Indians final 2013 season grades â€“ The position players
OCT 08, 2013 11:58a ET
But before we can look to the future and assess what the Indians should do this offseason, we take a look back on the 2013 season and hand out season-ending grades.
Today, I hand out the grades for the position players - later in the week, I'll chime in with the grades for the pitchers:
Front Office: B
There were some definite misses with Brett Myers and Mark Reynolds. Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher did not perform up to expectations. That said, they made several calculated and shrewd moves to pick up the likes of Ryan Raburn, Scott Kazmir, Yan Gomes, Mike Aviles, Jason Giambi, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers that helped propel the team into the playoffs.
Coaching Staff: A
Terry Francona changed the culture, imposed leadership, and brought trust to the locker room - that job was amazing and it really showed how much a manager can impact a team. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway was arguably the team MVP by getting the most out of every one of their starting pitchers.
Michael Bourn: D+
For a guy who signed for four years and $48 million, he did not live up to his hype. His stolen base numbers were cut in half, his on-base percentage continued to decline, and his defense took a noticeable step back. He needs a big bounce back season next year.
Nick Swisher: C+
If not for the big four year/$56 million contract, people would probably be happy with his year. He would get a “C” just for the impact he had on the clubhouse with the energy and excitement he brings. He played with a sore shoulder all year, but in the end the numbers were still pretty much on par.
Jason Kipnis: B+
Kipnis made his first All Star team, hopefully the first of an annual trek to the midsummer classic. He had a sensational first half and was the team’s most valuable all-around player. He needs more consistency with his game as he had another second half stumble which is the only reason he didn’t get an “A”.
Michael Brantley: B
Brantley is such a solid overall player and was Dr. Smooth all season, coming up with clutch hits seemingly every night. He is not exceptional in any one area, but is so consistent and versatile enough to hit anywhere in the lineup. His talents are uncommon and extremely valuable.
Asdrubal Cabrera: D
Cabrera reported to camp in great shape, but he responded with his worst season as an Indian. The production numbers were about the same, but he lost his approach as he saw a near 40 point decline in his on-base percentage and his strikeout rate jumped considerably. His defense also continues to decline. His subpar season may have hurt the Indians the most.
Yan Gomes: A
Time will tell whether or not Gomes is for real, as this was only his first full season. But he certainly impressed and made the front office look smart in acquiring him. No one expected him to have the impact he had both defensively and offensively. The future is bright for him.
Carlos Santana: B
The offense was good enough to get a B+. He continues to grow as a hitter and improve a little each year - the best may be yet to come for him. Unfortunately, he took a step back defensively and should be limited to secondary catching duties, splitting time at catcher, first base and designated hitter.
Ryan Raburn: A
For what he was signed for ($1 million), the season he was coming off of in 2012, and the role he served off the bench, Raburn had an amazing season. The Indians had a giant need for a run producing bat and he helped fill that void as best as he could.
Drew Stubbs: C
The defense and speed were good, but the bat was certainly frustrating. His season actually was not that much of a disappointment, as the feeling going in was that if he could produce somewhere in the middle of his 2011 and 2012 seasons the Indians would take it. Well, he did just that.
Lonnie Chisenhall: D-
I’m one of the biggest Chisenhall fans on the planet, but for the third consecutive year he struggled at the big league level with his defense and bat. The Indians are still committed to him, but his step back really hurt them this season and puts a huge question mark on the future at third base.
Mike Aviles: C
Aviles did exactly what he was brought in to do - be a role player and help spell Chisenhall, Cabrera and Kipnis - he did that well; however, the more he played, the more his warts showed. He’s a nice bench option and handcuff at several infield positions, but should be limited to that.
Jason Giambi: B
The numbers as a whole were actually bad, but he made his hits count with several key pinch hits (and arguably the biggest hit of the season with the two-run walkoff against the White Sox the final week of the season). His impact was mostly felt in the clubhouse, where he was the unquestioned leader of the team despite being the 25th man on the roster.
Mark Reynolds: D-
He was very good the first six weeks of the season, but his performance the next two and a half months was one of the worst showings over such an extended period of time from an Indians hitter in years. Interestingly, Reynolds is one of 13 position players to pile up 277 or more plate appearances this season. The player with the 14th most had just 23 plate appearance ( Jason Kubel) which shows just how much the Indians relied on those 13 players and how fortunate they were with health.
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