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Around The Farm: December 13, 2013

Around The Farm:  December 13, 2013
December 13, 2013
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Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of the daily performances by Indians prospects. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in offseason winter ball leagues.  The positions listed below are where the player was playing in the game. 

 PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LBPRC)

Joseph Colon (Cabgrejeros de Santurce, SP): W (1-0), 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R (earned), 1 BB, 3 K - Finally!  A winter ball win for Joe Colon!  He gets to pitch five innings and earn his first win of the winter in his sixth LBPRC start of the season.  This win is well deserved as this was his fourth solid start of those six.

Carlos Moncrief (Gigantes de Carolina, RF): 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K - Moncrief's mini-slump continued as he posted his fourth hitless night in his last five games in the Carolina lineup.  In those games, he is 1-for-19 with 8 Ks and 2 BBs.  I am thinking this is a result of the fatigue that has prevented him from performing better in PR.  Shutting him down may be the only option for the Tribe now.

Brett Brach (Gigantes de Carolina, RP): 2.1, 2 H, 1 K - Brach's solid relief effort helped keep the Gigantes in the game, but was ultimately not enough to account for their anemic offense on the night.  While Brach's winter ERA is 4.98, that is a deceptive number as he has held the opposition scoreless in six of his ten outings thus far on the LBPRC season.  The ERA is only so high since he, being a reliever, pitches so few innings that a bad outing or two sends his ERA sky high.

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)

Carlos Santana (Leones del Escogido, 3B): 1-4, 1 R - Santana finally makes his winter ball (and third base) debut, which had been delayed by the failure of the Commissioner's Office and the Caribbean Leagues to renew their agreement regarding Major Leaguers playing in those leagues in time for the start of the winter season.  Santana got his lone hit of the night in his first time at the plate this offseason, ultimately scoring on a two-out, three-run double.

Erik Gonzalez (Leones del Escogido, SS): 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI, 1 K - While he only managed one hit on the night, it was a huge one as it was the aforementioned double which gave the Leones a lead they would never relinquish.  Gonzalez's double raised his RBI total to 17 in 42 LIDOM games and his offseason slash line now stands at .333/.350/.464.  That is some impressive baseball for a guy who's been playing since March.

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)

Jesus Aguilar (Leones del Caracas, 1B): 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI - Aguilar's only hit of the night was a solo blast in the fourth inning that gave Caracas its only run of the night.  The RBI machine's winter power numbers now stand at 17 HR and 47 RBI in 47 LVBP games.  Pair that with a batting average over .300 and it makes for an impressive Caribbean season.

Toru Murata (Caribes de Anzoategui, SP): ND, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 K - Toru remains unscored upon (earned run-wise, at least) in 12.2 IP in three starts thus far on the LVBP season.  He only failed to pick up his first win of the winter season due to a poor performance by the Anzoategui bullpen, which thankfully was not inclusive of any Indians pitchers.

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)

Ben Shorto (Perth Heat, backup 2B): no plate appearances - While the 18 year-old Shorto is still playing in Major League Baseball's Australian academy Program, he is in fact under contract to the Indians.  He is making his ABL debut this season and is 0-2 in three substitute appearances thus far.  It will be interesting to see if he is brought to the States this summer for Extended Spring Training and the Arizona League Indians' season.  On Friday, he entered the game defensively in the ninth and did not get a chance to hit as the Heat had already won 6-0 and did not need to bat in the bottom of the inning.

Ryan Battaglia (Brisbane Bandits, DH): 0-4, 2 K - Battaglia's rough Aussie campaign continues as his hitless effort on the night drops his season slash line to .216/.365/.588 in 16 ABL games.  His production numbers have been solid (5 HR and 9 RBI), but when he's not getting big hits he's not getting anything.  This is most evident in the major disparity between his slugging percentage and his batting average.  Combined with a similar season (with lesser power numbers) in Mahoning Valley and Carolina during the regular season; Ryan is cementing his org soldier status within the organization.

User Comments

Hermie13
December 16, 2013 - 4:43 PM EST
One thing with Agulair...

Everyone keeps saying Swisher is going to play 1B and not the OF, but if Aguliar does play his way onto this club eventually...where does he play? 1B is Swisher's, DH is Santana's. Does Swisher move to the OF mid-season? Does Santana move to 3B or the OF?

Can't see Aguliar making this club even this summer unless the Tribe is willing to do one of those.
Arthur
December 14, 2013 - 12:50 PM EST
Walter

Re: Carlos' defense at 3B, all I have to go off of is the boxscore. LIDOM web streaming is restricted to the DR and the only broadcasts in the US are on ESPN3. Escogido is scheduled to be on ESPN3 Thursday at 6:30 PM EST. I will be watching that game and hopefully Carlos will be at 3B that night so I get a chance to see how he's fielding the position.
Walter
December 14, 2013 - 11:00 AM EST
I know it is Santana's first game at 3B. But curious to know how was his fielding the position the first time out. I assuming also he is going to bat cleanup in winter ball?
Hiram
December 14, 2013 - 10:55 AM EST
Tony,

