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Timeline for Top Prospects: 2021 Edition

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:50 AM
The Minnesota Twins will enter 2021 as one of the best teams in baseball, and whether they’re projected to win the AL Central or not, a f...
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Hopefully Simmons "issues" are not like Romero...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:08 AM
Per multiple sources, new Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been delayed to the team's camp by visa issues. The exact detai...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: Recap

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 10:36 PM
What did we learn while updating our annual Twins top prospect rankings after a year that offered no minor-league games, and very little...
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A Good Comp for Jhoan Duran and His Splinker

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Getting one’s head around the unusual profile of Twins pitching prospect Jhoan Duran can be tricky. It might be helpful to use a starter...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: #7 SS Keoni Cavaco

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Yes, we are still high on Keoni Cavaco, our #7 Twins prospect for 2021. Let's take a look at what's to like (a lot), what's to work on (a...
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Tales from the Central: Cleveland Indians

The 2021 Major League Baseball season is nearly upon us, and while the American League Central division looks like a two-horse race, there’s plenty of storylines to follow. What are those most engaged seeing?
Image courtesy of © David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
We’re more than well versed on the Minnesota Twins but what does the view of this club, and those it competes with, look like through the lens of invested influencers from around the division? In recent years, the Cleveland Indians have been among the best teams in baseball, nearly taking home a World Series in the process. Now they’re stripping it down and have spent this offseason dealing most of their notable names.

I caught up with You Tube content creator Preston Miklich, better known as Fuzzy. Having started out as an MLB The Show content creator, he’s since branched into recapping big-league action and has always made it well known he’s a die-hard Cleveland fan despite living in Las Vegas. Here’s what he had to say about where things stand currently:

Twins Daily: You are the chairman of the Grady Sizemore fan club but explain your Indians fandom as a whole. Living in Las Vegas, how did it start and what are some of your best memories concerning the club?

Fuzzy: I was born in 1996, so at that point Las Vegas didn’t have any professional teams. This meant that I had the opportunity to pick and choose my favorite clubs. I chose the Indians due to the fact that my grandfather was born in Mayfield Heights, which is a city just outside of Cleveland. He gave me a Grady Sizemore jersey back in 2005, and the rest is history. I was able to fit into it up until the 2016 World Series, which ultimately translated into severe depression and weight gain. Needless to say, the jersey is no longer able to be worn.

TD: It's been a tough offseason with so many key pieces dealt from Cleveland. What has that done to anticipation for the 2021 season, and how do you feel about the organization moving forward while drastically slashing payroll?

F: It’s embarrassing, quite frankly, but it’s also the reality of life of being a Cleveland baseball fan. In my lifetime the Indians have lost or traded away Manny Ramirez, CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Michael Brantley, Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger and Francisco Lindor. Those are some massive names, and to not have a single World Series to show of it is mind-numbing. I have a feeling that Andres Jimenez is going to be a stud. But also, Jose Ramirez might be out the door fairly soon. They received so many IF prospects in last few trades that it’s almost impossible to see a situation in which JRam plays past 2021/2022. So, unless Jimenez hits at an .850-OPS clip, and Oscar Mercado hits like he did his rookie season, I don’t have any reason to hope for even a top 20 offense.

TD: Having only Jose Ramirez remaining on the offensive side of things in terms of star talent, who are some prospects you're hoping to see get a chance and run with opportunity in 2021? The pitching should still be impressive, what do you like there?

F: Nolan Jones. Tyler Freeman. If those two dudes don’t get called up at some point in the season, I will seriously question the direction of this organization. I have faith though, as Terry Francona leads all AL managers in wins since he got the gig. We aren’t the Yankees, but we somehow seem to beat everyone in drafting star players. For my sake, let's hope Jones and Freeman see some action so we can gauge the future a bit better on the offensive side of things. I say that because I have zero doubt that Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, Triston McKenzie, and Aaron Civale are going to be extraordinary for the next half-decade.

