The OF Conundrum

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sportscoach

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As funny as it sounds, I think Clement is our long term utility guy at the end of the day. He played in the OF in college, and can play a solid INF. He doesn't strike out at all compared to a lot of people and his contact first approach does well with days off in a lot of ways. I think he will mix into the OF in due time as well cause of the good athleticism and the fact he has played there in the past. I don't expect him ever to have a good OPS, but he should have a good avg and a high BABIP, plus rarely striking out. Lets see how he looks this spring, and see if he gets the playing time out there.

I actually want to see Amed, Jones, etc out in the OF and see how Johnson handles CF. Amed, with his good speed and whatnot, should be able to play OF, and Johnson's numbers don't support him playing CF over RF. I am not saying Amed should be an OF everyday, but we need the best hitters that arent named Eddie, JRam and Hernandez on the roster to start the season. If that means having Amed in the OF, then so be it.
 

Benway

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The more I look at Amed Rosario, the more I like him at SS. And I didn't want to like him.
 

Gson

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Who's clamoring for Chang and dismissing Bauers? Did I miss something?

Chang is an IF with versatility. He can play 2B, SS, and 3B to varying degrees. None of which are terrible. Any value that Chang has is due to his IF versatility and the power in his bat. None of Chang, Bauers, or Naylor even have displayed the ability to hit very well at the highest level. Chang's chances of sticking on this roster are slim due to the quality players ahead of him and behind him. Too bad we didn't have the same situation with 1B and RF.

Ernie Clement isn't breathing down anyone's back. He was a fallback option as a utility so the more well thought of prospects wouldn't be limited to a bench role. Now that Freeman resigned, Clement is steadily fading into oblivion.
In the comment that may have initiated the Yu Chang portion of this discussion (IDGAF about Bauers, his lousy attitude and lack of anything resembling being a MLB player)... I'd dearly love to give Chang the chance to show or not show that he can or can't "...hit very well at the highest level.." With 97 major league at bats including a massive 11 in 2020, it's pretty clear no one (I'm in this group) has any idea what he can or can't do with a piece of lumber in his hands.. He has been put into games as a defensive replacement at 2B, SS, and 3B, as you've said.. He has a laser accurate/strong arm and makes all the routine plays.. As this is a transition year for the Indians.. this would be the time to find out..

We'll see...
 
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CATS44

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While its a transition year, it does not look like a non competitive year.

This team has been in a transitioning while contending mode for years.

No way do I want to see Chang getting first shot at any inf position (I doubt that anybody does), which means his only value is as a bench player. While power is nice to have, it is not conducive to being a util MIF who gets three at bats a week.

You can rightfully say that Chang has not gotten a real shot in Cleveland, but I dont think anybody thinks he should have been playing, instead of JRam, Lindor, or Hernandez.

If I was Chang, I would have looked at the obviousness of my situation several years ago, and in the offseason worked hard on my own to learn to play the outfield and first base....even if not asked to. I would have shown up in Arizona with three gloves and said, 'Tada!'.

But this is an organizational problem. We do everything to develop pitchers. We change deliveries, we change arm slots, we change grips, we do everything imaginable to make a kid into a bona fide MLB pitcher. We look at all their tools and build from there.

With position players, not so much, esp on the defensive side.

While we develop pitchers out of seemingly nothing, we were unable to turn Mejia or Yandy into an outfielder...which was the biggest position of need in the entire org.

In 2019, guess which three Indians were the fastest in terms of sprint speed.

Mercado
Allen
Chang

And Chang was never given an outfield mitt?

We have zero RH bats in our upper org that can play 1B on a regular basis.

And Chang has never been given a first base mitt?
 

Gson

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mandy bell posted a story yesterday at the Indians MLB site describing the potential for Franmil Reyes to play the OF.. When his bat is hot.. he should play.. The rule of thumb perscribes that players stay hotter longer when they're playing more.. Franmil may not be the best defensive player on the tribe, ever.. but he can be one of the best hitters on this team..

