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The 2014 IBI Awards: Best New Addition

Multiple new additions keep Cleveland afloat in 2014

The 2014 IBI Awards: Best New Addition
Jose Ramirez (Photo: Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer)
October 12, 2014
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Welcome to the third annual edition of the IBI Awards!

At the end of every year, we here at IBI vote on various categories relating to Cleveland baseball as we continue looking back on 2014 ahead of our 2015 offseason coverage.

Today is the seventh installment of the IBI Awards, the Best New Addition.

Previous awards for this season include:

Cleveland was hurt in 2014 by drop-offs from quite a few established players like Justin MastersonJason KipnisNick Swisher, etc., but one thing that kept the team in the race throughout the season were the new additions to the team. But who did IBI rate as the best of this bunch of new faces?





Jose Ramirez



Scott Atchison



T.J. House



Kyle Crockett



David Murphy



Roberto Perez



Zach Walters



Tyler Holt



Nyjer Morgan


Even though he made his major league debut in 2013, Ramirez’s stellar final two months qualified as a New Addition thanks to his presence as a starting-caliber shortstop. Ramirez is probably keeping the position warm for Francisco Lindor, but his breakout is giving Cleveland some wonderful options going into 2015.

But my vote for best addition was Atchison. The right-hander carried a full reliever workload while pitching at an above-average level. Ramirez may have outperformed Atchison on a rate basis, but Atchison contributing at a high level through the entire year gave him the edge in my book.

But that is just my opinion. Here is what the rest of IBI had to say:

Tony Lastoria:

  1. Crockett
  2. House
  3. Atchison
  4. Ramirez
  5. Walters

Crockett was always thought to be on the fast track to the Major Leagues after his stellar pro debut in 2013 in the minors, and he made good on that making it up to Cleveland by the middle of May – not even a full year from the day he was drafted. He eventually solidified himself as a key member of the bullpen for the next several years and was death on lefties (.206 AVG, .545 OPS). House established himself as a viable back of the rotation arm and brings a much needed lefty dynamic to the power right-handed rotation. Atchison was the best free agent pickup of the offseason (and the cheapest). Ramirez solidified himself as the club’s opening day shortstop next season, while Walters showcased some big time power potential after being picked up in a trade.

Hayden Grove:

  1. Ramirez
  2. Perez
  3. Walters
  4. Murphy
  5. Holt

While his title may officially be “Best New Addition,” I would vote for Jose Ramirez as “Most Welcome Addition.” Following the trade of Asdrubal Cabrera to the Washington Nationals, Tribe fans were thrilled to see the speedy spark-plug with a good glove in the hole between second and third, rather than the chubby, slow, and less-than-capable no. 13. That spot is still being groomed for Francisco Lindor, who is charging towards it like a freight train, but Jose Ramirez earned a spot on this roster, as a utility man or otherwise, in the immediate future. He’s still young, he still has a ways to go, but he’s certainly an upgrade and a guy who can help in plenty of different capacities.

Michael Goodman:

  1. House
  2. Atchison
  3. Ramirez
  4. Crockett
  5. Perez

Honestly, there weren’t a lot of impact players ‘added’ this year. Scott Atchison is the only free agent that I would consider having been a good addition. He was a stabilizing force in the bullpen all season and a fantastic find. The only player that I think trumped him was T.J. House. House wasn’t a player who was squarely on the radar at the beginning of the season, but he pitched nearly 100 innings and was fantastic. I think he earned a rotation spot next season and provides a great contrast to the Indians power arms. Ramirez is on this list because of his defense. Watching him play shortstop was breath of fresh air – probably for Indians pitchers as well. He’s going to be a key part of the team next season, in one role or another. Crockett is another young player who came up and held his own. He has a bright future as a left-handed set-up man, though he’ll probably remain more of a specialist/middle reliever for the time being. I really like Roberto Perez. He might not deserve to be on this list because he really didn’t play much, but he’s going to be a great backup to Yan Gomes in the years to come. He’s a terrific defensive catcher, and he showed some ability offensively. Eventually as he progresses, he could allow the team to DH Gomes a little more, to save his legs, without losing much offensively.

