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Indians Indians Archive 2010 Indians Top 50 Prospects: #40-#36
Written by Tony Lastoria

Tony Lastoria
Here is the next group of prospects in the 2010 Indians Top 50 Prospect Countdown here on and  As a reminder, these scouting reports will be linked and listed for easy access on my site

Also, my book has been completed and sent to the publisher for proofing.  Anyone interested in pre-ordering the book can go here.

2010 Indians Top 50 Prospects: 45-41
2010 Indians Top 50 Prospects: #50-46

40. Hector Ambriz - Right-handed Pitcher 
Born: 05/24/1984 - Height: 6'2" - Weight: 235 - Bats: Left - Throws: Right 

2006 22 Missoula R 1 3 1.91 15 4 42.1 29 9 1 11 52 .192 2.4 11.1 0.95
2007 23 Visalia A+ 10 8 4.08 28 26 150.0 137 68 12 50 133 .241 3.0 8.0 1.25
2008 24 Mobile Bay AA 5 13 4.89 27 26 152.2 155 83 22 47 118 .262 2.8 7.0 1.33
2009 25 Mobile Bay AA 3 2 2.17 5 5 29.0 18 7 1 6 32 .180 1.9 9.9 0.83
2009 25 Reno AAA 9 9 5.57 23 22 127.2 164 79 12 40 103 .312 2.8 7.3 1.60
    Totals   28 35 4.41 98 83 501.2 503 246 48 154 438 .260 2.8 7.9 1.31
Hector AmbrizHistory:  Ambriz was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 5th round of the 2006 Draft out of UCLA.  The Indians picked him up in the Rule 5 Draft this past December, their first Rule 5 selection in seven years. 

Strengths & Opportunities:  Ambriz is an interesting arm the Indians were able to scoop up out of the Arizona Diamondbacks system.  He throws from a high three quarter arm slot and throws a fastball that sits at 90-94 MPH and has touched 95 MPH.  The Indians believe his secondary pitches have a chance to have power to them, and he complements the fastball with a really good splitter which is considered his out pitch and has some hard, power sink to it.  He also throws a slider that shows some good hard, late bite, and a curveball which is clearly his fourth best pitch in his arsenal has good depth but he lacks command of it in the strike zone.  He is a polished pitcher who has a good history going all the way back to college of being a very good strike thrower. 

After a lot of research and discussions with their scouts, the Indians decided that a move to the bullpen is a role that best suits Ambriz.  The feeling is coming out of the bullpen he has a chance to be a little more effective and his stuff has a chance to play up in the role.  His fastball-splitter combination could be very effective for one inning stints, though he is still expected to mix in his slider and curveball.  He battles and competes well.  The biggest question mark will be how he adapts to the sudden change of being given a big league opportunity and how he translates to the big leagues.  He has the physical resemblance of Carlos Zambrano, and there are also some concerns with his conditioning and work ethic in regard to staying in shape since he is soft through his mid-section. 


The pickup of Ambriz was not something that came out of nowhere.  The Indians have some history and a track record with him as they got a lot of looks at him back when he was pitching for UCLA the same year they were heavily scouting left-hander David Huff who they eventually took with their supplemental first round pick in the 2006 Draft while Ambriz was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 5th round that same year.  So given their history with him in the past along with their current assessment of his performance and development during his time with the Diamondbacks they believe they have a pretty fair idea of what kind of pitcher he is and what they are getting. 

Outlook:  With so many internal options to sift through for the starting rotation, the Indians plan on bringing Ambriz into big league camp in spring training as a candidate for their big league bullpen.  While there is no risk involved with a Rule 5 selection, they are still long shot gambles.  The one thing going for Ambriz is the Indians are in a non-contending year, and if they like what they see out of him in the spring they can afford to keep him on the roster and be much more patient with him than a contending team would.  To stick in the organization, he has to remain in Cleveland for the entire 2010 season and cannot be sent to the minors per Rule 5 rules, unless the Indians complete a minor trade to acquire his full rights from the Diamondbacks.  He will open the 2010 season in the Cleveland bullpen, be sent back to the Diamondbacks or sent to Triple-A Columbus if a trade is completed. 

