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Around the Farm: August 14, 2014

Ramsey's perfect night, Polanco's dominant outing highlight the night on the farm

Around the Farm: August 14, 2014
James Ramsey (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)
August 15, 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 that the Arizona League team was off on Thursday.

James Ramsey (CF, Columbus): 5-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI

James Ramsey (Photo: MiLB)The struggles Ramsey underwent in his first few games in the organization seem so far away now. Thanks to a five-game hit streak, hits in eight of his last nine games, and a recent power surge, Ramsey now owns a .314/.386/.549 line in his first 13 games in the Cleveland organization and at the Triple-A level. Naturally Ramsey is not a finished product -- his 16:5 SO:BB and .424 BABIP in those 13 games are reason to pause -- but it is an impressive performance nonetheless. The surprising power Ramsey had shown in the Cardinals organization has followed the 24-year-old so far, as his .235 isolated power really stands out and helps make up for the outfielder's issues with strikeouts. Overall, Ramsey has looked good in his first taste of Triple-A, something that should not be taken for granted given this is only the 2012 first round pick's second full professional season.

Anderson Polanco (SP, Lake County): ND, 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO

Anderson Polanco (Photo: MiLB)Polanco has never really been a highly-ranked prospect, but the 21-year-old left-hander is doing his best to change that in 2014. With Thursday's notable outing, Polanco simply continued the dominance he started upon being called up to Lake County in mid-June. Though Polanco started out in the bullpen, he is currently in the Captains' rotation and has put up some big numbers in his first two starts (10 strikeouts, three walks, four hits, and one run in nine innings). Paired with his 2.06 ERA and 43:14 SO:BB in 35.0 innings on the season, Polanco is turning himself into an intriguing left-hander starter to follow over the next few years. Obviously it will take more than two starts for Polanco to build value, but the 21-year-old is performing well in Lake County and doing everything in his power to put himself on the prospect map.

  • Kyle Davies (SP, Columbus): W (8-7), 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 4 SO. This was far from a dominant outing, but Davies still managed to go six innings and pitch effectively.
  • Bryan Price (RP, Columbus): H (5), 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO. Price got a late start to the season, but despite a few hiccups, the right-hander is throwing well in Columbus (3.66 ERA, 20:10 SO:BB in 19.2 innings).
  • Michael Bourn (DH, Columbus): 0-for-4, 2 SO. Though it would be nice to see Bourn tearing it up in the minors, major league rehab assignments really are all about getting players comfortable on the field again, not raw results.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SO. With some spots on the 40-man roster opening up, it seems possible Urshela could fill one of the openings and receive a September callup to reward his dominant 2014 season (.914 OPS in 24 Akron games; .833 OPS in 88 Columbus games).
  • Matt Carson (RF, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Carson has not overwhelmed in Columbus this season, but the 33-year-old does own a decent .753 OPS in 70 games.
  • Luke Carlin (C, Columbus): 1-for-1, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 BB. Carlin has been around for a while, but the 33-year-old still knows how to get on base and be a veteran anchor on a roster.
  • Will Roberts (SP, Akron, Game 1): W (12-11), 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 1 WP. Roberts just keeps rolling along, posting another strong outing while filling the zone with strikes. The right-hander is down to a 3.97 ERA with a 88:30 SO:BB in 145.0 innings this season.
  • Shawn Armstrong (RP, Akron, Game 1): S (15), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Now with 68 strikeouts in 50.0 innings -- to go with a solid 3.4 BB/9 -- it should only be a matter of time until the 23-year-old gets a shot in Columbus.
  • Anthony Gallas (DH, Akron, Game 1): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO. Gallas' first extended exposure to Double-A really could not be going any better, as the 26-year-old owns a .952 OPS and .260 isolated power in 57 games.
  • Justin Toole (3B, Akron, Game 1): 2-for-4, 2 RBI. Though Toole does not hit for much power, the utility man is continuing to make a ton of contact and get on base at a good rate (.361 on-base percentage, 24:13 SO:BB in 65 games).
  • Cody Anderson (SP, Akron, Game 2): ND, 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO. Since returning from the disabled list, Anderson has looked much more on point, striking out five batters with only one walk, two hits, and no runs in nine innings.
  • Jaime Pedroza (SS, Akron, Game 2): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. After a 2-for-4 outing in game one, Pedroza followed up with his first home run in the Cleveland organization in game two.
  • Alex Lavisky (C, Akron, Game 2): 0-for-3, 1 SO. Though Lavisky had an 11-game hitting streak coming into Thursday, all good things come to an end.
  • Ollie Linton (CF, Akron, Game 2): 1-for-1, 3 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS. The RubberDucks only managed one run in game two, but based on Linton's performance here, it certainly was not his fault.
  • Adam Plutko (SP, Carolina): L (3-8), 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR. Plutko has had his share of ups and downs since being called up to High-A, but with a 4.33 ERA and 63:16 SO:BB in 79.0 innings, his overall performance is pretty solid.
  • Eric Haase (DH, Carolina): 0-for-4, 2 SO. After posting a .270/.338/.514 line with 16 home runs in 77 games in Lake County this season (and a .250/.322/.439 line with 14 home runs in 104 games in Lake County last year), Haase finally made his long-awaited Mudcats debut on Thursday.
  • Torsten Boss (2B, Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 3B. Boss started the season in Carolina but found himself back in Low-A in late-May. The 23-year-old was recently called back up to High-A, though, and is 2-for-6 with a walk in his first two games.
  • Yhoxian Medina (SS, Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 SO. Medina is hitting well this season, though a few more extra base hits would really raise his overall line to a new level (.296/.359/.373 through 82 games).
  • Justin Brantley (RP, Lake County): BS (3), 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO. Brantley's 2014 season has been so insane that this poor outing still only raises his ERA to 1.62 and lowers his SO:BB to 37:12 in 33.1 innings.
  • Paul Hendrix (2B, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SO, 2 E. Hendrix started the season on fire, but the infielder is looking to get back to that level more consistently. The 22-year-old had a .907 OPS in the first half, but only a .684 OPS to date in the second half.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Another extra base hit gives Rodriguez 45 on the season and an impressive .204 isolated power in 113 games.
  • Dorssys Paulino (LF, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 SO. Paulino is continuing to show signs of improvement since being moved to left field, posting a .251/.325/.359 line in those 70 games.
  • Juan Santana (SP, Mahoning Valley): L (0-7), 3.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 1 WP, 1 HBP. The 21-year-old Santana has had trouble limiting hits so far in 2014, with 65 through 49.0 innings to go with a 5.14 ERA and 28:15 SO:BB.
  • Cortland Cox (RP, Mahoning Valley): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO. Making his Mahoning Valley debut, the 32nd round pick in last year's draft dominated the New York-Penn League competition.
  • Ordomar Valdez (2B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-5, 2 2B. Valdez is another player who does not typically hit for much power (.062 isolated power in 29 games), but the 20-year-old had his extra base stroke going on Thursday.
  • Greg Allen (RF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI. Bradley Zimmer's return pushed Allen back to right field, but the 21-year-old is still looking good overall in his professional debut (.261/.370/.324 line, 20:20 SO:BB in 44 games).

