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2014 Cleveland Indians Prospects That Matter: Position Players

Introducing the 2014 Indians Prospects That Matter (position players)

Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor
Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
2013 in Review: Minors

Levels: DSL Indians (R-) AZL Indians (R-) Mahoning Valley (SSA) Lake County (A-) Carolina (A+) Akron (AA) Columbus (AAA)

Players: SS Francisco Lindor • C Tony Wolters • RHP Mitch Brown • SS Dorssys Paulino • OF Tyler Naquin • 2B/SS Ronny Rodriguez • OF Luigi Rodriguez • OF LeVon Washington • RHP Cody Anderson • OF Clint Frazier • RHP Trevor Bauer

2013 Mid-season Prospects That Matter

2013 Pre-season Prospects That Matter

2014 Preview: Minors

Part I: Resources (other lists)

Part II: 2013 PTM Review

Part III: A quantitative prospect comparison (position players)

Part IV: Testing the new PTM formula

After testing the position player formula developed by Adam last month, I've made a few minor tweaks, changing a couple of the position adjustments (changing catcher from +.25 to +.20, changing first base from -.25 to -.20, changing right/left field from -.15 to -.10.). I think it's an upgrade over the criteria that I used in the past, and takes the emotion out of the process; had I done this year's selections like last year's, I probably would have included Giovanny Urshela and Carlos Moncrief and left off Logan Vick.

Here are the basics of the formula for those who are new:

  • Age/Level: Each player is given an age adjustment based on the level and the average age of the level. For example, Jesus Aguilar was about one full year younger than the average Eastern League player in 2013, and so his score was bumped by .25. Previously players at or above the league average were excluded from consideration, but now players old for their league can be included if their performance offsets the age adjustment. Note that only players who have accumulated at least 175 PA at a full-season level were included, so players like Francisco Mejia and Clint Frazier are not included. Although I would certainly include those two based on talent and upside, this is a quantitative measure, and using short-season stats is rather problematic given the goals at those levels is tied more to development than statistical results. I will however track promising short-season players like Frazier and Mejia in a separate category until they have played in a full-season league.
  • Position: Each player's score is also adjusted based on the main position he played in that season:

C: +.20

SS: +.15

2B: +.05

3B: +.05

CF: +.05

RF: -.10

LF: -.10

1B/DH: -.20

  • Performance: On-Base Percentage and Slugging is compared to the level average and given a score, with OBP being multiplied by 1.8. This score is then modified based and Age/Level and Position to get the player's score for that level and year.
  • 3-Year Averages: For players who have played in a full-season league in 2011 and 2012 (min. 175 PA), the scores in those years are counted as well, though 2013 scores are weighted more heavily. I included only those stops in which a player accumulated at least 175 PA.
  • Baserunning and Defense: The PTM score currently only takes into account what a player does at the plate. Future updates may include base running, and I may take a stab at including some type of defensive adjustment down the road.
  • Tiers: I have included all players who score .250 or better in the PTM list, with players who scored over .400 and players who scored over .600 in higher tiers. They correspond to the PTM categories used before:

Prospects That Matter: .250-.400

Prospects That Really Matter: .451-.600

Prospects That Really, Really Matter: .601+

Without further ado, the 2014 position-player Prospects That Matter:

(click to embiggen)

(download the complete Excel file here)


Some general commentary:

  • The positions you see here were their 2013 positions. In a lot of cases these players may not end up at those positions if they make it to the majors, and given that position adjustments count for quite a bit in the PTM formula, some players' scores would be dramatically adjusted if they were considered at their projected positions. But rather than make those predictions, I stuck to what they actually played.
  • As OBP is emphasized, players who excelled at drawing walks scored very high. Logan Vick, who was an on-base machine at Lake County (but did little else), made the second tier of PTM, and although I probably wouldn't have included him, I don't want to start making exceptions.
  • Older corner players are penalized heavily in this system, and that's as it should be, as high offensive production is expected at the major-league level. Unfortunately that meant that Carlos Moncrief missed inclusion.
  • As defense was not part of the formula, defensive specialists like Roberto Perez and Tyler Holt were not included, though I could certainly see both those players make it to the majors at some point.
  • Luigi Rodriguez was excluded largely because he didn't qualify at either Lake County or Carolina 2013 due to injury. However LeVon Washington, who also missed a big chunk of the 2013 season, had 229 PA with Lake County, and was able to qualify.
  • Eric Haase may be new to a lot of you, but he had an impressive full-season debut in 2013, hitting 14 home runs (a huge total for the Midwest League).
  • Tyler Naquin makes his PTM debut with the lifting of the hard age cap.

Next: Pitching