Expansion Era Minor League All-Star Rosters – Indians
Founded on my research for the “Minors vs Majors” chapter in my book, “Hardball Retroactive” paired with complementary articles “Minors vs. Majors: The Top Minor League Batters in the Expansion Era” and “Minors vs. Majors: The Top Minor League Pitchers in the Expansion Era“, the ensuing series will reveal the Minor League All-Star rosters for every MLB franchise based primarily on single-season statistics in Runs Created / 140 Games (batters) and Fielding Independent Pitching (pitchers).
- individual seasons in the Expansion Era (1961 – 2017)
- levels A through AAA
- ages 24 or younger (A and A+)
- age 25 seasons (AA and AAA)
- age 26 seasons (AAA)
RC – Runs Created – using the basic formula devised by Bill James:
((H + BB) * TB) / (AB + BB)
Note: I utilized the basic formula as opposed to the Technical Version due to incomplete GIDP and IBB data.
RC/140 – Runs Created per 140 Games as Minor League ballplayers
RC / (G / 140)
FIP – Fielding Independent Pitching – “Fielding Independent Pitching converts a pitcher’s three true outcomes into an earned run average-like number. The formula is (13*HR+3*(HBP+BB)-2*K)/IP, plus a constant (usually around 3.2) to put it on the same scale as earned run average.
FIP is a component ERA inspired by the work of Voros McCracken on defense-independent pitching statistics, but has become more widely used because of the ease of computation – it requires only four easily-found box score stats, uses only basic arithmetic operations and has four easily-memorized constants. It was conceived of by both Tom Tango and Clay Dreslough, the latter of who called it Defense-Independent Component ERA.” (definition courtesy of Baseball Prospectus Glossary).
The Cleveland Indians
Kevin Kouzmanoff (.379/22/75) slugged .656 and recorded the highest RC/140 (146.3) among Indians prospects since the dawn of the Expansion Era. Following a trade in November 2006 to the Padres in exchange for Josh Barfield, the third-sacker averaged 31 doubles spanning four years (2007-2010) in San Diego and Oakland. Three-time All-Star Sean “The Mayor” Casey registered 12 plate appearances with the Tribe in 1997 after scorching the upper minors with a slash line of .380 / .446 / .613. Dave Clark (#1, 1983) parlayed 30 jacks and a .340 BA for Buffalo (AAA) into a 13-year big league career. Manny Ramirez (#1, 1991) amassed 12 All-Star invitations and placed runner-up in the 1994 AL Rookie of the Year balloting. “Man-Ram” annihilated Eastern (AA) and International League (AAA) opponents in the prior campaign as he batted at a .333 clip with 44 doubles, 31 round-trippers, 105 runs scored and 115 ribbies. Bob Chance (.343/26/114) claimed the 1963 Eastern League Triple Crown and posted respectable counting stats as a platoon first baseman with the Tribe during his rookie season (1964). Following a trade to Washington in December ’64, Chance’s playing time decreased substantially and he accrued only 305 at-bats over the next 5 MLB campaigns. Victor Martinez (.335/32/103) placed runner-up for 2014 AL MVP honors, more than a decade after making his MLB debut with the Tribe. “V-Mart” drilled 40 two-baggers and 22 circuit clouts while batting at a .336 clip for the Akron Aeros in ’02. Brian S. Giles blossomed as a full-timer in the Pirates outfield after solving triple-A competition with a .310 BA and .905 OPS over 3 seasons (1994-96), producing a .309 BA with 36 doubles, 37 home runs, 109 ribbies, 108 walks and 108 runs scored per season across a four-year stretch (1999-2002). Jhonny Peralta tallied 109 runs, 44 two-base knocks and a .326 BA for the Buffalo Bisons (AAA) in ’04. The three-time All-Star shortstop mashed a career-high 24 taters for Cleveland during the 2005 campaign.
Cleveland’s bench includes Hall of Fame corner infielder Jim Thome, 1980 AL Rookie of the Year “Super” Joe Charboneau along with lumberjacks Russell “The Muscle” Branyan and Richie Sexson. Thome crushed 30+ long balls in 12 campaigns and coaxed 100+ walks nine times. Manning the hot corner for the Charlotte Knights (AAA) in ’93, Thome slashed .332/.441/.585 with 25 jacks and 102 ribbies. Acquired from the Phillies during an exchange of prospects in December ’78, Charboneau notched a .352 BA along with a 1.019 OPS as a member of the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA). Branyan clobbered 39 big-flies and plated 105 baserunners while splitting the ’97 campaign between Kinston (A+) and Akron (A), replicating his results from the preceding year – .268/40/106 at Columbus (A). Sexson supplied 33 dingers and 101 rib-eye steaks per season over an eight-year span (1999-2006) subsequent to dialing 52 long-distance dedications against American Association hurlers in 1997-98.
Shane Bieber compiled an 11-5 record in his debut with the Tribe in 2018 after fashioning an ERA of 2.86 and a WHIP of 1.127 as a Cleveland farmhand in the prior campaign. Bartolo Colon furnished a 13-3 mark with a 1.97 ERA along with a 1.014 WHIP as an Indians’ prospect. More than two decades later, “Big Sexy” continues to add to an MLB register encompassing 247 wins, 2535 strikeouts and 2005 AL Cy Young honors. Danny Salazar secured an AL All-Star invitation in 2016, three years after posting a 1.96 FIP, 1.022 WHIP and 12.5 strikeouts per 9 IP in the upper minors. Drew Pomeranz (#1, 2010) likewise punched a ticket to the Mid-Summer Classic in 2016, albeit as a member of the Padres. “Big Smooth” started 18 contests with Cleveland’s minor league affiliates, composing a 1.98 ERA and 11.1 SO/9 before being dealt to Colorado in a 4-player trade for Ubaldo Jimenez.
|Brian S. Giles*||25||1996||BFL||AAA||CF||125.7||0.314||20||64||0.395||0.594|
|Scott E. Lewis*||22||2006||KIN||A+||2.13||3-3||1.48||0.972||2.2||9.6|
Francisco Mejia generated a .342 BA with 29 two-base knocks during his age-20 season with the Lake County Captains (A) and Lynchburg Hillcats (A+) in 2016. One of the Indians top prospects heading into 2018, Mejia was shipped to San Diego in exchange for relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber two weeks before the trade deadline. Chris Bando parlayed a .349 BA with the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) into a 9-year MLB career as a platoon catcher. Vic Davalillo registered a .278 BA over six seasons as the Indians primary center fielder following a 200-hit campaign for the Jacksonville Suns (AAA) in 1962. David Riske managed an ERA of 3.67 through 11 big-league seasons after striking out 12.2 batters per 9 innings and saving 15 contests for Buffalo (AAA) in 2001.
References and Resources
Bill James Baseball Abstract
About the Author
I am a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family.
“Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.
Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.
“Hardball Retrospective – Addendum 2014 to 2016” supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and Win Shares (WS) for each “original” team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 – 2013 are included for reference purposes. “Addendum” is available in paperback and digital formats through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace.