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Ross Atkins interview: seeking questions

Talk shop about the various prospects and teams that make up the Cleveland Indians organization.

Ross Atkins interview: seeking questions

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:46 pm

I will be having a year-end discussion with Ross Atkins on Tuesday for 15-20 minutes kind of wrapping the season up. While we talk several times a year both on and off the record, I though I would open up it up to you guys who maybe had any burning questions on some unknown players or whatever that has been on your mind. Feel free to post the question here or email it to me at
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Re: Ross Atkins interview: seeking questions

Postby Upper Box Woodchuck » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:28 pm

Here are my "philosophical/future direction of org" questions. I'll post my prospect-related question after I've had time to think them through:

Any chance of returning to the Appy? (a 7th farm club would allow the Tribe to stockpile more prospects) - Admittedly this might be mooted if MiLB ever decides to streamline half-season ball like they did single-A a few years ago.

Any chance of the Tribe buying one of the farm clubs to run as an ancillary revenue source (or maybe trying to move the AZL games to the main spring ballpark and sell tickets - they could market it as a cheaper alternative to D-Backs games)?

Are there any levels where he'd rather not have playoffs occur? I realize that they are good for playoff experience (though I don't know how preparatory they are with the small crowds - even by minor league standards - in attendance), but it seems like it would just be more work and a hindrance to instructs at some of the lower levels.

Has the transition to farm clubs closer to Cleveland been more positive (lower travel costs/times, ability to sell the fans on the quality of prospects by letting them see firsthand, etc.) or negative (siphoning off fans from Indians games, too much pressure on players from playing in front of parent club fans, etc.)?

How much scouting of independent leagues do the Indians do? Are there certain leagues they consider worth scouting and others not?

Does he (or the org in general) have any preference either way regarding the farm clubs either being named "Indians" or wearing the same/similar colors and/or uniform styles? Is any of this even the Tribe's business or something they are even allowed to control as a the parent club?

Is there any chance of the Indians playing an exhbition against one of their farm clubs (or at a farm club ballpark against another major league team) or possibly moving one of a farm club(s) home games to Progressive Field for a "prospect showcase" event?

This last two are more curiousity than anything else:

What equipment does a farm club get fresh (either on their own or from the Tribe) and what equipment is handed down from the Tribe after it's exceeded its MLB duty cycle? Also, is any equipment sent down the organization sequentially (Cleveland, then Columbus, then Akron) or are all hand-me-downs (if there are any) direct from the Tribe?

(This is sort of tied into one from above.) How much of a farm club's operations/decisions do the Indians control beyond the roster and field staff (coaching/training/medical)?
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Re: Ross Atkins interview: seeking questions

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:54 pm

My questions are specific to evaluative for the future, mostly related to projection of known players.

First, so that Andrew won't continue to worry about my sanity. I knew exactly what the Indians were getting when they drafted Haley and I am certain the Indians did as well. Great arm but an incredibly rough project. Easily the best starting arm with the highest upside in the organization, including Knapp, IMO. What I want is a candid appraisal of Haley by Atkins. Are they at all surprised or disappointed at his progress so far? How much more projection do they think he has? I will settle for the best you can get in the way of answers.

Second projection issue involves two other LC pitchers. Does Clayton Cook still have enough projection left to reach mid 90s with his fastball? Does Soto have much projection? I believe Cook still has considerable physical maturation which will effect his velocity but I am not sure the same can be said for Soto even though he is less physically developed now. I am curious how he views the two.

Last, i want his opinion of the great Consigliere/inkslinger debate on Gomez. How much projection do they feel he has at this point? Do they think the inconsistent results in the majors are due to age and physical development? Does he have any future other than BOR starter? MOR or TOR potential? :drinks:
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Re: Ross Atkins interview: seeking questions

Postby MadThinker88 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:17 pm

During the STO Indians Minor League Magazine show, various bullpen and left handed starters were discussed. Ross himself added the names of Bryce Stowell (to the reliever discussion) and Matt Packer (to the LH starter discussion).

How far behind the reliever grouping is Rob Bryson?

How far behind the LH starter grouping is Kelvin de la Cruz and Scott Barnes?

What are Ross's feelings about the Rule 5 draft and that process? Does he feel the draft and roster manipulation is an overall help or overall hinderence to the Tribe's rebuilding process??
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Re: Ross Atkins interview: seeking questions

Postby Upper Box Woodchuck » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:02 pm

What is the ideal balance between vets and prospects in AA and AAA?

Does he have a status update on Landis and Valera (seems like they spent the whole season in XST)?

Any updates he can provide on injured farmhands, especially any who will be missing or limited for any part of spring training as well as an update on when Rondon may begin rehab work.

Also of particular interest: Jason Grilli (on C-Bus DL all season). Any chance he's ready for ST? If so, is he pegged more likely for Cleveland or C-Bus?

Re: Soto's projection, where does he see his fastball topping out?

Anybody on the AZL (or DSL, for that matter) team to look out for in MV or LC next year?

Is there a timetable for Chisenhall's arrival in the bigs?

Can he provide a quick "off the top of his head" top 10 prospects list based on his personal observations (I have to believe that this guy is at a boatload of affiliate games, maybe even more than Tony)?

MV and LC couldn't possibly have been as light on prospects as they seemed. Can he list some guys at those levels who may not seem like prospects to the person in the stands that the org is high on?

I doubt he'll answer this, but I'll throw it out there anyway: Was there ever any doubt re: re-upping with all of the affiliates?

This is regarding Chen being promoted to K-Town ahead of Robbie Perez, is Chen:

a. farther along in his development
b. the one with the higher upside (ceiling)
c. both
d. not necessarily either; don't read too much into this move

Can he provide a guide for laypeople (or in my case, laychuck :biggrin: ) to interpret a player's minor league and major league rookie performance? I tend to find myself in an emotional roller coaster trying to understand what I'm seeing and am pretty sure that's not the sanest way to go about it.

Are rostering and promotion/demotion decisions based more on development stage/proximity to majors or on ceiling?

Not necessarily propsect related, but minor league system related: What AA/AAA prospects does he see as possible returnees to the system/spring training invites for next year?

If the Clips win the IL (and maybe AAA) title(s), can the Tribe borrow the pennant(s) while the Clips are on the road to make the park look a little more impressive (flags with writing are always an impressive touch at a ballpark)? :s_biggrin

Has he identified the party(ies) responsible for Urshela not making the NYPL all-star game? Have there been repercussions? :s_biggrin :s_biggrin :s_biggrin
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