After a dominant season in 2017, the Cleveland Indians returned to the playoffs as AL Central champion in 2018, but they had similar success (or lack thereof). Can their farm system help a return to glory in 2019?
As part of our continuing coverage at Call to the Pen of the minor leagues, we will be covering each organization’s top players for 2018. The coverage will go in reverse order of record. Today, we will look at the Cleveland Indians.
We are going to review the system’s leaders for each organization statistically, then choose one hitter and one pitcher to honor for every team. This will be primarily based on statistical performance, though some “age relative to level” could come into play, so a very impressive season from a 28-year-old in AA will rank below a nearly as impressive season from a 20-year-old at the same level.
After we review each organization’s hitter and pitcher of the year, we will close out October with Call To The Pen’s Minor League team of the year. That will lead into November starting our team top 10 prospect lists. In other words, there will be plenty of minor league content on the way at CTTP, so keep coming back for more each day this offseason!!
Cleveland Indians minor leagues
The Cleveland Indians have used homegrown players to fuel their recent rise to success, including their 2018 American League Central division title. Now, with multiple players reaching free agency this offseason and next, that farm system will be leaned on heavily.
It could be a turning point offseason for the club as they lose multiple members of their vaunted bullpen and a long-time key cog in their lineup to free agency. While the pieces are still in place to compete for at least one more season, the Indians could choose to cash in on multiple players who will hit free agency after 2019 and rebuild as well, which could lead to a significant influx of talent to the minor league system.
Before we offer up awards on the season, let’s take a look at the system’s statistical leaders:
Organization Leaders (min. 150 PA, 50 IP)
BA: Richie Palacios .361
OBP: Richie Palacios .421
SLG: Miguel Jerez .577
OPS: Richie Palacios .960
R: Andrew Calica 78
H: Brandon Barnes 136
2B: Brandon Barnes 39
3B: Skeiling Rodriguez 6
HR: Bobby Bradley 27
RBI: Bobby Bradley 83
SB: Todd Isaacs 30
TB: Bobby Bradley 225
W: Zach Plesac 11
G: Henry Martinez 48
GS: Sean Brady 28
IP: Adam Wilk 164 2/3
SV: Henry Martinez, Dalbert Siri 15
K: Kirk McCarty 161
ERA: Shane Bieber 1.47
WHIP: Adam Plutko 0.74
K/9: Cole Sulser 14.1
K/BB: Ryan Merritt 26.00
Let’s look at the award winners…