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Around the Farm: August 11, 2014

Around the Farm: August 11, 2014
Casey Shane (Photo: IBI)
August 12, 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, Double-A Akron, High-A Carolina and Low-A Lake County had scheduled off days on Monday. Short season Single-A Mahoning Valley was postponed because of rain.

Casey Shane (SP, AZL Indians): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 1 K. Shane has been very reliable and consistentthis season in Arizona. He has gone 5.0 innings in seven of his nine starts and has allowed more than two runs just one time. He has had a little problem with the walks the last two times out racking up three in each game after having just seven total his first seven starts, but a hiccup is to be expected for such a young player making all of the adjustments he has made this season. While he is repeating in the AZL this season, he is showed marked improvement as his BB/9 has dropped from 5.0 last year to 2.8 this season, his strikeout rate has jumped from 6.8 to 8.0, his ERA has dropped from 6.52 to 2.81 and his FIP has dropped from 4.70 to 3.65. It has been a nice season overall for the soon to be 19-year old.

Zach McAllister (SP, Columbus): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K. McAllister continues to pitch well at the Triple-A level and was a tough luck loser in this one even though he gave his team a (good) quality start. He is 6-1 with a 1.82 ERA in eight starts in Triple-A, but is 3-6 with a 5.91 ERA in 14 starts in Cleveland. He has to find a way to get over the hump and provide consistent outings because there is no question he has the size, ability and makeup to be a good innings eating Major League pitcher. A lot of his problems stem from a confidence issue which he needs to get past, and once he does that he could take off with the Indians.

  • Michael Bourn (DH, Columbus): 1-for-4. Bourn’s rehab assignment moved from Double-A Akron to Columbus on Monday and he recorded his first hit in the process. He is now 1-for-14 in four games on his rehab assignment, and the fact he was only the DH in this game is a sign he will need a few more games.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Columbus): 2-for-4. Lindor is hitting only .222 in his 19 games at Columbus and recorded his first multi-hit game since 7/28 – a span of 12 games. His struggles stem from a slip in his approach as he has a 5-20 walk to strikeout rate in 81 at bats.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 1-for-3, BB. Aguilar was not a factor in the run production department in this game, but he did reach base in two of his four plate appearances. He has had a rather good season hitting .283 with 15 HR, 65 RBI and .847 OPS in 103 games. It is not quite the 100-RBI season of last year, but he should still finish with around 18-20 homers and 75 RBI which is quite good.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 1-for-4, 2B, K. Like Aguilar, Moncrief’s season is not quite at the level it was at last season, but it is not too far off. While his walks and strikeouts went in the wrong direction this season, he has otherwise had a very good first year of exposure at Triple-A – a level he probably repeats at next season.
  • James Ramsey (LF, Columbus): 1-for-4, 2 K. It has been tough sledding so far for Ramsey in his transition to the Cleveland organization as he is just 8-for-39 (.205) in 10 games at Columbus and also has a .603 OPS with a poor 4-15 walk to strikeout rate in 39 at bats.
  • Bryan Price (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. This is only the second outing out of 14 appearances in Columbus that Price has allowed more than one run. He was a victim of a bad pitch on the homer as he otherwise overpowered the Lehigh Valley lineup in his two innings of work.
  • Bobby Ison (CF, AZL Indians): 1-for-4, RBI, CS. A 1-for-4 day is often not noteworthy for ATF, but Ison’s one hit extended his hitting streak to 10 games. In 23 games he is hitting .293 with a .375 on-base percentage thanks to a nice 11-8 walk to strikeout rate.
  • Yu-Cheng Chang (SS, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 3B, HR, RBI, K. Bobby Bradley may get most of the pub out of Arizona, but Chang is almost his equal as far as prospect status goes and is having nearly as good a season. In 31 games he is now hitting .328 with 5 HR, 21 RBI, .952 OPS and 15-21 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • Francisco Miguel (RF, AZL Indians): 1-for-4, 3 K. Since that four-game hot stretch where Miguel went crazy with the bat (9-for-19) he is back to his struggling ways as he is just 4-for-24 with 14 strikeouts over his last six games. He has struckout three times in a game in four of those six games.
  • Jodd Carter (LF, AZL Indians): 2-for-3, R, 2B, SB. Carter just continues to hit as he racked up his sixth multi-hit game in his last eight games. He has been one of my early favorites from the 2014 Draft class as he has surprised some with his early success right out of high school. He has the makings of a good approach, can run and seems to control the bat well. The power is limited, but more may come later as he matures.
  • Johan Puello (RP, AZL Indians): 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. This was by far Puello’s best outing of the season. He was simply dominant recording six of his nine outs via the strikeout and holding the opposition hitless and scoreless. He’s been tough to hit all year (.165 BAA) but has really struggled with his command (6.1 BB/9).
  • Ping-Hsueh Chen (RP, AZL Indians): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Chen has dealt with a lot of injuries over the past few seasons, so just seeing him on the mound and continue to show health is a big positive for him this season. He’s been rusty with the command (5.3 BB/9) but impressive with the swing and miss (13.2 K/9).

