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Indians Indians Archive 2010 Indians Top 50 Prospects: #35-31
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 new 2010 Cleveland Indians Top 100 Prospects & More book is now available.  To order the book (which profiles over 165 players in the system and runs 214 pages in length) ... go here for all the details.


35. Frank Herrmann - Right-handed Pitcher
Born: 05/30/1984 - Height: 6'4" - Weight: 220 - Bats: Left - Throws: Right


2006 22 Lake County A 4 6 3.90 26 26 122.1 122 53 8 47 89 .261 3.5 6.6 1.38
2007 23 Kinston A+ 11 5 4.01 26 26 146.0 163 65 15 28 88 .285 1.7 5.4 1.31
2008 24 Kinston A+ 0 0 11.81 1 1 5.1 8 7 1 1 4 .333 1.8 7.1 1.76
2008 24 Buffalo AAA 0 2 1.38 2 2 13.0 11 2 1 6 14 .239 4.2 9.7 1.31
2008 24 Akron AA 11 6 4.10 23 23 131.2 142 60 9 36 86 .275 2.5 5.9 1.36
2009 25 Akron AA 2 1 2.93 5 5 30.2 27 10 4 5 12 .243 1.5 3.6 1.06
2009 25 Columbus AAA 2 3 2.96 44 0 76.0 83 25 3 13 50 .279 1.5 5.9 1.26
    Totals   30 23 3.81 127 83 525.0 556 222 41 136 343 .273 2.3 5.9 1.32


Frank HerrmannHistory:  Herrmann was undrafted out of Harvard University, and ended up signing with the Indians as an undrafted free agent in August of 2005.  While at Harvard he was an economics major.  He was also heavily recruited as a football player coming out of high school as teams wanted him to play quarterback or safety.  At Harvard he was supposed to play both football and baseball, but ended up just playing baseball because of the demands academically. 

Strengths & Opportunities:  Herrmann is a physically imposing pitcher, armed with a power sinking fastball that sits at 91-92 MPH and tops out at 94 MPH.  He also throws a slider that was recently reworked from more of a finesse-loopy slurve to a hard, power slider where it sits down in the zone at 83-84 MPH.  He also has a decent changeup that has good movement, and last season he added a splitter to the mix as a put away pitch.  He is a consistent strike thrower who may not have the best stuff, but he has always shown an ability to eat innings and get stronger late in the season or in games.  The Indians love his exceptional strength, athleticism and durability on the mound, and like his ability to control his fastball to both sides of the plate.  He really locates his fastball just about as good as anybody the Indians have, especially down and away or opposite arm side. 


Herrmann's biggest need - be it as a starter or reliever - is that strikeout pitch. The ability to put hitters away is what has always kept him out consideration as a high level prospect, but the recent development of a split-finger may help change that.  His sinker is a hard fastball, so it is not a pitch that will strike out a lot of people, but he gets a lot of groundballs with it.  The splitter is more of a pitch he can throw 0-2 and 1-2 as a strikeout pitch.  He had never thrown a split-finger before picking it up midseason last year, and the development of the pitch went well. 

When Herrmann first signed with the Indians they had to break him down by completely re-developing his delivery as he was more a collapse, drop and drive guy when he came into the organization, but the refined delivery has gotten him to stay taller.  He is extremely intelligent, and his aptitude is off the charts.  He has a bulldog mentality and good intelligence in coming up with a good game plan to attack hitters. He is really not intimidated by the bat as he attacks guys and comes after them with his fastball.  He very rarely beats himself, and has proven to be a guy a manager can trust with the game on the line. 

The Indians moved Herrmann to the bullpen last season.  He was always a starting pitcher in the system as prior to the 2009 season he had made 78 appearances (all starts) in his three year career, but after five starts at the beginning of last season in a return trip to Double-A Akron he was promoted to Columbus and moved to the bullpen.  The move greatly increased his value to the organization as he showed he could handle the new role and be very effective coming out of the bullpen.  Pitching out of the bullpen his fastball played up some, and his ability to work quick by pitching to contact and piling up groundball outs with his sinker translated well. 

