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Around the Farm: August 27, 2014

Mejia's big night, Bautista helping the Captains clinch highlight the night on the farm

Around the Farm: August 27, 2014
Claudio Bautista (Photo: Brittany Chay)
August 28, 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.

Francisco Mejia (C, Mahoning Valley): 4-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 1 SB

Francisco Mejia (Photo: MiLB)Wednesday was a big day for Mejia, as the top-five prospect in the system not only went off at the plate, but also had the walk off single for the Scrappers. At only 18 years old, the fact that Mejia is Mahoning Valley's main catcher and is still hitting at a decent level (.277/.331/.394 line in 61 games) is quite impressive. Plus, that level of performance does not account for the growth and projection that should be ahead for the switch hitter as he progresses through the system. Despite his strong statistical performance, however, some attitude issues have been raised recently which put a bit of a damper on Mejia's season. The good news is that not only does Mejia being so young add to his projection, seeing attitude problems from a teenager (and one who will remain a teenager until after the conclusion of next season) also makes perfect sense. It is easy to forget that these prospects are sometimes essentially children who are going through the rigors of minor league baseball; sometimes their maturity is not all there just yet. These things happen, and more often than not, simply getting older will do a lot to solve the problem. Mejia should be fine long-term, both on-the-field and off it.

Claudio Bautista (2B, Lake County): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 PO

Claudio Bautista (Photo: MiLB)Bautista played a big role in Wednesday's win for the Captains, a victory that clinched their spot in the Midwest League playoffs. The second baseman launched his 12th home run of the season, which continued Bautista's power burst in 2014 (.159 isolated power in 114 games). But despite a solid power output, much of the focus has been put on Bautista's low .278 on-base percentage and 2.6 percent walk rate this season. While both those numbers will not work long-term, the bigger picture is that Bautista has shown some upside while in Lake County this season while handling Low-A as a 20-year-old. That is a perfectly normal age for a future major league player to be in Low-A, and while Bautista is not a finished product, most 20-year-olds are not. Bautista does not need to be perfect now, and though he is not getting on base or walking much in 2014, this season has still gone pretty well for the second baseman.

