Around the Farm: August 6, 2014
Brown, Washington, Pannone's dominant nights highlight the night on the farm
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 Columbus was off on Wednesday.
Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): W (5-8), 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO
It has not been the smoothest ride for Brown since being drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft. He struggled in 2013 in 15.2 innings in Lake County and 52.0 innings in the Arizona League, and his performance this season still needs some work going forward (3.73 ERA, 7.9 SO/9, 4.1 BB/9, 11 hit batters, 22 wild pitches in 116.0 innings). But the lower levels of the minors are all about development and growth, two things Brown is showing in 2014. The 20-year-old still has plenty of time to become the pitcher he can be, a journey that requires taking the first step. There is no way to know whether Brown will fit everything together and find success in the majors, but if he is going to, his solid performance and flashes of dominance in 2014 will be a key turning point in the right-hander's career.
LeVon Washington (DH, Carolina): 2-for-3, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO
Power is not normally where Washington makes his name, as evidenced by his .108 isolated power in 55 games this season. But while a home run always adds value, the thing that has made Washington great this season is his .407 on-base percentage, something heavily helped by his 14.1 percent walk rate. Of course, Washington's .389 BABIP is also helping his on-base percentage, and while the 23-year-old's walk rate is a reasonably sustainable mark, his BABIP is not. When someone has the raw talent of Washington, it is easy to look at his .304/.407/.412 line and declare him back, but for now, tempering the expectations for #WashTime is the right course of action. Most importantly, Washington has been mostly healthy this year and is making up for some lost developmental time.
Thomas Pannone (SP, AZL Indians): ND, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 SO
The Arizona League can be a weird place with young kids with a ton of swing and miss in their game, but that does not take away from Pannone's impressive outing Wednesday (and the rest of the season, for that matter). Pannone has not struck out less than a batter per inning in any outing this season, with Wednesday's breakout representing a new professional high. The left-hander's issues with command are still present (his 4.4 BB/9 needs work), but when you own a 12.3 SO/9 in 33.0 innings, you can get away with a little wildness. Pannone will need to keep improving in the future and translate this above the Arizona League, but for now, the ninth round pick in 2013 is off to a very good start.
- Joseph Colon (SP, Akron): ND, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 SO. Colon bounced back decently in this outing, though the right-hander could still use some improvement on his 92:48 SO:BB in 129.1 innings.
- Trey Haley (RP, Akron): BS (1), 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2 HR. Though Haley is still working his way back into form after missing the first three and a half months of the season, his 9.95 ERA, 5:6 SO:BB, and three home runs allowed through 6.1 innings is a very tough start.
- Louis Head (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Head's debut in Akron had its rough patches, but as time has worn on, the right-hander has started to throw the ball over the plate more consistently and is regaining the form that got him called up in the first place.
- Enosil Tejeda (RP, Akron): W (4-1), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Tejeda's raw stuff may be holding back his projection and a potential promotion, but based on results (2.42 ERA, 52:11 SO:BB in 48.1 innings), the right-hander is more-than-deserving of a callup.
- Tim Fedroff (LF, Akron): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SO, 1 SB. Fedroff had an interesting night, stealing home in the first inning and hitting a grounder back up the middle for a walk off single in the ninth.
- Erik Gonzalez (SS, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 SO, 1 SB. Gonzalez's first-inning single extended his hitting streak to 17 games, tying him with Tyler Naquin for the longest on the RubberDucks this season.
- Jake Lowery (1B, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Lowery's home run to lead off the ninth tied the game and set the stage for Fedroff's walk off. The 24-year-old has struggled since his return from being hit in the eye by a pitch in mid-April, but with home runs in back-to-back games, he could be coming out of that funk.
- Alex Lavisky (C, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Lavisky singled twice Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to seven games and improve his OPS to .677 in 51 games.
- Ryan Merritt (SP, Carolina): W (11-3), 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR. It makes sense for Merritt to spend most of 2014 developing and truly mastering High-A, but given his late-season callup to Carolina last year and his results this season (2.61 ERA, 108:24 SO:BB in 134.1 innings), a promotion to Akron in the next week or two to get the left-hander's feet wet for 2015 could be forthcoming.
- Logan Vick (LF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Vick is still seeing the benefits of some BABIP regression of late, and as an added benefit, he is adding some power to his strong plate discipline. The raw results have been ugly for Vick, but the hits have been falling in (and should continue to fall in) for the 23-year-old.
- Todd Hankins (CF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB. Coming into 2014, Hankins had never posted an OPS above .687 over a full season. Though Wednesday marked a break in that trend, the 23-year-old has been struggling lately and now owns a .729 mark through 84 games.
- Yhoxian Medina (SS, Carolina): 3-for-5, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Medina has done a good job of putting the bat on the ball in his first full season in Carolina, posting a .294/.358/.367 line and 41:29 SO:BB in 75 games.
- Luigi Rodriguez (RF, Carolina): 2-for-6, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 SO. Though Rodriguez's results are not the best (.712 OPS in 80 games), seeing him healthy and productive after only appearing in 56 games last season is the big takeaway for the 21-year-old's 2014 season.
