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Around the Farm: August 26, 2014

Around the Farm: August 26, 2014
Zach McAllister (Photo: Columbus Dispatch)
August 27, 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.

Zach McAllister (SP, Columbus): W (7-1), 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 8 K. McAllister continues to dominate inColumbus going six or more innings and allowing no more than three runs for the ninth straight time. He has done a much better job of limiting good contact, avoiding walks and getting more strikeouts in Columbus than he was in Cleveland – which begs the question as to whether he is truly making an adjustment or is just a 4A pitcher. I still believe it is more the former and that he can help a Major League rotation, but he just needs the consistency with his outings. That comes from commanding your fastball better, being more aggressive with it and having a good feel for your secondary stuff. It will be interesting if the Indians recall him or not in September. They already have Tomlin up in long relief, and they are not about to just give service time to a pitcher who won’t be used.

  • Jesus Aguilar (DH, Columbus): 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI. Aguilar continues his August power surge as he is slugging .625 with a .262 isolated power. I’ve said it a few times the past few days and will say it again, but it is inexcusable that he is still in Columbus when the Indians could really use his bat in Cleveland.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus): 2-for-4, K. Urshela is only hitting .243 over his last 10 games (9-for-37), but he’s coming out of his short mini-slump with hits in his last three games and going 5-for-12 at the plate.
  • Matt Carson (CF, Columbus): 2-for-4, R, SB. Carson is heating up as he is 7-for-9 over his last two games. It is a big improvement over the 9-for-51 (.176) stretch he had to start this month.
  • Bryan Price (RP, Columbus): S (4), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Price is starting to get into one of his grooves again as he has piled up 14.0 innings over his last 10 outings and has a 1.93 ERA, allowed just 7 hits and has an impressive 3-19 walk to strikeout ratio. Interestingly, he has a save in each of his last four outings. He should be a September callup, though likely part of the second wave once Columbus’ season ends.
  • Alex Lavisky (C, Akron): 2-for-3, PO. Lavisky was pretty much the only offense the RubberDucks had on the night as they were shutout and managed just 4 hits and were punched out 11 times. He’s having a solid season and I still see a Luke Carlin-like career for him (which is not a slight) as a guy who serves as upper level catching depth and maybe gets a small cup of coffee at some point in the big leagues.
  • Joe Wendle (2B, Akron): 1-for-3. Wendle has been back with Akron for six games now, going just 4-for-20 in those contests. This is after a 10-for-22 performance in six rehab games in Arizona. It has been a mildly disappointing season for him at Akron this year, but he by no means is a lost cause as a prospect.
  • Jason Giambi (DH, Akron): 0-for-3, 3 K. This is Giambi’s first game in his rehab assignment as he looks to come back from his “injury”. It pains me to see a once great player and extraordinary person continue to play when we all know he is done. But apparently the Indians are in fact going to reactivate him in September and give some pinch hitting at bats to him. I’d personally just like to see him added back to the roster and continue to be a leader in the clubhouse and dugout and that’s it.
  • Shawn Morimando (SP, Akron): L (2-5), 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 6 K. Morimando is having another strong season as he is up to 146.1 innings and has a chance to finish with around 160 innings once the playoffs are done. He’s right on track to be built up to around 180-185 innings next season and handle a full Major League load.
  • Adam Miller (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. When you look at Miller’s peripherals, you see a pretty solid pitcher with a .244 BAA, 1.60 GO/AO, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.6 K/9. Yet, his ERA is 5.58 because of some big blowups in a few outings. I hope the Indians bring him back because there might be something in there still if they can get him a little more consistent and that slider eventually comes around.
  • Yandy Diaz (3B, Carolina): 2-for-3, BB. Diaz is really finishing his first pro season strong. He missed the first two months because of a hand injury, but he has settled in and proven to be an on-base machine with a .399 OBP and outstanding 46-33 walk to strikeout ratio this season. I can’t wait to see what he does once his power starts to show itself in games.
  • Alex Monsalve (C, Carolina): 2-for-4, R, 2B. It has been a mixed bag for Monsalve this season. On one hand, he has been relatively healthy for the first time in two years and had a solid season at and behind the plate. On the other hand he is still in High-A and his once lofty prospect status has fallen considerably.
  • Joe Sever (1B, Carolina): 2-for-3, RBI. Sever has really been struggling at the pate, so this is a nice game for him and hopefully the start of him turning things around. Even with this effort, his August slash line is just .172/.286/.188/.473.
  • LeVon Washington (DH, Carolina): 1-for-1, 2 RBI, 2 BB. An excellent game for Washington, but looking at the big picture he has played just 66 games this season and looks like he will once again not play in at least half (70) of his team’s games in a season. He has only done that once in four full seasons, and the one time he did it he played in 79 games.
