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Around the Farm: July 2, 2014

Brown, Moncrief's continued turnarounds highlight the night on the farm

Around the Farm: July 2, 2014
Mitch Brown (Photo: Brittany Chay)
July 3, 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.

Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): W (2-6), 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 7 SO, 2 WP, 1 HBP

Mitch Brown (Photo: MiLB)It is really hard to be patient for any stretch of time. Like waiting for Christmas as a child -- or even now, the wait for the final Hobbit movie -- is unbearable (same for the waits leading up to the first two, for that matter). But it is absolutely vital to be patient to a fault with prospects, especially ones with the talent of Brown. There is a reason the right-hander was drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft, and lately, he is starting to see the results accompany that promise. Though his season stats are not all that pretty, over his last six starts, Brown has found his control and started suppressing runs like he was expected to (first 11 starts: 4.86 ERA, 36:32 SO:BB in 50.0 innings; last six starts: 1.67 ERA, 32:9 SO:BB in 32.1 innings). Of course, we will need to see Brown sustain this level of pitching, but just seeing the right-hander put things together is an encouraging sign and a reminder to be patient.

Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Carlos Moncrief (Photo: MiLB)With the same idea of patience in mind, Moncrief's June and July (through two games) have begun to erase the questions the right fielder's April and May raised. Following a .639 OPS and 55:12 SO:BB in 51 games in April and May, Moncrief saw his power return in June as he put up a .913 OPS with 14 extra base hits in 28 June/July games. The plate discipline has not come back for the right fielder -- who owns a 25:6 SO:BB in those 28 June/July games -- but Moncrief can get away with numbers like that if he is hitting for power. The ideal scenario is Moncrief seeing his plate discipline return to his 2013 levels, but in the meantime, the right fielder is productive again.

  • Kyle Davies (SP, Columbus): L (4-6), 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO. Until Wednesday, all 10 of Davies' Triple-A starts had gone at least five innings (and only one less than six). The right-hander has not dominated in 2014, but is pitching solidly as he bides his time in the upper levels of the organization.
  • Tyler Holt (CF, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO. Holt's batting average has fallen off the torrid pace he set upon being called up to Columbus, but the outfielder still owns a .435 on-base percentage, .846 OPS, and 24:28 SO:BB through 33 Triple-A games.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Like Holt, Aguilar's season stats are still strong even though he has cooled of late (.213 isolated power, .868 OPS in 65 games). In recognition of that, Aguilar (and Roberto Perez) were named to the International League All-Star team Wednesday.
  • Cody Anderson (SP, Akron): L (2-8), 5.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 WP. Though the results did not follow Wednesday, Anderson filled up the strike zone (60 of his 88 pitches were strikes) as he continues to adjust to Double-A.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 0-for-3, 1 BB. Unlike Tyler Naquin and Joey Wendle, Lindor managed to avoid the disabled list and returned to the field Wednesday after missing a week.
  • Anthony Gallas (LF, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 SO. The good news is Gallas has a 1.096 OPS and 11 extra base hits in 18 Double-A games. The bad news is the outfielder now has 14 strikeouts to go with one solitary walk in that time.
  • Bryan LaHair (1B, Akron): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. The overall stats for LaHair are pretty mediocre, but given the first baseman's significant platoon splits in his career, it is unsurprising to see he is doing much better when facing right-handed pitching (.321/.390/.489 in 137 Double-A at-bats).
  • Ryan Merritt (SP, Carolina): W (9-2), 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP. Merritt is still dominating the Carolina League, frequently going six innings or longer while walking next to no one. At the very least the left-hander is in line for a late season taste of Akron and could be up even sooner.
  • LeVon Washington (LF, Carolina): 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Power is not really one of Washington's skills, but the 22-year-old is getting on base in 2014 and is capable of showing some pop like this from time to time. Through 38 games, Washington owns a .317/.418/.417 line.
  • Yhoxian Medina (SS, Carolina): 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 SO, 1 SB, 1 E. Erik Gonzalez's callup to Akron has opened the door for Medina as the Mudcats' shortstop. In that time (six games), Medina has nine hits with three doubles.
  • Alex Monsalve (DH, Carolina): 3-for-3, 1 BB. Monsalve is still mired in a season-long slump (.251/.306/.351 line in 56 games), but the 22-year-old still shows flashes of what made him a top-30 prospect heading into 2013.
  • Yandy Diaz (3B, Carolina): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 E. Diaz's 10-game hit streak came to an end Wednesday, but the third baseman did reach on a walk and still owns a .388 on-base percentage and 16:13 SO:BB in 23 games.
  • Justin Brantley (RP, Lake County): H (1), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. After allowing a run in his first appearance of the season, Brantley has five consecutive scoreless outings spanning 10.2 innings. The right-hander has made a good first impression, posting a 0.71 ERA and 9:2 SO:BB in 12.2 total innings this season.
  • Clint Frazier (DH, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 SO. Frazier is still learning how to consistently make contact, but when he does, the center fielder tends to hit the ball hard, just like he did Wednesday.
  • Richard Stock (C, Lake County): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B. Playing time has been a little scarce for Stock this season, but the catcher is making good use of it lately, putting together a seven-game hit streak.
  • Juan Santana (SP, Mahoning Valley): ND, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO. Pitching on his birthday, Santana put up his first scoreless outing of the season, lowering his ERA to 3.44 and improving his SO:BB to 14:4 in 18.1 innings.
  • Justin Garcia (RP, Mahoning Valley): W (2-0), 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO. It does not get much better than this, as Garcia kept his season-long 13.0-inning scoreless streak alive and more than doubled his strikeout total.
  • Steven Patterson (2B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Though he has cooled a bit, Patterson is still hitting quite well, with hits in seven of his eight games and a 1.069 OPS in the early going.
  • Francisco Mejia (C, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-3, 2 SO, 1 HBP, 1 SB, 1 CS. Mejia is still a bit of a free swinger with plenty of room for improvement behind the plate, but the 18-year-old is still so young and has the kind of bat speed and athletic ability you can dream on.
  • Casey Shane (SP, AZL Indians): ND, 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO. Shane's third start of 2014 was his best so far, as the right-hander did not allow a run for the first time. The 18-year-old's other starts have not been bad, though, as Shane owns a 1.80 ERA and 15:3 SO:BB in 15.0 innings.
  • Bobby Bradley (1B, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Another two hits extends Bradley's hit streak to all six games of his professional career, with 10 total hits in that time, including three doubles and one home run.
  • Victor Cabral (LF, AZL Indians): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Cabral is struggling in his second exposure to the Arizona League, though early on, the outfielder is showing a little more power this time around (seven extra base hits in 42 games last year; two in four games this year).
  • Li-Jen Chu (C, AZL Indians): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO, 1 E, 1 PB. Chu has done decently at the plate in 2014, with five hits (two doubles) and two walks in six games. The 20-year-old does have some work to do behind the plate, though, with two errors and one passed ball to his name already.

