OMG: Cleveland Indians

I know I owe you a few OMGs, but please forgive me. I had to fly down to Florida today for Spring Training coverage and had much to do on the home front to get ready. So I’ll play catch-up the next few days, I promise.

So, we’ll start the catch-up with the Indians. Here’s their Top 10 prospects and their OMG (One More Guy):

Nick Hagadone, LHP: The Red Sox’s sandwich pick from the 2007 Draft, Hagadone, of hagadone.jpgcourse, came over to the Indians in the Victor Martinez trade at the deadline back in 2009. He had missed nearly all of 2008 thanks to Tommy John surgery and 2009 was really just the bounce-back year.

In 2010, his first full season with the Indians, he began with Class A Advanced Kinston. After 10 starts and a 2.39 ERA (to go along with a .206 batting average against), he moved up to Double-A Akron. He made seven starts (5.19 ERA), then spent the rest of the year in the Aeros’ bullpen (3.68 ERA in 12 games).

Hagadone still has a pretty good arm, though he’s not throwing as hard as he was before the elbow surgery. While he did strike out 9.4 per nine innings in 2010, he also walked 6.6. Even if the velocity bounces back to the upper 90s consistently and his slider is always there for him, he’ll need to seriously harness his command. Many think he’s a reliever when all is said and done and they might be right. His 85 2/3 IP last year were a career high, so perhaps the Indians’ decision to let him continue starting in 2011 is as much about getting him needed innings as it is about developing him as a future part of a rotation. This could be the year we find out if a short relief role is really the way to go for him.

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