  • Adam Plutko (SP, Carolina): W (4-9), 5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K. Another solid outing for Putko, and aside from the two of three huge blowups this season his numbers would be fantastic. Even so, he’s logged 143.1 innings in his first pro season and has an outstanding 29-138 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • Josh Martin (RP, Carolina): S (3), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Martin blew away the competition in the ninth for his second save in his last two outings. He’s had quite the impressive month of August racking up a 0.71 ERA in nine appearances and in 12.2 innings has allowed 9 hits, 5 walks and has 16 strikeouts.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-4, R, BB. There was not much to note about individually from Lake County’s game, but they clawed out a 3-2 win and in the process have a magic number of one to make the playoffs. Frazier chipped in offensively by getting on base in two of his five plate appearances.
  • Mike Papi (RF, Lake County): 1-for-2, R, RBI, BB, K. Papi’s pro debut has certainly been a disappointment as he is hitting just .198 with a .627 OPS, though things are starting to click in August as he is hitting .286 over his last 10 games and has a .355 OBP for the month.
  • Luis Lugo (SP, Lake County): W (9-9), 5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Lugo is an example of another pitcher whose win-loss record (9-9) and ERA (5.16) don’t accurately show just how impressive he has been this season. He’s the guy scouts comment the most about, even more than the hot pitching Mitch Brown, and his peripherals are pretty good with a .260 BAA and 40-141 BB/K ratio in 120.1 innings.
  • Luis DeJesus (RP, Lake County): 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 3 K. I don’t know what happened to DeJesus this season. Apparently, the Indians don’t either. Maybe the wind was taken out of his sail when he did not start with a full season team, but if that’s the case he’s only hurt himself with his poor showing since.
  • Francisco Mejia (C, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-2, R, BB, HBP. Mejia had really the only good night at the plate for anyone in the Scrappers lineup as he reached base in three of his four plate appearances. He still might join Lake County for the playoffs, but it may not happen because I guess he’s had some attitude issues this season that Indians staff members are not all too happy about.
  • Yonathan Mendoza (3B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, RBI, K. Mendoza has some versatility and the Indians think there is still some upside to his bat. At age 20 and with an impressive 26-25 walk to strikeout ratio, I’m curious to see what kind of strides he can maybe make next season – likely at Lake County.
  • David Armendariz (RF, Mahoning Valley): 0-for-4, 2 K. The NY-Penn League has not been too kind to Armendariz since his promotion from rookie Arizona early this month. In 12 games with the Scrappers he has a tripe slash line of .125/.125/.125. Obviously, as you can see, he has yet to draw a walk or record an extra base hit.
  • Cameron Hill (SP, Mahoning Valley): L (1-2), 5.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K, HBP. Cameron pitched well but a temporary loss of control and focus was his undoing in this one. With two outs and no one on in the third he walked and then hit a batter before allowing his only hit of the game (a double) which scored both runners. Before and after that stretch he was exceptional, but the damage was done in that stretch of three batters.
  • Yu-Cheng Chang (SS, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, K. Chang was the only real notable offensive standout for an AZL Indians team that was shutout and limited to six hits on Tuesday. His multi-hit effort continues his strong August campaign where he is hitting .373 with a 1.059 OPS in 16 games.
  • Emmanuel Tapia (1B, AZL Indians): 1-for-2, 2 BB, K. Tapia has cooled a little since his hot start, but is still putting the finishing touches to a nice stateside debut. In 37 games he is hitting .308 with 4 HR, 26 RBI, 883 OPS and has a 17-34 BB/K ratio.
  • Mike Rayl (SP, AZL Indians): L (0-1), 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Rayl made his third rehab appearance and second straight start of 2.0 innings. These were the first runs he has allowed in those three appearances, but stats are something the organization does not even look at when a pitcher is just returning from a serious surgery.
  • Shao-Ching Chiang (RP, AZL Indians): 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Chiang is a little further ahead in his return from surgery and is starting to once again show his promise as a starting pitching prospect for the Indians. He threw a perfect four innings and has really looked strong this season. Also that 3-34 BB/K ratio in 45.2 innings is rather impressive.
  • Sam Hentges (RP, AZL Indians): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Another good outing for Hentges in his eighth pro appearance. In 13.0 innings he has allowed 4 hits, 3 R (1 ER), 5 walks and has 10 strikeouts. He has put together a nice pro debut in a relief role, but will be a starter next season. Chances are it will be in Arizona again next season as it will be a big foundation building year for him – along the lines of Casey Shane this season.

