Stats are incredible pieces of information. Some inspire dramatic decisions, such as moving in a stadium's fences for one goggle-eyed man.
Alex Cole stole 40 bases in the last ten weeks of 1990, which prompted the Indians' front office to move the outfield fences back to take advantage of his speed. Oddly enough, his defense was considered by many to be poor. During spring training the next year, Cole tripped and injured his shoulder. He and the Tribe struggled greatly in 1991, and he ended up being traded in 1992.
I honor his legend with "Alex Cole and the Fences" (a great potential band name), a series of random and somewhat surprising stats for the Tribe and their affiliates, and a look at what the proper reaction to them would be, in the world of Alex Cole.
The Indians have three pitchers who throw really fast sliders
Cody Anderson throws the fastest average slider in the American League, at 88.9 mph. Zach McAllister (88.8 mph) and Carlos Carrasco (88.1 mph) rank second and fourth.
Carrasco's is a plus-plus pitch, with a 6.8 wSL value (that's very good). Anderson's holds a little value (0.6 wSL), while McAllister's may be fast, but is not close to his best offering, with a -1.0 wSL value.
Alex Cole Reaction: Sliders are tough to hit, keep whipping them in there guys!
Reasonable LGT Reaction: It's surprising to see Anderson's name at the top of this list. His slider usage rates are around 12%, so there's room for more use and possible value there. Carrasco's slider is nasty and here's hoping it stays that way.
Roberto Perez only has 3 hits over the last 30 days and looks like he's reached his ceiling with the club
Perez got just 20 at-bats over those 30 days and posted an OPS of just .377. On the year, Perez is hitting .213 with an OPS of .699.
Alex Cole Reaction: Pffffffff! I once had 3 hits in the first inning of a game . . . playing RBI Baseball.
Reasonable LGT Reaction: A healthy Yan Gomes means not much opportunity for Perez. He is what he is and honestly I don't know if he has enough bat to be a full-time catcher anywhere in the bigs. A rough month, sure, but it's tough to complain too much about your backup catcher.
The Lynchburg Hillcats had a great season offensively
The Hillcats led the Carolina League in runs, hits, doubles, triples, batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS. Most of the categories weren't even close. For example Lynchburg's team OPS was .749, while no other team had an OPS within 50 points!
Alex Cole Reaction: World Series 2019 baby!!
Reasonable LGT Reaction: Big seasons from top prospects such as Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier, and Nellie Rodriguez really boosted the Hillcats numbers. It's exciting to see such solid young hitters in our organization.