Photo courtesy of Kraig McNutt 

Hector Ambriz page 

Hector Ambriz Baseball-Reference page 

Hector Ambriz page 

Hector Ambriz Pitching: 

39. Clayton Cook - Right-handed Pitcher
Born: 07/23/1990 - Height: 6'3" - Weight: 175 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right 


2008 17 GCL Indians R 1 2 2.52 11 6 25.0 20 7 2 8 26 .217 2.9 9.4 1.12
2009 18 Mahoning Vy A- 5 3 2.79 14 14 67.2 55 21 2 26 64 .224 3.5 8.6 1.21
    Totals   6 5 2.72 25 20 92.2 75 28 4 34 90 .222 3.3 8.8 1.18


Clayton CookHistory:  Cook was selected by the Indians in the 9th round of the 2008 Draft out of Amarillo High School (TX).  He drew attention to scouts his senior year when he struck out 170 hitters in just 98 innings going 12-3 with a 1.98 ERA.  He had committed to playing at Oklahoma, but he signed with the Indians quickly and agreed to a signing bonus just over $100,000. 

Strengths & Opportunities: Cook throws a nice mix of three pitches, led by a fastball that sits at 87-89 MPH and touches 91 MPH, and he complements it with a curveball and changeup.  He puts the ball over the plate and has tons of projection.  His best pitch is his fastball which has good movement, and he commands it well to both sides of the plate.  He will likely never be a big-time power pitcher, but his long frame and age combined with good arm action should allow him to add more velocity as he matures.  His fastball did not show any increased velocity last year, but he still showed good improvement with his command of it.  His curveball also improved into a solid secondary offering, but the key to his whole arsenal will be the development of his changeup to give him at least three solid-average pitches so he can remain a starter. 

Cook's performance his first two years in the Indians system is certainly eye catching because it was unexpected considering he was still transitioning to professional baseball and was a few years younger than the league average.  He has pitched well beyond his years and impressed the Indians with his composure and maturity on the mound at such a young age considering he didn't turn 19 years old until half way through the season with short-season Single-A Mahoning Valley last year, a league often dominated with college draft picks from the recent draft.  His confidence level and composure on the mound is outstanding where he often shows an ability to battle and get outs even when he doesn't have his best stuff.  He handles himself professionally and comes to the field everyday with a determined focus ready to work and get better. 

Even with his success to date, Cook still has a long way to go with his development and has a lot to learn about getting into a routine.  He opened last season in extended spring training, and it is there that the Indians coaches worked with him on improving his pitching mechanics and secondary offerings.  He worked on the command of his curveball and also tightening it up because it was a bit loopy, and the results showed last season as he was better able to throw it consistently for strikes.  He has a pretty good delivery, so the Indians will continue to educate him on taking care of himself, how to better attack hitters, and acclimating him to professional baseball.  His changeup needs more consistency as while it was very good for him in 2008 it came and went last year. 

Outlook:  Ever since signing with the Indians, Cook has put up some impressive numbers both in his professional debut with the rookie level Gulf Coast league team in 2008 and then last year with Mahoning Valley.  He is one of the rare cases where a young player for the league dominates and puts up great numbers all while still learning and adjusting to the life and routine of a professional baseball player.  After two outstanding statistical seasons and lots of projection in him still, he is starting to look like one of the best sleeper picks from the 2008 Draft.  He has the draft pedigree and the numbers to back up the assertion that he is one of the Indians best young, promising pitching prospects.  He should open the 2010 season in the starting rotation at Low-A Lake County. 

Photo courtesy of Ken Carr 

Clayton Cook page 

Clayton Cook Baseball-Reference page 

Clayton Cook page 

Clayton Cook Pitching: 

38. Connor Graham - Right-handed Pitcher
Born: 12/30/1985 - Height: 6'6" - Weight: 235 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right


