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Steamer Projects: Cleveland Indians Prospects

Earlier today, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the Cleveland Indians.

It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Clevelanders or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.

What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.

Other prospect projections: Arizona / Baltimore / Chicago AL / Chicago NL / Cleveland / Colorado / Houston / Kansas City / Los Angeles AL / Miami / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York AL / New York NL / Philadelphia / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Tampa Bay / Toronto.

Steamer Projections: Cleveland Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Cleveland batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age POS PA BB% K% BABIP wRC+ BsR Off Def* WAR
1 Francisco Lindor 20 SS 550 7.2% 12.3% .285 86 0 -9 6 1.6
5 Jose Ramirez 21 2B/SS 550 5.8% 9.3% .287 87 -1 -8 4 1.5
6 Tyler Naquin 23 CF 550 5.9% 22.1% .304 83 0 -11 2 1.0
10 Ronny Rodriguez 22 SS 550 3.3% 17.2% .277 73 0 -17 6 0.8
11 Joseph Wendle 24 2B 550 5.5% 16.5% .264 78 0 -14 2 0.7
15 Carlos Moncrief 25 RF 550 7.6% 23.2% .284 88 0 -7 -6 0.5
7 Tony Wolters 22 C 450 5.8% 17.8% .267 61 0 -20 8 0.3
9 Dorssys Paulino 19 SS 550 3.7% 19.2% .240 37 0 -39 6 -1.6

Steamer Projections: Cleveland Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Cleveland pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has been calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age Hand IP K% BB% kwERA kwERA- WAR
12 C.C. Lee 27 RHP 50 24.4% 10.7% 3.67 95 0.8
4 Trevor Bauer 23 RHP 150 18.3% 13.5% 4.73 122 0.3
13 Mitch Brown 20 RHP 150 15.2% 11.3% 4.84 125 0.2
3 Cody Anderson 23 RHP 150 14.2% 10.4% 4.85 125 0.1
14 Dylan Baker 22 RHP 150 10.6% 11.3% 5.39 139 -0.7

Notes
• The author is almost certainly quoting, like, a dozen reputable prospect analysts when he suggests that 20-year-old shortstop Francisco Lindor‘s upside is “totally bananas.” Steamer’s computer math already posits that Lindor would approach league-average production with Cleveland — this, despite the fact that he (i.e. Lindor) has only just recently escaped his teen years.

• Even excluding Lindor, Cleveland appears to have a promising collection of middle-infield talent. Jose Ramirez, Ronny Rodriguez, Joseph Wendle: any of three would provide better-than-replacement value, according to Steamer. Of note with regard to Ramirez: of the three minor-league levels at which he’s recorded 200-plus plate appearances, he’s never posted a strikeout rate higher than 8.3%.

• After the graduation last season of the young and hard-throwing Danny Salazar, the corps of Cleveland pitching prospects looks less formidable. More than Trevor Bauer, actually, it appears as thought C.C. Lee could be of the most benefit to the parent club, albeit in a relief capacity. Lee recorded a strikeout rate of ca. 33% last season across three levels.