Over the next week I will be looking back at every player who put on a Tribe jersey in 2014. I will review their past season and then take a look at what the future holds for that player with the Indians. The list will be in alphabetical order and shall consist of 10 players a day, so without any further ado, let’s open up our Tribe dictionary and start with:
Austin Adams: 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 6 G, 7.0 IP, 1 BB, 4 K, 1.429 WHIP, -0.2 WAR
2014 Review: Austin Adams made his Major League debut in 2014; it was a brief and not-so-good debut. Adams pitched just 7 innings for the Tribe and allowed 9 hits and 7 runs. He spent most of his time in Triple-A Columbus, where he pitched much better. He had a 3-2 record with a 2.50 ERA in 54.0 innings.
2015 Prediction: Adams will most likely follow the same path as he did in 2014. He will most likely spend most of the year in Triple-A, and will be an injury or expanded roster call-up. Adams will be 28 years old at the start of 2015, and has yet to qualify for pre-arbitration.
Jesus Aguilar: 19 G, 33AB, .121 BA, .211 OBP, .332 SLG, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 4 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, -0.5 WAR
2014 Review: Aguilar spent most of his time in Triple-A Columbus, and mashed a .304 average, with 19 homers and 77 RBIs. His time up in the majors didn’t go as well. In a small sample size, 33 at-bats, he only had 4 hits and struck out 11 times. Aguilar has always been a project player, but it was a positive to see him called up to the majors so early.
2015 Prediction: Aguilar will most likely start next year in Columbus, and will be on call in case of an injury to Nick Swisher or Carlos Santana. Aguilar has a long swing, which leads to a lot of strikeouts, but he has a good eye at the plate, as evidenced by his .395 OBP in Triple-A. He needs the time in the minors to continue to refine his swing. 2015 will be an important year in his development. He will be 24 at the start of 2015, and has yet to qualify for pre-arbitration.
Cody Allen: 6-4, 2.07 ERA, 76 G, 24 SV, 69.2 IP, 26 BB, 91 K, 1.062 WHIP, 2.0 WAR
2014 review: Allen took over for the ineffective John Axford in late May, and never looked back. He didn’t get as many opportunities as the other big name closers, so he finished the year with a relatively low save total of 24. Allen only blew 4 saves all year and was able to keep up his high strikeout rate, as he averaged 11.8 strikeouts per 9 innings.
2015 Prediction: Allen will be the Indians closer from day 1 in 2015. He should far exceed his 24 saves, thanks to a full season in the closer’s role, and if all goes right, he could easily top the 40 save mark. Allen could even make a run at the 2015 All-Star game, thanks to his electric fastball and his low ERA. Allen will be 26 at the start of 2015, and will be entering the final stage of pre-arbitration, so he will make somewhere around $500,000.
Scott Atchison: 6-0, 2.75 ERA, 70 G, 72.0 IP, 14 BB, 49 K, 1.028 WHIP, 1.7 WAR
2014 Review: At the tender age of 38, Scott Atchison had his finest season to date. He set many of his own personal records, including innings pitched, wins, and strikeouts. Atchison was used extensively during the season, before Francona decided to give him a break in September. He was a main cog of the Indians bullpen and provided the Indians with a dependable late inning arm.
2015 Prediction: During the season, the Indians inked Atchison to a 1-year, $900,000 contract extension, with a team option for 2016. Needless to say, Atchison will be back in the same role in 2015. However, he will be 39 years old at the start of 2015, so that could be cause for regression.
Mike Aviles: 113 G, 344 AB, .247 BA, .273 OBP, .343 SLG, 5 HR, 39 RBI, 14 SB 38 R, 85 H, 16 2B, 1 3B, 0.3 WAR
2014 Review: Mike Aviles was the Swiss army knife of players; he played every position except catcher, first base, and pitcher. Aviles put up numbers very similar to his 2013 numbers, sans a couple of home runs and adding a few more stolen bases. Aviles became the starting second basemen during Jason Kipnis’ DL stint and performed well beyond expectations.
2015 Prediction: Aviles will be 34 at the start of 2015 and has a $3.5 million team option for next year or the Indians can use his $250k buyout clause. Things could go either way. On one hand, Aviles can play any position, which gives him great bench value. On the other hand, the Indians are loaded with young talent (Francisco Lindor, Zach Walters, and Jose Ramirez) who need to see the field. If I were Chris Antonetti, I would cut ties with Aviles. As tough as it would be to see his veteran presence go, the Indians need to see what they have in their young players. Cutting ties with Aviles would also give the Indians some more money to work with in free agency.