2007 21 Tri-City A- 1 0 2.37 6 4 19.0 23 5 2 6 18 .303 2.8 8.5 1.53
2008 22 Asheville A 12 6 2.26 26 26 147.1 99 37 3 83 138 .189 5.1 8.4 1.24
2009 23 Modesto A+ 7 4 3.14 16 16 80.1 68 28 2 41 87 .225 4.6 9.8 1.36
2009 23 Akron AA 1 3 4.93 8 7 38.1 40 21 3 25 39 .268 5.9 9.2 1.71
    Totals   21 13 2.87 56 53 285.0 230 91 10 155 282 .219 4.9 8.9 1.35
Connor GrahamHistory: Graham was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 5th round of the 2007 Draft out of Miami, OH University.  The Indians acquired him in a trade with the Giants on July 23, 2009 for Rafael Betancourt.  Prior to acquiring him, the Indians already had a good book on Graham after scouting him at Miami, OH several times and had him in for a pre-draft workout at Akron.  His trade to the Indians is sort of a homecoming for him as he grew up in Bowling Green, OH and played college baseball for Miami, OH.  His wife is also from Dayton, OH.  He pitched in the Arizona Fall League this past fall, and in 11 games went 1-1 with a 6.08 ERA and allowed 14 hits, 18 walks and had 16 strikeouts in 13.1 innings pitched. 


Strengths & Opportunities:  Graham is a big, massive, intimidating, power body, power armed pitcher with a four pitch mix.  He has the stuff to dominate and overmatch hitters.  His power fastball consistently jumps out of his hand at 92-94 MPH but he gets it all the way up to 97 MPH, and it is his best pitch when he is commanding it.  He has the makings of a swing-and-miss plus slider that has hard, biting action and sits in the low 80s, and he does a good job of keeping it underneath the hands of lefties and away from righties.  He also throws a changeup which is still a work in progress, but it has shown some promise to become an average pitch in his arsenal.  He recently added a spilt-finger fastball back into his arsenal this offseason which is a pitch he has experience with but has not thrown since college.  He is a very positive player with a lot of intelligence, and has a ton of work ethic. 

Graham's fastball command comes and goes, but his secondary pitches are pretty consistent.  His success will largely be determined by how well he can command both sides of the plate with his mid-90s fastball and throw consistent, quality strikes with it.  The ability to command and control his fastball will be a big key in helping play up the effectiveness of his plus slider, changeup and splitter.  He wore down near the end of last season which may have been a result of being in poor shape and condition since the Rockies banned him from lifting weights and working out in the spring.  His walk totals increased while with Akron, and they exploded in the Arizona Fall League, which are all signs of a tired pitcher.  The Indians believe that if he is in better shape that improvements to his delivery and command will come in due time. 

Graham is listed at 6'6" 235 pounds, but it doesn't do him justice as in person he looks much bigger.  He has some significant upside either way, and is very raw as a pitcher.   Because he is a big, physical pitcher and is so raw, he has trouble repeating his delivery and arm action which results in erratic release points and the inconsistent command. He needs to develop his strike throwing ability, work on better establishing his fastball down in the zone, and finish off the development of his slider.  The Indians believe the best place to do all this is in the starting rotation.  As a starter, a pitcher throws more pitches and more innings going 75-100 pitches a night with a regular workout day in between where more pitches are thrown on the side, whereas in the bullpen a pitcher will go one to two innings and then be off for to days before making another appearance.  When they initially acquired him they left him in the starting rotation, but it looks very likely that he will be converted to a reliever this coming season. 

Outlook:  Graham has shown flashes of brilliance combined with lots of inconsistency.  If he can get a better handle on his delivery and command, the Indians may have a real diamond in the rough.  When the Indians acquired him from Colorado they kept him in the rotation, but it looks like this season he will be moved to the bullpen either at the start of the year or later in the season.  He is never going to be a surgeon on the mound, but could end up a solid mid-rotation starter or a backend reliever if he is able to make some strides with his command.  He will open the season at Double-A Akron, and while it is not certain if he will start or relieve, he likely will pitch out of the bullpen. 