Going forward, Herrmann needs to continue to develop more consistency with his secondary pitches and also develop his new splitter.  At times he can be too quick to the plate which can lead to him leaving the ball up in the zone.  He also needs to continue working on his delivery and his plan of attack on how he goes after hitters.  While he is comfortable throwing his changeup to lefties, he needs more work on throwing it to right-handers to keep them off the plate. 

Outlook:  Herrmann came into the organization very raw and with little understanding of how to "pitch", and in just four seasons he has adjusted well to the professional game and has made huge strides in learning the intricacies of pitching.  He really is a guy who has already exceeded expectations and is someone who the Indians feel will continue to do that.  He really grinded it out in the lower levels of the system as a starter, and he has put himself on the map by being durable, consistent, and slowly his secondary pitches have come as he has always had good fastball ability.  The move to the bullpen could ultimately be what opens the big league door to him as he is considered a big league bullpen depth option and could potentially make his major league debut sometime this upcoming season.  He will open the season in the bullpen at Triple-A Columbus. 

Photo courtesy of Tony Lastoria 

Frank Herrmann page 

Frank Herrmann Baseball-Reference page 

Frank Herrmann page 

Frank Herrmann Pitching:

34. Chen-Chang Lee - Right-handed Pitcher
Born: 10/21/1986 - Height: 5'11" - Weight: 175 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right


2009 22 Kinston A+ 4 6 3.35 45 2 83.1 67 31 5 28 97 .220 3.0 10.5 1.14
    Totals   4 6 3.35 45 2 83.1 67 31 5 28 97 .220 3.0 10.5 1.14


Chen-Chang LeeHistory: Lee was signed by the Indians as an international free agent in September of 2008 for a reported $400,000. He attended Taipei Physical Education College and pitched for the Taiwanese National team in the 2006 and 2008 World University Baseball Championships. He also pitched in the Asian Games and Intercontinental Cup for Taiwan in 2006, and in the summer of 2007 he pitched in the United States for the Anchorage Bucs of the Alaskan Baseball League.  He was one of the top amateur college prospects from Taiwan, and was just one of three amateurs on the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) team that competed in Beijing, China during the 2008 Olympics. The Indians had been scouting him since he was 16-years old and had he been in the 2008 Draft they felt he had the value and projection to be a fourth or fifth round pick. 

Strengths & Opportunities: Lee throws from a sidearm slot and features a four pitch mix of a fastball, sinker, slider and split changeup. He has an advanced pitching approach and gets good movement on all his pitches and has shown a good ability to command the strike zone with all of them.  His fastball consistently sits at 91-92 MPH and has topped out as high as 95 MPH and has good sinking action down in the zone.  His slider is his best secondary offering and is very tough on right-handers showing good tilt and late bite.  His split-changeup has shown progress and is a good groundball pitch for him.  He also started mixing the pitch in a little more to both left and right-handed hitters last year and found some success with it. 

Lee is a very experienced pitcher who has achieved success at every stop imaginable on the international circuit and in his first year of pro ball stateside.  It was an adjustment for him last year coming stateside and playing professionally in the United States for the first time, but he adapted well and exceeded all expectations in his first pro season.  The Indians rewarded him for his efforts last year buy having him take part of Double-A Akron's playoff run. While he did not dress for games or was ever active on the playoff roster, he was in Akron participating in pre-game workouts and hung around the clubhouse and with the team for the playoffs. 

This biggest thing the Indians worked on with Lee last year was solidifying his arm slot. If he can be more consistent with a new low three-quarter arm slot, the Indians feel he could develop into a very good relief prospect.  By getting him to change from his side-arm slot to the low three quarter slot, they feel it will help him stay on top of the baseball better.  He has such a power arm that when he flies open his elbow will drop and he gets underneath the ball and everything kind of works uphill and he does not create much angle.  He is not a real tall guy, so if he loses that arm slot and gets low it gets even lower. His breaking ball is also going to benefit from having a better arm slot.  There has been some resilience from him in learning to adapt to the new slot, but in the long run they believe the change will be for the better.  In addition to the arm slot, the Indians also want him to work on getting stronger to handle the much longer season in the United States and to also continue to work on his offspeed pitches and the command of his fastball.  He lacks size, so durability issues could come into play down the road. 

