Around the Farm: July 22, 2012
By Jim Pete
July 23, 2012
Around the Farm was originated here at Indians Prospect Insider, and 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.
T.J. House: SP, Akron Aeros: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 6 K:
House is my favorite pitcher in the system, and if he builds upon this one in Columbus at the end of this season, or the beginning of next, he could really turn himself into a major prospect. I have to admit that he had a stretch of ballgames in June and early July that had me thinking that the stamina bug was going to bite him, but a wonderful thing called the all-star break happened, and since then, he’s been back to awesome. During that stretch, he’s made three starts, going 20 2/3 innings. He’s given up only 14 hits and four walks, while striking out 18. It’s really hard to believe that he’s only got four walks, and that on the season, he only has 30 in 92 2/3 innings. His peripherals are solid, his velocity is up, and this kid has majors written all over him, as a starter or a reliever, and a lefty to boot. He may be the best lefty starter in the upper minors right now, although there’s another T.J. that may take exception to that claim.
Felix Sterling: SP, Lake County Captains: W (4-8), 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R/2 ER, 1 K, 1 HR:
I honestly don’t know where to go with Sterling, so I put him at the top of ATF tonight. So, let’s start with the trouble. In the bottom of the fifth inning with the Captains up 5-2, Sterling struggled. He loaded the bases without an out, but induced a double play ball that Todd Hankins made a bad throw on. He managed to get out of the inning only giving up two runs however, and the Captains still had the lead. Sterling has been all over the place this season. His ERA on May 17th was at the top of the league, at 2.85. He hadn’t had one bad start up to that point, in nine starts. He looked every bit a top 15 prospect in the system. From that point on, he struggled. His ERA after his June 13th start was 5.79, and manager Dave Wallace moved him from the rotation for a game. After a good inning out of the pen, he was inserted back into the rotation, and he was bombed twice more. His ERA would peak on July 11th, at 6.53. Since then, he’s been good in his two appearances, and he’s back in the rotation. Is he the kid who dominated at the start of the year? Is he overmatched? Who knows, but he does have a big arm. Let’s see if he can get the consistency needed to be an effective starter, or will he move to the pen full time.
D’vone McClure: CF, AZL Indians: 3-for-7, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K:
How can you not be excited about the debut of D’vone McClure. If you aren’t, I’m excited for all of us combined. McClure is a raw ballplayer, but he has more upside than any other player taken in the draft. He’s showing that talent in his first two ballgames. On Sunday night, McClure hit his first home run, a fourth inning, three-run blast. He’s 5-for-10 in his first two ball games, so hold onto your seats, this could be a fun ride for a clear talent. If he can hone in that talent, the Indians could have scored big.
- Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Carrera continues his tear through the International League. If you saw my report yesterday, Carrera has been one of the best hitters in the League since the beginning of June. This is his fourth straight multi-hit game, and his seventh multi-hit game in the past 11th game. Overall, Carrera has a 12-game hitting streak going, with a stat line of .408/.463/.592.
- Jason Donald: 2B, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K: Donald also makes another ATF appearance with another two hit performance, his third in his last four games, and his fifth in his last eight games. Donald certainly can play baseball, and at this point, should be an option for the Indians, if only for a change of pace. Donald is more than a Quad A player, but will likely never get a chance in Cleveland. It’s too bad his value is gone in a trade. A wasted commodity, in my humble opinion.
- Vinny Rottino: DH, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K: This guy has to be going crazy in Triple A. He has done nothing but rake in the minors this year, and while he’s certainly not a starter at the big league level, could provide value if he ever found the right team. Of course, the Clippers are loaded with guys like this. That said, Rottino is hitting .301 with the Clippers, with 14 runs, five doubles, a triple, four homers and 20 RBI in his 20 games. Not too shabby…an RBI a game.
- Chad Huffman: RF, Columbus: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB: Well, Huffman remains on the team as major league fill, so at least he has some games like this. It’s actually his fourth two-hit game in his last eight, but he plays about two games a week at this point. Every team has a guy like Huffman, and he’s productive in that role.
- Corey Kluber: SP, Columbus: W (10-7), 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K: With guys like Kluber and Seddon, the Indians have some interesting candidates to call up to the Tribe through the end of summer, if they need to. Kluber is leading the International League in strikeouts, and it’s not even close. He has 125 in 118 1/3 innings, and leads the league by 13. His ERA is a decent 3.65 ERA, and while I believe they plan on keeping him as a starter, I think he would be a perfect front-end of the rotation guy…who can go long innings if you need him to, but can really wipe out a lineup.
- J.C. Romero: RP, Columbus: H (5), 1 IP, 1 K: The Indians signed Romero off the waiver wire as he has merrily bounced around the league this year. He’s a lefty, and to say it’s a thrilling move would be an understatement. I suppose that it’s protection for Rafael Perez, and I also suppose that it sends a message to Barnes that he’s not a valued commodity after his struggles in Cleveland in the reliever role. They have until August 15th to get him to the bigs…so Sipp better pitch well. Not thrilled with the move at all.
