Results tagged ‘ Francisco Lindor ’
Indians Vice President Ross Atkins took time from his most recent trip to the Dominican Republic – where, he kindly informed those of us back in Northeast Ohio, it’s about 85 degrees – to answer fans questions via conference call on Friday afternoon.
He also mentioned that Carlos Santana and Danny Salazar were in the Dominican this week at the Tribe complex. Atkins, who oversees all Minor League operations – the Indians just named Joe Wendle and Cody Anderson as the organization’s Minor League Players of the Year — opened with this primer on the offseason:
“This is an exciting time for us. The (Minor League Player of the Year) process is one that, of course, performance is going to have a large part. But we look at performance in many ways: In the minors, one thing that we often will put a little more time stock in is how they did it. Did they go about it the right way? Does he embody what we’re looking for in a future Indian player?
“There are no better examples than Joey Wendle and Cody Anderson. They understand the fundamentals and mechanics. We vote among player development staff and front office on those awards, and it was abundantly clear that these two represent the Indians very well, among a very good group of players.
“That (Wendle) beat out (shortstop prospect Francisco) Lindor suggests how good Wendle is. He’s already an incredible story; he does not have a huge pedigree. Cody, too, came from Feather River Community College. Similarly, he wasn’t a pitcher in college, or in high school; he’d pitched very little. They’re very confident players, and their confidence comes from work.”
Question: One of the players that stick out is (outfielder) Bryson Myles. Where will he start?
Answer: Bryson Myles is one of our best surprises. He will all but be in Akron. He’s a really interesting story: He was a football player who didn’t play a bunch of baseball and slipped a little in the draft. We were really excited about his athleticism. He worked at the right things, and that’s hard to learn: Not everyone enjoys learning what it takes to become a great base runner, and other things like that. Learning how to put all the information together and prioritize it is vital. For Bryson, it clicked midway through the season. He lost some playing time, and that was part of what made it click for him. His focus took up a notch. Then came confidence and then came results. He’s a very promising story.
Question: I think other intriguing guys are (pitchers) Ryan Merritt and Louis Head.
Answer: Merritt is interesting; there’s not many MLB players that are 6-feet, 165 pounds. We have no signs of him not being durable or not holding up; the strikeouts are there and the walks aren’t. He keeps the ball in the ballpark, and commands the ball better than anyone in our system.
Louis will be a reliever, and he’s had some success. He will have to outwork people and continue to get outs; that’s the nature of the beast with relief pitchers. (Editor’s note: Head played at all three levels in 2013, while Merritt finished the season with the fourth-best ERA in the Indians Player Development System.)
Question: When will Minor Leaguers report to Spring Training?
Answer: With us having a facility in Goodyear, a lot of guys come in very early, in January. We incentivize them for that. A lot of it depends on what position they’re in, where they are in their careers. We’ll have everyone there by March 9. Half of them will be there by Feb. 20. The reason for (some of the later arrivals) is that the MLB season is much longer than the minor league seasons in many cases, so some guys report later.
Question: What players with current MLB team do you model the minor league system after, in terms of work ethic, preparation and workout routine?
Answer: There are a few players that have evolved and that’s changed. (Former Indians outfielder) Grady Sizemore was at the pinnacle .(Former Indians outfielder Shin-Soo) Choo was a model. (Outfielder Michael) Brantley is a current incredible model for our young players to look to. (Second baseman) Jason Kipnis is an exceptional model. (Starting pitchers) Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister are off the charts from a work ethic standpoint.
Right now, Danny Salazar is a good model. He’s experienced a lot, being 24. He’s had Tommy John surgery, was signed out of the Dominican at 16. He didn’t come onto the scene as quickly as he would have hoped, but now he has and made a splash. He has all the intangibles. It starts with the player’s vision. He understands that and then follows through with the plan.
Question: What’s the plan for (2013 top pick) Clint Frazier?
Answer: He played half the season in Arizona. In his first at-bat, he hit a home run. He finished the year with an above-average OPS, was getting on base, hitting for power. He really took to center field, too; playing center as a pro is a little more demanding, with the pace of the game. He has it all, has all of the skills to do exceptional things. All of those other things, work ethic, will determine his route. It’s extremely difficult for a high school player to become a MLB player, because of expectations and demands. Sounds easy, but it’s very challenging. We have little doubt he’ll have a solid big-league career.
