Continuing what we started yesterday, here is the top half of the Indians player power rankings for the full season. Unlike yesterday’s list, all these players spent at least some time with the team in September, so their performances in the final month will be ranked compared to expectations as Above, Even or Below and their movement since the August Player Power Rankings will be noted after.
21. Yan Gomes – Above – ↓6
No one saw a bigger improvement over their previous season numbers in September than Gomes as he batted .300/.340/.560 with four home runs and 10 RBI. Overall, that helped push 2017 to be his best season offensively since he won the Silver Slugger in 2014.
20. Josh Tomlin – Even – Unranked in August
You wouldn’t know it by the way his teammates and coaches talk about him, but this was essentially the worst season of Tomlins career according to ERA, WHIP, H/9. While he only allowed more than two runs once in September, he allowed exactly two in three of six starts and never pitched through the sixth inning.
19. Nick Goody – Above – ↓5
An increase in available relievers in the Indians bullpen and an increase in innings pitched per game by the starters limited Goody in September, but he had a fine month when he did pitch, posting a 1.93 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. For the season, he ranks as the Indians fifth most dependable reliever, which is quite the compliment considering he plays in the best bullpen in baseball and one of the best in baseball history.
18. Jason Kipnis – Even – UR
From July 9th through September 16th, Kipnis played just 13 games thanks to two separate DL stints for his right hamstring. He still was able to return to play almost every game for the rest of the season, all while learning a new position and having a decent bat.
17. Danny Salazar – Even – UR
While his numbers to finish the season weren’t great coming off the DL, we can’t forget the work Salazar put in before he hit the DL the first time and during the span between injuries. For the season, he was sixth among Indians pitchers in innings, but fourth in strike outs. If he had played more, he would easily be the Indians third best starter, but as it is he’s stuck towards the middle of the list.
16. Zach McAllister – Above – ↓4
McAllister gets a lot of hate, but he’s been good this season and was even better in September. In that month, he didn’t allow a run, struck out 7 and allowed just six hits in 6.2 innings. For the season, he set a career best in ERA, WHIP and WAR (1.4). The third is most impressive as WAR is cumulative and he pitched less than half the innings this year that he did in 2012 and 2013.
15. Bradley Zimmer – Below – ↓5
While there were many injuries to Indians outfielders late in the season, none was more devastating than Zimmer’s broken hand. While the others caused missed time in the regular season, Zimmer’s slide head first into first cost him the rest of the season and post-season, throwing the Indians centerfield situation into turmoil.
14. Bryan Shaw – Below – ↓1
Shaw blew a save in September. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.
He also struck out 19 in 14 innings, but somehow gave up more runs (8) than three Indians starters did individually (Carrasco, Kluber and Clevinger), despite pitching more than 20 fewer innings than all of them. It was an odd month for Shaw, especially when you consider his 11.1 inning run during the middle of it where he struck out 15 and allowed just a 2.38 ERA.
13. Austin Jackson – Above – ↓2
Jackson has been a huge part of the Indians outfield all season and, unlike some players coming off an injury shortened season, has not faded at the end, hitting .333/.415/.444 in September. He only moves down in the rankings because three players ahead of him were added back from the DL during the month and weren’t ranked in August.
12. Michael Brantley – DNP – UR
Brantley’s ankle injury cost him all of September, so it’s easy to forget what he did earlier in the season, but he still finished 6th on the team in at bats, fifth in hits and fourth in steals. Despite playing just over half the season (90 games), he also had 20 doubles to go with his 100 hits, so it was a successful, if short, season.
11. Cody Allen – Below – ↓2
After a scoreless run that lasted 17 games and 16.2 innings, Allen seemed to hit a bit of a wall late in September, allowing five runs across four games and three innings. In the good run from mid-August through most of September, he struck out 23, allowed just eight hits and five walks while racking up three wins, nine saves and a hold. In the bad, he earned one save and took a loss while striking out three and allowing three home runs.
10. Andrew Miller – Above – UR
Allen has the advantage in innings for the second year in a row, but a poor end of the season was not enough for him to surpass Miller in the rankings despite the lefty missing quite some time on the DL. Miller came back with fire, however, striking out 16 in 8 innings to end the season.
9. Trevor Bauer – Above – ↓1
Bauer used two solid months to drop his ERA from 5.59 after his first start back from the All-Star Game to 4.19 to end the season. Over his final 13 games (12 starts), Bauer held a 2.42 ERA over 78 innings, striking out 85. His 3.88 FIP suggests that he was so unlucky in the first half (5.24 ERA, 4.08 FIP) that he was due quite the turn around.
8. Mike Clevinger – Above – ↓1
What happens when you have a run of eight starts where you allow eight earned runs over 43.2 innings (1.65 ERA), striking out 52 and walking just 18? To the bullpen with you Clevinger as Tomlin’s 3 home runs every two games are much preferable to your three home runs allowed in eight games.
7. Lonnie Chisenhall – Below – UR
Chisenhall missed about 50 games earlier in the season with a quad injury and it came back to take him out of most of the month of September as well. He returned before the end of the season, but didn’t have as much success at the plate as Kipnis.
6. Carlos Santana – Above – 0
There’s a reason the Indians had incredible success in September and a lot of it had to do with the out of this world performances by their four top hitters. Santana may have been the least of those, but was still extremely impressive with more strike outs than walks and 10 extra base hits. Don’t forget his defense either as he is the Indian most likely to win a Gold Glove this year.
5. Edwin Encarnacion – Above – 0
Both the Indians third best hitter in September and the season, Encarnacion wrapped things up nicely with seven home runs and 26 RBI. The crazy part is that his .628 slugging percent was only the third best on the team in the final month. In any event, Indians fans have to be extremely happy with his performance after what happened last season.
4. Carlos Carrasco – Above – ↓2
Carrasco couldn’t have finished his season in more impressive fashion, leading all of baseball with a 1.9 fWAR in September thanks to an 8.1 IP shut out of the play-off bound Twins. He reached 200 innings in his final appearance and struck out 226 on the season.
3. Francisco Lindor – Above – ↑1
You would think adding another eight home runs and eight doubles in a month for last year’s Platinum Glove winner would be enough to make him the best player on the team, but nay. Lindor will have to settle for likely being a top ten MVP finisher and having the second best offensive season by an Indians short stop since Lou Boudreau in 1948.
2. Jose Ramirez – Above – ↑1
The reason everyone else’s gaudy offensive numbers look insignificant is because Ramirez built a tower out of home runs to look down on them from. He had 13 doubles and 9 home runs in September alone to slug over .880 for the month and reach the most doubles in a season for an Indians hitter since George Burns won the MVP in 1926 (third most in Indians history).
1. Corey Kluber – Above – 0
Second in all of baseball in fWAR, Kluber is not just the Indians best player this season, but a favorite for AL Cy Young and a contender for AL MVP. By fWAR, he is also had the 9th best season for a pitcher in Indians history. If there was any question before, there certainly isn’t now that Kluber is at least the best Indians pitcher since Sam McDowell.