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at jpiasci1@gmail.com. If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

Tony
August 16, 2014 - 11:49 PM EDT
Connor, the Swisher and Bourn deals are unfortunately a sad reality why the Indians just can't get involved in big spending in free agency. They are average players who were overpaid....they were average to slightly above average when they signed. The Indians simply can't afford to dole out that kind of money and payroll space on such players. Spending like that has to go to pitching.

Joey, Rayl is coming back from TJ surgery.

Nikolaus, I don't see the Parra comp with Ramsey. Granted we have yet to see it translate to the majors yet, Ramsey looks to have a better approach as he gets on base more, has a little more pop and sees to be a legit option in center field whereas Parra just "handles" it.
Ryan
August 16, 2014 - 4:46 AM EDT
The biggest albatross is Swisher. He can't play defense and he can't hit so he has no use. At least Bourn has some skills, he is just overpaid. You might be able to find someone to take Bourn at half the salary, but he may have use as insurance if Holt is only a AAAA player. Of course the risk of having anywhere on the 25 man roster is that Francona does a horrible job realizing when to stop using vets and using the young guys. Holt was on the 25-man and Francona refused to use Holt, even as a defensive replacement.
Nick
August 15, 2014 - 8:59 PM EDT
In a weird way I wonder if the Dolan's are okay with the struggles of Bourn and Swisher; the pressure to "pay up" is greatly diminished in the future, IMO.

Really excited for the growth of Polanco; next year will be a big growth year for him but he has the potential to grow into a Top 10 system prospect.

Can't wait for this off season, the team really has a lot of options and can be aggressive if they so choose. Some good catcher depth that they could parlay, as well as MI talent.
Homer
August 15, 2014 - 3:13 PM EDT
Amazing and frustrating how the Indians seem to have these dead weight contracts that really hinder the team. Hafner now Swisher and Bourn. Hard not to blame the team for being apprehensive about spending in FA.
Nikolaos
August 15, 2014 - 12:43 PM EDT
Recently, one of my friends from Chicago was telling me that James Ramsey is very similar to Milwaukee Brewers outfield Gerardo Parra, except Ramsey has the potential to be a better defender. I am curious what you think about this comparison, Tony?
Joey
August 15, 2014 - 12:12 PM EDT
Tony, so what is the injury or injuries Mike Rayl is returning from ?
art
August 15, 2014 - 12:04 PM EDT
As mentioned in Jim's summary, Plutko has been a bit up and down since being called up to Carolina. However, he seems to also have developed a very odd pattern of pitching well on the road but often poorly at home. Road game last night, and a great outing.
Tondo
August 15, 2014 - 11:16 AM EDT
That's what they will do though, Homer. Imagine your Antonetti for a moment. No way can he admit the mistake of signing them by dumping them. He will be in Dolan's ear all offseason how those guys will rebound to career norms. That's the only selling point he has towards ownership. The moment he dumps them, his job is on the line, as he's basically admitting to have totally botched it.
Of course it would be the right thing to do, but Swisher and Bourn will be on the roster next season too. Maybe he moves or dumps Aviles, Raburn or Murphy, but I expect at least 3-4 of those 5 to be on the 25 next April.

