The hardest-throwing arm in the Indians’ system will start the season at Triple-A Columbus Julian brings the heat. With the top rated fastball in the Indians’ system, Julian Merryweather glided through the lower levels of the minor leagues with solid peripherals. From A- to AA, his xFIP hovered near 3.00, with small blips up in his first season and upon his first promotion to AA in 2016. Last season, another bump occurred. Merryweather reached Columbus and his xFIP grew to 3.89. That wasn’t his only issue at the highest level of the minors — he also posted his highest walk rate (15.7%), highest HR/9 (1.5), and saw a slight decrease in K/9 (8.77). We need to provide a little bit more context for those numbers, though. Between Akron and Columbus Merryweather averaged the highest K/9 total of his career. He’d never previously allowed a HR/9 greater than .76, and battled a BABIP of .388 during his 78 innings in Columbus. This is largely related to the most intriguing increase of all: he
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