Around the Farm: April 23, 2012
By Jim Pete
April 24, 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.
Bryson Myles: RF, Lake County: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, SB 2 (6):
It hasn’t taken Myles long to warm up to Midwest League pitching. Myles was the sixth round pick in the 2011 draft, and was immediately sent to Mahoning Valley, and he scored the New York-Penn League for a .302 average, with ten doubles, three triples, a homer, 15 RBI, 24 walks, 20 stolen bases and 36 runs in 50 games. He only struck out 32 times. The .302 average was the fifth in the league, his .394 OBP was seventh, and his 20 stolen bases was ninth. There was a lot of scuttlebutt that there was something more to Myles than meets the eye. Perhaps he was a steal at the sixth round. Myles came out of the gate slow this season, but boy have things changed as the weeks have passed. Myles line over the last ten games is an impressive .378/.400/.622, with seven runs, two doubles, two triples, a homer and nine RBI. He’s walked twice, and struck out only four times, while stealing five bases. He can absolutely pour on the numbers, and if he ever develops that power, could become something pretty special. He’s not your typical speedy outfielder at 5’11” and 230 pounds, and just gives me visions of Kirby Puckett. Of course, he has to translate this game to the upper levels of the system, but if he continues his progression and advanced bat, he really could be something special.
Luigi Rodriguez: CF, Lake County: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, SB (6) :
Rodriguez has been mired in a slump of late, having gone 1-for-16 in his previous four games, coming down to earth after a massive start that had yours truly opining for Rodriguez at the major league level (not tomorrow mind you, but someday). The cooling off period didn’t last long, as the rocket-fast centerfielder really lit things up today with a triple and a homer. While he had the four-game mini-slump, he’s still had three games in the past ten with at least three hits, and four-multi hit games altogether, and is hitting a solid .314 on the year. The issues with Rodriguez are similar to many other young top-ten prospects in the system, he has to be more selective at the plate. In 17 games, the 19-year-old has struck out 18, while walking only eight times. If he can figure that out over the next three years, this kid will be a nice major leaguer.
Nick Weglarz: LF, Akron: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K:
Hmmmmm, did Nick Weglarz just hit a double and have a multi-hit game? Did Nick Weglarz just have a hit in six of seven games? Has he really gone a respectable 8-for-24 during that same stretch? He even has two doubles and a home run. He’s even playing left field! Did I just say that out loud? Shhhhhh. Okay, I could go on-and-on-and-on about what has happened to Weglarz, and this sure isn’t some sort of massive rebound, or anything like that. So what is it? Well, for the first time in a long, long time, Weglarz has some positives going. Nothing big, but rare is the day that someone rebounds with five homers in four at-bats., In his last three games, Weglarz has walked four times, while striking out three. This is literally out of nowhere. Prior to those three games, the big outfielder had all of one-walk in seven games, while striking out 13. I don’t know, maybe something is starting to click. I don’t know, maybe he’s finally feeling comfortable again. I don’t know, maybe this is that start of a Weglarz renaissance. Who knows, stranger things have happened…
- Matt LaPorta: 1B, Columbus: 1-for-4, 1 K: LaPorta’s blazing start has been tempered a bit over the past couple of weeks. Perhaps injury has slowed him down a bit, but whatever it is, his approach at the plate still needs to improve. He has four homers on the year, but hasn’t hit one since April 11th. Overall, he’s struck out 16 times in 14 games, while walking a grand total of five times. I know his line is .314/.371/.582, but not sure the Indians are seeing an approach that will be successful in the bigs. His clock is ticking, and there isn’t much time yet.
- Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 1 K: Phelps is cooling off from the hit perspective, going 2-for-14 in his last four games, but add six walks to the equation, and you have a player that just gets it. If LaPorta approached his offensive game anything like Phelps, he’d be in the bigs.
- Trevor Crowe: LF, Columbus: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1K: Not a special game for Crowe, but you can give a guy that’s hitting .380 some slack, can’t you? I know…I know…he’s no prospect, but I’d love him to prove the cynics wrong.
- Kyle Landis: RP, Columbus: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR: Landis made his first appearance in Columbus after absolutely dominating in Kinston and Lake County over the past two seasons, and got roughed up to the tune of two runs and a 6.00 ERA. His ERA in Akron was 0.96 in five games. He’ll improve, just let him settle for a game or two.