Thank you for you info.
Roger
December 14, 2013 - 10:43 AM EST
i just wonder what aquilar will do in the bandbox known as Huntington Park. It is homerun hitters paradise and it appears that aquilar is a home run hitter at 6/3 260 he has the homerun hitters body. almost like the superstitious guy in major league remember i said this the other day remember chris davis had holes in his swing in the minors with the rangers and as he matured the holes werent as prevelent. an average of .85 to .90 rbi to games played between akron and the ven winter league is nothing to take lightly!!! we may have finally got lucky and found a guy to hit in the 4 hole who has all the tools you need to bat there. Sometimes power hitters come late such as david and batista and quite a few others. Being right handed is also a huge plus as it break up the lefty batters back to back when a right hander is pitching for the oppostion. Do the math add akron and winter ball games versus rbi's that is one huge sample space with some margin for error but indicates he has moved way up on the top prospect list. He may ever be as high as 4 or 5 tony i have no idea how you will do it but am anxious to see where baseball america puts him. He will certainly be in the top 10 maybe even in the top 5 and even though on balance we are around number 20 farm system we do have some significant prospects just may not have the depth of them that some other teams have but we have enough considering the age of the tribe foundation players.
Tony
December 14, 2013 - 10:36 AM EST
Aguilar can hit .950 with 30 HR and 2.901 OPS in spring training.....and he is still going to Columbus. Only thing which could change that would be if one of Swisher, Santana or Gomes go down to a long term injury....but even in that case, Cooper (if healthy) would probably get the initial shot. But I agree that he is definitely pushing himself into an immediate option where he can really be a callup option anytime after the start of the season. He's a nice ace in the hole to have and wow what a great thing it would be if he translates well to the major leagues. RIght-handed power is so hard to find.

I agree that it might be time for Moncrief to shut it down. He had a very good showing in Akron this year, but this showing in Puerto Rico is really taking away from that. I hope all of the strides he made with the plate discipline are not a fluke or have not gone by the wayside with him pressing in Puerto Rico. It is that significant step forward in improving the strikeout rate and plate discipline this year which was so exciting.

Colon is a legit prospect. He is probably one of the Indians top 5-7 starting pitching prospects (off the top of my head). Injuries have hurt him....but when he has pitched he's been impressive and the velocity continues to rise.

Gonzalez has had an amazing showing in winter ball. I'm impressed with his 2013 year as a whole. He did it from spring training through winter ball. Sadly, his winter season is supposed to end this weekend. I am still very concerned about that strikeout rate, but hell, maybe he's just another Alexei Ramirez type when he first came into the big leagues who is a hacker that does not walk and strikes out a lot, but still finds a way to be productive.
Hiram
December 14, 2013 - 9:52 AM EST
Jim

I see your points
Jim
December 14, 2013 - 9:29 AM EST
What I will say though, is if he continues to rake...and doesn't start the year with the team, he may be playing his way onto this team much...MUCH earlier than mid-summer...

IE...he may quickly be becoming a guy that they look at as an initial replacement should something happen either via injury or non-performance.

He'll have to start though...I don't see them bringing him up to be Jason Giambi, unless they find him regular at bats, and right now, especially with five outfielders...they don't have the room...
Jim
December 14, 2013 - 9:27 AM EST
Yo Hiram, if Aguilar plays his way onto this team...more power to him. Could you imagine the flexibility that he would provide this team?

A Winter League season does not make the player, but the biggest curiosity with me has been what managers have said about Aguilar, and I've talked about this on my show a couple of times.

The Indians have been working with him on specific skills for a couple of years, and while he has taken to the "new approach" in strange streaks and strange ways, which is the weirdness of it all.

A lot of times, you'll see a player take to changes and still maintain his other attributes...home runs for example. With Aguilar, it's almost like he's done one thing at a time.

So let's say that after working on all these skills...more compact swing, hitting to the opposite field, cutting down on strikeouts...and has the habits...and he matures...

click...

and I still say he's more athletic than people give him credit for. I've seen some lumbering idgits at first. He's not lumbering. I'm not saying he's a great defender or ever will be, but he's not the lump of garbage that folks say he is with regards to athleticism.

Now, there's having everything click, and having a torrential hot streak, which is the more likely scenario...but one doesn't have to be devoid of the other.

That said, the only way he breaks camp, hot streak or not, is if something happens to Swisher or Santana...or if things really flipping click for Santana at third...

but I do agree...it gives them flexibility, if this does preclude an upswing in Aguilar production....
Willie
December 14, 2013 - 9:26 AM EST
Aguilar has been impressive. I doubt he makes the jump to the majors - there's not really room for him, and even IF he's flat smacking it, the Tribe will likely wait until mid-summer. Aguilar is definitely interesting, nice to see a RH power bat coming up, but I would suggest tempering expectations with him. Unless injuries take a toll on the big club he's waiting until Sept. for a call up if he performs.

Good to see Erik Gonzalez with another productive night at the plate. Gonzalez really seems to be coming out as a prospect. Just saying, he's went from an after thought to a potential piece for the future. I'd suggest he could make good trade bait, with the Indians MIF depth.
Dennis
December 14, 2013 - 9:21 AM EST
Aguilar can be left off the Indians roster, but it he would be one of the first call ups in the event of injury or performance. He's having an unbelievable winter season..

Joseph Colon will amount to an organizational filler/arm or perhaps a middle reliever on a trial/cuppa coffee basis in the big leagues. He doesn't project well with his physical presence, command or stuff. He doesn't have age on his size as well..
Walter
December 14, 2013 - 9:21 AM EST
I think the Indians might need to shut down Moncrief, I think he is pressing in order to show a good impression going into spring training.

How close is Colon becoming a legit prospect? Or is he depth guy for the minors?
Canadian Joe
December 14, 2013 - 9:21 AM EST
Nice to see some young talent in the system. Been a long, long time since there has been so much to look forward to. Drafting is such an inexact science, so it's nice to see some good "hits". With compensatory picks coming Cleveland's way this year, and a strong field, very important to use these picks wisely and continue to grow the system.
Hiram
December 14, 2013 - 9:06 AM EST
If Aguilar does this in Spring Training the Indians might not be able to send him down
Hiram
December 14, 2013 - 9:00 AM EST
Going to really keep my eye on Colon. This guy is looking better and better...Aguilar.. WOW

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