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Around the Farm: July 31, 2014

Bradley's big night, Miller's shutdown outing highlight the night on the farm

Around the Farm: July 31, 2014
Giovanny Urshela (Photo: Brittany Chay)
August 1, 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. 

Bobby Bradley (1B, AZL Indians): 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SO

We all know about Arizona League stats and how little predictive value they hold. But while Bradley's .369/.454/.631 line in 25 Arizona League games does not guarantee anything about his future, it does allow us to get a glimpse at what the 2014 third round pick could become if everything breaks his way. Sure, the batting average and on-base percentage will come down as Bradley's .440 BABIP stabilizes, but with a solid 23:14 SO:BB and a great deal of very real power (.262 isolated power), the 18-year-old is far from a lucky fluke. We will get a better sense of Bradley's future when he is challenged at full season levels over the next few years, but for now, we can enjoy watching a draft pick hit the ground running in his first professional experience.

Adam Miller (RP, Akron): 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO

Adam Miller (Photo: MiLB)There was a time when an outing like this was expected to be the first part of a dominant start from the 2003 first round pick. But injuries took their toll on Miller, leaving him as a 29-year-old reliever still searching for his first major league shot. The right-hander is still plugging away and putting some intriguing numbers this year if you can look past his 5.74 ERA. Despite not having the same feel for his pitches due to those finger injuries, Miller is posting a 8.3 SO/9 and 2.6 BB/9 for the RubberDucks in 31.1 innings, not terrible results for a middle reliever. Of course, Miller's had some issues with consistently controlling his pitches (five wild pitches) getting hit hard (five home runs), but the 29-year-old is still a great guy to follow. The story may not end with Miller taking the mound at Progressive Field, but seeing him persevere after the injuries and setbacks he endured is amazing in itself.

