Cleveland Indians: Status of minor leagues at mid-way point

Cleveland Indians Daniel Johnson (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Daniel Johnson (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Our Voice of the Fan takes a trip down on the Cleveland Indians farms, seeing how the Tribe’s minor league clubs have faired at the mid-way point.

With Cleveland Indians’ ownership pulling in the purse strings and more or less saying “enjoy” Francisco Lindor while he’s here, we’d better turn our attention   to the minor league system.

After watching Friday and Saturday historic losses, you’d though the Tribe had promoted the entire Class A Lynchburg HIllcats up and sent the major leaguers down.

Nah, that’s not fair to the Hillcats.  I think they would would have put up a better fight! There are probably some players up here who should go down.

Yes teams can have a bad night or game every once in a season. But as bad as this outfit played you must wonder is the A league low enough for some?

Let’s take a quick look at the minors in this organization.

At Class AAA Columbus, the Clippers find themselves in first place of the International League’s West record with a 49-32 record.

The major league roster has already been the recipient of some graduates from the Clippers in the form of Oscar Mercado, Zach Plesac and most recently, Bobby Bradley.

Outfielder Daniel Johnson, who was acquired in trade for Yan Gomes, was selected to play in the MLB Future’s game. Perhaps Johnson can help out at some point this season with the Indians.

Our Nick Dudukovich believes closer James Karinchak could help the Indians bullpen right now and would even be a closing option in the near future.

Johnson’s nice, but a power bat would be nice. It looks, right now anyways, the Tribe gave up the wrong prospect in the Andrew Miller trade. Clint Frazier would look excellent in this outfielder.  oh that’s right they traded him and kept Bradley Zimmer. Is even going to play this season? What exactly going on with that shoulder!?

• The Class AA Akron Rubber Ducks of the Eastern League’s Western Conference of the Eastern League are in next to last place and aren’t doing nearly as well as hoped.

They sit at 39-48, 7 1/2 out of the division lead.

They’ve had some years before this and we’re in the run for the Eastern League Championship.

• The Indians also have affiliates in high-A Lynchburg Hill Cats of the Eastern division of the Carolina league currently in second place but 11.5 games back and sliding.

The HIllcats just got to promoting prospects from Lake County in  shortstop Tyler Freeman, who hit  .292 (.806 OPS) in the Midwest League. Will Benson, a former first-round pick, hit .272 (.974 OPS) with 18 home runs.

While at Lake County, they helped the Captains win 42 games in the first half, which secured a Wild Card  berth for September’s postseason.

Bo Naylor, the Tribe’s 2018 first-round pick is in Lake County batting .244 (.729 OPS).

• Then of course, if your a fan in the area, you know about the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York Penn league. That is short season A league. Currently in the middle of the pack at 7-7 in the hunt for a wild card.

You probably don’t know it, but the Indians have their fifth and seventh ranked prospects playing in the Mahoning Valley.

Center fielder (No. 5) George Valera is batting .263 (.828 OPS) while shortstop Bryan Rocchio is hitting .237. These youngsters were big international free-agent signings for the Tribe and are names to watch if you head out to a Scrappers game.

Next. Re-visiting who won Indians' offseason trades. dark

On the mound, compensatory first-round pick from 2018, Ethan Hankins is there, and has 17 strikeouts in 12.2 innings. He’ll be one to watch.