Outlook:  Lee had over three times as many strikeouts than walks and averaged more than a strikeout an inning last year at High-A Kinston.  He is ready to move up another level this coming season and could move fast this year depending on his development and the Indians' need.  He is one of the Indians best relief pitching prospects in the system, and he should open the 2010 season in the Double-A Akron bullpen. 

Photo courtesy of Tony Lastoria 

Chen-Chang Lee 

Chen-Chang Lee Baseball-Reference page 

Chen-Chang Lee page 

Chen-Chang Lee Pitching: 

33. Danny Salazar - Right-handed Pitcher
Born: 01/11/1990 - Height: 6'0" - Weight: 180 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right 

2007 17 DSL Indians R 5 3 1.96 14 14 64.1 52 14 1 12 49 .221 1.7 6.9 1.00
2008 18 GCL Indians R 4 2 2.87 11 11 53.1 46 17 5 13 43 .231 2.2 7.3 1.11
2009 19 Lake County A 5 7 4.44 21 20 107.1 114 53 10 40 65 .271 3.4 5.5 1.44
    Totals   14 12 3.36 46 45 225.0 212 84 16 65 157 .248 2.6 6.3 1.23

Danny SalazarHistory: Salazar was signed by the Indians as an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic during the International Signing Period in July 2006. He made his stateside debut in Instructional League in 2007 and in the rookie level Gulf Coast League in 2008. 

Strengths & Opportunities: Salazar has a three pitch mix of a fastball, slider and changeup. His plus fastball sits between 89-92 MPH while touching 94 MPH.  He pitches off his fastball and relies on it a lot, and the pitch has good late movement and he commands it well by throwing good strikes in the zone.  He has a good feel for a changeup at such a young age, and it is his best secondary pitch at the moment showing good tumbling action. He also flashes an average slider with late, hard bite that hitters have no chance at when he is on.  He is a former shortstop and moves around well, so that excellent athleticism will help him make adjustments more easily and in a shorter timeframe. He shows great composure and good makeup. 

Salazar made a lot of progress last year pitching in his first full season.  He spent the first six weeks of the season in extended spring training, and when he first arrived at Low-A Lake County in May he was up in the zone with his fastball command.  He was also getting a little bit across himself with his delivery, so it did not allow him to leverage the ball down in the zone consistently. As the season wore on he made progress with improving his pitching mechanics and his stride direction was much more consistent which in turn allowed him to command his fastball better.  This shows in his numbers as in the first half of the season he was 1-3 with a 6.81 ERA in 8 starts, but in the second half he was 4-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 13 starts. 

Salazar's improvement in the second half was also a result of him getting better at trusting his stuff and keeping hitters off balance with his improved secondary pitches.  The main focus for him this coming season is getting him more consistent with his delivery, command, and refining his secondary stuff.  Also, the Indians would like to see him pile up more strikeouts since they think he has the stuff to do it, and they believe he will start to increase the strikeout total once he more consistently gets ahead of hitters so he can get to his quality out pitches. 

Outlook:  The Indians feel Salazar had a year last year in Lake County that was very similar to the seasons that fellow right-handers Jeanmar Gomez and Hector Rondon had when they passed through there at the same age in 2007.  He really had a very good season for a guy who was 19 years old and very young for the league, and even better is he showed much improvement as the season went along by making strides with his delivery and strike throwing.  He is a sleeper prospect to watch who has some helium, and should pitch in the starting rotation for High-A Kinston, or due to starting depth in the system could begin the year in Low-A Lake County but move quickly to Kinston. 

