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Crowe on the rise

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Baseball America's Chris Kline weighs in today on Trevor Crowe's progress and his impending move to second base.  Kline reports one rival scout's take on the move:

"There's no question he's athletic enough to play the position," a scout with an American League club said. "... With him moving there, that gives them one of the best second base prospects in the game. ... It's going to be a wait-and-see on the defense, but this guy's driven to get there."

Be sure to give the full piece a read.  John Farrell is also quoted as saying that the Indians' depth in the outfield was a factor.  There can be little doubt that, even after recent acquisitions, the Indians have far greater depth in the outfield for a 2007-2008 window than for the middle infield. Consider:

  • Peralta is a lock as a long-term starter -- but Sizemore is even more of a lock.
  • Michaels and Blake are better short-term hole-fillers than Luna and Inglett, although the latter two are cheaper.
  • Shin-Soo Choo's arrival gives the Indians a better prospect/rookie than anyone on the immediate horizon for middle infield.
  • AstroCab may not be far from the majors, but he isn't as close as Gutierrez.
Choo's acquisition and fast start would seem to be the new key element pushing this decision; if they were on the fence before, surely finding a new rookie starter for the outfield pushes them over to one side.  But even beyond Choo, it really does seem that, right down the line, the Indians are simply better set in the outfield than in the middle infield ? that is, if we're not counting Crowe in either group.

If Crowe successfully moves to second base, however, that balance will change dramatically.  We'd likely be watching AstroCab and Crowe as the DP combination in Buffalo next season, and that would be an encouraging sight indeed.


Six Indians prospects from the Mahoning Valley Scrappers made the AL affiliates All-Star team for the New York-Penn League:  RHP Josh Tomlin, RHP Luis Valdez, RHP Neil Wagner, shortstop Andrew Lyttle, CF Jason Denham, and utilityman Matt McBride.  Valdez, who has 54 K's in 53 innings this year, gets the start.

Minor league All-Star teams are a dubious place to look for prospects, as they are often loaded with players way too old for their league ? e.g., Valdez is already 22.  Among the six Scrappers going, possibly the only interesting one is Jason Denham, brother of neverending RHP prospect Dan Denham.  Jason turned 20 a few months ago and has a bit of selectivity and speed.