- Frank Herrmann: RP, Columbus: S (3), 2/3 IP: Perhaps the Indians have found a role to Herrmann’s liking, as he made his second straight appearance as the Clippers’ closer, and he pitched well again. That’s interesting, in that Herrmann had given up five runs in his previous three appearances. He’s not closer material in the bigs, so I’m not sure he’ll translate, with other options more talented than he in Columbus, and in Akron.
- Matt Lawson: 2B, Akron: 1-for-1, 1 2B, 2 BB: On June 27, Lawson was hitting .233. Since then, Lawson is hitting .386, which is second in the Eastern League over that stretch. He managed to raise his average nearly 100 points to .327. Another major league fill guy, but a fill-guy that shredding right now.
- Nick Weglarz: LF, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K: In a perfect world, Weglarz would be hitting .280 right now, he’d be on the 40-man roster, and he’s have about 20 homers…for the Indians. He’s only hitting .245, with 13 homers, off the 40-man, and next year, in a new organization.
- Adam Abraham: 1B, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K: Get ready to hop on board the Adam Abraham train. He’s only hitting .247. He has a decent .760 OPS, but Abraham isn’t going to blow anyone away with his numbers. It’s his work ethic and his drive to succeed. A double and a homer today is the payoff. If only he could gain consistency with these types of games.
- Preston Guilmet: Closer, Akron: BS (4), L (2-2), 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 1 K, 2 HR: Guilmet has been awesome, and in a system full of elite bullpen arms across all levels, he’s actually stood out, without having that arm. He hadn’t given up a run since June 6th, and before that, May 16th. From May 19th until this afternoon, he’d given up one run in 24 innings pitched. He saved a league leading 12 games during that stretch, giving up only 13 hits and five walks, while striking out 24. So, let’s not focus on today’s implosion, because he’ll likely go another 24 innings before having another one.
- Bo Greenwell: RF, Carolina: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB: Greenwell upped his hitting streak to 12 games, and has a .385/.429/.519 line over that stretch. Greenwell is an outstanding little ballplayer in this system, who can really hit the ball over stretches, but the key is consistency. To really stand out, he’ll have to put up a Fedroff type of season, as his numbers always seem to taper off. I’d like to see him out of the Carolina League as well, as he’s now in his third season at this level.
- Anthony Gallas: LF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 BB: It feel like I haven’t talked about Gallas in awhile, but here he is, still hitting the ball a ton. This is his fifth two-hit game in the last ten. Since June 29th, Gallas is hitting .346 in 21 games, with 12 doubles. What can I say, the local kid can hit the ball.
- Delvi Cid: CF, Carolins: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Cid isn’t a regular, and while he has elite speed, he isn’t really a factor right now in the prospect talk. With that said, he’s really putting together a quietly nice year as a fourth outfielder for Carolina, hitting .274, with 30 runs, nine doubles, three triples, two homers and 18 RBI. He has 21 stolen bases in only 61 games. His 21 stolen bases are fourth in the league, and to put it in perspective, he’s eight behind the league leader, Nick Ahmed, but Ahmed has played in 35 more games. He’s three behind second place Blake Kelso, but in 20 less games than him. He’s two behind third place Shannon Wilkerson, but in 13 less games. I’m not sure if the Indians are developing him as a fourth guy off the bench, but boy, there does seem to be potential there.
- Alex Monsalve: C. Carolina: 1-for-5, 1 E: If you follow my ATF’s, there really isn’t much doubt in how I feel about a guy like Monsalve, but, he’s struggling right now. Remember though, he’s only 20 years old, and he’s shown in the past that it takes a bit of time for him to make moves…and figure things out. The Indians are babying him a bit in the Carolina League, so I really don’t expect him to take the reigns offensively until next year.
- Michael Goodnight: SP, Carolina: 4 IP, 4 H, 6 R/3 ER, 6 BB, 3 K: Goodnight has really struggled this season across the board, but he has been a bit of a workhorse, which may turn into his M.O. He’s 2-9 with a 4.51 ERA over 20 games, and he’s given up 53 walks in 105 2/3 innings. That’s a bunch of walks, and he’ll really have to get some control to be successful.
- Will Roberts: RP, Carolina: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 3 K: Roberts has really, really struggled in Carolina, so it was good to see the kid light it up tonight in relief of Goodnight. He got torched in his last piggy-back situation, but was so much more efficient on Sunday afternoon. Roberts has prospect potential, but hasn’t shown it at this level yet. He’s not yet 22 though, so I’m sure the Tribe will continue to develop him in Carolina next year, without the piggy back.
- Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI: Since June 25th, Ramirez is hitting .317, which is third on this loaded Captains team. In those 25 games as the Captains lead-off guy, he’s scored 20 runs on six doubles, a triple and a homer, with five stolen bases.