Photo courtesy of Ken Carr 

Danny Salazar page 

Danny Salazar Baseball-Reference page 

Danny Salazar page 

(no video of Salazar) 

32. Trey Haley - Right-handed Pitcher
Born: 06/21/1990 - Height: 6'3" - Weight: 180 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right 

2008 18 GCL Indians R 0 0 0.00 1 1 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 9.0 9.0 1.00
2008 18 Mahoning Vy A- 0 1 54.00 2 1 1.1 4 8 0 6 1 .571 49.1 8.2 9.09
2009 19 Lake County A 4 8 5.56 19 16 77.2 70 48 6 65 57 .241 7.6 6.6 1.75
    Totals   4 9 6.30 22 18 80.0 74 56 6 72 59 .245 8.1 6.6 1.83
Trey HaleyHistory:  Haley was the Indians 2nd round pick in the 2008 Draft out of Central Heights High School (TX).  As a senior in high school in 2008 he went 8-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 13 games (50 IP, 23 H, 34 BB, 98 K).  He had signed a letter of intent to pitch for Rice University before signing with the Indians for $1.25 million just hours before the August signing deadline. 

Strengths & Opportunities:  Haley is a raw, projectable power pitcher who has all the physical tools to a special pitcher.   He has an electric four pitch mix of a two seam fastball, four seam fastball, curveball, and changeup, with his two-seamer and curveball considered plus pitches.  His two-seamer has good movement and sits around 91-94 MPH and already tops out at 96 MPH, and because of his youth he has the arm and body o grow and add more velocity down the road.  His plus curveball comes in at 77-81 MPH and shows good depth and should be a weapon for him as he grows into a pitcher in the coming years.  His four-seamer and changeup are barely average pitches at the moment, but this is mostly due to his inexperience in using them since he never had to really throw the changeup in high school and the four-seamer was added to his mix after he was drafted.  He is still learning to get a feel for his changeup which sits at 82-84 MPH, but it has shown some flashes of deception and has the makings of being a good pitch for him. 

The Indians feel that with Haley's fastball velocity that all he needs is to be able to throw something off-speed that he can consistently command down in the zone, which is why a heavy focus has been placed on developing his changeup.  The addition of the four-seamer should help give him a different look with his fastball as it will still be hard but have little movement as compared to his two-seamer which has good sink and run.  He is very competitive, intelligent, and he has good poise on the mound. The Indians love his projectable frame, arm strength, athleticism, good delivery and two outstanding pitches, and they feel he is still growing on the mound and gaining maturity. 

From a numbers perspective, one would think Haley had a bad year last year at Low-A Lake County.  This is quite the contrary as he showed a lot of progress, and there was a lot more going on behind the scenes to explain some of his awful stats.  He was young and very raw when he joined the Lake County rotation midseason, so the inconsistent performance and issues with command were expected for a just turned 19-year old kid pitching against a lot of hitters three to four years older than him.  He was pitching with some reworked mechanics and learning to adapt to them, but he was also primarily pitching with his third and fourth best pitch every night - his four seam fastball and curveball - in order to get used to throwing and developing them.  Prior to joining the Indians he had never thrown a four-seam fastball before, so he spent a lot of time in games last year working on establishing and developing the pitch.  His two-seam fastball, which is his best pitch, was rarely used in order not to hinder his progress in establishing command of the four-seamer. 

Since Haley was extremely limited in using his two best pitches his two-seamer and curveball and instead was using his four-seamer and changeup almost exclusively, it had a big affect on his overall numbers and is why he had so many walks and a low strikeout total.  While it was surely frustrating for him to see the numbers and know they could be a lot better if he were just allowed to rare back and fire his two-seamer and bust off his curveball at will, he understood the dramatic changes that were being asked of him in order to develop him into a complete pitcher and be able to get hitters out at higher levels.  So the poor numbers were a large byproduct of such inconsistent command with the four-seamer and changeup, but if he can learn to harness the command of them it will only vault up his pitch ability.  The Indians knew the adjustments that they were asking him to make would end up in walks and that what they were asking him to do would create less consistency in the short term.  But they are hopeful with the changes put in place and the amount of time he had to develop his four-seamer and changeup that he will benefit from it in the long term.  They really believe that he showed progress throughout last season.  The walks are surely a concern, but he is such a good athlete and is extremely hardworking that they are very optimistic that the changes will work out for him and his walk numbers will decrease soon. 

