Keith Law: Cleveland Indians

Danny SalazarUSA TODAY SportsDanny Salazar has ace-type stuff, but Keith Law didn't like what he saw from him Wednesday.
I got up before the crack of dawn Wednesday to fly to Arizona in time to get to an afternoon game, and ended up watching the Oakland Athletics host the Cleveland Indians in Mesa to try to catch a handful of young pitchers of note. Oakland won the game 3-2, and here's what I saw:

• Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar failed to complete two innings Tuesday, looking like his (good) 2013 self in the first inning and then like his (bad) 2014 self in the second, an outing that can't give the front office a ton of confidence about his development. Salazar has No. 1 starter stuff, sitting 93-97 mph with a hard splitter at 84-86 mph and slider at the same velocities. He breezed through the first inning, although it was power over command, but when Billy Butler smoked a hanger over the left field wall in the second, Salazar began to come apart at the seams, rushing through his delivery and getting more cross-body, losing what little command he had in the process.

Cleveland Indians: Top 10 prospects 

January, 30, 2015
Jan 30

Organization Ranking: 16

I've ranked every farm system, as well as the top 100 MLB prospects for 2015. Below, I've ranked at least the top 10 prospects for Cleveland, plus an overview of the system and any other names of note beyond the top 10. I also discuss any prospects who might help the big league club in 2015, one or two prospects whose stock has taken a big hit in the past year, and a sleeper prospect who I think can jump into the main top-100 list for 2016.

Non-Insider subscribers: Check out the free Tampa Bay Rays top-10 prospects report to see what these entail

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Indians upgrade offense with Moss trade 

December, 8, 2014
Brandon MossDilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesBrandon Moss posted a higher WAR in 2014 than in '13, but his triple-slash numbers slipped.
When healthy, Brandon Moss, who was traded by the Oakland Athletics on Monday to the Cleveland Indians for minor league infielder Joey Wendle, is an excellent platoon player, capable of handling first base or left field and is adequate in right, with plus power and adequate patience when facing right-handed pitching.

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The Cardinals needed another starter with Michael Wacha on the shelf for at least a few more weeks and possibly limited the rest of the way, but in adding Justin Masterson in a trade with the Cleveland Indians today, what they get is a low-end solution that doesn't figure to replace what they've lost. Cleveland probably lost a lot of value by choosing not to deal Masterson over the winter, but the return here is solid considering his current asset value.

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Assignments for Law's top prospects 

April, 3, 2014

With the help of Christopher Crawford of MLB Draft Insider, we have compiled the minor league assignments for all prospects in Keith Law's organizational top 10 rankings.

Due to injuries and late assignments, some minor league rosters are not yet official. In those instances, we took our best guess as to where those prospects will be assigned to begin the year.

Note: Players with an asterisk have been traded since the top-10 lists came out, and they are listed with their assignment for their new club.

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Picking division and award winners 

March, 29, 2014
Yu DarvishAP Photo/Darron CummingsThe AL leader in strikeout rate last year, Yu Darvish is an AL Cy Young frontrunner.
Keith Law offers up his win-loss predictions for all 30 teams and winners for the six major postseason awards. Furthermore, explanations for each team are included, along with notes on key players or possible impact call-ups. Award predictions follow the division picks.

AL East

It's hard to pick against a Boston Red Sox team that returns so many of the players who helped them win the World Series last year, losing Stephen Drew but replacing him with one of the majors' best rookies in Xander Bogaerts.

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Complete guide to 2014 prospect rankings

February, 11, 2014
Now that the 2014 preseason top prospect package is complete, here are links to all of the rankings, videos, podcasts and chat wraps.

Top 100 prospects Insider
Index | Prospects No. 1-50 | Prospects 51-00
10 who just missed
Top 20 impact prospects for 2014

Top 10 prospects by team Insider
AL East | AL Central | AL West
NL East | NL Central | NL West
Astros No. 1 in farm system rankings

Videos Video
Why Buxton is the No. 1 prospect
AL breakout prospects | NL breakout prospects
Twins, Pirates just behind Astros in farm rankings

Podcast Listen
Discussing the top 100 rankings
Xander Bogaerts and Mets GM Sandy Alderson

Chat wraps
Keith Law
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow
Byron Buxton
Addison Russell

Analyzing the Johnson and Murphy deals 

November, 20, 2013
The San Diego Padres signed perhaps my favorite one-year-deal candidate of the offseason, Josh Johnson, to what I'd call a fair contract, $8 million for 2014, but not a bargain given the risk involved.

There's reportedly some protection for the club if he should make six or fewer starts this year, which would introduce a $4 million club option for 2015. But that would also mean the Padres had spent $8 million for no return, much as the A's did a few years ago with a one-year, $10 million deal for Ben Sheets, a comparable upside play given his own injury history.

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Top prospects whose stock is falling 

August, 6, 2013
Trevor BauerDavid Banks/Getty ImagesTrevor Bauer is not showing the velocity that made him the No. 3 overall draft pick.
I've been asked recently about a number of prospects having disappointing years, especially players who were on my preseason top 100 list but missed my midseason top 50 rankings due to poor performance coupled with negative scouting reports. I've talked to a number of pro scouts over the past few days about these players to get some updated takes on their futures and whether any of these players' ships have sailed already.

This omits players who will fall from their 2013 rankings due to injury, including Dylan Bundy (Tommy John surgery), Taylor Guerrieri (same), Casey Kelly (it's like an epidemic), Rymer Liriano (we should just quarantine the Padres), Tyler Austin (wrist), Adam Morgan (shoulder) and Hak-Ju Lee (ankle). I'm also giving a pass to Courtney Hawkins, who was promoted too aggressively, starting the year in high Class A at age 19 when he probably belonged in extended spring training, yet who still has a very high ceiling if he can recover from a year when he'll be lucky to strike out in only 40 percent of his plate appearances.

Trevor Bauer, RHP | Cleveland Indians

While Didi Gregorius hasn't exactly lit up the National League, so far he's provided a better return to Arizona than Bauer has to Cleveland, which is more a function of how bad Bauer's been since the trade.

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