  • Josh Tomlin (SP, Columbus): ND, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 2 HR. This was a solid outing for Tomlin, but even though Huntington Park plays really hitter-friendly, the continuation of the right-hander's home run problems is troublesome.
  • Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO. Sturdevant did not strike anyone out on Thursday, but the right-hander still owns a 16:4 SO:BB to go with a 3.00 ERA in 18.0 Triple-A innings.
  • Mark Lowe (RP, Columbus): L (1-2), 1.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO. Lowe's 40:14 SO:BB in 31.0 Triple-A innings this season is pretty good, but the right-hander has had issues keeping runners from scoring (6.39 ERA), as was the case Thursday.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 SO. Urshela's breakout campaign continued on Thursday with the third baseman increasing his OPS to .835 and his isolated power to .214 in 76 Triple-A games.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 0-for-4, 2 SO. Moncrief has been quite hot lately, but this 0-for-4 outing snapped his nine-game hit streak.
  • Joseph Colon (SP, Akron): ND, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 2 HR. Colon has been pitching above his peripherals all season and saw some swift regression in his last two starts (13 runs allowed in nine innings).
  • Elvis Araujo (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO. There have been a few hiccups for Araujo since his callup to Double-A, but as a whole, the left-hander is pitching quite well with the RubberDucks (2.61 ERA, 11:4 SO:BB in 10.1 innings).
  • Erik Gonzalez (SS, Akron): 2-for-6, 2 R, 3 SO, 1 SB. Though Gonzalez's 16:3 SO:BB in his 14 Double-A games is something that will need addressed, the shortstop's 12-game hit streak is making up for a lot of ills right now.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Akron): 2-for-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Smith continued his post-May surge Thursday (.774 OPS in 54 games) while also adding a little bit of power to the mix.
  • Bryson Myles (LF, Akron): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 SB. Myles stole his first base in Akron since returning from meniscus surgery and reached base three times to increase his season on-base percentage to .357.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (2B, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 SO. Rodriguez is still looking to gain some traction at the Double-A level (.629 OPS in 95 games this year), though the 22-year-old has improved his walk rate in July, drawing 10 in 27 games.
  • Justin Toole (3B, Akron): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS. Toole has managed to find some regular playing time this season and is making the most of it, posting a .294/.351/.359 line in 53 Double-A games.
  • Ryan Merritt (SP, Carolina): ND, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 6 SO, 1 HBP. Though this was not his best start, Merritt continues to put in reps with Carolina while awaiting a potential late-season call to Double-A.
  • Josh Martin (RP, Carolina): BS (2), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 WP. With another two scoreless innings, Martin lowered his ERA to 3.42 to go with a 47:15 SO:BB in 50.0 innings.
  • Grant Sides (RP, Carolina): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. While Sides' 2.55 ERA in 42.1 innings beats Martin's 3.42 mark, Martin has been better at getting strikeouts and limiting walks (Sides' SO:BB currently sits at 35:20 SO:BB).
  • Luigi Rodriguez (RF, Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI. The Mudcats only managed four hits Thursday with Rodriguez's double the only one of the extra base variety. The 21-year-old now owns a solid .256/.350/.370 line in 76 games.
  • Luis Lugo (SP, Lake County): L (5-9), 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 HBP. Lugo's ERA dropped by one of the smallest margins possible, going from 5.95 to 5.92, but the left-hander is still mowing down opposing hitters (11.4 SO/9) while limiting his walks (3.4 BB/9) in 92.2 innings this season.
  • Robbie Aviles (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. After tossing one inning on Monday, Aviles' return to game action continued Thursday. Aviles has now gone nine-up, nine-down since his return.
  • Torsten Boss (CF, Lake County): 2-for-5, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SO. In addition to having a nice night at the plate, Boss also logged his first career appearance in center field.
  • Dorssys Paulino (LF, Lake County): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP. Though his season stats are nothing special, Paulino has been trending up since his mid-May conversion to the outfield, posting a slightly above-average .256/.325/.377 line in 58 games.
  • Julian Merryweather (SP, Mahoning Valley): ND, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO. Merryweather is not overpowering opponents in the New York-Penn League (24:10 SO:BB in 34.2 innings), but the fifth round pick in this year's draft still owns a solid 3.63 ERA.
  • David Speer (RP, Mahoning Valley): 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO. Speer, on the other hand, is racking up strikeouts while limiting his free passes (25:5 SO:BB in 21.2 innings) en route to a 2.49 ERA.
  • Leo Castillo (1B, Mahoning Valley): 3-for-5, 1 3B, 3 RBI. Castillo had struggled to hit for much power since 2011, but the first baseman has tapped into some of that pop so far in 2014, posting a .183 isolated power in 36 games.
  • Bradley Zimmer (CF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 SO. With another very good day, Zimmer's line on the season improved to .284/.364/.431 in 30 games.
  • Austin Fisher (SS, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SO. After missing two weeks in mid-July, Fisher has begun to get his season on track, raising his OPS from .520 to .576 in seven games since returning.
  • Greg Allen (RF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-6, 1 RBI, 2 SO. The power Allen showed immediately upon debuting has faded, leaving the sixth round pick in this year's draft with a solid .351 on-base percentage and a low .054 isolated power in 24 July games.
  • Grant Hockin (SP, AZL Indians): ND, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1 WP. After allowing six runs in his last four innings (two appearances), the 2014 second round pick was better Thursday. Though Hockin has a 6.55 ERA, the right-hander also owns a strong 10:3 SO:BB in his first 11.0 professional innings.
  • Micah Miniard (RP, AZL Indians): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 SO. This year's eighth round pick, Miniard made the second appearance of his career here and struck out his first professional batter.
  • Alexis Pantoja (2B, AZL Indians): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 SO, 1 SB. With a .668 OPS through 27 games, Pantoja is living up to his defense-first reputation so far in his professional career. Still, the 2014 ninth round pick has a good approach (11:11 SO:BB) and is 12-for-12 on steal attempts.
  • Yu-Cheng Chang (SS, AZL Indians): 2-for-5, 3 R. Chang, on the other hand, is still hitting quite well in his first exposure to stateside ball, with a .319/.418/.521 line and 20:13 SO:BB in 24 games.

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. If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

yourtribe
August 1, 2014 - 6:54 PM EDT
Give Holt a shot. What the heck you have to lose?
Norm
August 1, 2014 - 6:13 PM EDT
I don't see as well as I used to Art so any rating from me is probably questionable but I have Urshela in my top six and consider him competitive for the three spot. He doesn't have the plate coverage or quick late hands of Dr. Smooth, IMO, but his ceiling might be as high. I am a bit reticent about his ability to hit ML breaking balls but if you remember I didn't get enthusiastic about Brantley's ability to pull breaking/offspeed with any consistency, much less power. I have always liked Aguilar's potential but he just does not have Urshela's swing mechanics or defense from what I see. Like both for hitting with runners on the bases.
LeaguePark
August 1, 2014 - 5:44 PM EDT
Where can I see Art's legendary top 10 list?
BWAHAHAHA!
August 1, 2014 - 4:32 PM EDT
Art has him in his top ten. Now THAT is newsworthy, along with Chisenhall's multiple position possibilities.
art
August 1, 2014 - 4:20 PM EDT
True Norm, we thought Brantley was looking more and more like a starter than a 4th outfielder as he advanced. I now am getting a similar view of Urshela, he isn't declining as he advances levels and as the season wears on.

