This begins a weekly series taking a close look at how each minor-league affiliate did in 2014. We're going to start with the Dominican Summer League Indians.
Every major-league organization has at least one club in the Dominican Summer League, and for a good reason. The Dominican Republic is a key source of major-league talent. As the Indians do not have a club in the Venezuela Summer League (the other Caribbean summer league), all the players from the Caribbean that sign with the organization generally make their professional debuts here. The average league age is 18, with most graduates heading for one of the rookie leagues the next year. So players in this league are at least 3-4 years away from seeing the majors.
I've expanded the stats from you're used to seeing in the weekly updates. For the hitters, I've included Batting Average, 2B, 3B, HR, SB, and SB%, and for the pitchers, I've added G, GS (Games Started), and HR/9. In addition, I've added the league average for rate stats at the bottom of each section so that you can mentally compare the performance of a player to his league peers.
I have also highlighted the statistics that were in the top 20 in the league. This will be adjusted to the number of teams in each league (for the Carolina League, I'll probably highlight only a top 5 placement).
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The player that first catches your attention on this club is Gabriel Mejia, who stole an incredible 72 bases in 70 games, almost doubling the second-place base stealer, but there are a couple other hitters that had excellent seasons. Jose Medina, another outfielder, was among the DSL leaders in several power categories, and 2B Jorma Rodriguez was among the league leaders in OBP. All three players are still teenagers, and very likely will head to the US in 2015.
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The DSL this season seemed to be a very patient league, as the league average walk rate was 4.1 per 9 inning. Given that, Daniel Gomez's 1.4 walks/9 looks outstanding, particularly because he did that while striking out 7.7 batters per 9 innings. Luis Jimenez's performance was very similar, although he wasn't quite as stingy with the walks.
Players eligible for the Rule 5 Draft: None
Minor-league Free Agents: None