The Columbus Clippers were a mediocre team overall, who stayed in the division race all season long but ultimately losing the chance to play in the postseason at the end of the year. The Clips’ record going into the break was 45-43 and the second half standing at 73-67. They were never able to sustain offensive production at a consistent basis and this would be a trend for weeks at a time. Defensively speaking, pitching would also not be able to be a positive for this team and should be a issue addressed in the offseason.
Yandy Diaz before being called up to the Cleveland Indians in August posted a .293 batting average, leading the team with an OBP of .409 which is tops in the International League. He had 102 hits and 53 total runs scored in 348 at bats. Also, 24 doubles but only three home runs and 40 RBI completes his offensive profile as a Clipper. Comparably from a season ago, the 26 year old hit total would be around the same area with only a slight increase at 108. However, he has improved on the extra base hits and had five home runs. Because of the fact he would spend time in the major league system, Diaz should not have to be the main source of offense and there were few other players that could match his bat. Yandy should be a mainstay in the Indians lineup in the future especially with the question marks in the outfield with Melky Cabrera and Jason Kipnis potentially shifting positions. Another positive note with Diaz is that he can play in multiple areas including second base, outfield or third base. These questions possibly will be answered in the offseason if there are any significant moves made.
There were two other veterans that lit the spark for the Clippers offensively this year and they were Brandon Barnes and Adam Rosales. Barnes hit ,273 with 14 home runs, 39 doubles and 81 RBI. Barnes also was named to the International League All-Star team and has done so with a simpler approach at the dish. Again, he has provided a spark in that lineup and his spot in the batting order could be one of the reasons why. Barnes has fourteen extra bass hits batting in the cleanup position even with the lack of experience in that role. Rosales added a .249 average with 18 long balls, 22 doubles and 61 RBI. Both of these guys were able to get the production offensively for the team most consistently and can only show signs of improvement in the future.
Brandon Barnes deserves this honor because of his offensive ability in big spots for the Clippers. He has produced the most pop batting cleanup in the lineup and his numbers match that. The 32 year old led the team in OPS, runs scored, top three in home runs, and stolen bases just to name a few of his accolades. Barnes seems to be the most ready to try his hand at the major leagues again but only time will tell if that will come to fruition.
As previously mentioned, Barnes seems to be a “star” for this club. Also, Yandy Diaz has spent some time between the minor and major league levels so there is something that the Indians like in him whether it be offense or defense as he’s got speed in the field or on the base paths.
Ben Taylor and Adam Plutko are the only two pitchers on the team that have winning records. Between both guys, they have combined for fourteen wins and only five losses. However, both have pitched at the major league level with Plutko having more success in that area. The only problem is both have slightly high ERA but the low WHIP is the number that jumps out for Plutko the most.
Cause For Concern
The Clippers pitching staff as a unit is the biggest issue with this team particularly this season. Besides Plutko, the rest of the starters having losing records and high ERAs which has doomed them for several games. This issue should be at the top of the priority list this offseason for management and should be evaluated as a whole in the upcoming weeks.
Most Power: Brandon Barnes
Best Bat: Brandon Barnes
Best Wheels: Yandy Diaz
Best Arm: Adam Plutko
Best Glove: Adam Rosales
Best Control: Adam Wilk
Best Stuff: Adam Plutko
Most Likely MLB Pitcher: Ryan Merritt/Adam Plutko
Most Likely MLB Hitter: Brandon Barnes/Yandy Diaz