- Todd Hankins: SS, Lake County: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB: Hankins has been struggling offensively, going 3-for-16 over his last five games, but he still has that speed. His 11 stolen bases since July 3rd are tops in the league.
- Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 1-for-5, 1 3B, 2 RBI: Smith has really cooled off over the past four games. He’s 3-for-15, with two runs, a double and Sunday’s triple. Of course, he’s hitting .415 over the past 10, and .316 on the season, so it’s all relative. He’s still the best hitter on the team.
- Bryson Myles: DH, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Myles has quietly been putting his season back together after hamstring issued nearly derailed his year in May. He’s been hitting .290 since June 12th, and really started to pick thinks up on the fourth of July. In 16 games since the fireworks, he’s hitting .313, with 11 RBI. Now, he’s struggling with impact at bats, as he’s only had three doubles over that stretch, so perhaps the legs aren’t where they used to be. He’s got to get those legs healthy, because his talent is immense.
- Alex Lavisky: C, Lake County: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Lavisky hit his seventh homer on the season, but has struggled overall again this season. He is hitting .302 against lefties, but only .222 against righties. He’s still young, and as a solid defensive catcher, can move through the system, but he really needs to get the offense together to be a serious prospect.
- Luis DeJesus: SP, Mahoning Valley: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K: DeJesus is fourth in the league, with a 1.42 ERA, and while he didn’t get the win today, continued to look like a starter that can make a move in the system.
- Scott Peoples: RP, Mahoning Valley: 1 IP, 2 K: Peoples rolled out his third straight impressive relief appearance, going four innings, with two hits and a run (not earned), with a walk and three strikeouts.
- Rafael Homblert: RP, Mahoning Valley: W (1-0), 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K: Homblert made his fourth straight appearance without giving up an earned run. He’s gone 5 1/3, giving up only two hits and an unearned run, with two walks and five K’s.
- Joe Sever: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB: Sever came into the game having gone 0-for-14 in his previous four games, but rebounded nicely with his fourth multi-hit game in his past eight games. Overall, Sever is hitting .317 on the team, and is a bit overlooked so far offensively.
- Robel Garcia: SS, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Garcia had the game winner with a walk-off single. Offensively, he’s been terrible, but hey, you never know what can break a guy out.
- Mitch Brown: SP, AZL Indians: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K: There is nothing more impressive than a top pick absolutely dominating for the first time. That’s what Mitch Brown did on Sunday Night. He tempered a moderate debut with what clearly was dominating stuff. Tune in to our Rookie report, tomorrow morning for just how dominating it was.
- Trey Haley: RP, AZL Indians: 2 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K: Haley had been humming right along, looking at a return to Carolina this week, then came tonight. I doubt that it’ll slow his return, as Haley’s known for implosions like this on occasion, but you’d still like to see Haley dominating at this level. I’m curious to hear about his control, as he only walked one batter, but he threw two wild pitches.
- Dorssys Paulino: SS, AZL Indians: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Paulino hit his seventh double on the young season, and has the average up to .340 on the year. He’s on a current four-game hit streak in which he’s gone 7-for-20, with five runs, two doubles, a homer and four RBI. It’ll be interesting to see if Lindor truly is better than Paulino, as the Indians may have the two best shortstop prospects below High A ball.
- Nelson Rodriguez: 1B, AZL Indians: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB: Rodriguez hit his second double, and drove in his fourth run in his first five professional ballgames. Like McClure, the talent is raw, but big.
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 email@example.com.
Nice to have two righthanded hitting outfielders in McClure and McAdams to follow. You have to go all the way back to the year Manny was drafted in 1991 (21 yrs ago) to find a competent prep outfielder. Hope these two are the real deal.
Paulino's bat could play at thirdbase thus keeping him and Lindor together.
What's standing in the way of Kluber getting a major league shot soon? Other organizations seem to try out prospects for a start here and there, and McAllister was buried in AAA when clearly MLB capable. Those strikeout numbers are fantastic, I don't see why Lowe should make another start before Kluber.
McClure's two games are very exciting obviously. NelRod filling up the box score including 2 walks is definitely encouraging.
It's going to be fun having Paulino a level or two behind Lindor as they progress. They likely won't ever be teammates but having some pressure from a fellow top prospect might push a professional kid like Lindor even harder.
Between Paulino, Wolters, RonRod, Jairo Kelly and Juan Diaz, it does indeed make one wonder if Lindor could be moved. If the Tribe found a team that truly valued him as essentially untouchable and offered accordingly, I'd be hard-pressed not to accept.
Find a 1B to shred lefties and some high-end pitching prospects.
To Milwaukee for Corey Hart, Mike Fiers, Taylor Jungmann, low level prospect
To Pittsburgh w/ Chun Chen and Jeanmar Gomez for Casey McGehee, Jameson Taillon and Starling Marte (BLOCKBUSTER haha)