Question: What are our strengths at each level and what are our weaknesses?
Answer: Our system is balanced, especially with middle infield prospects and lower-level bats and position players. That’s where we’re strong. There are areas where we want guys to make strides forward. We feel very good about (Trevor) Bauer. Remember, he’s a year younger than Danny Salazar. He didn’t have the year he hoped for, but at 22, we’re still very encouraged.
We feel very good about some of the starters we have working their way up. They all have the intangibles. We have to have guys make positive strides each year; that’s what we had this year.
Question: What is the organization pushing (Lake County shortstop) Dorssys Paulino on?
Answer: We had him in Arizona this fall, and he’s been working on strength, conditioning and agility. His mobility and agility don’t match the strength he has, and that’s somewhat common in Dominican athletes. We’ve been working on his speed and agility. He’s going through a very rigorous offseason, and likely will start in Lake County again. He turned 18 last year; it was an adjustment to cold temperatures, 13-hour bus rides, and very little BP outdoors due to weather. That’s atypical, so it was an interesting spring for him. For a young Dominican player trying to find his groove, that’s not easy.
Question: Do you have an update on (2012 first-rounder) Tyler Naquin?
Answer: Tyler was among the group that was special to watch, with Joe Wendle and others. They were the leaders of the Arizona Fall League. He was at the forefront. One of the most encouraging things about him: He’s made an incredible adjustment and he did it in season; he’s spread out his lower half. There were some questions and he’s silenced them.
Check out the scenes from Batting Practice as the Indians and Tigers prepared to open their four-game set at Progressive Field.
–Photos by Kyle Emery
Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti met with media on Friday afternoon before the Indians began a stretch of 14 games in 17 days – included in which is Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline. Here’s what he had to say:
Question: Do you intend to try to do something before the deadline?
Chris Antonetti: I think we’ll try. Part of my responsibility is to look for any opportunity to improve the team, whether those are internal alternatives or external alternatives. Obviously this time of year, there’s a lot of focus on external.
Question: Has the extra wild card changed the landscape in that it’s hard to identify who’s a buyer and who’s a seller?
CA: It’s definitely made an impact, at least in our view. As we looked at the 30 teams, you can make the argument that there are 24 or maybe even 25 teams that are either buying or at least holding onto players and a select handful of teams willing to trade off major league players. It’s further complicated by at least one if not more of those teams are in our division.
Question: Does the change in the draft pick compensation, where potential free agents no longer have a draft pick attached to them if they’re traded, also change the equation of what teams are asking or willing to give up.
CA: There is an impact on value. In the past, if you were considering trading for someone approaching the final year of his contract, you knew there was an opportunity at the end of that year to offer him arbitration and potentially get a draft pick to help backfill to offset some of the talent you may have traded. That’s no longer in place, so it affects your tolerance for the caliber of young players you’d be willing to give up.
Question: What do you think this team needs?
CA: I feel good about the group of guys we have. I’ve been encouraged by the way our starters have pitched, about our position players we have, about our ability to score runs and prevent runs. That’s despite what happened on this past road trip (defensively); we think that will be more of a blip. I think in the bullpen we can be more consistent, especially in our ability to get left-handed batters out. That’s an area we’ll try to improve, whether it’s internal or external.
Question: When you talk with other teams, do they all ask for Francisco Lindor?
CA: The industry recognizes how special a player Francisco is.
Question: Are you saying you’re not optimistic about making a deal?
CA: I’m neither optimistic nor pessimistic. We’re working through the realities of the market. If there’s the right deal that makes sense that we feel will improve us, we’ll make the deal. If there’s not the right deal, we’re not going to make a trade just to say we made a trade.
Question: Has the starting rotation’s improvement changed how you viewed that part of the team?
CA: One of the things you have to consider when you make a trade is who you will displace. Whose position on the team does the player you acquire, whose spot does he take? When you look at the rotation, those guys have done a good job over the past four or five weeks. The question of which of those guys would come out if we acquired a starter is not an easy question to answer.
Question: Can you talk about the resiliency the club has shown with injuries?
CA: Every team goes through injuries; teams that remain competitive have to find ways to overcome them. I’ve been proud of how the guys that are here have persevered through some of those challenges, injuries and stretches where we haven’t played well. We think that resiliency is something will serve us well in the second half.
