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2020 Updated Top Pr...
 
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2020 Updated Top Prospects Lists  

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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 195
 

I will be posting mine soon. Making a few changes here and there.

Said, it's not far off of the top 51 you'll see posted here at the site.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 229
 

Baseball Prospectus released its Top 10 (+1) Prospects for the Indians.  The link is below, but it's behind a paywall.  I'll provide a few details.

2021 Prospects: Cleveland Indians Top 10 Prospects - Baseball ProspectusBaseball Prospectus

___________

Here's the list, including future projection grade, and variance risk - 

1.  George Valera OF, 60, Extreme

2.  Nolan Jones 3B, 60, High

3.  Triston McKenzie RHP, 60, High

4.  Gabriel Arias SS, 60, High

5.  Daniel Espino RHP, 60, High

6.  Brayan Rocchio SS, 55, Extreme

7.  Ethan Hankins RHP, 55, High

8.  Tyler Freeman 2B/SS, 55, High

9.  Aaron Bracho 2B, 55, High

10. Carson Tucker SS, 50, Extreme

11. Tanner Burns RHP

__________

Not too many surprises, IMO.  Arias is a little higher than I would have expected, which hopefully is a good thing and means that his offensive potential is likely to be realized.  Freeman is ranked a bit lower than he was placed in most of last year's rankings, but I think #8 is about right.  If power ever becomes part of his profile,  then his ceiling could rise, and thus his ranking.

As far as I know, BP's OFP (overall future potential) and Fangraphs' FV are essentially synonymous acronyms.  I say this as a preface to point out that BP seems to rate prospects higher than Fangraphs.  Five of the Indians' prospects on the above list have an OFP of 60, and 4 more an OFP of 55.  In contrast, Fangraphs has no Indians with a FV higher than 50, although that could change when they release their 2021 prospect lists later in this offseason.


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Justin Lada
(@justinal)
Member Admin
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9
 

Those 60s are...aggressive and Arias at 3 is A LOT of faith his hit tool is going to improve. His hit tool right now is a push at 40...without a 50 hit tool being a 60 overall is insanely high. Otherwise his value is all defense/low OBP power...so he's like...Orlando Arcia. Who's..not a 60


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 229
 
Posted by: @justinal

Those 60s are...aggressive and Arias at 3 is A LOT of faith his hit tool is going to improve. His hit tool right now is a push at 40...without a 50 hit tool being a 60 overall is insanely high. Otherwise his value is all defense/low OBP power...so he's like...Orlando Arcia. Who's..not a 60

Thanks for the reply and insight.  I agree that BP's grades are aggressive.

As for Arias, I went back into BP's data banks and located a first-hand scouting report from 7/23/19.  That report gives him an overall OFP of 60 and tool grades of 50, 50, 55,  70, and 70, for his hit, power, baserunning/speed, glove, and arm, respectively.  With regard to his hit tool, the report states "[a] gap-to-gap approach compensates for his free-swinging mentality (94 K and 19 BB in 323 AB), spraying hits into the defensive voids with inconsistent contact."  The report concludes "[w]ith natural maturity and progression, the Gold Glove-caliber defender could turn into an annual .280 / 25 HR duel-threat shortstop."

Baseball Prospectus | | Eyewitness Scouting Report


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 229
 
Posted by: @detdawg
Posted by: @justinal

Those 60s are...aggressive and Arias at 3 is A LOT of faith his hit tool is going to improve. His hit tool right now is a push at 40...without a 50 hit tool being a 60 overall is insanely high. Otherwise his value is all defense/low OBP power...so he's like...Orlando Arcia. Who's..not a 60

Thanks for the reply and insight.  I agree that BP's grades are aggressive.

As for Arias, I went back into BP's data banks and located a first-hand scouting report from 7/23/19.  That report gives him an overall OFP of 60 and tool grades of 50, 55, 55,  70, and 70, for his hit, power, baserunning/speed, glove, and arm, respectively.  With regard to his hit tool, the report states "[a] gap-to-gap approach compensates for his free-swinging mentality (94 K and 19 BB in 323 AB), spraying hits into the defensive voids with inconsistent contact."  The report concludes "[w]ith natural maturity and progression, the Gold Glove-caliber defender could turn into an annual .280 / 25 HR duel-threat shortstop."

Baseball Prospectus | | Eyewitness Scouting Repor


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rsamak
(@rsamak)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 16
 

Seen one report on Arias that in 2019, after a poor start, he worked on pitch recognition. In the second half he had a high ave (believe .330's or .340's) to bring his batting ave up to .300's. ... Could this be checked out?