While there is a lot to like about Haley, there are also a lot of potential pitfalls with him because he is so raw and unpolished.  The Indians spent a lot of time in Instructional League back in 2008 as well as spring training and extended spring training last year to work on some things with his mechanics and delivery and just give him a better foundation with which to build on as he went into his first full professional season.  They also worked with him on developing a routine which helped him to improve and get better each day.  He has a live, loose body and lanky frame, and as a result he at times has trouble maintaining the tempo and rhythm within his delivery so that his body and arm work at the same speed.  When he does that he is just fine, but when he doesn't maintain it trouble surfaces.  He still needs to work on throwing strikes more consistently, but this is a part of his game which will continue to be worked on over the course of the next several seasons.  While he made some solid adjustments with refining his delivery, getting body control, repeating his arm slot, and throwing the ball over the plate, he still has a ways to go in all of these areas.  He is young, so he needs to learn to become a pitcher rather than a thrower.  In addition to developing his secondary offerings, another area of focus for Haley has been with his mechanics since he has a tendency to overthrow.  To counteract this issue, he has worked on getting out front and staying over the rubber, keep his stride on, and using his hands better.  A slider may also be incorporated later.  Bottom line, there is no telling what he can become once he adapts to all of the mechanical changes and is able to start throwing his bread and butter pitches again, his two-seam fastball and curveball. 

Outlook:  Haley looks like he will be a boom or bust guy for the Indians because while there are so many physical attributes to love about him, he is so raw that the opportunity to miss on him is far greater than a player with the same stuff in their early 20s who is a little more established.  His first few years in the organization are going to be all about developing his pitch mix, command and mechanics, and with that will be a lot of bumps in the road.  He held up well last year in what was a very frustrating season for him in being so restricted in pitching to his strengths, but in the same sense the poise and commitment he showed was encouraging.  If the changes the Indians implemented pan out, they have the potential for a front end of the rotation starter.  He should open the 2010 season with a return trip to Low-A Lake County to continue his development, and depending on how things go could be moved up to High-A Kinston later in the year. 

Photo courtesy of Ken Carr 

Trey Haley page 

Trey Haley Baseball-Reference page 

Trey Haley page 

Trey Haley Pitching: 

31. Matt McBride - Catcher
Born: 05/23/1985 - Height: 6'2" - Weight: 215 - Bats: Right - Throws: Right 

Year Age Team Lvl G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB Avg OBP SLG OPS
2006 21 Mahoning Vy A- 52 184 24 50 12 0 4 31 16 22 5 .272 .355 .402 .757
2007 22 Lake County A 105 421 66 119 35 2 8 66 38 54 1 .283 .348 .432 .780
2007 22 Akron AA 2 7 2 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .571 .625 .857 1.482
2008 23 GCL Indians R 17 50 13 19 7 1 2 9 6 5 3 .380 .483 .680 1.163
2008 23 Kinston A+ 17 67 9 12 2 0 0 6 7 9 0 .179 .263 .209 .472
2008 23 Lake County A 11 39 6 12 4 0 1 7 5 5 0 .308 .386 .487 .873
2009 24 Kinston A+ 31 126 24 51 15 0 6 36 11 15 0 .405 .453 .667 1.120
2009 24 Akron AA 98 361 48 89 29 0 12 63 18 42 1 .247 .301 .427 .728
    Totals   333 1255 192 356 106 3 33 218 101 152 10 .284 .350 .452 .802
Matt McBrideHistory:  McBride was selected by the Indians in the 2nd round of the 2006 Draft out of Lehigh University.  He corrected a lingering shoulder issue that had plagued him since he was drafted with offseason surgery to his right labrum between the 2007 and 2008 seasons, and the recovery forced him to miss more than half of the 2008 season.  He had an unbelievable performance in the Arizona Fall League last fall where in 22 games he hit .378 with 4 HR, 18 RBI, and a 1.159 OPS. 

