Tagged: Ross Atkins

Lake County Captains, First-Half Contenders

After collecting the first-half division crown, the Lake County Captains fell victim to the 2nd-half of the season (much as a result of many of the key players being promoted to Kinston).  Their first-half record was 41-29 while the second-half record was 34-36.  They look to rebound next season with a fresh set of faces, many coming from close-by Mahoning Valley.

As stated in my post below, barring any players jumping a level of the minor league system, here’s the lineup I expect to see to start the year in Lake County.

1) Isaias Velasquez – SS
2) Tim Fedroff – CF
3) Cord Phelps – 2B
4) Lonnie Chisenhall – 3B
5) Jeremie Tice – 1B
6) Juan Valdes – DH
7) Ryan Blair – RF
8) Robert Alcombrack – C
9) Ramon Hernandez – LF

* While I expect Chisenhall to still get a good amount of games at SS, and Tice to get a decent amount of games at 1B, I expect both to be making position changes at some point next season.  Not only will it help them with versatility, it might help accelerate them throughout the minor league system.  Phelps will be playing exclusively at 2B, and looks to be the Indians best prospect at that respected position, and if he contributes early, he might be fast-tracked through the minors.


The New Look of the K-Tribe

After failing to make the postseason, the K-Tribe looks to rebound with a new set of faces in Kinston this year.  The likely promotion of Mills, Weglarz, etc. will put a lot of young players in Kinston who many of the fans have yet to hear about.  Even though there are players with great potential in the likes of Lonnie Chisenhall, Tim Fedroff, and Cord Phelps who could potentially skip Lake County and head straight to Kinston, the history of this organization moving players slowly through the ranks will likely have them starting in Lake County.  Barring any players skipping a system or two, here is what I think the normal lineup will be for the Kinston Indians.

1) Karexon Sanchez – 2B
2) Matthew Brown – RF
3) Matt McBride – LF
4) Richard Martinez – C
5) Todd Martin – 1B
6) Roman Pena – CF
7) Brock Simpson – DH
8) Dustin Realini – 3B
9) Ron Rivas – SS

* With the lack of impact players in the lineup above, Chisenhall, Fedroff, Phelps, Tice, Valdes, etc. could make a quick jump to Kinston. If the K-Tribe expects to be in contention with the players above, they’re going to have to really breakout this year.  We won’t hear much about most of these players except from the Minor League Magazine show on STO as the K-Tribe is the only team affiliated with the Indians not stationed in Ohio.

Akron Aeros Look to Head Back to Eastern League Finals

The Akron Aeros will have almost a completely different roster headed into next season as most of the key players will head to the Huntington Bank Stadium in Columbus, but there will be a lot of new, young, high-caliber talent headed to Akron.  The Aeros headed into the Eastern League Finals last season, but fell to the AA-Affiliate of the Yankees.  With the new players added to the roster, the Aeros look to head back to the Eastern League Finals.

Here is the roster I expect to see the Aeros put on the field on most days…

1) John Drennen – CF
2) Carlos Santana – C
3) Beau Mills – 1B
4) Nick Weglarz – LF
5) Jared Goedert – 3B
6) Matt Whitney – DH
7) Carlos Rivero – SS
8) Ryan Goleski – RF
9) Niuman Romero – 2B

* Goleski could be used as a 4th OF for the Columbus Clippers next season, while Niuman Romero could be picked up by another team as he is a minor league free agent who will likely not be added to the 40-man roster.  However, I think Romero will re-sign with us and be penciled in as the every day 2B at Akron.

* John Drennen could be on his last legs at Akron next season.  After a pretty decent rookie campaign, he’s become nothing more than a footnote on the career of Roger Clemens (homering off of him while Clemens was making his comeback).  If he doesn’t excel this year at AA, he likely will never see AAA in a Tribe uniform.  The lack of a leadoff hitter might allow Drennen to be used as the leadoff hitter.

* If Goleski and Romero aren’t on the team at Akron other potential replacements are Roman Pena or Lucas Montero.