Tito has also indicated that when going to NL Parks for interleague..

"...when we go to the National League cities, we'd really like to not have to sit him, especially if he's swinging the bat really well..."

So there's that.. There are approximately 2000 AB's for the OF during any reasonable season. Having five guys get 400 AB's each sounds doable.. especially if a platoon represents one OF'er.. like the Daniel Johnson / Jordan Luplow platoon alluded to w/r to all star level production by the platoon facing off handed pitchers..

Then again.. Franmill may make the weakest offensive spot in the order, 1B, a strength if he takes to that better than the OF?.. Without some insight/viewing of Franmil at 1B.. there isn't much of an argument for that.. but if Franmil proves he can handle 1B.. I'd much rather see Naylor fighting for time in the OF than Franmil.. at least for now..

we'll see as camp opens and the battles for spots continue..
 

Alabuckeye

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Thinking along those lines of Franmil in the OF and having 2000 AB to allocate.....in a 'perfect world of no injury'....

I think we can all agree that Rosario gets 600 of them
Franmil, assuming 21 NL games, and say another 30 games in the OF is another 200 AB.
Naylor gets say 350(with others at 1B)
Mercado gets 450.
Luplow with 250
Zimmer/Johnson/etc with the other 150?
 

Mott the Hoople

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I don't know much about Harold Ramirez. But he doesn't sound any worse than what we have. RH bat. Can play RF.
 
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xmasbuck

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mandy bell posted a story yesterday at the Indians MLB site describing the potential for Franmil Reyes to play the OF.. When his bat is hot.. he should play.. The rule of thumb perscribes that players stay hotter longer when they're playing more.. Franmil may not be the best defensive player on the tribe, ever.. but he can be one of the best hitters on this team..

Tito has also indicated that when going to NL Parks for interleague..

"...when we go to the National League cities, we'd really like to not have to sit him, especially if he's swinging the bat really well..."

So there's that.. There are approximately 2000 AB's for the OF during any reasonable season. Having five guys get 400 AB's each sounds doable.. especially if a platoon represents one OF'er.. like the Daniel Johnson / Jordan Luplow platoon alluded to w/r to all star level production by the platoon facing off handed pitchers..

Then again.. Franmill may make the weakest offensive spot in the order, 1B, a strength if he takes to that better than the OF?.. Without some insight/viewing of Franmil at 1B.. there isn't much of an argument for that.. but if Franmil proves he can handle 1B.. I'd much rather see Naylor fighting for time in the OF than Franmil.. at least for now..

we'll see as camp opens and the battles for spots continue..
so the question is whether Tito has the FO do some calculating to see if the rule of thumb is urban legend or legit

one sideways piece of data says that Franny didn't play the field last September and he sure as hell didnt hit
 

CATS44

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Ramirez is at least interesting.

A RH batter with fairly large reverse splits. He has had an up and down MiLB career.

Up enough to be a top 100 in 2016. Down enough to be released by Toronto two years later.

He was ranked #5 in a very good Pirates system, with a plus hit tool and decent speed, and a lot of good scouting reports. Fangraphs gave him a 55 FV back then. But like Chang and Bradley for us, the shine quickly wore off and he now is a 40 FV.

He is a kid that can theoretically play all three OF positions, but he has a weak arm and not enough speed to play center...profiles more as a left fielder.

His signing and place on the 40 man is another indication that we have multiple position players on a bubble that keeps getting bigger and ready to pop.
 

NEOLeo

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Ramirez is at least interesting.

A RH batter with fairly large reverse splits. He has had an up and down MiLB career.

Up enough to be a top 100 in 2016. Down enough to be released by Toronto two years later.

He was ranked #5 in a very good Pirates system, with a plus hit tool and decent speed, and a lot of good scouting reports. Fangraphs gave him a 55 FV back then. But like Chang and Bradley for us, the shine quickly wore off and he now is a 40 FV.

He is a kid that can theoretically play all three OF positions, but he has a weak arm and not enough speed to play center...profiles more as a left fielder.