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

Seth
August 12, 2014 - 2:26 PM EDT
I would wonder if it's less confidence, and more something physical where the finger still bothers him or he can't grip the baseball like he could before. Ever since he returned from the DL with that finger injury, he's had the same issues, where he'll look good for a bit, then just completely lose all command for an inning. He looked that way in spring training, and I was really surprised at his solid start to the regular season. But then he reverted to post-finger-injury McAllister. I think of him as pretty much a lost cause at this point. He was never exceptional to begin with, now that he can't consistently command his pitches, he is the guy with the 6 ERA who can probably still do ok in AAA because he's got a decent fastball.
Tony
August 12, 2014 - 1:39 PM EDT
Nick, to me, it all stems back to his finger issue last year. Since then his confidence in his secondary stuff, primarily his curveball, has really gone downhill. I also think the addition of the slider this year is a mistake.
Nick
August 12, 2014 - 1:23 PM EDT
Kind of seems there might be an arm issue with Zach, he's throwing his fastball too much and is shying heavily off of his off speed pitches, kind of screams of a possible elbow issue.
shy
August 12, 2014 - 11:54 AM EDT
McCallister is still leaving too many balls flat and up. Not going to play well at the ML level. He's going to have to make some changes if he wants to pitch at the Jake next year.
Homer
August 12, 2014 - 11:46 AM EDT
Agreed, that would probably be too aggressive with Shane, but couldn't really see him waiting for MV to start up. I think Extended and then MV is probably the plan for him. With a taste of MV a possibility at the end of their season.

I think Aguliar and Urshela are both legit prospects. Something I look at is age and level. I think Urshela could be an everyday 3b with potential GG defense.
Tony
August 12, 2014 - 10:59 AM EDT
Aguilar should at worst be a solid depth bat in the Major Leagues, though his lack of versatility will hurt him in that regard. Perhaps at worst a platoon bat at first base. I don't see a core bat in the making- though you never know - but I see a Gaby Sanchez kind of guy (his good years) or as I mentioned in another thread yesterday a Paul Sorrento-type at first base from the right side. That's actually a pretty solid player.
Tondo
August 12, 2014 - 10:55 AM EDT
Adding: Aguilar is 9th in OPS in the IL and is the only player born 1990 or later in the top 10. In fact, of all .800+ OPS bats in the league qualifying, Aguilar and Urshela are the two youngest. They are legit
Tondo
August 12, 2014 - 10:51 AM EDT
The Indians have probably learned their lesson on pushing young specs who had successful AZL seasons to LC too early: Paulino, Santander, M.Brown, Martinez, NRod, Hamrick, McAdams etc. Changed that approach with Brady and Mejia. Will be interesting to see if they push Bradley and/or Chang next season. Both are top 10 players in my opinion.

Have to disagree on Aguilar. While his RBI numbers aren't as impressive as last season, he's still a monster with runners on and in scoring position (.919 OPS). He's 6th in the league in RBIs. Last year's RBI % was unsustainable. He has improved in virtually every other category, BA, OBP, SLG, ISO, OPS, BB%, BB:K ratio while jumping a level. Somehow prospects get lost in the hype hoopla when they get to AAA for some reason. Same thing happened to TJ House. Goes to show how much hype there is in this fun game. I think he has more upside than just a bench bat/complementary player. He has improved from year to year while being young for the level, so I dont think he's a finished product yet.
Tony
August 12, 2014 - 10:25 AM EDT
While Lake County is certainly a possibility, I think the odds are that Shane will open next season in extended spring training and then progress to Mahoning Valley once their season starts in June. Sort of like what Brady did this year.
Homer
August 12, 2014 - 10:14 AM EDT
I'm glad the Tribe has taken it slow with Casey Shane. I expect the same treatment with Micah Miniard and Sam Hentges next yr. Shane came to Indians as a 17 yo 7th rd draft pk last season. He was one of the youngest players drafted last yr and turns 19 in about two weeks. He's been solid all yr and seems to have really taken a step forward with his progression this season. It will be exciting to see Shane in Lake County next yr? Although, I suspect he see some time MV, maybe at the end of this season as the Tribe looks to expose some younger players to higher levels of competition.

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