before with Jose Ramirez in 2013 when he skipped High-A and went right from Low-A in 2012 to Double-A in 2013. Also, there is no true center fielder on the roster at Akron and the Indians will want to make sure Zimmer and Clint Frazier get priority time in center field next season, so it is another reason why the push to Akron.
- At High-A Lynchburg the only real questions there are how the pitching staff is comprised and who in fact gets starter's innings. There surprisingly are not too many questions about the roster, which can be tough to predict at the Single-A level.
- Low-A Lake County is obviously the toughest roster to predict because so many things above it can affect the makeup of it and because there are so many possibilities for the roster. I am playing it conservative with the starting rotation and going by how Sean Brady and Casey Shane spent the 2014 season in short season, so I am predicting that the same thing happens with some of the young arms like Grant Hockin, Justus Sheffield, Sam Hentges and Micah Miniard. Hockin should go to Mahoning Valley and Hentges could as well, while Sheffield is the only one I think has a decent chance to open in Lake County if the Indians want to be aggressive with him. But knowing that they will want to manage the workload for these guys, I would be surprised if all of them do not open in extended spring training.
- A few other Lake County notes....Yu-Chen Chang is listed here as a third baseman but he should split time at third base and shortstop next season....I have Mike Papi at Lynchburg and Dorssys Paulino at Lake County to start, but the two could easily swap places.
- The "extra players in consideration" are players who I believe are a possibility for that roster, but who I believe are on the outside looking in. Also, the "extended spring training" listing is for players expected to open the season in extended spring training out in Arizona (or in the Dominican Republic extended spring training).
- Finally, a note about the listed injuries. The players listed there finished the 2014 season injured and have injuries which could have an effect on the start of next season. With that in mind, I expect the Indians to be conservative with them and plug them into the rosters when opportunities come up early in the season with performance issues or injuries. Or, of course, once some of them are healthier. Several of these players are no doubt going to be out for the start of the 2015 season, so for more information on that check out some of the recent Minor Happenings articles.
Last updated: January 4, 2015
|C||Yan Gomes||Adam Moore||Tony Wolters||Eric Haase||Francisco Mejia|
|1B||Carlos Santana||Jesus Aguilar||Jerrud Sabourin||Nellie Rodriguez||Bobby Bradley|
|2B||Jason Kipnis||Zach Walters||Ronny Rodriguez||Claudio Bautista||Steven Patterson|
|SS||Jose Ramirez||Francisco Lindor||Erik Gonzalez||Yhoxian Medina||Ivan Castillo|
|3B||Lonnie Chisenhall||Giovanny Urshela||Yandy Diaz||Paul Hendrix||Yu-Cheng Chang|
|LF||Michael Brantley||Tyler Holt||Anthony Gallas||LeVon Washington||Dorssys Paulino|
|CF||Michael Bourn||James Ramsey||Tyler Naquin||Bradley Zimmer||Greg Allen|
|RF||Brandon Moss||Carlos Moncrief||Jordan Smith||Clint Frazier||Mike Papi|
|DH||Nick Swisher||Jerry Sands||Jeremy Lucas||Joe Sever||Grant Fink|
|C||Roberto Perez||Brett Hayes||Alex Lavisky||Richard Stock||Sicnarf Loopstok|
|INF||Mike Aviles||Audy Ciriaco||Justin Toole||James Roberts||Austin Fisher|
|OF||Ryan Raburn||Destin Hood||Bryson Myles||Logan Vick||Bobby Ison|
|OF||David Murphy||Ollie Linton||Todd Hankins||Taylor Murphy|
|SP||Corey Kluber||T.J. House||Cody Anderson||Dylan Baker||Sean Brady*|
|SP||Carlos Carrasco||Josh Tomlin||Shawn Morimando*||Luis Lugo*||Julian Merryweather|