His signing and place on the 40 man is another indication that we have multiple position players on a bubble that keeps getting bigger and ready to pop.
It’s not lack of speed that keeps him out of center. His straight line sprint speed is actually elite. He’s apparently just a terrible outfielder in terms of tracking and routes.
 
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I don't know much about Harold Ramirez. But he doesn't sound any worse than what we have. RH bat. Can play RF.
Those highlights don't reflect who he is. He's an extreme ground ball hitter. He kind of reminds me of Yandy Diaz, only shorter. Muscular right-handed hitter who likes to go to right field (based on the highlight video) and hits a ton of ground balls.

Definitely an unusual guy. He reminds me of Kirby Puckett at 5'10", 232 pounds, but he's still in the 92nd percentile in sprint speed. Physically this guy is Nick Chubb. If his baseball career doesn't work out he can always play running back in the NFL. Catchers should give thanks they're no longer expected to block the plate anymore.

LetsGoTribe had this:

Over at our Marlins sister site Fish Stripes, it was pointed out that Ramirez’s approach seemed to be improving towards the end of 2019 when he was getting the ball in the air more and giving himself a chance with his legs.

From the aforementioned Fish site:

Ramirez made an exciting adjustment toward the end of his 2019 rookie campaign, putting the ball in the air consistently (his ground ball rate had been hovering around 60% for most of the year).

His 2020 season was wiped out by a hamstring injury plus being out for weeks with a positive COVID test. He only had 11 at-bats. In 2019 he hit .276/.728 in 446 PA's with 11 HR's and 50 RBI's. Those are not great numbers for a defensively challenged outfielder, but he was only 24 years old.

Ramirez has struggled in the past with his route running and communication. Even more obvious to the casual viewer, he has a lousy arm. It’s been more than two years since he last earned a legitimate outfield assist... Despite a knack for delivering in the clutch and an aesthetically pleasing all-fields approach, he hasn’t quite reached that threshold as a big leaguer yet (career 92 wRC+). He’ll need to elevate the ball more often to increase the likelihood of extra-base hits.

He sounds like a DH to me, but we already have a DH unless they want to move Reyes to right field.

His big problem in 2019 was his fly ball percentage was only 15.7% as opposed to a 57.4% ground ball percentage. Yandy Diaz's career numbers are 13.2% and 55.6%, so this guy is a Yandy Diaz clone, expect that he's an outfielder. Supposedly he's been working on elevating more balls and having some success, so my guess is that he'll go to Columbus and keep working on that. It's ridiculous for a 232-pound RHH to hit 60% ground balls, no matter how fast he is.

I see Ramirez as this year's Diego Santana; he's done some things in the past that indicate he has a chance to be a productive right-handed bat, but was let go because he had a lost season due to injury combined with his former team adding some players at his position they like better. Santana didn't work out and Harold may not, either, but he's only 26 and hit .276 over nearly 450 PA's and sprays the ball all over the field with the speed to take the extra base. The video shows more home runs to center and right than left, reminding me of Franmil Reyes (who also hits too many ground balls at 47%).

If this kid can continue to improve his launch angle I think he's got a chance to help us, depending on how guys like Naylor, Luplow, and Johnson come along. The Indians have put together a group of outfielders in their early to mid-20's who have a chance to develop into good players; Naylor, Luplow, Johnson, Harold Ramirez, and Oscar Mercado. It's a pretty athletic group that has speed and power. Apparently they're moving Nolan Jones to the outfield as well. It will be interesting to see who gets the first opportunities and which ones (if any) emerge as solid major league contributors or possibly stars.
 
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Mott the Hoople

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Here's a deal I posted on BTV that just makes too much sense.
Indians get: CF Nick Senzel
Reds get: A. Rosario and B. Rocchio

Yeah, I like Rocchio's ceiling too. A lot. It's a slight overpay, but we just have so many guys like Rocchio in the system.
We would be getting an actual major league center fielder. Something we don't have much of. Let Rosario learn how to play CF for the Reds.
 

Criznit

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