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

Bob
August 27, 2014 - 6:17 PM EDT
Price has performed his last two years in both AA and AAA and also in Venezuela. He is past ready to prove himself at the big league level. The value in holding him back? I don't get it. Is it strictly money! It appears he would be a cheap project to prove himself for next year. Makes no sense to not take him up and challenge him.
Tondo
August 27, 2014 - 6:01 PM EDT
Ryan,
I have those guys higher than Morimando simply because of a mix of stuff, track record and potential. Don't get me wrong though, I really like Morimando too. He reminds me of TJ House.

As for the Akron pitching staff. I expect both Colon and Roberts to be in Columbus next season. Anderson and DVS should repeat, joined by Morimando, Merritt and either Plutko, Baker or a FA
Ryan
August 27, 2014 - 5:00 PM EDT
Does anyone have a scouting report on ZMac and whether he was using his secondary stuff more? Or just blowing away the AAA hitters with his heavy mid-90s fastball?
Any particular reason Monsalve and Lucas were both at AA for a short time last year but then got dropped down to A+? Wolters was that highly thought of that he leapfrogged them even though he was younger? These two look like better hitters.
The disappointing production from the pitching staff of Akron makes me think that maybe for once, the Indians will be aggressive and start Morimando at AAA next year because in all honesty, there are absolutely no prospects deserving for the AAA rotation next year, it is kind of sad. Plus they need to make room in AA for the prospects in A+ like Plutko, Merrit and maybe even DJ Brown, Baker and Clevinger as they are getting up there in age.
And Carolina needs to make room for all the studs and priority guys (like Kime) at A-, who need to make room for the MV guys...etc.
@Tondo, is there any particular reason you have Anderson and Baker ahead of Morimando? They are both older than Morimondo right (Baker by a little bit, but Anderson by a lot)? I am shocked myself that Morimando is only 21, his mustache makes him look like he is in his mid-20s!
Tony
August 27, 2014 - 4:55 PM EDT
I'm using an educated guess on Price. No one has said he won't be up September 1st, but past history suggests they will call up 2-3 guys immediately once rosters expand - and those guys typically are guys that will be used and who have already gained some experience in the bigs. The rest will show up after the Columbus season and won't play much and only there for the experience.....I believe Price to be one of those guys. Sorta like Pestano in 2010 who came up in mid-September after the Clippers were done with the playoffs.
John
August 27, 2014 - 4:48 PM EDT
Tony- why do you think Price will be called up after Clipper season vs sept 1? He is peaking at the right time and there are very few relievers on the 40 man that are still in the minors. What criteria do the Indians use to determine this?
Hiram
August 27, 2014 - 4:38 PM EDT
Tony,

where do you anticipate Bradley and Zimmer beginning next year??
Peter
August 27, 2014 - 2:53 PM EDT
FREE JESUS AGUILAR!
Homer
August 27, 2014 - 2:05 PM EDT
Thanks Tony.
Tony
August 27, 2014 - 1:19 PM EDT
Homer, yep, Niebla talked about it with me last offseason:

http://www.indiansbaseballinsider.com/blog/coachs-corner-13-ruben-niebla-part-2-57482
Homer
August 27, 2014 - 1:06 PM EDT
Tony,

Have the Indians employed a different strategy to develop more SP? Maybe I'm paying closer attention, but it seems like they are (or will be) employing more piggyback situations. I guess it really speaks to the depth of the system. A lot of arms I like, but not really seeing a FOR arm (yet) in the minors.
Tony
August 27, 2014 - 12:56 PM EDT
Maronde is being rebuilt from the ground up. Indians are trying to start him. He is going to the Arizona Fall League and will continue to get work there.
Nikolaos
August 27, 2014 - 12:49 PM EDT
Any updates on the progress of Maronde? I saw he got shelled recently and was curious how long they will stick in attempting to make him a starter? Both he and Clevinger add to the aforementioned pitching depth.
Tony
August 27, 2014 - 12:03 PM EDT
Yep, mistakenly overlooked Shane. He definitely would be in the Lake County rotation. And I would think Pannone would also be in there at least in a piggyback. You also have Lovegrove who could piggyback or still get work in extended. Lots of options in Lake County. Tough to sort through.
Tondo
August 27, 2014 - 11:58 AM EDT
Pannone and C.Shane should be in the mix too at LC. Don't think they'll start them a 3rd straight season in Arizona. Same with Lovegrove.

Then there's Linares, who cost the Indians almost 1mil, so he'll be in consideration too being 21yo next year.

Polanco another option at Carolina. Aviles too

Do they really like Santana this much that he's a lock for a rotation spot in LC? He doesn't look like much from a track record or age/level standpoint

Kime has to start somewhere too. Same with Clevinger, who they traded for. What happens to Milbrath, DJ Brown, Sulser? Back to the BP/long relief?

Chiang has the age clock ticking and was a fairly high investment. Then there are the arms coming back from injury....Radeke, Mathews, Whitehouse. Where to put them?