Strengths & Opportunities:  McBride is a big strong athletic catcher who has good power, and has a very good eye and bat-to-ball ability.  During his rehab from surgery to his labrum he added a lot of strength and improved his physical makeup, and it showed last year as he piled up a lot of doubles and home runs.  He has proven to be a tough out for pitchers and consistently put the bat on the ball, as demonstrated by his career 8.3 at bat to strikeout ratio.  He has a lot of bat ability pull side as he can drive the ball into left field and the left center gap as well as anybody. 

When healthy, McBride provides a rare combination of defense and offense at the catching position.  Before his shoulder surgery almost two years ago he was always viewed as one of the top catching prospects in the game.  His strengths as a catcher are his catch-and-throw skills, especially his plus arm.  His throws to second base consistently time at 1.85 which is considered above average.  He also has a very cerebral approach behind the plate, and has shown good leadership qualities.  While he is a big and strong catcher, he is also athletic and runs very well for a catcher. He is a gamer who has excellent work ethic, and is sort of a throwback that hustles on every play and does not showboat. 

Last offseason the Indians moved McBride out of the catching position and had him workout at first base and left field in order to preserve his throwing arm.  Since his surgery he had experienced some strength loss and pain in his arm, so in order to keep him healthy and his bat in the lineup he split time in 2009 at first base and the outfield.  He put a lot of work in during spring training getting a handle of the footwork needed at first base and the outfield, and proved to be adequate at both positions.  Near the end of the season his shoulder was pain free and was a lot stronger, so the Indians sent him out to the Arizona Fall League last fall to test out the arm at catcher and he did well.  He held his own behind the plate, and there was no pain involved with his throwing, so it looks like going into 2010 that his primary defensive position will be at catcher though he still may get some work in at first base and the outfield. 

Getting McBride out from behind the plate last year to protect his ailing shoulder may have been the best decision the Indians could have made for him.  His success at the plate last season was a combination of good health and a simple approach where he just tried to be productive every at bat and stick to his plan.  The Indians have always known he could hit, so if he can prove he can catch again his value will increase substantially since it is a position of need because below Carlos Santana at Triple-A there is not much catching depth at all in the system.  Worst case, if he can't catch everyday, his ability to catch and play first base and left field is an asset to the Indians because it provides a lot of versatility for him. 

McBride is often categorized as a dead-pull hitter as he has a tendency to want to pull everything and has trouble laying off inside pitches, so the Indians would like to him use the whole field better by working on hitting the ball more up the middle and driving the ball gap to gap.  To improve on this aspect they have had him work on letting the ball get a little bit deep on him and to work on staying back and driving the ball through the middle.  Also, while he has shown very good ability to make consistent contact, he needs to be a little more patient at the plate to draw more walks (101 BB in 1255 career AB).  On the defensive side, he has some issues with controlling a running game.  While he has a good arm, he is not fundamentally sound with his throws as he tends to be slow with his release and stands straight on his throws.  It all comes down to his arm and if it is strong enough to handle the everyday rigors of throwing at the catching position. 

Outlook:  McBride had an outstanding comeback season last year.  He got off to a hot start at High-A Kinston and used that momentum he built there to finish the season with a solid showing at Double-A Akron.  The big concern going forward is whether or not he has a true position and if he can stick at catcher this coming season.  Also, there are some concerns that he just had a hot six week stretch in Kinston last year, and that the more ordinary numbers in Akron were more indicative of what kind of player he is.  In any case, he his ability to play catcher, first base and left field provides some much needed versatility in the upper levels of the Indians system.  He should open the 2010 season as the starting catcher at Double-A Akron. 

Photo courtesy of Tony Lastoria 

Matt McBride page 

Matt McBride Baseball-Reference page 

Matt McBride page 

Matt McBride Hitting:

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