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Around the Farm: April 22, 2014

Around the Farm: April 22, 2014
Joe Colon (Photo: Akron RubberDucks)
April 23, 2014
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Note, High-A Carolina had a scheduled off day on Tuesday. 

Joe Colon (SP, Akron): 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K. Colon may not be the sexiest prospect as a guy who blows hitters away and has impressive numbers, but he might be one of the Indians most consistent prospects. He’s off to a nice start in his first Double-A exposure with a 3.18 ERA in four starts and has a 1.19 GO/AO. He’s a sinkerballer with some velocity who when he stays healthy has proven to be a performer and get results. If he can maintain health all season he could be in for a big year from an innings eating and quality starts standpoint – not necessarily with big peripheral numbers.

Trevor Bauer (SP, Columbus): 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Bauer was not as dominant as in his other outings as he allowed a good amount of baserunners and had a few good plays behind him defensively. Even still, he has yet to allow more than one earned run in any start this season and in three starts with Columbus is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA (18.2 IP, 13 H, 0 HR, 6 BB, 21 K). Meanwhile, his counterparts Danny Salazar (0-3, 7.85 ERA) and Carlos Carrasco(0-2, 7.31 ERA) continue to struggle in Cleveland. The significant disparity in performance between Bauer and the other two pitchers may prompt the Indians to make a move sooner than expected.

Jordan Milbrath (RP, Lake County): 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. I really went in depth on Milbrath on Tuesday with the Breakout Barometer piece on him and it proved to be great timing. After this outing he is now 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in four appearances this season, and in 19.1 innings has allowed 12 hits, no homers, 7 walks and has 18 strikeouts. He is only piggybacking right now, and might stay in such a role if only to monitor his workload this season yet allow him to get four to five innings every five days. Keep watching this guy!

  • Justin Sellers (SS, Columbus): 2-for-3, 3 R, 2 BB. Sellers reached base four times in five plate appearances and easily had his best game of the year. He also made a nifty play in the sixth inning ranging to a ball to start a double play.
  • Nyjer Morgan (CF, Columbus): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 K. Morgan has not been the same since being demoted to Columbus. Sure, he had two hits in this game, but he also had three strikeouts too. He’s has a .238 on-base percentage at Columbus in 6 games after posting a .484 on-base percentage in Cleveland in 9 games.
  • Jesus Aguilar (DH, Columbus): 2-for-4, BB. Aguilar reaches base in three of his five plate appearances and is now hitting .393 with a 1.185 OPS in 17 games this season – including a .474 average and 1.509 OPS at home!
  • Bryan LaHair (1B, Columbus): 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 K. LaHair entered the game just 2-for-30 at the plate, so he doubled his hit production in one game and also piled up his first two extra base hits of the season. He’s hitting .114 with a 1-10 walk to strikeout ratio in 10 games.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 2-for-5, R, RBI, 3 K. Moncrief is starting to show some signs of life at the plate with his second straight multi-hit game – his only multi-hit games this season. In 16 games his slash line looks like this: .211/.262/.281/.543.
  • Roberto Perez (C, Columbus): 1-for-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. Perez is off to a very good start this season at Columbus hitting .375 with 2 HR, 8 RBI and 1.099 OPS, and he has recorded at least one hit in all 11 games played.
  • Austin Adams (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Adams threw 20 pitches (14 strikes) and just overmatched the Braves hitters striking out the side. This is a teaser as to what kind of dominance he can provide the Indians as a bullpen option, and this was his best outing of the year.
  • Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 2-for-4, R, 2 3B, 2 K. On the positive side, Naquin racked up his first two triples of the season. On the negative side, he also racked up another two strikeouts and now has 24 on the season in 17 games and 64 at bats. Yowsers.
  • Joe Wendle (DH, Akron): 0-for-4, K and Jordan Smith (RF, Akron): 0-for-3, BB, K. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. That’s what we need to keep saying to ourselves with regard to two of the best hitting prospects in the Indians system and their early season struggles.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron): 2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI. K. It’s early. It’s early. It’s early. That’s what we need to keep saying to ourselves with regard to some early hot performances. Urshela is certainly raising the excitement meter though with every good game he has at the plate.
  • Francisco Valera (RP, Akron): 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Valera was credited with his first “hold” of the season, yet was also saddled with the loss. If you ever needed more proof that holds are a meaningless stat, here’s the final piece of evidence.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 0-for-4, 3 K. Frazier’s first rough game at Lake County. After recording a hit in each of his first three games with Lake County he is hitless in his last two games going 0-for-6 at the plate with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (DH, Lake County): 0-for-4, K. After a hot start, Rodriguez is now just 5-for-30 (.167) over his last 10 games with a .533 OPS. He’s maintained a solid approach with an 8 walks over that span, but also has 10 strikeouts in 30 at bats which is not very good.
  • Brian Ruiz (LF, Lake County): 2-for-3, 2B, RBI. Ruiz had another good night at the plate, and he has surprised in the early going with some better than expected offense – though that 2-19 walk to strikeout ratio in 45 at bats is a warning sign for future problems which may lie ahead.
  • Caleb Hamrick (SP, Lake County): 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. After an encouraging showing last season at short season Single-A Mahoning Valley, Hamrick is having a lot of difficulties in the early going this season stepping up to the next level. In 4 starts he is now 1-2 with a 9.56 ERA (16.0 IP, 23 H, 8 BB, 7 K).

