December 11, 2013 (0 comments)
Today, we continue our offseason Coach's Corner series with an interview with Double-A Akron hitting coach Jim Rickon. The IBI's Tony Lastoria recently had a chance to sit down with Rickon and talked about all of the major players that he worked with this season at Akron. They discussed the big step forward that Jesus Aguilar took, the strides that Carlos Moncrief has made to become a star, the impressive hitting skills that Jose Ramirez possesses, and much more on several other players named Urshela, Holt, Rodriguez, Lowery, Naquin, Lindor and so on.
December 7, 2013 (1 comments)
The Akron Aeros became the Akron RubberDucks this offseason as owner Ken Babby changed the course of the franchise heading into his second year at the helm, and despite some negative feedback on social media, Babby remains positive. Jim Piascik recently spoke with the RubberDucks owner, touching on Babby's plans to rejuvenate the franchise's brand, the community reaction, what is on the horizon for the team, and much more.
November 29, 2013 (3 comments)
On Wednesday the IBI's Tony Lastoria posted part one of his extensive interview with Indians minor league pitching coordinator Ruben Niebla. In that piece we discussed a lot of the strides made and some struggled encountered by a great many pitchers at the full season affiliates. In today's second part, he provides Niebla’s thoughts on a bevy of young arms at the short season levels, gets into several of the philosophical and mechanical changes the Indians implemented in 2013 with how they develop pitchers, and discussed a ton of velocity jumps made by a litany of pitchers this season.
November 27, 2013 (7 comments)
The IBI's Tony Lastoria recently had a chance to sit down with Indians minor league pitching coordinator Ruben Niebla and discussed the strides and sometimes the struggles for a great many pitchers at the full season affiliates this year. They talked about how Dylan Baker and Cody Anderson have separated themselves as prospects, the development of Shawn Morimando and Joe Colon, the rise of Will Roberts and Matt Packer, the work being done with Trevor Bauer, the resurgence of Bryan Price, and lots more.
November 25, 2013 (2 comments)
The Akron Aeros did not defend their Eastern League championship in 2013, but the Aeros served a greater purpose over the course of the season: Developing the next wave of Cleveland players who will soon play at Progressive Field. Jim Piascik sat down with Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez at the end of the year to discuss the development of some of the top players on the team. In part two of this two-part series, we break down the Aeros' pitchers in 2013.
November 25, 2013 (2 comments)
The Indians have lost two of their better minor league free agents to free agency as right-handed pitcher Jose Flores has signed a minor league deal with the Athletics and right-handed pitcher Paolo Espino has signed a minor league deal with the Cubs.
November 21, 2013 (6 comments)
This is a new feature here at the IBI, one where IBI prospect guru Tony Lastoria takes a deeper look into prospects that may be on the rise or those that are already established who need to take that next step to get to the big leagues and stay. For today’s debut piece, Tony felt a perfect jumping off point was first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who was just added to the 40-man roster on Wednesday. He takes an unbiased look at what kind of year Aguilar really had and what he can be going forward.
November 19, 2013 (4 comments)
Cleveland Indians right-handed relief prospect had a very good season in 2013 across two different levels and reaching Double-A Akron. He has emerged as one of the Indians better relief prospects and has an interesting arsenal. The IBI's Tony Lastoria recently sat down with him and discussed the strides he made in 2013 and where he looks to improve going into 2014.
November 18, 2013 (9 comments)
The Major League Baseball roster deadline on November 20th is quickly approaching. While not highly publicized, this is a key date in the offseason as it is one of the first steps teams take to finalize their roster for the upcoming season. The IBI's Tony Lastoria takes a deep look into all of the roster options and uses lots of insight gained from talking to people inside and outside the Indians organization to determine the players to be rostered and some surprises that are not.
November 11, 2013 (2 comments)
A year in the minor leagues can bring many surprises as players can struggle in some areas and succeed in others. It is the refinement in those strengths and the development of their weaknesses which determines the fate of most prospects, and for outfielder Tyler Naquin that is no different. The IBI's Tony Lastoria recently sat down with him and discussed his season, what he wants to improve, and what he ultimately needs to do to get to the big leagues.
November 5, 2013 (0 comments)
Amazingly, the 2013 Arizona Fall League season wraps up late next week. It has been a little more condensed version than in years past, but it still has given players from all 30 organizations a chance to face some of the best talent in the upper levels of the minors for five weeks. One player who has benefited from that exposure has been right-handed pitcher Will Roberts, and the IBI's Tony Lastoria recently talked to him to see how things are going.
November 2, 2013 (7 comments)
Today we wrap up the 2013 Tony Awards with the announcement of the All-Tony teams for 2013. These are the first, second and third teams as Tony sees them in the Cleveland Indians organization based on their performance this past year. Again, this is not a top prospect listing by position, but a listing based 100% on performance from the 2013 season.
November 1, 2013 (6 comments)
Today we continue the IBI’s year-end awards with the announcement of the Offensive Player of the Year. This award goes to the position player in the Indians organization that had the best year. Like with all the awards so far, this is 100% based on performance and not on prospect standing. Tony lists all of the top performances and narrows it down to three players who all had fantastic seasons, and his pick as the top player may come as a surprise.
October 30, 2013 (5 comments)
Today we continue the IBI’s year-end awards with the announcement of the Pitcher of the Year. This award goes to the starting pitcher in the Indians organization that had the best year from a performance perspective, an award that Corey Kluber won last year and served as a precursor to a fantastic breakout year in Cleveland this season. Tony runs down an impressive list of candidates and names his winner...
October 29, 2013 (5 comments)
"The Radar Report" is a premium feature that lists fastball velocities and other notes for several pitchers in the Indians' system which Tony has recorded during his visits to see the teams/players. Today's listing has 20 radar readings for pitchers in the Indians' minor league system that he saw pitch in Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League, and he includes some scouting notes on all of them and where available he has also included the velocity ranges for their secondary pitches.
October 29, 2013 (6 comments)
Today we continue the IBI postseason awards with the announcement of the Relief Pitcher of the Year. The starting pitchers often get most of the focus, so this award gives an opportunity to showcase and recognize some of the top relief pitching performances in the Indians system over the course of the 2013 season. There were several outstanding showings, and Tony recaps them all and picks his winner...
October 29, 2013 (5 comments)
The Akron RubberDucks, formerly known as the Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians Double-A affiliate), unveiled their new identity today at a press event at the historic Akron Civic Theatre.
October 28, 2013 (7 comments)
Today we continue the IBI’s year-end awards with the announcement of the Comeback Player of the Year in the minors. This award goes to the player who came back from a rough 2012 season – be it due to injury or performance – and any other obstacles to put up a very good 2013 season and reestablished and/or solidified himself as a prospect for the Indians. Tony runs down the list of candidates and picks his winner...
October 25, 2013 (9 comments)
Today we continue the IBI postseason awards with the announcement of the Biggest Breakthrough in the minors. This award goes to the player who may not have been as highly touted coming into the season on prospect lists, but by the end of the season is definitely on the prospect map going into next season. The Indians had several players really breakthrough as prospects this season, and Tony talks about them all and picks his winner.
October 23, 2013 (12 comments)
We continue the IBI postseason awards with the announcement of the Biggest Disappointment in the minors, a year-end award that no one wants to win and goes to the player who was a highly rated prospect coming into the season who performed poorly or suffered through an injury plagued season. There unfortunately were several disappointing seasons from some of the Indians top prospects, but two in particular stood out.