Looks like he's getting it to me, as a starting 3rd base, and in the majors. I've moved him into my current Top 10 list.
Homer
August 1, 2014 - 3:44 PM EDT
Naquin is only 23, he will turn 24 in late April next yr. He's on par for an MLB debut sometime next season. Unless, he's traded this offseason...I think he could be part of pkg for SP.

Agreed, Urshela should get a shot at third. Lonnie can play 1b, 3b, LF, RF and DH. I'd suggest Chisenhall could be on the table too for SP. He's been on quite a slide since posting a .393 avg going into June(?). He's down to .308, which was bound to happen. However, there's legit concern...he's not hitting enough / good enough D...to justify being the everyday third baseman, IMHO.
Norm
August 1, 2014 - 2:09 PM EDT
We all know Arizona is a hitters league but I think it bodes well for Cleveland's future how well its pitching staff has done. Many of these young pitchers are throwing strikes and appear to have some ceiling. Very nice when the current prospect ratings favor position players so prominently.

Much of the shortcoming in pitching is the absence of high end arms and many organizational losses are due to weak relief pitching. The lack of top arms at the upper full season arms is more concern to me since worry about relief prospects short of AA/AAA is pretty pointless IMO.

The addition of a couple of AAA prospects, even if they are not future all-stars, makes the position depth at the upper levels at the upper levels solid if not spectacular. I share Art's enthusiasm for Urshela and wonder if he is destined for a ML role soon. Reminds me of the last player we talked about that we thought would be good, Michael Brantly. Neither of us guessed he would be this good though.
yourtribe
August 1, 2014 - 2:02 PM EDT
Please move Zimmer up!!!! Don't get it.

Giovanny should get a shot at 3d next year. Not a Lonnie fan.

Want to see some athletic youngsters get a legit shot next spring. Raburn has to go. Contract or not. Murphy should be a part timer. Naquin is in mid 20s let's see what he's got in col when he gets back.

Either create something to look forward to next year or attendance will get even worse!!

And again. Why is Gomes 8th on this team???????? Dumb.
Tony
August 1, 2014 - 1:39 PM EDT
Sellers would be the last guy on my list. Also, could be one to go on 40-man to make room for Lindor....or someone else.
nubballguy
August 1, 2014 - 1:21 PM EDT
Assuming Avles is still around, why would Sellers get a call up? I get the rest listed.
I do hope Miller gets a cameo, its a small subset of the fan base but those of us who know, would truly get it and would be a truly class move by the team.
Tape me to the other slide!
August 1, 2014 - 12:07 PM EDT
Any shot Bradley get in a few games at MV before the end of the season?
Tony
August 1, 2014 - 10:37 AM EDT
Based on who is not in Cleveland right this moment, I would guess Sept pitching callups to be Lee, House, Pestano, Price and Tomlin. Sturdevant would be a long shot to me at this point, but things can change there in next month. Then for position players, I would guess Aguilar, Lindor, Sellers, Walters, and Holt for sure......and maybe Moncrief and/or Urshela though they won't call up guys just to call them up, there has to be ABs available or opportunities to mix them in so why to me these two are not sure things at the moment.
Walter
August 1, 2014 - 10:26 AM EDT
September call ups Holt, Moncrief, Aguilar, Walters, Lindor, Price, maybe Sturdevant and Cloyd ?
Tony
August 1, 2014 - 10:08 AM EDT
Rodimus, I just don't see the Indians giving out a token appearance. Maybe it happens, but it is doubtful. They have other guys they are going to need to look at in September and who are more deserving and long term assets.
art
August 1, 2014 - 9:57 AM EDT
Urshela is really something this year, in addition to everything else during the past month he actually has less strikeouts than walks. His last month of performance shows him dropping to a Brantley like strikeout rate.
Rodimus
August 1, 2014 - 9:55 AM EDT
Tony...just wondering why you say a Miller call-up wouldn't be in the cards in September, especially if we're out of it. 40 man issues or something else?
Tony
August 1, 2014 - 9:07 AM EDT
Can't help but pull for Miller. I would have no problem with giving him a late September callup and let him pitch in the bigs. It won't happen, but what a story it would be.
Richard
August 1, 2014 - 8:57 AM EDT
I hope Adam Miller gets a September call up. I think he has earned it for determination, if not for performance.

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