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

Hermie13
April 24, 2014 - 11:43 AM EDT
In fairness, Asdrubal's defensive grade also goes down on the left-side of the infield vs 2B . Valid argument could be made that you wouldn't lose that much defense (if any) switching from Cabrera to Ramirez. That said, don't see a move happening soon with Ramirez-Cabrera. Come this summer though....
Hiram
April 23, 2014 - 5:30 PM EDT
Tony,


Thank you
Tony
April 23, 2014 - 5:10 PM EDT
Yes, I had an update on Price last week in Minor Happenings.
Hiram
April 23, 2014 - 5:08 PM EDT
Tony,

Is Brian Price injured?? I haven't heard his name at all
Tony
April 23, 2014 - 4:54 PM EDT
Agreed Seth. For as hot as Urshela is, until that discipline improves it is tough to see him maintaining this and him transitioning well to the ML level.
Seth
April 23, 2014 - 3:16 PM EDT
With Urshela, it would be nice to see him sustain a walk rate at least around 6%. He's been at 3% the last couple years. Is any prospect successful in the majors who walks that little in the minors? Even Aviles had a 5% walk rate in the minors, and I can't think of too many players in the majors with worse plate discipline than Aviles, who don't have another plus tool like power or speed. If he's only walking 3% of the time, he pretty much has to hit close to .300 to be useful.
Tony
April 23, 2014 - 3:01 PM EDT
2012 is not looking too great.....but 2011 is looking exceptional.
Sternfan10
April 23, 2014 - 2:53 PM EDT
The 2012 draft is really starting to look like a huge bust! Wow, so many under-performers. If you look at the first 20 picks the only ones that seem to be possibly impact players are Nellie, Lee, Baker and Martin.

Naquin if he makes the bigs will be a 4th outfielder that K's way too much.

Wendle looks like a guy that took advantage of his age against younger players and has shown his true colors atAkron.

Lovegrove, Brown, McClure, McAdams, Hamrick, Vick, Booth, Peoples, Penny and Pasquale are all circling the drains as busted picks.

Head and Lucas are at High A at the age of 24

Hope 2013 doesnt turn out so bad.
Tbone
April 23, 2014 - 12:44 PM EDT
Gotcha.
Thanks,
Tbone
Tony
April 23, 2014 - 12:38 PM EDT
I believe that Ramirez may eventually take the utility role from Aviles (not Johnson's 25th man role).
Tbone
April 23, 2014 - 12:36 PM EDT
What do you think the feasible plan is for him with the Tribe?
Tony
April 23, 2014 - 12:29 PM EDT
Thanks on Milbrath, and yeah, he's an example of a guy who was hurt bring from a cold weather state and very low on the radar for baseball talent.

As for dumping Cabrera....I can see that happening at some point, but it won't be to get Ramirez in the starting lineup. If they dump Cabrera, then either Lindor or Aviles take over regular shortstop duties. Obviously, right now that would be Aviles.....perhaps later in the year that would be Lindor. But at this time Ramirez is not considered for the everyday shortstop duties. He's not an everyday shortstop. He can certainly play there and has the versatility to do it, but he's a guy who if he plays there everyday is going to underwhelm. He's a plus defender at second, but his arm and defensive grade go down considerably when placed on the left side of the infield.
Tbone
April 23, 2014 - 12:01 PM EDT
At what point do the Indians consider eating Astrubal's remaining contract with either a trade or outright release and call up Jose Ramirez? You're going to be paying $10 million for that position anyways - might as well put somebody who can help the team with some SBs and a decent bat.
Walter
April 23, 2014 - 10:43 AM EDT
It is amazing that Urshela is hot , because the top of the batting order is as cold as ice regarding Naquin, Lindor, and Wendle.
I don't think Naquin is a lead of hitter. Isn't there a better choice?

Tony Again excellent article on Milbrath. I'm assuming if Milbrath went to more major college baseball team he would have been drafted higher than 35th.
Hiram
April 23, 2014 - 10:24 AM EDT
Tony,

True on Urshela being hot.
Tony
April 23, 2014 - 10:07 AM EDT
Cautiously optimistic on Urshela. I still think right now it is more just an early season hot streak, but would love to be wrong. Obviously, is the bat comes around, he can help the Indians maybe as soon as next year at third base.
Hiram
April 23, 2014 - 10:03 AM EDT
If Urshela is the real deal with the bat then what a big help he could be down the road

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