Question: Is there concern about Mark Reynolds’ slump?
CA: We’ve seen Mark go through stretches where he can carry the team, but we’ve seen stretches where he’s struggled. He’s obviously in the midst of a tough stretch. But we continue to be confident in the person and that Mark has been working hard, and hopefully that hot stretch is right around the corner.
Question: Does the Aug. 31 waiver trading deadline represent a bigger opportunity now (to give teams a longer chance to discern where they stand and perhaps decide to trade players)?
CA: I do think it offers an opportunity, and maybe a better opportunity for teams to acquire players. Because at that point, teams begin to separate themselves a little bit more. There will be additional opportunities in August to find ways to improve.
Question: Would you like to see the July 31 trading deadline pushed back?
CA: We’ve talked at each of the last two GM meetings about that topic. I anticipate we’ll talk about it again this November.
Question: How impressed were you by Danny Salazar and what you’re juggling with how to use him the rest of this year?
CA: His start was the continuation of his development. He didn’t come up here and do anything different than what he’s been doing in the Minor Leagues. He dominated Double A and earned a promotion to Triple A; he pitched well there, his stuff and his performance, and continued that up here. We think that’s the type of pitcher he can be.
Question: Are you talking about him coming back this year?
CA: We expect, if there’s a need, that Danny will impact our team in the second half. Our expectation is that he will impact our pitching staff, if that’s in the rotation or in the bullpen.
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond
Our Spring Training Fan Correspondent @ClevelandChick had the chance to sit down with Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti and throw a few questions from Twitter at the Tribe executive. There were so many great questions from you and responses from Chris that there will be two parts to the Q&A! Below is the first half of their transcribed interview from Goodyear.
ClevelandChick: What’s been the biggest surprise in Arizona so far? Who will make the final roster choices?
Chris Antonetti: In terms of surprises, I think Scott Kazmir has been one of our more pleasant surprises. Candidly, we weren’t quite sure what to expect from Scott just because he spent so much time away from the Major Leagues. To his credit, he’s worked exceptionally hard; went to independent ball last year to try to rework his delivery, went to winter ball this year, and has come to camp and has thrown the ball really well. He’s in a good spot.
In the end, it’s my responsibility to make those decisions, but it’s a very collaborative process. We’ll certainly take input of not only our scouts, but Terry and his staff. They’ll be a big part of it.
CC: What’s the whole process for choosing the final roster?
CA: It’s really a process that evolves throughout the spring. We spend a lot of time talking about the roster composition and different combinations of players to build out the team. As players play or pitch, we get additional information that helps us make those decisions. The last thing we want to have to do is react to injuries. So if guys aren’t available, that could impact how we put the roster together.
The Indians confirmed today that one of the organization’s top prospects, Francisco Lindor, will be one of many players on hand at Tribe Fest, presented by KeyBank, on January 19 and 20.
The 19 year-old shortstop prospect was named the Indians’ top prospect in 2012, and the no. 13 overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com. After being selected in the 1st round (8th overall) of the 2011 MLB Amateur draft, Lindor made his professional debut last season as an 18 year-old.
The switch-hitter showed both pop at the plate and speed on the base-paths with the Single-A Lake County Captains in 2012. In 122 games he posted a .352 OBP with 24 doubles, 6 HR and 27 stolen bases.
MLB.com prospect expert Jonathan Mayo offered this assessment of Lindor:
“Lindor has a very advanced approach at the plate as a switch-hitter, and should hit for average and power from both sides. He gets on base and is a heady runner. There’s no question about his defensive ability, with a plus arm and range. While Lindor is a teenager who spent the year at Class A Lake County, don’t be shocked if he’s able to move faster than most prepsters.”
In addition to Lindor, a large cast of current and former Indians will attend Tribe Fest, and fans will have an opportunity to interact with them on both Saturday and Sunday. A full list of Indians attendees is below:
Terry Francona, Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Vinnie Pestano, Lonnie Chisenhall, Drew Stubbs, Carlos Carrasco, Zach McAllister, Francisco Lindor, Nick Hagadone, Corey Kluber, Cody Allen, Tom Hamilton, Jim Rosenhaus, John Adams, Katie Witham, The Cleveland Blues and Slider.
Tickets are still available for both days of Tribe Fest, and fans can get more information at Indians.com/TribeFest