  • Toru Murata (SP, Columbus): W (4-3), 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR, 1 WP. This was not a dominant outing by any means, but as usual, Murata took the ball ate up a decent amount of innings.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 2-for-2, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 BB, 2 HBP. This was quite the game for Moncrief as the right fielder reached base all five times he went to the plate (twice in a painful way). Moncrief owns a .276/.333/.442 line in 128 games this season.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Aguilar now has a hit in 17 of his last 18 games as he continues to demolish International League pitching (.901 OPS in 115 games) and make his case for being back in Cleveland.
  • Elliot Johnson (LF, Columbus): 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SF. Johnson's versatility gives him value, but his offense in Triple-A has cratered (.662 OPS in 83 games), which will make it hard for the 30-year-old to find another major league gig in 2015.
  • Matt Carson (CF, Columbus): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB. All in all, Carson has put together a decent season in Columbus (.260/.337/.425 line in 81 games) and should get another similar job somewhere next year if he wants it.
  • Nick Maronde (SP, Akron): L (0-2), 4.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR. Though he has allowed 12 runs (11 earned) and two home runs in eight Akron innings, there is some good news in that Maronde has shown an ability to get the ball over the plate and induce some strikeouts (9:2 SO:BB).
  • Louis Head (RP, Akron): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO. This outing is not much, but it is the continuation of improved performance from Head of late. The right-hander has not allowed a run in August while posting a 15:3 SO:BB in 12.2 innings.
  • Ryan Raburn (DH, Akron): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 SO. Though the results are not all that special, the more important thing is that Raburn continued to put work in as he rehabs his way back to the major league roster.
  • Jaime Pedroza (3B, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 E. Pedroza had the only extra base hit for the RubberDucks on Wednesday. The infielder owns an .871 OPS in 17 games since joining the organization.
  • Bryson Myles (LF, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 SO, 1 SB. Meniscus surgery interrupted Myles' season, but overall, the soon-to-be 25-year-old put together a decent Double-A debut (.268/.336/.404 line in 79 games).
  • Michael Clevinger ( SP, Carolina): ND, 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO, 1 WP, 1 HBP. Since coming into the organization, throwing the ball over the plate has been an issue for Clevinger, with the right-hander allowing nine walks and hitting two batters in 15.0 innings.
  • Cole Sulser (RP, Carolina): L (4-13), 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 WP. The results continue to not match the peripherals for Sulser. Despite a shiny 3.20 FIP in 125.0 High-A innings, Sulser also owns a troublesome 5.62 ERA.
  • Alex Monsalve (C, Carolina): 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 PB. Though his season stats are not great, Monsalve seems to have settled in as the season has gone along. Given his high prospect standing in the past, Monsalve makes for a decent post-hype sleeper now that he is healthy and is only entering his age-23 season next year.
  • Luigi Rodriguez (LF, Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 SB. Speaking of post-hype sleepers, Rodriguez's lack of power hurts his overall line, but the 21-year-old is still young, seemingly 100 percent healthy again, and showing some decent top-of-the-lineup production (.344 on-base percentage, 15 steals in 95 games).
  • Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): W (8-8), 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO, 1 HR, 1 WP. Though it is using arbitrary endpoints, isolating Brown's elite second half performance (2.32 ERA, 9.3 SO/9, 2.2 BB/9 in 73.2 innings) really gets the point across that the right-hander has taken a big step forward this season and shown the ability to tap into his talent.
  • Trevor Frank (RP, Lake County): S (18), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. At 23 years old, Frank is old for the Midwest League, but his 2.68 ERA, 10.2 SO/9, and 1.5 BB/9 in 53.2 innings should get him a look in Carolina next year and could be the start of something special for the right-hander.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI. Rodriguez stayed hot here and is another case where the second half stats show a player displaying just how good he can be (.309/.385/.554 line, .245 isolated power in 61 games).
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 3 SO. It has been written here before and will be written again, but despite numbers that are more pedestrian than amazing, Frazier is having a solid full season professional debut that should set him up for success in the years ahead.
  • Sean Brady (SP, Mahoning Valley): ND, 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO. Brady did another good job of limiting runs, but how long he can get away with subpar peripherals (5.6 SO/9, 3.4 BB/9 in 71.0 innings) is a long-term question for another day.
  • Anthony Vizcaya (RP, Mahoning Valley): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO. This season has proved to be a rough one for Vizcaya, who owns a 10.64 ERA, 14.7 H/9, and 5.5 BB/9 in 33.0 innings.
  • Bradley Zimmer (CF, Mahoning Valley): 0-for-2, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SB. Zimmer did not do much with his bat Wednesday, but the 2014 first round pick found his way on base and was a nuisance for the Jamestown Jammers once aboard.
  • Austin Fisher (SS, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Fisher may be struggling in his first taste of professional ball (.507 OPS in 43 games), but there is still plenty of time for the 13th round pick to change the story in the years to come.
  • Grant Hockin (SP, AZL Indians): ND, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. Hockin, on the other hand, has hit the ground running in his professional debut. The 2014 second round pick owns a 3.86 ERA and 19:4 SO:BB through 21.0 innings.
  • Jared Robinson (RP, AZL Indians): L (0-2), 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 WP. The same goes for Robinson, who has walked a few more batters than Hockin (19:7 SO:BB in 22.0 innings) but also has a much lower 1.23 ERA.
  • Emmanuel Tapia (1B, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 E. Tapia had the only multi-hit game and the only extra base hit for the Arizona League team last night as the 18-year-old pushed his OPS to .895 in 38 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

Homer
August 28, 2014 - 7:52 PM EDT
Greg78,

I wouldn't call Mike Papi polarizing... most of "us" fans on here realize a cpl mths hardly makes a career. There is always that few though, that seem to lack ........ I'll let you fill in the blank. Overall, I'm very pleased with this draft class and encouraged by Papi's recent performance. This is a draft class that I think we could be pointing back to in the next 3-5 yrs as a group that really set up the farm system / Tribe for success.
Tondo
August 28, 2014 - 4:51 PM EDT
Yeah, the Papi bust talk is laughable. It will quickly become another reason to deride the troll. He was moved from College straight to a full season squad and still has the best BB:K ratio on the team. Windmill Frazier surely could learn something from him. Once some of the contact he makes drop for hits and the BABIP corrects itself, then fans will be happy. Really, if his BABIP was at .300, everyone would be stoked about his stats, especially since his approach is good.