John Axford: 2-3, 3.92 ERA, 49 G, 10 SV, 43.2 IP, 30 BB, 51 K, 1.466 WHIP, 0.1 WAR
2014 Review: The Indians signed John Axford in hopes that he would return to his 2011 form when he had 46 saves and a 1.95 ERA. Things didn’t go according to plan. Axford, despite having a high 90s fastball and a knee buckling curveball, could not control his pitches, as he walked 30 batters in just 43.2 innings. On August 14, Axford was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates, ending his time in Cleveland.
2015 Prediction: The Pirates hold the right to offer Axford arbitration or release back into the free agent market. Axford will be 32 at the start of the 2015 season.
Trevor Bauer: 5-8, 4.18 ERA, 26 GS, 153.0 IP, 60 BB, 143 K, 1.379 WHIP, 1.4 WAR
2014 Review: Coming off a terrible 2013 campaign, it seemed as though Trevor Bauer was a lost cause who would never reach the high expectation set for him. Bauer started the year in Triple-A and completely dominated through 7 starts going 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA. After a spot start early in the season, Bauer became a mainstay in the rotation on May 20. Bauer performed how you’d expect a rookie to perform: he was inconsistent. That being said, Bauer showed exponential growth in his first full year.
2015 Prediction: Bauer will start 2015 in the starting rotation, it’s just a matter of where. He could easily slot in as the number 2-4 pitcher. Bauer will be 24 at the start of 2015, and still his loads of potential made him the 3rd pick in the 2011 draft. Bauer has a multitude of pitches and once he learns how to throw them all well, he can be a strong #2 pitcher behind Kluber. Bauer enters 2015 in the second stage of pre-arbitration, meaning he will make around $500k.
Michael Bourn: 106 G, 444 AB, .257 BA, .314 OBP, .360 SLG, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 10 SB, 57 R, 114 H, 17 2B, 10 3B, 1.0 WAR
2014 Review: Injuries hampered Michael Bourn for a second straight year. A bad hamstring forced him on the DL two different times during the year. His stolen base total has dropped in each of the last three years; these are his totals over the last four years, 61-42-23-10. His once elite defense has also vanished: in 2012 Bourn had a defensive WAR of 3.0, in 2014 he had a defensive WAR of -0.2. However, Bourn did lead the AL in triples with 10, despite only playing 106 games.
2015 Prediction: Bourn will be 32 at the start of 2015, and is set to make $13.5 million. Once Bourn returned from his last DL stint of 2014, he looked like his legs were finally back under him. He will get the off season to rest, and will look to return in 2015, fully healthy for the first time in a Tribe uniform. If Bourn is healthy all year, that is an instant plus for the Indians. He may never steal 30 bases again, but the Tribe needs Bourn to set the table for the lineup and play solid defense in center field.
Michael Brantley: 156 G, 611 AB, .327 BA, .385 OBP, .506 SLG, 20 HR, 97 RBI, 23 SB, 94 R, 200 H, 45 2B, 2 3B, 7.0 WAR
2014 Review: Michael Brantley had the highest WAR for an Indians position player since Jim Thome in 2002. He was the first Indian with 200 hits, 40 doubles, 20 home runs, and 20 stolen bases, ever! In fact he became only the 11th player in MLB history to do it. Brantley was the lone Cleveland All-Star, and had he been in a more productive offense, he could have easily driven in 100 runs. Brantley ranked 4th in the MLB in runs created with 122, meaning that had Brantley not played for the Tribe, the Indians would have scored 547 runs on the season.
2015 Prediction: Brantley will be right back in the middle of the Tribe’s batting order in 2015. Prior to his amazing WAR of 7.0 in 2014, his previous high was 3.2 in 2012. With that being said, some regression can be expected from Brantley. He should still be a .300 hitter with 15-20 home run power, and 80-90 RBIs. Brantley will be 28 at the start of the 2015 season, and thanks to a contract extension in spring training, will be in a Tribe uniform until at least 2017. He is set to make $5 million in 2015.
Asdrubal Cabrera: 97 G, 378 AB, .246 BA, .305 OBP, .386 SLG, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 7 SB, 54 R, 93 H, 22 2B, 2 3B, 1.2 WAR
2014 Review: Asdrubal Cabrera was coming off a 2013 season that saw all of his numbers decline. It was known throughout the league that Asdrubal was sitting on thin ice in Cleveland. Top prospect Francisco Lindor was waiting in the minors to unseat Asdrubal, which made the trade of Cabrera to Washington not very surprising. With the Tribe in 2014, Asdrubal continued his offensive decline, and became even more of a liability in the field.
2015 Prediction: Asdrubal was traded to Washington on July 31 for prospect Zach Walters. Cabrera will enter the free agent waters for the first time in his career.
— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)