- Tim Fedroff: CF, Akron: 0-for-4, 2 K: Fedroff is struggling at the dish, going 8-for-37 over his past ten. He’s still managing a .381 OBP over the same time period, with seven walks, so you can see that you can still remain effective without base hits and solid plate discipline.
- Jared Goedert: LF, Akron: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K: He who giveth, taketh away. Goedert has been the hottest player in the Indians’ organization, and coming into this game, had an 11-game hit streak, as well as a six-game streak in which he had at least two-hits. That all ended today, but he’s hitting an incredible .485 over the past ten games, with a .485/.564/.697 line. Just insane numbers for a forgotten member of this system.
- Bryan Price: RP, Akron: 2 IP, 1 BB, 4 K: Kyle Landis got the call-up to Columbus, but there are a bunch of studs down on the Akron farm, and Price is really starting to make people take notice. Price had given up an earned run in each of his last two outings, but really locked it down tonight with his near perfect outing. He has a 1.74 ERA on the year.
- Cody Allen: RP Akron: 2 IP, 2 K: Allen needed all of 24 pitches in two innings, 15 of which were strikes. I’m sure the Indians weren’t ready to bump Allen up, at least until it’s a full-time move, but boy is he making a case.
- Mike Rayl: SP, Carolina: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 5K: Rayl has really been outstanding since his April 7th, 2012 debut with the Muddies. In that time, he’s gone 18 2/3 innings, giving up only two earned runs and four walks, while striking out a solid 14. He did walk three, but prior to today’s game, he only had walked two batters. I don’t see this as being an issue going forward.
- Tony Wolters: SS, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R: Wolters is far from figuring things out. He has gone 3-for-9 in his last two games, which is a vast improvement over his start to the Carolina League season. Hopefully, Wolters can start to regain some of that Mahoning Valley magic.
- Jake Lowery: C, Carolina: 2-for-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Lowery continues to hit the ball a ton with another two-hit ballgame, and driving in two as well. Coming in to today’s game, Lowery was 12th in the league in hitting. After today’s game, he moved into the top ten, and is now tied for the team lead with Jesus Aguilar.
- Jose Flores: Closer, Carolina: S (3), 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K: Well, I’m not sure that Flores figures into the Indians future plans, but he’s been electric since being moved into the back-end of the bullpen. Since that game on April 11th, he’s gone 6 2/3 innings, giving up four hits and three walks, while striking out six, and garnering three saves. Maybe there’s something there.
- Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 1-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB (6): Lindor has really cooled off at the plate with regards to hits, continuing his one-hit assault (six one-hit games in the last seven). Today, he made it count, with his first career professional homer, an RBI and two runs. He’s fairly selective for an 18-year-old, having struck out only nine times and walking six times. He still has a ways to go, but boy, what a start
- Leonardo Castillo: 3B, Lake County: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Castillo is another really, really young mid-level prospect that the Indians are eyeballing for the future. He’s struggling so far this year, and was 4-for-30 in his previous nine-games before today’s two-hit game.
- Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K: Sabourin has had about as consistent a season as you can have, so far, with a .298/.365/.351 line. He’s not really a prospect, but you never know what can happen with a big year, and an injury to depth.
- Jeff Johnson: RP, Lake County: S (1): 2 IP, 2 H, 3 K: Johnson has gotten absolutely jack-hammered this year. In his first three appearances, he’s given up ten earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. This was both his longest and his best outing of the season.
Jim is currently the co-site editor, the ATF/Carolina Mudcats/Indians/General Site Columnist, and the co-host of IPI's weekly online radio show, Smoke Signals. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IPI, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nobody's going to want the top slot of my ATF's!!!
By the way, nice mention of Myles.....you jinxed him as he got hurt in the game today.;) In all seriousness, hopefully his hammy is not too bad.
A lot of what they do will depend on Mahoning Valley, the draft, and who they sign. I think it's possible to see some guys move down to Mahoning when it opens, as Lavisky did, and I could see a guy like Wolters or Ronny R make the move to Lake County once short season opens up.
And who knows who they draft that could bump a guy up. I know they plan on keeping Lindor and Washington down all season, but you could see a progression with a guy like Lindor that could all but force them to move him to Carolina. I think you could make a case right now that he's as capable as Wolters to handle the move, if not moreso. Of course, the question is always, what's too fast for a kid that young.
Either way, this is a core, with Jesus Aguilar, Wolters, Lowery, etc....that could be the foundation of the Indians in five years...and what a core it would be...
Maybe we'll look back at these initial numbers as where it turned for him.
Too early to tell but encouraging none the less.