Jake Dungan:

  1. House
  2. Ramirez
  3. Atchison
  4. Crockett
  5. Perez

T.J. House was on only a very limited radar as far as his major league potential as far as that of the Indians themselves and our leader here at the site Tony Lastoria. Odds are the casual fan hadn’t heard of the left-hander prior to this season. Yet, he stepped in when the staff needed help the most and helped them become one of the most dominant groups of pitchers in the second half. He should help balance out the staff moving forward being a lefty, contact pitcher in a group of power right-handers.

John Vourlis:

  1. Atchison
  2. Ramirez
  3. House
  4. Crockett
  5. Morgan

A tight race, with several worthy candidates, but got to give it to Atchison. How many times did Francona go to him to put out dangerous fires? And he went 6-0 with an ERA under 3. Can’t ask for better than that.

Spencer Davies:

  1. Ramirez
  2. Atchison
  3. Crockett
  4. Holt
  5. Perez

With an ailing Jason Kipnis and the departure of Asdrubal Cabrera, the Tribe was in desperate need for somebody to step up at the plate and in the field. Jose Ramirez answered that call. In his first true season with the team, he delivered in clutch situations and played some great defense (except for a couple of mishaps), as he led the team with a UZR of 7.2. With his play this season, one must put him in the picture to have an expanded role next season, either as a utility infielder or possibly the starting shortstop or second baseman.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

October 12, 2014 - 9:08 PM EDT
I'm down with Jake's list.

House's success was critical to the second-half resurgence of the starting five. Ramirez stepped in to stabilize a very shaky infield, and Atchison was a key member of the pen, filling the 7th inning gap made by Axford's inability to be consistent. Crockett had his moments, and did well for a very young pitcher, but in terms of impact, he's way down below those top three IMO. Also, you can't leave Perez off of this list, for all the reasons Joe said.
October 12, 2014 - 3:54 PM EDT
i have seen house refered to as a finesse pitcher but i personally saw him at mid 90's with his heater for a lefty that is bringing it. If mid 90's is change of pace versus the other 4 they all have serious heat. I would say house fits right in. And tony you never did do a radar listing this year. i am curious myself how much heat some of these guys have.
October 12, 2014 - 3:23 PM EDT
I'm with Michael & Jake. TJ House was a hell of a welcome addition, especially as he was developed in the system & was a draft pick that we spent big on to buy out his college commit. We need someone to plug in the rotation to replace lost, injured, and/or ineffective starters and we call down to the farm and bring up a SP or a backup catcher or a matchup LHRP or a kid SS who out-performs's like being a Cardinals fan. Let's hope they can keep it going next season.
October 12, 2014 - 2:12 PM EDT

"Wow, are the Royals hot are what?"

I think the Royals are showing just how difficult it would have been for us to sweep them in the final series.

October 12, 2014 - 12:24 PM EDT
I go J Ram because he came in when Drubs got traded and played almost every day- all the guys on the list did their jobs well and performed at or beyond expectations when called upon. Without them the Indians are in the also ran territory w Twins and White Sox. Wow, are the Royals hot are what? I love my Giants out here, but I don't see anybody beating them if it comes to that. The speed and defense is the best I've seen in many years. I'd love to see a Lorenzo Cain type player in the Indians outfield. How about Salazar to Houston for George Springer? or to the Nats for Michael Taylor?
Canadian Joe
October 12, 2014 - 12:09 PM EDT
I don't know if Perez was the best new addition, but he could have been the most valuable. His arrival freed up Santana from catching, and, ultimately let him settle at first base, where he seemed to really come around. His numbers certainly showed it. As for Perez, his strength has always been defense, and his handling of pitchers was all that was expected. Not any real drop off from Gomes, and gives us a real strong receiving core. If his bat continues to improve as well, that would give us as good a catching tandem as there is in the majors. And the best part is there is still some good catching prospects in the system. Now if we could get some good right handed bats.

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