|SP||Gavin Floyd||Charles Brewer||Ryan Merritt*||Mitch Brown||Juan Santana|
|SP||Trevor Bauer||Tyler Cloyd||Adam Plutko||Anderson Polanco*+||Cameron Hill+|
|SP||Danny Salazar||Will Roberts||Joseph Colon||Dace Kime+||Casey Shane+|
|LR||Zach McAllister||Bryan Price||Clayton Cook||Jordan Milbrath+||Caleb Hamrick+|
|LR||Dustin Molleken||Duke von Schamann||Mike Clevinger+||Shao-Ching Chiang+|
|MR||Scott Atchison||Giovanni Soto*|
|MR||Nick Hagadone*||Tyler Sturdevant||Jacob Lee||D.J. Brown||Jordan Carter|
|MR||Kyle Crockett*||C.C. Lee||Grant Sides||Ben Heller||Jared Robinson|
|MR||Marc Rzepczynsi*||Nick Maronde||Josh Martin||Robbie Aviles||David Speer*|
|MR||Bryan Shaw||Austin Adams||Enosil Tejeda||Justin Brantley||Luke Eubank|
|CL||Cody Allen||Shawn Armstrong||Louis Head||Trevor Frank||J.P. Feyereisen|
|DL||Mike Rayl*||Cole Sulser||Kenny Mathews*|
|DL||Mason Radeke||Nicholas Pasquale||Matt Whitehouse*|
|DL||Jeff Johnson||Anthony Santander|
|Extras in consideration|
|Toru Murata||Jake Lowery||Ryan Battaglia||David Armendariz|
|Shaun Marcum||Robert Nixon||Wander Beras*||Leo Castillo|
|Chris Wallace||Michael Peoples||Torsten Boss||Martin Cervenka|
|Casey Weathers||Luis Santos||Luis DeJesus||Justin Garcia|
|Luigi Rodriguez||Carlos Melo||Luis Gomez*|
|Jordan Cooper||Shane Rowland||Sam Hentges*|
|Brian Ruiz||Grant Hockin|
|James Stokes||Kieran Lovegrove|
|Benny Suarez||Josh McAdams|
|Delvi Francisco||Yonathan Mendoza|
|Extended Spring Training||D'Vone McClure|
|Erick Algarin||Ping-Hsueh Chen||Luis Jimenez||Wagner Ramirez|
|Argenis Angulo||Li-Jen Chu||Leandro Linares||Jorma Rodriguez|
|Luis Araujo||Cortland Cox||Francisco Lopez||Jose Rodriguez|
|Julio Arosmena||Grofi Cruz||Simeon Lucas||Yoel Sanchez|
|Gerlad Bautista||Juan De La Cruz||Yoiber Marquina||Silento Sayles|
|Kevin Calderon||Dominic DeMasi||Francisco Miguel||Emmanuel Tapia|
|Hector Caro||Jordan Dunatov||Micah Miniard||Randy Valladares|
|Jodd Carter||Edward Estrella||Luis Montero||Rodolfo Villasmil|
|Amauri Castillo||Mike Giuffre||Alexis Pantoja||Anthony Vizcaya|
|Willi Castro||Daniel Gomez||Edgar Pineda||Nathan Winfrey|
|Erlin Cerda||Gian Paul Gonzalez||Johan Puello||Julio Medrano|
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Also, it is important to note this is how the Cleveland Indians 25-man is represented as of now. If they trade Murphy, then they obviously will probably go with Francona's standard 8-man pen. But if they don't trade Raburn and Murphy, then they will have a 4-man bench and only a 7-man pen. If Murphy is traded I will add C.C. Lee to the Indians pen as the 8th guy.
1. Bryan Price is on the AAA list twice - once as an MR and once as an 'extra'.
2. There are 13 hitters on your MLB roster. There's practically zero chance that Tito goes with only 7 relievers - in 2014 there were 8-10 on the 25-man at all times.
3. The AAA roster currently only has 24 players.
Just as I thought, though, the Akron pitching staff could be an intriguing group next year. I completely forgot about Adam Plutko. It would also be nice to see Frazier or Zimmer in CF at Canal Park at some point next season.
The best catcher prospects from a trade standpoint are probably Wolters and Perez. The others don't have much value at all. And Wolters and Perez would only get minimal interest at this point and would be more second or third pieces to a deal. They have many more trade options in the outfield with Naquin, Ramsey, and Moncrief in the upper levels. Guys like Gallas, Washington, Myles, etc don't have much trade value at the moment in the industry. They are not highly sought out prospects. So after the trio in Columbus the guys with the biggest trade value in the outfield are Zimmer and Frazier....and they have the most trade value of any outfielder in the system.