So much for "the players will make that decision"...

Nice game by Ramsey, getting him, Walters, Maronde and Clevinger for dead weight or nothing is the part where Antonetti makes up for his blunders. He's a .500 GM that put together a .500 team, that's the way I see it
Connor
August 15, 2014 - 11:13 AM EDT
Tony,
At this point, we could probably place Bourn and Swish on waivers and no one would claim them. I loved the moves when we signed them, because it showed the Dolan's wanted to win, but boy did they go south ever so quickly. Murphy we probably couldn't get much back for, and his 6 million salary is modest enough that if we didn't get somewhat of a return, I wouldn't be hasty pulling the trigger.
Rich
August 15, 2014 - 11:10 AM EDT
Could be a major turnover next year with Lindor, Ramsey, Walters, Urshela and possibly Aguilar, Holt, and Moncrief all knocking on the door.

I don't see Raburn, Aviles and Dickerson coming back, although I think Raburn has a guaranteed contract. He's definitely a candidate for a salary dump if some team is willing to gamble on him.

I can't see anybody taking Bourn or Swisher's contracts off our hands, but if we could pull it off I would vote for Antonetti as Exec of the Year. If Swisher has successful knee surgery (assuming he needs it), he could have a comeback season and be a productive player. But I'm not counting on it.

The key is for Bauer and Salazar developing into high level starters to go along with Kluber, and if Carrasco could be successfully transitioned back to starting, that would be huge. Then we would just need one of McAllister, Tomlin, or House to put up decent numbers as a #5 and the rotation would be in good shape.
Homer
August 15, 2014 - 10:50 AM EDT
I don't think the Indians can just sit back and hope these guys improve or return to career norms. Swisher, Bourn and Murphy should have been veteran leaders this yr. Instead they accounted for over $30M in dead weight. Maybe Swisher rebounds, maybe he doesn't same could be said for all three. Bourn appears to be in udder decline, maybe someone will save the Tribe and claim him on waivers. I don't see Swisher going anywhere. Murphy seems to be the easiest to move, as his $6.5M salary will be palatable to some teams as a bench piece. I was hoping he'd post a solid Aug. and end up traded before Sept. Then the injury bug hit. Now he might be done for the season bc of the timing. I think Swisher is unmovable right now too, unlike Murphy I doubt anyone would bite on his deal this offseason. So the only one that might be healthy enough to be moved is Michael Bourn. The only way he's moved is if the Indians pickup at least half of his remaining $28M salary. I hope the Indians at least consider it. With the young players coming up and several looking like they are ready to contribute...save the money, play some of these young players and move some of these vets (read: Murphy and Bourn).
allhailshapiro
August 15, 2014 - 10:29 AM EDT
FREE ANTHONY GALLAS
Mark
August 15, 2014 - 10:11 AM EDT
Couldn't agree more, Tony. I don't even care if the Indians get nothing for either guy, just a straight salary dump, would go miles to making this a better club next year and in 2016 and beyond.
hawk1228
August 15, 2014 - 9:38 AM EDT
I read these reports faithfully everyday
As I watch the Tribe and I read these reports I wonder which players can possibly help next year and which if any are more than average players at best.
Giovanny Urshela is he ready and if he is which player is moved Chisenhall?
James Ramsey, Zach Walters, Carlos Moncrief, Tyler Holt realistically how close are these guys? Do we keep them in the minors for another year? If they are ready who gets moved Swisher Bourn Murphy ? How much of a market is there for those players with their current contracts?
Ramirez Lindor Aquilar or Santana and Avilas Again when do we find out about Aquilar? Will Lindor be ready next season ? Is it possible to have the left side of the infield be filled by two rookies? Reading those reports our defense would improve but would we offensively?
Starting pitching is not deep Obviously we will need starting pitching, can Antonetti move a Chisenhall or Santana similar to the Choo trade and bring us back a pitcher like Bauer?
What is the realistic view of this club as far as contending? Will we be able to contend with what may be young players? Tito favors veteran presence how many rookies will be in the opening day lineup and still be able to contend?
Tony you always state that players will make that decision. Watching this team this year I see 500 ball club and just watched two games where we faced a rookie pitcher shut this offense down and a pitcher we let go baffle the lineup thru 5 innings. This division was winnable this season, unfortunately some of our starters did not have the year we hoped for and some of our everyday players are having awful seasons. Are those players making that decision? Of those players I read about every day in these reports, which one do you really believe will be here in Cleveland next season?
Tony
August 15, 2014 - 8:59 AM EDT
Boy, I hope the Ramsey acquisition is only the first of two moves. The second being trading one or both of Murphy/Bourn this offseason.
Bob
August 15, 2014 - 8:50 AM EDT
for the start Nellie had last year, to see him be fairly consistent is a good sign. if he continues to refine and is able to duplicate this at the next level I feel he has a chance to be a plus Hit 1B/DH at ML level.

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