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02-13-2013, 04:11 PM #21
02-13-2013, 05:52 PM #22
Calling Swisher "awful" was going a little overboard on my part. He's not awful, he's rather serviceable. Of their off-season signings, he's the one guy I think that could make the biggest impact. It's the contract relative to his production that is a bit of a concern. He's averaged 151 games played the last 7 seasons, so he's durable. My only concern is, at 32, can he maintain that consistency? If so, he'll hit 20-25 HR, drive in 80+, and have an 800 + OPS. That's not bad at all. He hit .301 with RISP, so if Bourn and Kipnis can get on in front of him, and not get thrown out stealing, he could touch 100 RBI for the first time. He'll be "the guy" in Cleveland, and since he's an Ohio native, he could light it up. He brings a winning pedigree to Cleveland having been with the Yankees when they won it all in 2009, so we'll just have to wait and see. It's the $15 million that is my only concern, but I guess considering what was available on the market, he was a good signing.
If he can keep going past his mid thirties with the same level of production, the Indians could really start making some noise. I really like Bauer, and think he's a #1 pitcher, even on a good rotation, and certainly in Cleveland. Jiminez could make for a nice #2 if he gets his head screwed on properly, and Masterson is underrated, and makes for a nice #3. I had him on my fantasy team in 2011, and he was a really nice pick up.
Offensively, the Indians have some nice pieces. Kipnis is going to be a 20-20 player, and has a lot of upside. Everybody was projecting him as a 30-30 guy last season, but he tailed off badly in the second half. Still, I really like him. I think the kid is going to be a star at second base for a long time, and should make a couple All Star teams. When he puts it all together, he'll hit around .280/.285 with 20 + home runs and 30 + stolen bases. I also like Michael Brantley. He's improving as a hitter, and finally starting to show the potential the Brewers saw when they drafted him. He doesn't grade out as a plus in any area, but there's no reason why he can't hit .290 and play really good defense in the outfield.
I think Asdrubal Cabrera has enough power to slide over to third, and soon, he'll have to. The Indians aren't going to trade him, but they can't keep him at short. Because the best player the Indians have had since the days of Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton and Marry Ramirez is coming very soon. And that's Francisco Lindor.
Lindor translates in English to "Mr. Excitement".
Listen to what I'm saying right now, Indian fans. I rarely go out on a limb when it comes to prospects, but unless Lindor gets hurt, this kid has just special potential. By special, I mean, "start clearing out a space in Cooperstown" special. Lindor has the most upside of any shortstop I've seen in years. Everybody's been so hot to see Jurickson Profar, Javier Baez, Manny Machado etc...well, Lindor is the kid I've been waiting to see. Lindor is going to hit. He won't have a hell of a lot of power, but if you're ok with him hitting .320 + in his prime, and loading up on doubles and triples with his plus speed, then get ready. But his hitting takes a back seat to his defense. Kid's about as polished a shortstop as you're ever going to find. He's got a nice strong arm and great range. But his glove instincts are off the charts. Think of Lindor as "an Ozzie Smith type defender that could win a batting title or two". He should pile up on Gold Gloves.
I haven't gone out of my way to watch a Cleveland Indians game in years. But with MLB.tv now, once he comes up, I'll be watching him if the Brewers aren't playing. And as soon as he becomes available in keeper leagues, I'm going to snag him up.
Cleveland also has another shortstop in Dorssys Paulino that looks like a keeper, though they might trade him for some pitching. One thing the Indians do not lack in is middle of the infield talent, lol.
Last edited by the 'stache; 02-13-2013 at 05:59 PM.Collecting pre-war, vintage and modern baseball cards.
Currently working on the T206 set, 1975 Topps, master collections of Roberto Clemente and Robin Yount.
02-13-2013, 06:12 PM #23
Either way, it was a good signing. If Shane Victorino can get what he got at his age, Bourn is certainly worth what he got.