Cleveland Indians: Full Scouting Report on Each September Call-Up
The Cleveland Indians' September call-up list is somewhat disappointing. Yesterday, the club promoted three players: Jesus Aguilar, Austin Adams and Bryan Price. The latter two have prior big league experience.
Some of the team's most intriguing top prospects didn't make the trip to Cleveland—most notably Francisco Lindor, Tyler Naquin and James Ramsey—and the few who did are some of the most overlooked prospects in the system.
In short, it wasn't a very exciting time for Indians fans to see the rosters expand.
However, the prospects who were called up can easily become a critical part of the Indians' success both in 2014 and the future. Because of this simple fact, the group of prospects promoted just yesterday warrant an extended look.
So, over the next three slides, I'll provide you with three individual scouting reports for each of the players called up.
Let's get into it.
DOB: 06/30/1990 (Age: 24)
Height/Weight: 6'3", 250 pounds
Drafted: Signed (2007)
One of very few corner-infield prospects in the Indians' farm system, Jesus Aguilar made his way back to the big league level as a September call-up.
As his frame suggests, the 24-year-old is a solid power threat, but his overall value as a hitter will be tied to how well he's able to limit his strikeouts. Aguilar has a long swing, and he generates a big arc with plenty of torque throughout his lower half; however, that long swing leaves his approach full of holes—as shown by his minor league strikeout rate of 19.4 percent.
The young first baseman has made some progress this season, however, posting full-season highs in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Beyond his impressive raw power and sometimes-questionable hit tool, Aguilar is a below-average player. As you can expect from his large frame, Aguilar is not very quick on his feet, and it hurts him both on the bases and in the field.
His lack of quickness has him doomed to serve as a first baseman, where his right-handed hitting will almost certainly hurt his future value.
Though he put forth an uninspiring effort in his initial call-up back in May, the Venezuela native earned a second chance after putting up a .314/.399/.514 slash line with 12 home runs, 58 RBI, 51 runs scored and a 59-42 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Aguilar has shown increased discipline at the plate this season, and his pitch recognition skills look to have improved as well. Though it's currently not enough to effect my career projection for him, Aguilar's improvements are noteworthy and could signal an impending breakout for the 2015 season.
Projection: Second-Divison Regular/Platoon First Baseman
DOB: 08/19/1986 (Age: 28)
Height/Weight: 5'11", 190 pounds
Drafted: Fifth Round, 2009 (Faulkner State College, AL)
Forget what you see in his stat line as a major league reliever; Austin Adams has the tools to be a legitimate power arm in the back end of the Indians bullpen.
Adams isn't your prototypical prospect.
First, Adams is 28 years old—a rather old age to have made his pro debut this season. Second, he's a converted starter—the result of a shoulder injury—with only two seasons of full-time relief work under his belt.
Despite all that, Adams has a relatively high ceiling as a late-innings reliever.
Adams' throwing motion is fluid and features a loose, powerful arm action—a large reason for his mid- to high-90s fastball velocity. Adams' motion is also very repeatable thanks to its simplicity and his athleticism.
The Faulkner State College product has a deep repertoire—thanks largely in part to his time spent as a starting pitcher—and features a plus fastball as well as a changeup and curveball, which both have the chance to be at least average offerings.
Adams' slider is also an intriguing pitch, but at times, it flattens out and lacks the tilt needed to be a swing-and-miss offering while facing big league hitters.
Adams' time as a reliever has been full of success. In his two seasons of relief work—2013 and 2014—Adams has managed a 2.56 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP while averaging 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings, 3.7 walks per nine innings and a 2.84 K/BB ratio.
Though he's been less than adequate in three of his four appearances with the club, Adams is likely to stay throughout the remainder of the 2014 season as well as the 2015 season, where he could be a key piece to the success of the bullpen.
Projection: Late-Innings Reliever
DOB: 11/13/1986 (Age: 27)
Height/Weight: 6'4", 215 pounds
Drafted: First Round, 2008 (Rice University, TX)
Another starter turned reliever, Bryan Price, was the third and final September call-up for the Indians.
The 27-year-old possesses a big, 6'4", 215-pound frame, and he uses it to his advantage, generating power rather effortlessly. Like most prospects, his fastball is his best pitch.
Price's slider is his best secondary offering, and the pitch features good tilt and late life.
Price does a solid job of repeating both his throwing motion and arm slot. His repeatable mechanics, as well as his command and control, have resulted in a solid walk rate over his minor league career—2.7 BB/9 over 221 appearances.
As expected from his solid fastball-slider combo, Price generates a healthy number of strikeouts and averaged 8.9 K/9 through his minor league career. More recently, those figures have spiked—11.0 and 10.9 K/9 in 2013 and 2014, respectively—and that has bolstered his standing within the organization as a possible late-innings reliever.
The Rice University product isn't without faults, however, as Price has dealt with shoulder injuries as recently as this season.
If he can stay healthy, Price has the potential to slot in as a late-innings reliever, with the potential to excel in high-leverage situations. Otherwise, he could be another flash in the pan flamethrower—e.g. Joel Zumaya.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
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