Photo courtesy of Ken Carr 

Connor Graham page 

Connor Graham Baseball-Reference page 

Connor Graham page 

Connor Graham Pitching: 

37. Kyle Bellows - Third Baseman
Born: 08/19/1988 - Height: 6'3" - Weight: 210 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right 

Year Age Team Lvl G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB Avg Obp Slg Ops
2009 21 Mahoning Vy A- 54 200 29 48 4 4 7 32 20 30 8 .240 .311 .405 .716
    Totals   54 200 29 48 4 4 7 32 20 30 8 .240 .311 .405 .716
Kyle BellowsHistory:  Bellows was selected by the Indians in the 4th round of the 2009 Draft out of San Jose State.  He began his freshman season at first base with San Jose State and ended up finishing the season at shortstop where he earned freshman All-America honors after hitting .343 with 6 HR, 47 RBI, and an .897 OPS in 60 games.  That summer he played in the New England Collegiate League and was rated as the second best prospect in the whole league (Steven Strasburg was first).  As a sophomore at San Jose State and playing in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2008, he split his time between first base, third base, and shortstop.  The constant shuffling affected his numbers as he only hit .276 with 4 HR, 42 RBI, and an .828 OPS in 56 games.  In his junior season - his draft year- he spent the entire season at shortstop and he once again was comfortable at the plate hitting .389 with 10 HR, 57 RBI, and a 1.051 OPS.  His professional debut at short-season Single-A Mahoning Valley ended prematurely in the middle of August when he broke a bone in his hand and dislocated a finger sliding back into a base. 

Strengths & Opportunities:  Bellows has a very good bat and is just starting to come into his power.  As a 20-year old at Mahoning Valley he impressed by exhibiting some good bat-to-ball ability and became much more consistent with making contact as the season wore on.  He is not expected to be someone who hits for a high average as he moves up the professional ranks, but he has shown an ability to limit strikeouts and has an improving approach where he could become more patient with drawing more walks.  His biggest tool though is some very nice raw power that makes him a potential middle of the lineup run producing bat.  He is very strong and athletic, and with his 6'3" 210 pound frame is an impressive physical specimen that should continue to grow as he fills out the next year or two.  He also has a high aptitude with a drive to improve. 

Bellows played shortstop, first base, and third base in college, though was primarily a shortstop.  Upon drafting and signing him, the Indians immediately moved him from shortstop to third base.  His manager at Mahoning Valley - Travis Fryman - made the same transition as a professional, so he helped immensely with the transition.  Fryman really liked what he saw out of Bellows and spoke of him in the same light as his former pupil the previous year Lonnie Chisenhall.  The move to third base looks like it suits him well as he not only has the frame and body to get bigger there, but he also has the athleticism and bat to be an everyday player there.  He showed an ease to his game and made all the routine plays and showed an ability to make the exceptional one.  He shows excellent instincts and agility, and comes in on balls well.  He has great arm strength with very good accuracy, even on balls hit deep down the line.  While he only has average speed, he showed some very good athleticism be it running the bases or moving around defensively at third base. 

Even though the position change from playing shortstop in college to now third base in the pros looks like a great fit for Bellows, with his athleticism and versatility he has the ability to play anywhere in the field except maybe catcher.  There is always the possibility depending on his development or the need of the Indians that he ends up as a right fielder.  On the offensive side, one of the big concerns with him is he had a long swing coming out of college.  Shortening up his swing while not taking away from his power will be a challenge for him and the Indians player development staff, but they believe it can be done.  He is still adjusting to wood bats, so once he adjusts and his swing becomes more consistent the expected power surge could come. 

Outlook:  The Indians were excited to get Bellows in the 4th round, and believe he is a player who has the ability to continue to grow as a hitter and continue to develop power.  He really impressed team officials and scouts for other teams with his glove work, arm, and power at the plate during Instructional League this past September/October.  His solid professional debut, draft pedigree, and impressive play in the offseason make him someone to keep an eye on and someone who could shoot up the rankings next year.  He likely will skip Low-A Lake County, and instead begin his first full season with a bigger challenge as the starting third baseman at advanced Single-A Kinston. 

