Around the Farm: April 24, 2012
By Jim Pete
April 25, 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.
Matt LaPorta: 1B, Columbus: 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI:
I’m not exactly the biggest Matt LaPorta fan on the planet, but games like this are sure encouraging. LaPorta is clearly going to spend some time down in Columbus before getting a call-up, but games like this will surely help speed up the process. LaPorta has hit in eight straight games, and while six of the eight have only been of the single-hit variety, he’s still managed a spectacular .342/.409/.579 split. He still has to improve his approach at the plate to translate from the Triple-A level to the major league level. Remember, in 2010, he hit .362 in a stint in Columbus, while hitting a whopping .221 for the Tribe. In 2011, he hit .444 in a two-game stint in Columbus, while hitting .247 for the Tribe. This grand performance isn’t new, nor are his strange splits. LaPorta is one of the few right-handed hitters who consistently rakes against right-handed pitchers. His average is over 100 points higher from the right side, than the left. Keep an eye on LaPorta should Shin-Soo Choo be out for any extended period of time, as he might get an early chance to return to Cleveland.
Thomas Neal: RF, Akron: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B:
The Indians picked up Neal in a July deadline trade last season for infielder Orlando Cabrera, and was a top-ranked prospect for the San Francisco Giants. He There was a hope that as a right-handed outfielder at the upper levels of the minors, he could provide the Indians with a potential near-ready prospect, but that hasn’t been the case. This season, he started the year off in Akron, and has struggled to find his way. He has hit in five of six games, and is 8-for-21 during that time period, so perhaps he is starting to find his way. Of course, there’s still no real power to speak of, so the Giants may have known more than they let on when they made the deal in the first place.
- Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 3B, 2K: Carrera is a bit forgotten after his brief stints with the Indians last year, and he’s struggled a bit back in Columbus this year. He rolled out two triples tonight, and does have multi-hit games in three of his last five games to help raise his average to a respectable .260.
- Russ Canzler: LF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K: Canzler really hasn’t had any consistency whatsoever this season. He did have a five hit game a few games back, but even with that, as well as three other two-hit games in his past ten, his 10-game line is still only .250/.283/.341. That’s just not good enough.
- Lonnie Chisenhall: 3B, Columbus: 1-for-5, 1 R, E (6): Chisenhall had his sixth error on the season at third, and a fielding error to boot. Offensively, he’s scuffling a bit, having gone only 5-for-28 over his last seven games.
- Jose De La Torre: RP, Columbus: 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 5 K: De La Torre isn’t a major prospect, and was picked up as a free agent by the Tribe in January. In his last 5 2/3 IP, he’s given up only two-hits, while striking out seven.
- Tim Fedroff: CF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, CS (1): Fedroff is only hitting .237 over his past ten games, but is still maintaining a .356 OBP over the same span. He hits righties and lefties equally well (.325 vs. .313). He’ll be in Columbus as soon as the outfield shakes out over the next couple of months.
- Jared Goedert: 3B, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: The uber-utility guy hit his second homer of the season, and is hitting.471 over his last ten games. His season OPS is 1.082.
- Adam Abraham: DH, Akron: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Abraham hasn’t had a great season, and isn’t finding a whole lot of at bats.
- T.J. McFarland: SP, Akron: W (3-1), 5 2/3, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 6 K: McFarland has had a solid start to the 2012 campaign, with three out of four really good outings. Overall, the big lefty is 3-1, with a 2.11 ERA, while striking out 15 batters.
- Matt Langwell: RP, Akron: H (2), 2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K: Langwell has gone 8 2/3 innings, while giving up eight hits and a run, while striking out ten and walking four. His ERA is 1.04 overall, and he hammers right-handed hitters. They are hitting .188 against him.
- Preston Guilmet: RP, Akron: S (3), 1 1/3, 1 BB, 2 K: Guilmet has been inconsistent with the Aeros this season, alternating no-hit performances with major lapses. Overall, he’s gone seven innings and given up three earned runs, with three walks.
- Tyler Holt: CF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Holt has a current five-game hit streak, and continues his solid season at High A Carolina. His overall line is .338/.419/.462, and there has to be some frustration that he’s not in Akron.
- Tony Wolters: 2B, Carolina: 1-for-2, 3 BB, E (5): Wolters has struggled at the plate, but there’s reason to believe he may be figuring things out with his recent performances. He’s three for his last six, and four for his last 11. It’s also good to see those three walks.
- Jeremie Tice: DH, Carolina: 3-for-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Tice isn’t a glamour prospect, but he’s a solid producer. He’s 11-for-35 with nine runs, four doubles, two homers and seven RBI over his last ten games.
- Jake Lowery: C, Carolina: 2-for-5, 1 2B: Lowery has three two-hit games in a row, and four out of five. His ten-game line is .342/.405/.447, and there’s no reason not to believe that he can’t crack the Akron line-up sooner, rather than later.
- Bryson Myles: RF, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 2B, CS (2): Myles has been one of the hottest hitters in the system. Unfortunately, Myles was pulled from the game today with an apparent hamstring injury. There are already reports that he’s heading for the DL.
- Robel Garcia: 2B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI: Garcia is another up-and-comer in the lower levels that’s trying to find his way. He just turned 19-years old, and has struggled in his first season with Lake County. He’s only nine of his last 39.
- Leonardo Castillo: 3B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI: Castillo has found his swing recently, and is 4-of-9, with three runs, a double, and an RBI over his last two games. He’s still on 18-years old, and another one of those young Captains with a bright future.
- Grant Sides: RP, Lake County: 2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K: Sides was a 12th round selection by the Indians last season, and struggled a bit in his first short-season at Mahoning Valley. After a rough first-outing, he’s been lights out in three appearances. He had four innings pitched, with one hit and one walk, while striking out four.
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.
As for L-Rod, yeah, from what I can tell, simply a day off. He had not had a day off yet this year. And MacPhee is now an outfielder, no longer an infielder (well could go back there). They worked on outfield with him at end of spring training and into extended spring training. Hankins is a utility guy that can play INF/OF.