Around the Farm: April 18, 2012
By Kevin Dean
April 19, 2012
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday's performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday's game.
Cord Phelps - 2B, Columbus: 4-for-5, 2 2B, RBI, SB, CS.
With his second four-hit game in five days, Phelps extended his hitting streak to 12 games. In 14 contests, he has 22 hits, which as you can imagine, leads the Clippers. He is a somewhat forgotten prospect despite being called up before Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis last season, but he is doing everything he can to make sure that changes. Unfortunately for him, his role is similar to Jason Donald's, and Donald is higher on the totem pole right now.
Mike Rayl - SP, Carolina: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.
After a drubbing in his first start of the season, Rayl has responded with two great showings (one run in 13.2 innings). On the year, he has continued to demonstrate the same great command and control that the organization has come to expect, walking just two in 17.2 innings. That keen ability to mix and locate pitches is essential for him, as his repertoire is neither showy, nor overpowering.
- Scott Barnes - SP, Columbus: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 4 K. After a dominant first start of the season, this was Barnes' second consective five-inning, four-run game. He has 17 strikeouts in 16 innings, but also has allowed over a baserunner per inning (12 hits, 7 walks).
- Ezequiel Carrera - CF, Columbus: 1-for-3, R, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K. Besides an RBI double, the leadoff hitter drew his first two walks of the season. It is something he has generally done well in the past, but he has to get on base more frequently for the heart of the order.
- Ryan Spilborghs - DH, Columbus: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI. Spilborghs hasn't enjoyed much success in the early going, but put together a nice game Wednesday afternoon. Three of his four runs batted in have came in the last four games.
- Adam Abraham - DH, Akron: 1-for-3, R, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, K. Abraham has gotten out of the gates slowly in 2012, but he opened the scoring last night with a two-run triple and later scored on a sacrifice fly.
- Cody Allen - RP, Akron: 1.0 IP, H, ER, 2 K. After 8.2 innings of scoreless baseball to start the season, Allen finally gave up a run - a solo homer. The run was ultimately harmless, though, and he added two more strikeouts. He now has 14 strikeouts (to 0 walks) in nine innings.
- Chun Chen - 1B, Akron: 3-for-5, R. Chen had been off to a bit of a slow start, but this marks his third consecutive multi-hit game, and the fourth in five games. He is still yet to drive in a run, however. Defensively, he hasn't made an error in his transition from catcher.
- Steven Wright - SP, Akron: 6.0 IP, 4 H, ER 4 BB, 7 K, WP. Wright and his knuckleball continue to be effectively wild early on in the season. He has issued 10 walks in three starts, but runs have still been tough to come by against him, as he has surrendered just three in 17.1 innings. He also has 19 punchouts to his credit.
- Jesus Aguilar - 1B, Carolina: 2-for-4, RBI. Aguilar accounted for two of the team's five hits, and drove in the lone run of the game. He continues to swing the bat well in the Carolina League, recording hits in nine of 11 games. Maybe most impressive is the fact that he's only struck out five times so far.
- Ronny Rodriguez - SS, Carolina: 2-for-2, BB. The Mudcats reached base just eight times in yesterday's 1-0 win, and Rodriguez did it three of those times. After bursting onto the scene in Lake County last season, he is off to a fine start on the next level, compiling an OPS over .800 so far in a tough hitter's league.
- Nick Bartolone - LF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, K. With the injury to LeVon Washington, the shortstop by trade was plugged into left field in just his second game of the season. He came through with his first hits and run batted in of the season. Playing behind the best prospect in the system hasn't afforded him much time, but this circumstance may.
- Bryson Myles - RF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 3 RBI, K, CS, PO. He had a rough day on the basepaths, but this was his best game of the season at the plate. He now has three multi-hit games in his last five, and all four runs batted in have came in the last two.
- Will Roberts - SP, Lake County: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R/1 ER, 2 BB, K. Another brilliant start for Roberts, who has now allowed only four earned runs over 18.2 innings. Opponents are hitting just over .200 against him in his three outings.
- Luigi Rodriguez - CF, Lake County: 3-for-4, R, 2B, BB. Rodriguez didn't have great success in his short time with Lake County last season (34 games), but he is off to a fantastic start the second time around. This three-hit performance puts him up to .367, plus 10 runs scored, eight batted in and five stolen bases in 12 games.
Trading Phelps would be silly. The guy can hit, and is a switch hitter to boot. He is a good handcuff to Kipnis if he ever gets hurt or struggles, and worst case he could potentially be a LF/2B guy. I think at some point the Indians are going to explore him in LF to get his bat to Cleveland. He has one option left, so no rush to trade him or give up on him.
To gain value in any trade, he would need to become a valuable commodity at the major league level to some capacity. I just don't see it any time soon.
Like I said, to even make it to the big league club, one of three things would have to happen, and none of them good:
1. Donald completely fails, or gets hurt, with Asdrubal out...and I don't see it happening...
2. Kipnis gets hurt...
3. They move him to the outfield, and then I'm not sure his bat translates at a corner outfield position.
I like Phelps...think he can be a valuable addition, but don't see much of an opportunity.
I agree...Acta sure does like his guys...and would say Phelps isn't one of them right now...
Kid is raking, and the Indians will take care of him going forward. He's clearly figured things out to an extent, and it's absolutely scary how good he could be. Picturing an outfield of the future with Luigi and LWash in the same lineup reaching their potential, with guys like Jesus Aguilar and Francisco Lindor...Wow...
of course...how will their games translate going forward?...
LaPorta...I don't know...will something click? I don't see it...but who knows...
I don't agree with Ronny Rod competing with Lindor at all. I like him, but Lindor is special. Now, from watching Rodriguez, IMO, he possesses good power, but will need an uptick to make him one of those middle infielders with true plus power. He can launch balls, but they always seem to come up a little short. Defensively, he's a plus player. I'm just not sure where he plays with the Indians, as I KNOW Lindor has more upside.
Luigi, IMO, is a top five prospect right now. The kid has the one thing you can't teach...and that's speed, and now he's starting to put the offense with it. The big watch will be whether or not the power develops, and how his bat translates to the upper levels.
As per Cody Allen, a lot would have to happen for him to get to Cleveland this year, but...if there are injuries, or trades, I could see a late season call-up. He has an electric arm, and incredible make-up...
Crowe is intriguing as a fourth outfielder. Remember, he's 28, so there's not a lot of time left for the kid, and this team's outfield is complicated by mediocrity...i don't know that he improves it a whole lot, other than being potentially better than Cunningham...IMO. There are still healthy issues though...IMO...until he plays extended time. If he's still doing this in Mid-May...then you really have to give him a chance...
Aguilar and Myles are two of my favorite prospects...and have as much upside as anyone in the system...but need things to go right to really become top five prospects.
Luigi Rodriguez - .367 and 5 steals in 12 games. Looks like our future center fielder.
And Ronny Rod may give Lindor a run for his money as our future SS.
Gotta love the way Aguilar and Myles have picked up right where they left off last season.
Phelps, LaPorta, and Crowe. Three guys who are raking at Columbus but have not hit much in their chances with the big club. Can any of them make the jump to the bigs successfully?