- Robbie Aviles (RP, Lake County): H (1), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO. The Aviles-bullpen experiment rolls on, with the right-hander turning in another effective short outing since his late-July return. Given Aviles' injury history, I would speculate this could end up being a more effective role for the 22-year-old long-term.
- Trevor Frank (RP, Lake County): S (11), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. Frank continued his push for a promotion to Carolina, improving his ERA to 2.91 and his SO:BB to 50:7 in 46.1 innings this season.
- Ivan Castillo (SS, Lake County): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SO. There was not much going on offensively for the Captains Wednesday afternoon, but it was enough to win. Castillo led the way, pairing a good day at the plate with his strong reputation in the field.
- Nick Maronde (SP, Mahoning Valley): ND, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. Finally making his organizational debut after being acquired in mid-July, Maronde got off on the right foot with two scoreless innings in Mahoning Valley.
- Cameron Hill (RP, Mahoning Valley): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Normally a starter, Hill relieved Maronde in a piggyback situation. Hill continued to impress with his run suppression (1.98 ERA in 36.1 innings), though he also owns a rough 18:16 SO:BB.
- Edward Estrella (RP, Mahoning Valley): W (3-0), 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO. Estrella also pitched well Wednesday, though the 20-year-old is in the same boat as Hill when it comes to his peripherals (3.86 ERA, 19:15 SO:BB in 28.0 innings).
- Greg Allen (CF, Mahoning Valley): 3-for-5, 1 BB, 1 SB. Though power remains missing from Allen's game, the 2014 sixth round pick has shown an ability to do everything else in his professional debut (.387 on-base percentage, 17:18 SO:BB, 15 steals in 37 games).
- Steven Patterson (2B, Mahoning Valley): 0-for-3, 3 BB, 1 SO, 1 HBP. Patterson has not stood out in the same way Allen has, but this year's 10th round pick has still had a solid first exposure to professional ball (.754 OPS, 28:19 SO:BB in 35 games).
- Francisco Mejia (C, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-5. A 2-for-5 night with two singles is not much, but it is the continuation of a strong season from the 18-year-old Mejia (.278/.335/.386 line in 46 games).
- Erick Algarin (RP, AZL Indians): 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. Algarin is not starting games out in Arizona, but he is throwing at least three innings each time out. In those extended looks, the 19-year-old has put up a 2.52 ERA and 25:7 SO:BB in 25.0 innings.
- Silento Sayles (RF, AZL Indians): 2-for-3, 1 BB. 1 SO, 1 SB. Time will tell if Sayles' results will continue above Arizona, but despite a lack of power, the 19-year-old is doing quite well with a .402 on-base percentage, a 19:16 SO:BB, and 14 steals in 15 attempts through 21 games.
- Bobby Ison (CF, AZL Indians): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 CS. Ison extended his hitting streak to seven games -- five of which have been of the multi-hit variety -- though the 2014 21st round pick does need to shore up his base stealing (he is only 5-for-9 through 20 games).
If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at email@example.com. If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.
Here's a scouting report...
Possible rotation in Carolina in 15 Plutko, Aviles, Sulser, with Lugo, Kime , Milbrath and Brown battling for the remaining 2 spots.
I wanted to ask the exact same thing of Tony of where will they put Mitch Brown. He's really coming along. I want Cody Anderson to take the next step next year too to give us even more depth.
Thomas Pannone 20, is a smallish (6' 180) hard throwing (up to 94) lefty. He's a conversion guy, drafted by the Cubs in 2012 as an OF. I suspect he could get bumped up to Lake County next yr and might finish this yr at MV late. His K rate is impressive, he's got to work on his control but his results are encouraging.
Some nice young arms deep down in the farm. Really wanted to see more SP drafted, signed, acquired in trades this yr but it hasn't happened yet.
Simeon Lucas, wow was this a bad reach in the 7th round, 20 K's in 34 at bats.
Sayles-This guy needs bumped up to the Valley for the rest of the season, nothing left to prove in Zona
Pannone-Another guy that needs to be moved up, he is not being challenged in Zona
Fisher-Cut the cord, this guy cannot hit, send him to Zona or sit him, another bad pick this year.
Cameron Hill-Needs to be moved to LC, he is too advanced for the NY Penn League
Paulino-This guy is probably going to have to spend a 3rd year at Lake County, so do the Indians again commit at bats to him next year, or do they realize he was a flash in the pan.
Mitch Brown-Really turning the corner, I think this guy is the most under valued player in the Indians organization.
Washington-Needs to increase his strength if he has to play a corner outfield spot, doesn't have the power to play there now.
Luigi Rodriguez-Is this guy still a prospect or more of a filler type at this point
Merritt- Bump him up to Akron, would rather see him start at Akron then the Duke.
Fedroff-Just release the guy, he has no business being in AA, let the guy go so he can get an opportunity with another organization.
Lowery-Very perplexing guy, would like to see how he would of done without being injured this year.
Colon-Indians must be watching his innings, I think he lacks the swing and miss pitch, so really not going to be a viable option as a starter at the big league level
Haley-The guy is done, let him go