Photo courtesy of Ken Carr 

Kyle Bellows page 

Kyle Bellows Baseball-Reference page 

Kyle Bellows page 

Kyle Bellows Batting: 

36. Tim Fedroff - Outfielder
Born: 02/04/1987 - Height: 5'11" - Weight: 220 - Bats: Left - Throws: Right 

Year Age Team Lvl G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB Avg OBP SLG OPS
2008 21 Mahoning Vy A- 23 91 12 29 6 1 0 12 10 20 1 .319 .382 .407 .789
2009 22 Kinston A+ 99 378 70 105 23 2 4 39 64 95 13 .278 .383 .381 .764
    Totals   122 469 82 134 29 3 4 51 74 115 14 .286 .383 .386 .769
Tim FedroffHistory:  Fedroff was selected by the Indians in the 7th round of the 2008 Draft out of the University of North Carolina.  He scared some teams away in the draft because of bonus demands, and after he slid to the Indians they gambled on him and just before the signing deadline agreed to a $725,000 bonus with him.  Last year at High-A Kinston he finished 10th in the pitching dominated Carolina League in batting average (.278), 7th in walks (64), and 3rd in on-base percentage (.383).  He participated in the Advanced Instructional League this past fall, and also made a brief appearance in the Arizona Fall League and in 10 games hit .111 (4-for-36) with 0 HR, 2 RBI and a .286 OPS. 

Strengths & Opportunities:  Fedroff is a well-rounded player who has above average speed, makes good contact and has some pop in his bat to pound the ball gap-to-gap.  He has all the tools to be a good catalyst at the top of a lineup with his good speed, patient approach and line-drive bat where a lot of scouts think he could be an old-school leadoff center fielder.  He has a nice swing that generates a lot of strength from his very strong forearms and wrists.  He puts up good at bats, puts the ball in play, and has shown some solid plate discipline.   At 5'11" 220-pounds he has a short, compact build and is a competitor who has a motor that does not stop. 

Fedroff was primarily a right-fielder in college, but the Indians are trying to develop him as a center fielder in order to make him an everyday player.  He covers a lot of ground out in the outfield showing good range, and with his bat the Indians feel they may have a good offensive center fielder in the making.  He is a reliable defender in center field using a lot of hustle, instincts and a hardnosed, fearless approach to play up his range.  With limited pop and an average arm, the key to his success is whether or not he can stay in center field because his bat plays there whereas in left field he is not nearly as valuable.  If he can stay in center field he could be an offensive-oriented everyday player who is a solid, unspectacular defender, but if he can't then he probably will have to make the big leagues as a fourth outfielder. 

Fedroff plays with the pedal to the metal and pushes himself to his physical limits, but it sometimes comes with a price.  Last year in early May he came down with a hamstring strain while running hard on the bases.  He was sidelined off and on from mid-May until the end of July with the nagging hamstring injury, and his inability to drive the ball because of the injury had a big affect on his play and was a big reason for his sub par performance during that time period.  He tried to play through it, but it kept progressively getting worse and got to the point where he could not run normal and he couldn't do anything he was usually able to do, so the Indians had him take some time off to help it heal.  While he was out he was able to sit back and reflect on the game, his mental preparation, and his approach at the plate.  Upon returning to the lineup on July 21st, he went on a tear for the rest of the season finishing his final 38 games hitting .314 with a .415 on-base percentage and .845 OPS. 

Fedroff worked hard last season on using the entire field and impressed with his ability to pound the ball the opposite way which will help him as he moves further along in his professional career.  He also was a little more patient swinging at better pitches and his swing path was much improved.  One thing he worked on last year which needs more improvement is using his top hand to better pull pitches that are on the inner half of the plate.  While he made some strides in center field last year, he needs to become a more consistent defensive outfielder by getting better reads on balls off the bat and his route running to balls.  He is still a pretty raw runner, so he once again will have a focus placed on his technique, reading pitchers, getting better leads, and taking extra bases. 

Outlook:  The Indians were very encouraged with Fedroff's play last year, especially his first full season in professional baseball and the strong finish he had in a pitching oriented league.  Last season was a good building block in that not only did he have some success, but he also experienced some failure, which should only help him better handle disappointment the next time it occurs.  He slipped a little in the ranking this year, but this was more due to him staying right on track and the Indians influx of so much high level talent from trades and the draft last year.  He more than likely will be the opening day starting center fielder for Double-A Akron to start the 2010 season. 

Photo courtesy of Tony Lastoria 

Tim Fedroff page 

Tim Fedroff Baseball-Reference page 

Tim Fedroff page 

Tim Fedroff Batting:

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