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 229
 
Posted by: @rsamak

Seen one report on Arias that in 2019, after a poor start, he worked on pitch recognition. In the second half he had a high ave (believe .330's or .340's) to bring his batting ave up to .300's. ... Could this be checked out?

Gabriel Arias Stats, Highlights, Bio | MiLB.com Stats | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball


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rsamak
(@rsamak)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 16
 

DD thanks for the info.  Gabriel Arias in 2019 had an overall ave of .302 an OPS of .809. He finished the 2nd half with a .344 ave and a .909 OPS. His strikeouts from 2018 to 2019 and in the 2nd half of 2019 dropped.  This was a 19 yr old in A+ so why would he be given a below ave hit tool by some? 


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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 195
 
Posted by: @rsamak

DD thanks for the info.  Gabriel Arias in 2019 had an overall ave of .302 an OPS of .809. He finished the 2nd half with a .344 ave and a .909 OPS. His strikeouts from 2018 to 2019 and in the 2nd half of 2019 dropped.  This was a 19 yr old in A+ so why would he be given a below ave hit tool by some? 

The league he played in is considered a hitters league. He struggled to recognize breaking pitches and didn't make adjustments.

SD had him working with some VR technology on pitch recognition. They said, he made some adjustments and showed improvement. We shall see.


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MadThinker88
(@madthinker88)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 14
 

Request for Assistance

If someone could verify & post correct order of the BA list for the Tribe 2021 list (#4 thru #10) it would be appreciated.
Just looking for the names in order (not the write-ups or other info from behind the paywall)..

From listening to the BA podcast about the list I understand that TMac is #1, N Jones is #2 & T Freeman is #3.   All 3 are in the overall top 100 of the BA prospects.  #11 = Gabriel Rodriguez & #12 = Carson Tucker

I understand that #4 thru #10 in some order is Bo Naylor, George Valera, Brayan Rocchio, Aaron Bracho, Gabriel Arias, Daniel Espino & Ethan Hankins.

Thanks in advance..


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DennisB
(@dennisb)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 2
 

Valera, Bo Naylor, Arias, Rocchio, Espino, Hankins, Bracho


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MadThinker88
(@madthinker88)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 14
 
Posted by: @dennisb

Valera, Bo Naylor, Arias, Rocchio, Espino, Hankins, Bracho

Thank you Dennis.....


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 229
 

@madthinker88

Fangraphs released its Top Prospects for the Indians.  As with last year, the Indians have 46 prospects on the list that have grades ranging from 35+ to 50.  Last year, Fangraphs graded 5 prospects at 50.  This year, there are 7.  The link is below, and I have listed the top 20 prospects, as well as their current grade, last year's grade, and last year's rank.  For comparative purposes, I've also provided a link to last year's prospect list.

Top 46 Prospects: Cleveland Baseball Team | FanGraphs Baseball (2021)

Top 46 Prospects: Cleveland Indians | FanGraphs Baseball (2020)

1.   Nolan Jones - 50/50 (1)

2.   Tristan McKenzie - 50/45 (10)

3.   George Valera - 50/50 (2)

4.   Brayan Rocchio - 50/50 (4)

5.   Tyler Freeman - 50/50 (3)

6.   Daniel Espino - 50/45+ (7)

7.   Bo Naylor - 50/45+ (8)

8.   Aaron Bracho - 45+/40+ (18)

9.   Gabriel Arias - 45+/40+ (16 - Padres)

10.  Lenny Torres - 45/45 (9)

11.  Angel Martinez - 45/40+ (16)

12.  Ethan Hankins - 45/45 (13)

13.  Sam Hentges - 45/45 (12)

14.  Owen Miller - 45/40 (25 - Padres)

15.  Carlos Vargas - 45/40+ (20)

16.  Daniel Johnson - 45/45+ (6)

17.  Joey Cantillo - 45/45 (12 - Padres)

18.  Emmanuel Clase - 40+/40+ (15)

19.  Carson Tucker - 40+/

20.  Tanner Burns - 40/

 

Here are thoughts on some of the above rankings:

. Jones' FV game power has been raised from 60 to 65.

. McKenzie's CH grade has increased, but importantly, his FB grade has dropped from 55 to 50.  At one time, the FV grade for his FB was 60.

. Valera's FV hit tool grade has dropped from 50 to 45, and his game power has increased to 60. His defense has been down graded.

. Fangraphs has lowered Rocchio's game power to 40.  They've also increased the FV grade of his defense tool dramatically, from 55 to 70, apparently based on Longenhagen's discussions with scouts.

