Around the Farm: July 2
By Jim Pete
July 3, 2011
Luis Valbuena: SS, Columbus: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB:
Does it get much better than this for Valbuena? This kid is on fire offensively, seemingly doing something bigger and better every game. Last night, Valbuena belted a game-winning, walk-off homer in the tenth-inning to give the Clippers the victory. He currently has hits in eight of ten games, with six of those of the two-hit variety. His ten-game stat-line is .389/.439/.778. It's really hard to think that the Indians don't have a spot for this kid. Of course, Valbuena has torn up triple A hitting before, and has never been able to carry it over to the bigs. Maybe the Indians want to make sure that he's the real deal before they pull the trigger again.
Rob Bryson: RP, Kinston: 2 IP, 1 H, 4 K:
Does it get more dominant than this as a relief pitcher? Bryson has been more of an injury concern than anything else since being one of the smaller parts of the C.C. Sabathia deal three-years ago. When he's been healthy, he's been mostly dominant. Well, he's been healthy with Kinston this season, and he's been lights out. In six appearances, he's pitched in 10 1/3 innings, giving up only five hits and three walks, while striking out 14. I can't imagine he's long-term for the K-Tribe.
- Ezequial Carrera: CF, Columbus: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 SB (29): Carrera continues to perform at a high level at Triple A. He's scuffled a bit of late, but he has avoided any prolonged slumps this season, which has made him an extremely viable option at the big league level.
- Jason Kipnis: 2B, Columbus: 2-3, 2 R, 2 BB, SB (11): Kipnis continues to do everything he possibly can to get the call-up that he so richly deserves. I know, I know, he needs the rest of the season to develop his defense. Whatever. He's ready now, he just needs an opening.
- Zach Putnam: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 1 K: Putnam was lights out for much of the beginning of the season, but has struggled in three of his past five outings. It's good to see him with a dominating performance.
- Chen Lee: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K, W (1-0): Lee has been as close to perfection at Triple A in his three appearances as you can get. Today was a bit of a struggle, giving up two hits and a walk in two innings, but he did strike out four batters.
- Kyle Bellows: 3B, Akron: 2-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K: Bellows was scorching hot this past week, but had gone hitless in two straight games leading up to last night's game. He regained that heat with a two-hit, two-run performance. While his stat-line is .325/.372/.450 over his past ten-games, his overall stat-line is a much more depressing .206/.286/.300. Yeah, that's how bad he's been this year.
- Michel Hernandez: C, Akron: 3-5, 3 RBI: Hernandez is a 32-year old career minor leaguer who has had a couple of cups of coffee in the bigs. He was signed recently after being released from the Orioles organization. Tonight, he rolled out three hits, including the game-winner in the ninth inning. Welcome to the Indians' organization.
- Raul Padron: 1B, Akron: 2-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Like Hernandez, Padron was a recent signee by the Indians after he had scorched the Atlantic League with a .335 average, with seven homers and 30 RBI. It appears as though the scouts have been working the Atlantic League pretty tough with the signing of Padron and Copeland.
- Karexon Sanchez: 2B, Akron: 3-5, 1 3B, 1 RBI: I love Sanchez. He'll never be a major prospect, and he's stunk up the joint for most of the season, but this kid never gives up. He throws in games like today just to make sure he stays on the map.
- Cory Burns: Closer, Akron: 1 IP, 1 H, S (21): Burns is the current organizational leader in saves...again. He hasn't given up an earned run in 14 appearances and 14 1/3 innings.
- Tyler Holt: CF, Kinston: 2-4, 1 3B: Holt hasn't done much of anything, so it's good seeing him with two hits and a triple today. It's especially good considering Kinston only had three hits altogether.
- T.J. House: SP, Kinston: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 0 K, L (5-7): House wasn't horrid in the loss tonight, but was simply outpitched. Still, these are the kind of down games you want from House. He's melted down before, so this is much preferable. It's another step in his progression.
- Kyle Landis: RP, Kinston: 1 IP, 1 K: Landis continues his feel-good story this season. He's only given up two earned runs in 17 2/3 innings.
- Michael Goodnight: SP, Lake County: 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R/4 ER, 2 K, 1 HR: Goodnight was one of the best starters in the organizations through the beginning of June, and then things began to fall apart a bit. Three of his last four outings have been bombs. Perhaps the big righty needs some time off.
- Bryce Stowell: RP, Lake County: 2 IP, 2 K: Stowell gave up his first run with Lake County during his last outing, but rebounded nicely with two perfect innings. Stowell may be a bit forgotten right now, but he's the real deal. If he can stay healthy and rebuild the stamina, he should be back in the relief picture quickly.
- Bryson Myles: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB (9): Myles continues to rip apart the NY/Penn league. He's currently batting .339 overall and has an eight-game hit streak. During the streak, he's gone 14-33 (.424) with 10 runs, two doubles, two triples, two RBI, two walks and 1 K. He's also stolen seven bases. This kid is top ten talent for sure.
- Tony Wolters: SS, Mahoning Valley: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K: Wolters hit his first home run of the season.
- Alex Lavisky: DH, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Lavisky can't put anything together, so hopefully this is the start of something. The Indians organization is clearly trying to get him to succeed, letting him focus on his offense as the DH. Now, if he could just string some solid games together.
- Nathan Striz: RP, Mahoning Valley: Striz struggled with Lake County this season. Today he put all of that behind him with an outstanding first performance this season with the Scrappers.
Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI. Also, his latest book the 2011 Cleveland Indians Top 100 Prospects & More is available for purchase for $20.95 to customers in the US (shipping and handling extra).
Jim is currently the co-site editor, the ATF/Carolina Mudcats/Indians/General Site Columnist, and the co-host of IPI's weekly online radio show, Smoke Signals. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IPI, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.