Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cleveland Indians News

Baseball America just released their free list of this year's Cleveland Indians Top 10 Prospects. There's a decent amount of moving and shaking, as seen by comparing last year's projected 2010 lineup to this year's projected 2011 lineup. Per BA, Ryan Garko's emergence will keep Victor Martinez behind the plate, at least 4 out of every 5 games. Most Cleveland fans have already permanently replaced Josh Barfield with Asdrubal Cabrera. But the big surprise is at third base. Sure, many are already calling Andy Marte a bust. But not many people have 2007 first round pick Beau Mills as the Tribe's hot corner man of the future already. Heck, when he was drafted, some questioned whether Mills had the glove to even play third base professionally.
In the outfield, Nick Weglarz replaces Trevor Crowe, who had a fall from grace after a failed experiment at 2B towards the end of 2006. Of course, in 2008 Crowe will be eager to prove he should still be in Cleveland's future plans. The rest of the lineup and rotation, and the closer's role, are rounded out by guys who established themselves in 2007 - Franklin Gutierrez, Fausto Carmona, Aaron Laffey, Rafael Perez - and two guys who have the talent to be knocking on the door in 2008 - Adam Miller and Chuck Lofgren.

For those of you who prefer listening to reading, check out Baseball Prospectus' radio page for an interview with Indians Assistant GM Chris Antonetti. Antonetti was one of the hottest commodities in the future GM market, until he signed a deal to stay and Cleveland and become Mark Shapiro's successor when Shapiro is eventually promoted to team president.