MiLB.com has started their yearly "Organization All-Stars" series, and today they posted their awards for own Cleveland Indians. Along with their own takes on the best player at each position in the organization (regardless of age, level, or any other factors), they also include commentary from the Indians’ director of player development, Carter Hawkins.
Here are the players MiLB.com chose at each position, and the highest level they reached in 2015:
- C: Eric Haase (A+)
- 1B: Bobby Bradley (A+)
- 2B: Claudio Bautista (A+)
- SS: Erik Gonzalez (AAA)
- 3B: Yandy Diaz (AAA)
- OF: Clint Frazier (A+)
- OF: Bradley Zimmer (A+)
- OF: Dorssys Paulino (A+)
- UTIL: Nellie Rodriguez (AA)
- RHSP: Adam Plutko (AA)
- LHSP: Justus Sheffield (A)
- RP: Jeff Johnson (AA)
It is a solid list overall, even the surprise choice of Dorssys Paulino over one of the outfielders that made it to the Majors. They do not list any requirement that a player cannot have played in the Majors to not be eligible for this list, but Jerry Sands arguably had a better season at Triple-A than Paulino had in Double-A. Sands hit for a .287/.409/.538 slash with 14 home runs for the Columbus Clippers, while Paulino hit six home runs with a .305/.371/.526 slash in High-A ball.
Whether or not they stated it, I get the feeling the point is to not include players who had time the Majors because Francisco Lindor (118 wRC+ in AAA) would be the obvious choice over Erik Gonzalez (70 wRC+ in AAA). Either way, both examples are splitting hairs, but they are the only things that stick out to even being close to snubs on this list.
Adam Moore may have had a shot at getting the nod for the catching position, but he fell off rapidly towards the end of the season.
Hawkins gives a lot of great insight in the full article, but my favorite bit is regarding top prospect Bradley Zimmer:
"He tore the cover off the ball in Lynchburg, he was aggressive on the basepaths; that was really exciting to see him be multi-dimensional from that standpoint. And then when he went to Akron, he was very strong in the playoffs," Hawkins said. "He definitely exceeded expectations, but the thing we're most excited about is just the work that he's putting into his game to this point and the foundation that he's built for his future."
Try not to be at least a little bit excited after reading that, I dare you.