. Freeman's hit tool was raised a full grade, to 70.  IMO, his grade last year was too low, given his elite bat-to-ball skill.  Longenhagen's view of Freeman's defense appears to have been lowered a bit, as he now sees him as a 2B, not a SS.

. Espino's CH has been raised a full grade, to 55, which is why his overall grade improved to 50.  Longenhagen seems to have some stale information regarding Espino's arm action, which he describes as quite long.  Last year, I posted some video that showed he had shorted his delivery somewhat, while apparently retaining his velo.

. Last year, Longenhagen had Bracho listed as a LF.  This year, he's backed off that a bit, and now thinks he might be able to stick at 2B.  He's a potential mid-season upgrade to a Top 100 Prospect.

. The FV grade for Gabriel Arias' hit tool remains the same as last year, i.e., 35.  That explains why he's listed as the Indians' 9th best prospect, compared to Baseball Prospectus, which has Arias ranked 4th.

. Longenhagen's description of Hankins' FB indicates he may have lost a tick.  His SL has been raised a half grade and, while the grade of his CH hasn't changed, the description, i.e., a power-sink pitch in the upper 80s, is of one that has improved.

. Based on views of him in the Fall Instructionals, Vargas has shorted his arm action.  That change may have a positive impact on the shape of his FB, and thus on its swing-and-miss traits of the pitch, which heretofore has been more hittable than his velo would suggest due to its sinker action.  The change in delivery may also impact the quality of his breaking ball. 

.  Longenhagen is suggesting that, based on his brief outings in instructionals, Clase may have lost a couple of ticks without the benefit of chemical enhancement, which was a concern of mine.  It may also be that he hadn't returned to prime physical condition.  We will have to wait and see.  But, if he can no longer throw 99+, he may no longer be that special guy that the Indians thought they were acquiring.

 


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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 195
 

They've already adjusted Joey Cantillo's arm action too. It's not as long as it was with SD. He was 92-93,t94 from what I have been told.

Espino shortened his arm action over a year ago. He pitched on the side in instructs.

Vargas arm action was shortened as well. Something that just came to my attn reading this. I watched him at least 5 times with MV.  Never saw him below 95, and he touched 97-98. His SL was nasty, I think the 2nd best secondary pitch in the system. I'd give it 60+ it could be a double plus pitch.

Hankins was pushed to come in in better shape for camp he did. Specifically, challenged to hit the peleton (I mentioned this on prior podcasts). He looked slimmer noticeably in the torso. His FB hit 95-96 through camp. He has been up to 97 w/ reports of 98 previously. I believe that's the reference. I believe he picks velocity back up as he fills out his 6'6, 220 frame with healthy weight.

Pause for concern on my part....Nick Sandlin drops in these rankings but so did velo to 90-93 in the fall. I was told he was up to 96 in the summer. I believe he wasn't in full participation in instructs. In one interview, (I believe at Clevelamd.com) Francona? Said, he was healthy over the summer and they weren't going to push him in the fall.

 


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 229
 
Posted by: @willhoo99

They've already adjusted Joey Cantillo's arm action too. It's not as long as it was with SD. He was 92-93,t94 from what I have been told.

Espino shortened his arm action over a year ago. He pitched on the side in instructs.

Vargas arm action was shortened as well. Something that just came to my attn reading this. I watched him at least 5 times with MV.  Never saw him below 95, and he touched 97-98. His SL was nasty, I think the 2nd best secondary pitch in the system. I'd give it 60+ it could be a double plus pitch.

Hankins was pushed to come in in better shape for camp he did. Specifically, challenged to hit the peleton (I mentioned this on prior podcasts). He looked slimmer noticeably in the torso. His FB hit 95-96 through camp. He has been up to 97 w/ reports of 98 previously. I believe that's the reference. I believe he picks velocity back up as he fills out his 6'6, 220 frame with healthy weight.

Pause for concern on my part....Nick Sandlin drops in these rankings but so did velo to 90-93 in the fall. I was told he was up to 96 in the summer. I believe he wasn't in full participation in instructs. In one interview, (I believe at Clevelamd.com) Francona? Said, he was healthy over the summer and they weren't going to push him in the fall.

 

If Cantillo's FB now sits in the low 90s, that is great news.  That combined with a rising FB that purportedly has relatively low (2,000 rpm according to Fangraphs), but very efficient spin, could give him 2 plus pitches (including his CH).  

I'm really looking forward to seeing Vargas' newly shortened delivery in action.  It's been strange to watch him pitch and see low-level minor league hitters make consistent contact with his mid/high 90s FB.  Maybe his new arm action will change that - and possibly improve his below-average control/command.

Hope your right about Hankins.


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