Pretty crowded, so I don't expect both of Sheffield/Hockin to open at LC. Considering the depth and their youth, they may opt to bring them along slowly and keep both in Arizona as emergency depth with the plan to open at MV
BrianM
August 27, 2014 - 11:57 AM EDT
I think it is worth mentioning that this is the 2nd straight game that Frazier has avoided the strikeout. I'm pretty positive that it has not happened very often this year.
Tony
August 27, 2014 - 11:35 AM EDT
Plutko and Baker (moreso Plutko) have a chance to start at Akron, but it depends on who is where at Columbus/Akron to start, offseason moves, injuries and spring showing.....though I think chances are greater both open at Carolina. As for the Lake County rotation.....I would think Brady, Santana, one or both of Sheffied/Hockin, Hill and Merryweather but lots of piggybacks as guys like Speer, Carter and others could be on a five-day routine as well to develop as many starters as possible.
Hiram
August 27, 2014 - 11:26 AM EDT
Tony,

Any Idea what the Lake County rotation is going to look like next year??
Hiram
August 27, 2014 - 11:24 AM EDT
Carolina rotation next year with Brown, Baker, Lugo and Plutko is going to be big time
Bob
August 27, 2014 - 11:22 AM EDT
Morimando is someone I'm looking forward to following the next 2 years as he has the fastball and intangibles to be a quality middle of the staff starter.
Tondo
August 27, 2014 - 10:52 AM EDT
Yeah, the system is easily 30 deep in pretty good talent, even after some graduations. I don't see Morimando cracking the top 20 because of it. Too many bats in front of him and among pitchers, he's slightly behind the likes of Anderson, Baker, Lugo, Sheffield and in terms of upside probably even behind Plutko, Merritt, S.Brady, M.Brown, Shane, Hockin, Hentges. He certainly does belong somewhere in that group. In terms of age-level/perfomance he's among the best, no doubt. It's tough to rank the pitchers this offseason.

Wendle is still a guy who should be firmly in the top 20 still. He was crushing AA pitching just when he got injured. He's just in his 2nd full season and already in AA. Only Naquin was pushed as aggressive by the Indians.

You really can't mention Papi, another top 10-15 guy, without putting that BABIP of .227 next to his season stats. His 21:27 BB:K is strong. Combine that with his College track record and the fact he started off 3 for 38 in July jumping from College to a full season league, full of prospects in their 2nd to 4th minros season, and it doesn't look too bad anymore. With a normal BAPIP, he'd sit at .270-.280 with an OPS around .800, that's what his peripherals suggest he will be going forward.

As for Yandy Diaz, he's quietly had a nice season. He looks to be another borderline top 20 guy with a chance to shoot up the rankings with a good AA season. Same goes for J.Lucas, and somewhat for LeVonWash, who's the forgotten spec in Carolina. I expect him to open at Akron too and he could pull a Holt-like comeback next season.

Can't remember the last time the Indians system was this deep, both with elite and depth talent
Tony
August 27, 2014 - 10:31 AM EDT
Miniard should definitely repeat at Arizona. A lot of foundation building needed for him. Sheffield and Hockin are a little more advanced than Hentges and Miniard......so I think both should pitch at Mahoning Valley next year and if the Indians really want to push them they could open at Lake County like Mitch Brown did in 2013. But I think they will be more hesitant to do that and kind of go with the route Brady took this year. we will see.
Walter
August 27, 2014 - 10:28 AM EDT
You mentioned Hentges to repeat Arizona next season. Would that apply for Sheffield, Hockin and Minard? Or would Sheffield and Hockin start out at extended spring training and start there season at MV similar to Brady?

Tony
August 27, 2014 - 10:19 AM EDT
Morimando should start at Akron next year. Lugo should go to Carolina.

And Morimando should be in the Top 20....but it depends on how everyone else rates out too. A lot of Top 20 candidates. He was #22 this year, and my belief is he will be in the Top 20 somewhere.....but depth of good prospects in the system could keep him out. We shall see.

I wouldn't expect Naquin back....though I do expect him to get some at bats in Instructional League.
Tbone
August 27, 2014 - 10:10 AM EDT
I see Wendle has been back for some time, any word on Tyler Naquin coming back this year?
Hiram
August 27, 2014 - 10:00 AM EDT
Tony,

Morimando has been impressive... why do you think he can't crack the Indians' top 20?? He simply is getting ppl out
Hiram
August 27, 2014 - 9:57 AM EDT
Tony,

do you anticipate Lugo staying in Lake County to begin the year?? If so, he and Browns should be a nice combo
Hiram
August 27, 2014 - 9:56 AM EDT
Tony,

where do you see Morimando staring next year?

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