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

User Comments

Jerry
July 4, 2014 - 9:20 PM EDT
What has happened to reliever, Ben Heller? He seemed to be striking out about 2.5 batters per inning for awhile.
david
July 3, 2014 - 2:12 PM EDT
Brown's picture looks startlingly like Jeremy Guthrie at same age.
Walter
July 3, 2014 - 12:19 PM EDT
I rather have a player start slow than player starts out fast and dies out down the stretch of a baseball season. I think Moncrief will make the majors, might not be a everyday player . Only time will tell.

It looks like Casey Shane might be able to handle pitching in front of people. I think once the Indians activate Hocklin, Sheffield, Hentges, and Minard that Shane could be sent to MV. I think then same could happen to Pannone.

One of the international signings looks impressive at this point is Marquina.

It looks like the potential Bobby Bradley is legit. Cant wait to see him next year at LC. I also believe there is the potential of both Carolina and LC to be loaded next year.

hawk1228
July 3, 2014 - 11:58 AM EDT
Any news on Dylan Baker? Will he pitch again in 2014?
art
July 3, 2014 - 11:36 AM EDT
Seeing the huge sudden progress in Mitch Brown, the steady development of Ryan Merritt and the early good results from Casey Shane are what makes following the minors so much fun. After all, though the failure rates for prospects is very high, all of the great players start out with a glimmer from the farm system.
Tondo
July 3, 2014 - 10:57 AM EDT
Sorry, my post the last anonymous one.

Any word on Li-Jen Chu? He was a super cheap international signing last year and is already flashing a decent bat.
anonymous
July 3, 2014 - 10:55 AM EDT
It's good to see Moncrief heating up again in June/July, but if he's a notorously slow starter, he will never make it in the Majors. Starting this bad in the ML will get him off the roster and make him a 4A player if he can't correct it.

Cody Anderson has probably had the most disappointing season of any spec so far. He was a model of consistency. What happened to him? Injury/not at 100%? I just have a hard time believing that he ran out of talent going from Carolina to Akron.

Otoh, it's good to see it clicking with Mitch Brown. He looked like he was going bustville, but now there's hope again.

Tony, can you give us a nugget on J.Garcia? He was a late round JuCo pick last draft and this is his first action and just like that he puts up 13 clean innings with nice peripherals. Does he have back end BP stuff?

Also, whatever happend to Sicnarf Loopstok?

If Frazier repeats at LC and gets joined by B.Bradley, F.Mejia, ChengChang, Sayles, Linares, S.Brady and probably one of Zimmer/Papi/Allen, then LC easily is the early team to watch in 2015.
Tony
July 3, 2014 - 9:07 AM EDT
I think a lot of the higher round picks out of college from this year's draft could find their way to Lake County at some point this season. It could be scattered with who goes up and when, but I would think 4-6 of the Mahoning guys go to Lake County before the end of the season.
Nikolaos
July 3, 2014 - 9:02 AM EDT
Thanks Tony, I appreciate you answering my question. I was wondering the same thing about some of the MV players as well. I am trying not to get overly optimistic...but some of the guys from this draft are already performing pretty well. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Steven Patterson, Julian Merryweather, JP Feyereisen, Alexis Pantoja, Taylor Murphy and Greg Allen are a few of the guys from this past draft that have impressed me so far. We might be looking back at this draft in a few years and wonder how we were able to find so many middle to later round gems.
TeddyRoos
July 3, 2014 - 9:01 AM EDT
Gotta have patience with the kind of talent Brown has. Ever notice that the trend of a Cleveland prospect is that we have to have to have 3-4 years more patience then fans of most other teams. Then eventually, when three or four more draft classes enter the picture, the prospect eventually gets DFAed.
Tony
July 3, 2014 - 8:41 AM EDT
It is very early and there probably won't be a lot of promotions from the AZL until their season ends and players fill out the Lake County and Mahoning Valley rosters the final week and a half of the season. But some players I think who have a shot to be promoted before their season ends are Yu-Chen Chang, David Armendariz. After their season ends I could see Bobby Bradley going to Lake County to get a taste of the level he will probably start at next season. Also, others like Sayles, Chiang, Shane and Pannone could see some late action.
Nikolaos
July 3, 2014 - 8:25 AM EDT
Merritt just needs to be promoted already. I hope he can carry his success going forward. Quick question...it is still early, but who looks like they have a chance to be promoted from the AZL Indians? I know patience is a must, but there have already been a number of consistent performers (granted the AZL pitching isn't the best).

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