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Believeland Ball’s Top 25 Players of 2018: 11-15

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

We continue to look at the top 25 Cleveland Indians from the 2018 season. Now that we have covered the top 10, let’s look at the next group of players.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! We can all be grateful that none of our favorite Cleveland Indians players were traded to ruin our holiday.

We’ve actually reached a part of our top 25 list where we can talk about Indians players that weren’t traded. These players didn’t stand out as much as those in our top 10, but they were still vital contributors for this Indians team.

11: Jason Kipnis

Ahh, Jason Kipnis. Everyone seems to have mixed opinions about the Indians second baseman-slash-outfielder. But he’s a versatile tool for the Indians. The problem most people have Kipnis is that he’s inconsistent.

His average is a roller coaster of hot and cold streaks. He hit a serious slump in the month April that saw him bat with a .160 average. But Kipnis also had some pretty good months in June and August. He even launched 5 dingers in September.

Kipnis won’t always spread the ball out very well, but he’s a powerful hitter at the bottom of the order. If he can find a way to be more consistent in 2019, he could be a major asset for the Tribe.

12: Brad Hand

Brad Hand would be higher on this list if he spent the first half of the season with the Tribe, them’s the rules, Brad. But when Brad Hand came to Cleveland, he made a hell of a good impression with Tribe fans. He sported a 1.93 ERA in July followed by a 1.49 ERA in August.

Needless to say, that will win the hearts of Indians fans. Especially when they dealt with a struggling bullpen for much of the first half of 2018. Brad Hand will be a staple of the Indians bullpen in 2019, and I’m grateful we still have him. If he’s anything close to how good he was in 2018, sign me up.

13: Yonder Alonso

I didn’t say every player that we would cover would still be on the team. Yonder Alonso turned out to be a one year rental player for the Indians after their ex, Carlos Santana came back into the fold. But Yonder still helped the Indians out where he could.

He didn’t have a career-year as he did in 2017, but 2018 showed he wasn’t a one year fluke. Yonder still provided power for the Indians when they needed it. He finished the year with a solid .250 batting average, but he also brought 123 strikeouts. That’s something the Indians are clearly looking to stray away from.

14: Shane Bieber

All of Cleveland had Bieber fever when Shane Bieber first came around in the wake of Carlos Carrasco‘s injury. He came in to win the day for the Indians on fathers day. The kid even had a 0.96 ERA in the month of June.

As we all know, it’s not easy for anyone their rookie year and it showed for Beiber. Teams started to figure out that he liked to pound heat around the strike zone. It’s how he worked his way through the minors so fast. Bieber will have to adjust and be ready for 2019 if he wants to stay in the Tribe rotation.

15: Cody Allen

Everyone’s favorite scapegoat, Cody Allen didn’t have his best year by any means. But he was still effective…. well for the most part. Allen had a career-high in blown saves. His ERA shot up to 4.70 for the first time in his career and his WHIP of 1.36. So why was he effective? Well, he had 27 saves. He had to carry the workload for much of the season while Andrew Miller was hurt and the team had yet to acquire a relief pitcher.

Next. Indians rumors have taken a break, but not for long. dark

Cody Allen has yet to sign with another team. The Indians have a chance to re-sign him, and now that the market price has been set by Andrew Miller and NOT Craig Kimbrel and his desired six-year contract. Allen is likely to sign sooner, rather than later.