A good example of this is in 2012 when the Indians had Kevin Slowey. He was a four or five year service time guy, but they optioned him to the minors that season (first put through optional assignment waivers).
The Indians like Robbie Aviles but after his most recent setback (arm injury) he returned as a bullpen arm. I would suggest they it was to limit his innings and (ideally) protect him. He's lost the prospect status he once re-established. To be frank, if the Tribe didn't like Aviles he would have been cut by now. They are giving him every chance to succeed by pushing him to the pen.
Also, with the OF and C depth which prospect has the most value as a trade chip? Looks like the Tribe are only a piece or 2 from really contending in the Central.
As for Elvis, time has run out. Two yrs of injuries slowed his progression, and have limited his value. He could end up a power LH bullpen arm or he could flame out. Kelvin DeLaCruz?
Who knows, maybe the Tribe has a big trade or two in the works and all this depth gets thinned out a little. Columbus seems to be the team to watch this yr. Looking at the other clubs, there should be several players on every team worth watching. It will be an interesting offseason and June 2015 draft with an influx of talent. The Tribe should have 4 top 100 pks, two top 40 pks.
After Zach Mac and Tomlin, what other starters are major league ready? Colon seems to be the highest priority guy in Columbus.
Holt being on the bench in AAA was a mild surprise but appears unavoidable unless the big club values his speed and defense off the bench enough to bounce CC Lee. With Francona as manager though, that's not likely.
As for Naguib and Zimmer they are priority prospects. They are placed on teams before other outfielders. Naguin could open in Akron, but the feeling I am getting talking to the Indians is he showed more than enough at Akron this year and was going to be promoted to Columbus anyway if he had not gotten hurt. A solid showing in winter ball should be all he needs to put him on the path to columbus next year. He was the whole package. Very good strides defensively, on the bases and at the plate too. Had he struggled some with the transition to center and not made strides last year, he'd be a shoe in to open at Akron. Offensive numbers are not the only thing clubs look at when considering promotions. They rely on the reports from the staff at the affiliates and their roving instructors to let them.know how they are coming around. Those reports in many cases outweigh the stats. Some players with okay stats get promoted because of good reports while some players with gold stats are not promoted because of bad reports.
As for Zimmer, it is an aggressive push for him to open at Akron. I agree. But he is an advanced college bat with extremely high priority that the industry thinks could handle Double A right now. He could very well do what Jose Ramirez did skipping High A in 2013. We will see. With Frazier in Carolina and also a high priority center fielder they will try to separate them. And Frazier should not repeat at Lake County and Zimmer should at worst open at Lynchburg.
I do like our high minors OF depth. It has been a long time since we have had this much quality OF depth. I am hoping we see a match for some high profile pitchers in the top rounds of the next draft.
As noted in the preface, they have a little bit of a crunch in the outfield at Akron as Hankins, Myles, Washington and Luigi Rodriguez are all prospects of varying degree who legitimately could fill that final bench spot in Akron or in the outfield rotation there. I initially put Washington in Akron, but saw no way he bumps Myles or anyone else in the starting lineup there. An injury or two in spring training will make things easier to figure out, but if everyone is healthy it will make things interesting. None of them have a lot of prospect value, but there is still some potential in all of them to varying degrees.
With Lucas, Wolters and Lavisky at Akron, it means Lowery is indeed on the outside looking in. If the Indians decide to push one of Wolters or Lavisky to Columbus as the backup catcher (more likely Lavisky), then it would open a spot for Lowery. The other possibility is Lowery moves to first base and then Sabourin is on the bubble.
There is a lot going on with Lovegrove right now where I don't see them opening the season with him at Lake County. he could be there at some point next year, but knowing what I know and what's up with him, it would be a big surprise to see him make a full season roster at the outset of the season. I look for him to come to Lake County maybe in May or June if he is good to go.
LeVon Washington repeating at A+? I understand that he isn't much of a top prospect anymore, but he had an OBP over .400 the past two seasons at the A-level. Myles and Hankins should be in Akron too, so only way I see to solve this, is to move Gallas to Columbus, where he should be anyway to see if he's for real or not. Another possibility is releasing Shuck, who is occupying a 40 spot.
Is Jake Lowery on the bubble already? He should get another chance at AA
If Lovegrove can't crack the LC roster in his 3rd full season, then he's offically a bust and afterthought, no?