And regarding the trolls: at least teameastside obviously has watched and is a fan of The Wire, the greatest HBO series ever made. It's all in the game, you should go see it, if you haven't already. The guy brings some Ziggy like humor to this site, I'm ok with it
Tondo
August 28, 2014 - 4:41 PM EDT
No way doe Tapia start on a full season squad. The reasons are age, Bobby Bradley and being a butcher on the field. He'll be in EST and maybe start at MV or repeat in the AZL, depending how the next draft shakes out probably. Not many prospects that age get pushed from AZL zo LC, not even Mejia and he's a top 5 (or Brady, who opened at MV after a strong AZL showing). Best shots from the AZL squad, among the 18/19yo, have the priority specs like B.Bradley, Chang, Sheffield, Hockin, maybe Sayles and C.Shane, because they were there the past two seasons. Maybe some relievers they really like and want to challange too, but that's it. Probably only about a max of 3-4 of them go straight to LC

What does Enosil Tejeda have to do to get to Columbus? He's dominating AA for close to 100 IP over the past two seasons. I think he will be lost to in the Rule 5 draft.

Bautista has an intriguing power-speed combo. If he can learn to be more selective at the plate, he could take off. Urshela had the same issue holding him back, but he figured it out this season. Bautista will be an interesting project going forward, who has the upside to shoot up rankings in similar fashion.
Greg78
August 28, 2014 - 4:27 PM EDT
Papi has obviously become a pretty polarizing figure on this board since being drafted in the 1st round, perhaps even more than Tyler Naquin 2 years ago. I guess that's how it goes with high picks. But can't we wait at least a year to drop the "bust" label on the guy? I mean, "bust" is a pretty bold thing to say about a guy 2 months into his professional career. Now, with a guy like Dillon Howard, it was pretty obvious early he was going to implode, but that's the exception, not the rule.

Also, is it just me or has #TeamEastside trolling us all week?
#TeamEastside
August 28, 2014 - 2:16 PM EDT
Mitch Brown is a balla, ya heard?

2nd Half of Season: 74 IP, 52 H, 18 BB, 76 K

"You come at the king, you best not miss"
Hunky flab smells like rotten bacon
August 28, 2014 - 1:14 PM EDT
Pencil in Joe Sever as getting released in the off-season.. Bradley should start in LC as the 1st baseman and Nrod at Carolina in 2015.
Nikolaos
August 28, 2014 - 12:57 PM EDT
@Walter

I agree...Bradley, Rodriguez, Tapia....then you have a 2nd tier with Sever, Castillo, etc. Considering there was no depth there at the start of the season...things are looking up.
art
August 28, 2014 - 12:42 PM EDT
I think Mitch Brown is clearly now a top 10 Indians prospect.
Walter
August 28, 2014 - 12:41 PM EDT
@Nickolas

I could see the Indians having both Bradley and Tapia at Lake County. Both would cover 1B/DH roles for Lake County. If they want both to improve there defensive skills there could be a good possibility that Bradley would be at LC and Tapia at MV. It will be interesting to follow potential 1B for next year between Rodriquez, Bradley and Tapia.

Sternfan10
August 28, 2014 - 12:12 PM EDT
Im calling it now, Papi is a bust. The Tribe got snookered on this guy and wasted a high draft pick. If you cannot hit a low A then your going to really struggle at High A
Nikolaos
August 28, 2014 - 10:53 AM EDT
Because of the success of the recently drafted guys in the AZL, Emmanuel Tapia has quietly had a very good year for an 18 year old with only 1 year of Dominican Summer League experience (where he hit .223 in 65 games with a .615 OPS). I'm curious to see if they send him back to the AZL next year, or if he will be with Mahoning Valley or even Lake County?
Walter
August 28, 2014 - 10:40 AM EDT
Congratulations on Lake County Captains making the playoffs!!! Labeled by a critic (so called expert) as an embarrassment of a baseball team when it was struggling big time in the first half of the year. Thanks for proving him wrong.

#TeamEastside
August 28, 2014 - 9:23 AM EDT
Bradley had it worked into his contract that he could go clubbing in Ibiza (Spain) at the end of August so that is what he's not been playing.
Hiram
August 28, 2014 - 9:18 AM EDT
Does Luigi Rodriguez begin next year in AA or back in Carolina?? Where does Louis Head begin next year??
BrianM
August 28, 2014 - 9:09 AM EDT
Bradley was out of the AZL lineup last night for the 2nd time in 4 games. Is there a chance he is on his way to either MV or LC to finish up the year?

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