Around the Farm: August 19, 2012
By Jim Pete
August 20, 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.
Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County Captains: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB:
It’s actually been awhile since Lindor has been atop my ATF reports, so I thought I’d throw him a bone after his solid outing on Sunday night. There’s been a lot of scuttlebutt about how Lindor has struggled over the past month+. While I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a little concern…that’s all it is…a little concern. Lindor is 18…and won’t be 19 until November. He’s been described by everyone I’ve talked to as a presence in the locker room and on the field, and is the leader of this team in many ways. Besides, the season isn’t over yet, and if there’s one thing that Lindor has taught me is that there isn’t a slump he can’t break out of.
Dorssys Paulino: SS, AZL Indians: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI:
Alright, I couldn’t help myself. Lindor and Paulino are the two best players in this system, and with Lindor turning 19 on November 14th, and Paulino turning 18 on November 21st, they’ll be the same age for an entire week. This is really going to be an interesting battle going forward, as Lindor represents the best of the best defensively, while Paulino is the best of the best on offense. Which side will win out, and likely move the other to another position? My money is on Paulino moving at some point, but there’s a LONG way to go in this battle, and a lot of unknown. With that said, Paulino has multi-hit games in five of six games, and his .355 average is now second overall in the AZL League. He has seven homers, which is second in the league to Joey Gallo’s 18 HOMERS. Point is, this kid can rack it up…and did I mention he’s only 17?
Will Roberts: SP, Carolina Mudcats: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 6 K, 1 HR:
Roberts only mistake came in the fifth inning, when he gave up a harmless solo shot to Vincent DiFazio. Other than that, Roberts was dominant on Sunday, showcasing whey the Indians selected the lanky lefty in the fifth round last year. He now has four straight starts of six innings or more, and six straight starts of five or more. He has the look of an innings eater in the least, and as he gains more and more stamina and consistency, possibly more. It hasn’t been an easy road for Roberts, but his 5.45 ERA in Carolina doesn’t tell the whole story.
- Vinny Rottino: RF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R: Rottino has four multi-hit games in his last ten, and is hitting .293 over the last ten, and .280 on the season for the Clippers.
- Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 2-for-5, 3 R, 1 BB: Phelps is unconscious right now, hitting .438 over his last eight ballgames, scoring 10 runs, with three doubles, three homers and 10 RBI. His 1.283 OPS is leading the league during that streak.
- Russ Canzler: LF, Columbus: LF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K: The Indians are terrible, and while Canzler isn’t a long-term solution to any team, I have a morbid curiosity to see what this kid can do. I have a feeling that Casey Kotchman is days away from being a former member of the Tribe, and when that happens, look for Canzler to get a shot, albeit a temporary one. Canzler is one homer away from tying his season high of 21.
- Lars Anderson: 1B, Columbus: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K: Anderson cranked out his first multi-hit game for the Tribe organization in his fifteenth ballgame, and launched his average from .159 to .191. His two RBI on Sunday were twice as many as his total coming into the game.
- Jeanmar Gomez: SP, Columbus: 4 2/3 IP, 9 H, 8 R/ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 1 HR: Just when you thought Gomez was a Quad A player, he goes and gets lit up twice in a row, making me wonder if he’s even a Triple A player. Seriously, I think Gomez has major league potential, but he HAS to be consistent, or he isn’t worth the effort. We’ve got enough of these” implode every couple of starts” kinda guys.
- Thomas Neal: LF, Akron: 0-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SB: I refuse to say anything nice about Thomas Neal…even though he managed to score twice without a hit, walked twice, and stole a base. I absolutely refuse to say that he deserves a promotion to Columbus, or any other team that starts with a C, even though he does.
- Chun Chen: DH, Akron: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SB: Chen was the only Aero with two hits, and is still hitting .321. Chen has now lost his position, and is a non-power producing DH. Hmmm…sounds perfect for a future Cleveland DH. Is there a button for sarcasm?
- Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K: Aguilar hasn’t exploded yet, but he has hit two doubles, scored two runs, driven in four and walked three times in his five games. He’s also struck out six times. Give him time though, he’s better than folks think he is.
- Paulo Espino: SP, Akron: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 HR: Espino gave up two homers, but still walked off the hill on Sunday with a chance to win the game. Trey Haley gave up a run to blow Espino’s chance to win, but he continues to pitch well. What I can’t figure is how Espino became a strikeout pitcher. Over his last nine starts, he’s only had less than five K’s twice. In his last four games over 23 innings, he has 30 K’s and 8 K’s.
- Cole Cook: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 2 K: Cook made his first appearance for the Aeros this year, completing the big four. He’s not appeared with all four full season organizations this season, and the sleeper has an ERA of 3.09 at the four levels. Not bad.
- Justin Toole: 3B, Carolina: 3-for-4: This really is who Toole is on a good day…three singles and nothing much else. This isn’t a rip on the kid, but he’s a defense first sort, so anything offensive if icing.
- Tyler Cannon: 1B, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 RBI: I love Cannon’s bat, and it’s one of the unheralded ones in the system. He now has four multi-hit games in the last seven, and is a plus defender at several positions. The question now is whether or not he can advance to where he should be as a kid about to turn 25.
- Fabio Martinez: RP, Carolina: BS (1), L (0-1), 1/3 IP, 2 R/ER, 3 BB: I guess I’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves. His ERA is 8.10…but he’s new…so I suppose there’s a honeymoon period, right? Wrong. In a system full of bullpen guns, Martinez better pick up the pace, or get out of the way.
