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.
October 22, 2013 (2 comments)
We continue on with the year-end IBI Awards today with another Tony Award from the minor leagues, this time for the Defensive Player of the Year which is given to the Indians minor leaguer who had the best season defensively. The Indians had several fine defensive performances, some which may surprise, and Tony runs through the candidates and picks his winner.
October 21, 2013 (3 comments)
Today we continue on with the year-end IBI Awards and move down to the minor leagues with the annual Tony Awards. We kick things off with the Rookie of the Year which is given to the Indians minor leaguer who had the best professional stateside debut this year. The Indians had several impressive debuts from players out of Latin America and the last two drafts, and Tony runs through all of the performances.
October 7, 2013 (4 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 one of this two-part series, we break down the Aeros' hitters in 2013.
September 19, 2013 (4 comments)
In this week’s Minor Happenings, Tony takes a look into the rise of left-hander Luis Lugo and how his stuff improved this season and has him racing up the prospect lists. He also provides several comments from Ross Atkins on players such as Tyler Naquin, Jesus Aguilar, Carlos Moncrief, Joey Wendle and others, provides an update on if there is any concern with Francisco Lindor’s back injury, notes a recent surgery for an upper level starting pitching prospect, provides some insight into some unique internal stats the organization uses, and more.
September 13, 2013 (4 comments)
In today’s edition of Minor Happenings, Tony takes a look at the impressive 15-month run that infielder Jose Ramirez has had going from an unknown player to one currently in the big leagues helping the Indians playoff push. He also provides tons of comments from the front office on players like Francisco Lindor, Clint Frazier, Jesus Aguilar and others, looks into what Nellie Rodriguez needs to improve most, provides details on what is the number one goal in Giovanni Urshella’s development plan, looks at Matt Packer’s bounce back season and future, and provides insight and information on Brett Brach, Richard Stock and others...
September 9, 2013 (6 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 almost 20 radar readings for pitchers in the Indians' minor league system, and he includes some scouting notes on all of them and where available he has also included the velocity ranges for their secondary pitches.
September 6, 2013 (2 comments)
The minor league season is over, but there is still a lot to wrap up. In today’s piece Tony looks at the sensational pro debut for short season Single-A Mahoning Valley right-hander Cole Sulser and his prospect future, looks at the exceptional season that Low-A Lake County outfielder LeVon Washington had at the plate, the amazing consistency of High-A Carolina outfielder Jordan Smith and what kind of prospect he truly is, and tons of comments from Triple-A Columbus pitching coach Tony Arnold on several of his pitchers such as Trevor Bauer, T.J. House, Bryan Price and others.
September 3, 2013 (5 comments)
Three months ago, Kyle Crockett was treading the ball field at the University of Virginia. He was a junior ending his collegiate career with hopes of playing professional baseball. He’d spent the past three years converting holds and saves and on June 7, he converted his dream into a reality. Fast-forward to today, and he's already on the Major League doorstep and considered an option for the Indians in the bullpen in the very near future.