Around The Farm: August 30, 2012
By Jim Piascik
August 31, 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.
Tony Wolters (SS, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO
After hitting his eighth home run and 30th double last night, there is no doubt that Tony Wolters is a legitimate prospect going forward for the Cleveland Indians. Sure, names like Francisco Lindor, Dorssys Paulino, and Ronny Rodriguez remain ahead of him, but there’s just something about Wolters’ desire that keeps him going. After a terrible April (.130/.231/.159 slash line), Wolters made adjustments and has raked since (.286/.339/.453 slash line). Even more impressive is how the 20-year old has handled the jump from Mahoning Valley to Carolina successfully. Wolters may not have the most tools in the organization, but he certainly has the most “want.”
Jordan Cooper (SP, Carolina): W (9-7), 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 7 SO
If you read Minor Happenings yesterday, you may have noticed Jordan Cooper being named Pitcher of the Week for his 12 scoreless innings over the past week. Cooper got off to a great defense of his title last night by allowing only one unearned run against Potomac. He may not have the best stuff in the system, but Cooper has been dealing this year. His 75:16 SO:BB and 3.54 ERA in 94.0 innings this year are very impressive and I agree with Tony that he is a good pitcher in the mold of Paolo Espino and Brett Brach. It may not be the best review, but Cooper has definitely moved up from the 91st place rank he garnered from IPI before the season.
Jorge Martinez (3B, Mahoning Valley): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
In Jorge Martinez’s third game for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers he really made his presence felt by launching his first home run at the level and driving in three runs. Martinez may not have the ability to play many games at this level, but it’s nice to see his power tested by non-Arizona League pitching (and park effects). After 14 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, a .563 slugging percentage and .216 ISO in Arizona, this sort of power output from Martinez in Mahoning Valley is a great sign of what the 19-year old could be capable of next year when likely he joins Lake County.
Jake Lowery (DH, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO
2012 certainly has not gone smooth for Jake Lowery, but things could be much worse. Since being demoted from Carolina to Lake County, the Tribe’s 2011 fourth round pick has slugged seven home runs and owns a .241 ISO in only 35 games. Now, Lowery’s 37 strikeouts in that time are concerning, but those are just part of the package with the power-hitting Lowery. Plus, Lowery has managed to draw 21 walks, and while that does not quite negate the high strikeout total, it does lessen it. I imagine that despite any setbacks, Lowery is still someone that has a lot of potential and will be given every chance to succeed heading forward.
- Tim Fedroff (LF, Columbus): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 SO. Fedroff hit his 14th double in 65 games in Columbus last night, raising his overall line to .321/.386/.526. Maybe his next step will be a September callup to Cleveland?
- Cord Phelps (2B, Columbus): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI. Two more hits for Phelps last night, who has had a very good season at Columbus this year (.277/.365/.455 slash line). I suspect that one way or another the switch-hitter will get a chance at a big league job, whether in Cleveland or somewhere else.
- David Huff (SP, Columbus): W (7-6), 7.2 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO. As Huff’s 4.94 ERA in Columbus can attest, this was a rare up in a really down season. Huff is likely in danger of losing his spot on the 40-man roster after the season.
- Aaron Cunningham (CF, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 2B. Cunningham’s first 16 games in Columbus: two extra base hits. Cunningham’s last two games: three extra base hits. So there’s that.
- Ryan Rohlinger (SS, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB. Rohlinger hit his seven home run of the season for Akron, but unfortunately the Aeros fell short of clinching the division last night with their loss.
- Chun Chen (DH, Akron): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 SO. Chen drove his 30th double of the season last night, which is great. Unfortunately, the questions will remain around Chen since he’s a 1B/DH who only hit five home runs in 106 games this year.
- Tyler Holt (CF, Akron): 3-for-4, 1 BB, 1 PO. In August, Holt has managed to post a respectable .264/.333/.311 slash line in 28 games. Hopefully this will be a springboard for Holt headed into the Eastern League playoffs and into next year.
- T.J. House (SP, Akron): L (8-5), 4.0 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO. House has begun stumbling as the season has wound down, but it should still be noted that House has posted a great rebound season since his callup to Akron (3.98 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 90:44 SO:BB in 124.1 innings).
- Hector Rondon (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO. Rondon’s first action back here in Ohio could have gone better, but it could have gone much worse too. Here’s hoping that Rondon can finally stay healthy and be a factor in the big league bullpen in the near future.
- Giovanny Urshela (3B, Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 2B. Urshela hit his 30th double last night, continuing his season of excellence in the power department (as is demonstrated by a career-high .166 ISO).
- Todd Hankins (RF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 CS. Hankins got caught stealing for the first time in Carolina last night, but he added his fourth double in 20 games. It may be fun with small sample sizes, but Hankins has suddenly transformed into a power hitter in Carolina (.228 ISO in Carolina, .108 ISO last year). It won’t last, but it’s still fun.
- LeVon Washington (CF, Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI. Washington gathered his first hit in Carolina in his second game back since hip surgery. Regardless of the results, it’s great to see him back out on the field catching up on lost time.
- Bryson Myles (LF, Lake County): 4-for-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 SB. Myles will need to see some power develop if he wants to make it (.088 ISO), but he’s been quite a good hitter overall this season (.287/.352/.375 slash line).
- Alex Lavisky (C, Lake County): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SB. Lavisky’s had a much better season this year than he’s had in the past (.249/.318/.410 slash line in 2012, .203/.264/.349 slash line previously), but he still has a long way to go.
- Shawn Morimando (SP, Lake County): W (7-6), 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 SO. Morimando has had his issues with walks this year (69:52 SO:BB in 110.1 innings), but he managed to limit the damage last night in a win.
- Felix Sterling (RP, Lake County): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 SO. Sterling had been pitching well in the Arizona League, but his callup back up to Lake County was a disaster.
- Joe Sever (2B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-5, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 E. Another great game from Sever, who drove in the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the 8th. The 21st round pick really couldn’t have asked for a better debut this year (.274/.368/.366 slash line).
- Joey Wendle (DH, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SO. Wendle certainly has the attention of the NY-Penn League, as he was intentionally walked in front of Sever in the 8th. A .323/.369/.463 slash line will do that for you.
- Erik Gonzalez (RF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 SO. It was a rare bright spot for Gonzalez last night as he’s struggled all year .204/.256/.285 slash line, 45:11 SO:BB in 54 games).
- Ryan Merritt (SP, Mahoning Valley): 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 5 SO. Merritt has done a great job with walks this year (2.22 BB/9) and ratcheted up his strikeout game last night, but he has had major problems with hits allowed (78 in 60.2 innings).
If you want to follow Jim, he’s @DarkestDiamond
If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org