- Grant Sides: RP, Carolina: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R/1 ER, 3 BB: I’m a huge Sides fan, but he’s not been pitching well. After two solid outings that looked like a rebound effort, he got torched again, and has now given up runs in four of his last seven games.
- Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB: Ramirez has a five game hit streak, is hitting .375 over his last ten games, and .349 for the Captains. Say what you want about Ramirez, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s a top 25 guy, and one to watch next year. If he replicates this production in the tough Carolina League next year, then he serves notice to the guys ahead of him that he’s breathing down their neck.
- Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI: I’m sorry, but if Sabourin isn’t the breakout player of the year, than who is? Some would say Ramirez, but he hit .325 last season. Sabourin really came outta nowhere…and what a season he’s put together. He’s currently hitting .307, and by my count, has 293 multi-hit games this season. Seriously, the kid can hit…just without any power. Don’t worry Jerrud, I’ll have the whole first base side wearing “Sabour-tooth Tiger” shirts next year when you’re raking in Carolina!
- Bryson Myles: DH, Lake County: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 K: Myles is officially back to business, and is starting to show the tools kid that made many reminiscent of a young Kirby Puckett last season. Over his last six games, he has a slash line of .348/.400/.565. He’s going to explode next year, if he can stay healthy. I hate prefacing with that statement.
- Luigi Rodriguez: CF, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K: Rodriguez hit his tenth home run, an inside the park home run. The kid can fly.
- Zach MacPhee: LF, Lake County: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K: MacPhee was 1-for-25 over his previous eight games coming into Sunday’s game. Just not very good.
- Nicholas Pasquale: SP, Lake County: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 4 K: Pasquale made his first start with the Captains, and made it a really good one. He’s been solid all around for Lake County, to the tune of a 1.96 ERA.
- Francisco Valera: RP, Lake County: 4 IP, 1 BB, 4 K: This was as close to perfection as you can get, and he LOWERED his ERA to 5.27.
- Andrew Campbell: LF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB: The Australian prospect has really struggled this season, so it was good to see a multi-hit effort from the 20-year-old.
- Joe Wendle: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-6, 1 2B, 1 K: The league should just post two or more hits for Wendle for the rest of the year, and leave it at that. The kid isn’t proving a thing right now that he hasn’t already proven. His average is back up to .323.
- Joe Sever: DH, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: I won’t deny it…every time Sever has two hits, he gets one step closer to Cleveland, and I want to see Elway’s nephew playing for Cleveland. That’s the kind of thing that break’s curses…um…did I just say that out loud? And what curse would it break, anyways, the baseball, or the football…or both? Wait…did I say THAT out loud?
- Juan Romero: RF, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-6, 1 RBI, 3 K: Romero has 58 K’s in 37 games. I should stop right there, but I’ll proceed to the fact that it was Romero’s single that drove in Joe Sever to win the game in the 14th.
- Jacob Lee: SP, Mahoning Valley: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K: Lee continued to be the pitching version of Joe Wendle, dominating a league in which he should be too old for, and yet…here he is.
- Geoff Davenport: RP, Mahoning Valley: 3 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 1 K: Well, he gave up four hits and four walks in under four innings, but didn’t give up a run…so there’s that I guess.
- Scott Peoples: RP, Mahoning Valley: 1 2/3 IP, 1 BB, 1 K: Talk about a kid that’s under the radar. He’s young, and has some stuff, but isn’t a name that folks are talking about. At the end of the day though, he’s got a 2.21 ERA in 20 1/3 innings, with only six walks and 18 K’s. This kid does have upside, so watch him closely.
- Jack Wagoner: RP, Mahoning Valley: 3 IP, 2 H, 3 K: Wagoner’s had seven shutout appearances in his past nine, and has done enough as an older pitcher in this league to move forward and see what he has next season. He’ll have to pitch better though.
- Rafael Homblert: RP, Mahoning Valley: W (2-0), 3 IP, 1 H, 2 K: Holmbert is 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his last ten games, covering 15 2/3 innings, with three walks and 13 K’s. Similar size to Peoples, and similar numbers. Some interesting sleepers here in Mahoning…that is for sure.
- LeVon Washington: DH, AZL Indians: 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K: Washington returned to baseball after missing most of the season. He got on base and scored a run, and will likely spend the winter getting back on track.
- Jorge Martinez: 3B, AZL Indians: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Martinez and Paulino were the only Indians with hits in this one, so the Athletics staff need some sort of award, because this lineup has been destroying pitchers of late. Seriously…did you all see that Joey Gallo of the Rangers has 18 homers, and is leading the league by 11 homers…seriously…that crazy. Sorry Jorge, running on a tangent. This is the kid that hit a 442 foot homer at Petco last year, which was the 10th longest in the history of the field. Alright…refocus…refocus…wow…18 homers…crazy…
- Caleb Hamrick: RP, AZL Indians: 2 IP, 3 K: Hamrick, the Indians eighth round pick, made his second appearance, and absolutely dominated in a game in which the Athletics were having their way with all the other Tribe pitchers. I like Hamrick…he has good size and while the velocity makes me think of the typical slider pitchers the Indians have drafted over the years, I really think this kid is going to end up in the mid-90’s when it’s all said and done. If he does, he could be a sleeper sort going forward.
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 email@example.com.
Would also like to see Washington show some speed on the basepaths. It would be a strong indicator that he's fully recovered from his hip surgery. Probably shouldn't expect too much too soon, and maybe he won't ever fully recover.