TD: Cleveland has had a significant run of strong Postseason teams dating back to 2016. What was so great about those clubs and what could've they done differently to come up with a championship during that run?

F: I would build a time machine and figure out a way to prevent that Game 7 rain delay. That’s all I got. The 2016 World Series MVP should have been Mother Nature, not Ben Zobrist. Other than that, the Indians were beat by better teams. However, I am super bummed that Emmanuel Clase was suspended, as I truly think he would have gotten Gio Urshela out in Game 2 of the 2020 Wild Card Series. We then would have scored 786 runs of JA Happ in Game 3 and proceed to go undefeated the rest of the playoffs en route to winning the World Series.

TD: Starting a rebuild of sorts, how quickly do you see Cleveland returning to relevance and with an organization that has often excelled in developing prospects, could that impact how quickly they are once again a force?

F: The White Sox look like world-beaters at the moment, so 2021 to me is basically a wash. I do think the Indians will be a better than average squad, but the offense will struggle with consistency. All I can do is cross my fingers and hope that Nolan Jones, Tyler Freeman and Bobby Bradley all figure it out at the Major League level.

TD: As a fan of a competitor in the Central, what's your take on the Twins in 2021 and beyond?

F: As of January 21st, I don’t see the Twins as a huge threat to the White Sox. I almost laughed when I read that the Twins had signed JA Happ, or as I call him, Home Run Happ. But hey, to each their own. I do believe that Alex Kiriloff will end up being a decent Major Leaguer, but nothing more than maybe prime Nick Markakis. Even then, that’s solid production. However, because of the D- to F offseason thus far for the 2021 Twins, I don’t have much to provide in regards to a take on future success.

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8 Comments

Except, they're not the Indians any more. And, they don't have a name yet because they didn't really plan this out. MLB encouraged the name change and the Indians went forward with it. 2 groups without a plan. What do you call that place between 2 boobs? The Cleavage. Good name for the team in Cleveland.

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theBOMisthebomb
Jan 27 2021 06:16 PM
To me, the fan base of the Cleveland baseball team has seemed so arrogant since the 2018 - 2019 off-season. That was so sweet for the Bomba Squad to stick it to Cleveland in 2019. The interview with this guy has done nothing to change my opinion.
    • Ted Schwerzler likes this
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Ted Schwerzler
Jan 28 2021 11:33 AM

 

To me, the fan base of the Cleveland baseball team has seemed so arrogant since the 2018 - 2019 off-season. That was so sweet for the Bomba Squad to stick it to Cleveland in 2019. The interview with this guy has done nothing to change my opinion.

Thought the same in the final comments.

And now I am rooting for J.A. Happ to throw a shutout against the hapless Cleveland lineup (pun entirely unintended) just to prove this guy wrong. And for Alex Kirilloff to hit the game-winning home run.

Sources just confirmed Eddie Rosario is nearing a deal with Cleveland. Golldarnit...

 

Sources just confirmed Eddie Rosario is nearing a deal with Cleveland. Golldarnit...

Yep and yep. 1 year $8 mil deal. Will probably be their starting left fielder since no other outfielder on their roster can hit. It will be weird seeing him a Cleveland Baseball Team uniform. I thought the Cubs might sign him, but I guess not. They went with Joc Pederson.

Oh great. Rosario is definitely the kind of player who will be motivated to absolutely destroy his previous team at all costs. It had to be done, but I really don't like seeing him in the central. 

    • bighat likes this

No arbitration estimate to my knowledge was as low as $8.0M. This helps confirm what we thought, that although Eddie has playing value as a left fielder, he had negative trade value when the Twins finally let him go.

 

If this were not a pandemic year, it would for me be evidence that the arbitration system needs to be reworked in some manner. I think the intent is that the final year of arbitration eligibility should produce salaries near or just below market value. Rosario's not the only one this has happened to in this off-season. Hopefully this will self-correct in the coming couple of years. It's not good for the game for teams to have financial incentive to cut ties with popular and good players.

    • AceWrigley, bighat and BeatTheRich like this