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Around the Farm: July 6, 2014

Around the Farm: July 6, 2014
Grant Fink (Photo: IBI)
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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.

Grant Fink (3B, Lake County): 5-for-5, R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI. This is what I love about the day to day review of the games over the course of the minor league season. While the general focus is often on the big prospects in the system, it is always great to see some of the less heralded players have big games, and that is exactly the kind of day Fink had on Sunday with three extra base hits and a perfect day at the plate. Fink is putting together a nice season at Lake County hitting .254 with 9 HR, 42 RBI and .770 OPS, and though he has 116 strikeouts he also has a nice .354 on-base percentage. His ability to handle both third base and first base adds some versatility as a corner infield option for the Indians and his power at the plate is enticing.

Bryan Price (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Price suffered an unfortunate arm injury late in spring training and missed the month and a half of the season, but he is back and pitching great as in 12 combined appearances between Double-A Akron (8) and Triple-A Columbus (4) he is 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA and has a 4-20 walk to strikeout ratio in 13.2 innings. If the Indians call upon another arm to fill a bullpen need in Cleveland it may just be him (and should be).

Anthony Gallas (LF, Akron): 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI, K. Gallas continues his onslaught against Double-A pitching as he now has a 10-game hitting streak and has a hit in 20 of his 23 games at Akron. He is hitting .387 with 5 HR, 15 RBI and 1.070 OPS at Akron. The one walk in 23 games is still something that brings concern with his approach once the bat cools off….but for now his performance has been marvelous and a lot of fun to track.

  • Jose Ramirez (CF, Columbus): 0-for-4, K, SB. Ramirez is just 6-for-28 (.214) since coming off the disabled list and is mired in a rough 2-for-18 slide over his last five games. The start in center field is not a surprise as he has two other times this season and did so with the callup of Tyler Holt to Cleveland.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 1-for-2, R, 2B, 2 BB. Aguilar has a modest 9-game hitting streak going, though has just one hit in eight of the nine games. Since hitting 7 homers in 24 games in April he has hit just 5 homers in the 46 games since.
  • Audy Ciriaco (SS, Columbus): 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. Ciriaco has really played well this season at Columbus as he has been consistent all year, been surprisingly productive and been very useful because of his versatility. He’s having a nice year hitting .280 with 8 HR, 36 RBI and .848 OPS in 63 games.
  • Zach McAllister (SP, Columbus): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K. McAllister has another strong start for Columbus and moves to 5-0 in his six starts there. He has gone at least six innings in five of his six starts (all wins) and looks to be ready for a return to Cleveland as soon as a need arises.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 3-for-4, 2B, RBI. Lindor has looked a little rusty at the plate since missing about a week after getting hit in the face by a bad hop. Prior to this game he was just 1-for-15 at the plate since his return, so this was a welcomed performance from him.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Akron): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B. Smith looks to be turning things around as he is 13-for-34 (.382) over his last nine games. Even with the hotter bat he has zero walks over his last 10 games and just three extra base hits.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (2B, Akron): 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB, K, CS, PO. I’ve long been a Ronny Rod fan, and his steady performance over the last two months has been nice to see. But at this point I am just not sure what he is other than an Audy Ciriaco kind of guy as a versatile depth option in the upper levels.
  • Gabriel Arias (SP, Akron): 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR. Another good outing for Arias as he is now 7-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 13 starts with Akron. He’s just a filler guy as he will be a minor league free agent again after the season and may or may not be retained, so I’d rather his innings go to someone from Carolina (like, um, Shawn Morimando or Ryan Merritt).
  • Joe Sever (1B, Carolina): 1-for-3, R, BB. Sever continues to play well for Carolina as he reaches base in two of his four plate appearances. He’s still a fringy prospect and someone more in the 50-100 range as far as rankings go, but his versatility and solid bat make him interesting.
  • LeVon Washington (LF, Carolina): 2-for-4, RBI. It has been great to see Washington out playing for an extended period of time and doing well. He’s doing a nice job hitting for average and getting on-base, but the fact he is almost strictly a left fielder really minimizes his value especially since he doesn’t run much anymore and has little power (.096 ISO).
  • Adam Plutko (SP, Carolina): 2.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 2 K. This was a bad outing from Plutko as he threw a whopping 63 pitches in just two innings of work. The problem was not throwing strikes as 40 of the 63 pitches were strikes (64%), it was just one of those games where he could not put hitters away, they made good contact and found some holes.
  • Rob Nixon (RP, Carolina): 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K. Nixon may not get a lot of pub and his standing in the organization may be tenuous, but this was an excellent outing. He came up big and filled the innings left void when Plutko was unable to pitch deep into the game.
  • Benny Suarez (RP, Carolina): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 0 K. Suarez is one of those project arms who throws hard but is someone who could be on the roster bubble going into next season. He has really struggled in the second half posting an 8.10 ERA in five games (6.2 IP, 11 H, 5 BB, 4 K).
  • Clint Frazier (DH, Lake County): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K. Many may disagree, but Frazier is putting together a solid pro debut. In 70 games he is now hitting .249 with 7 HR, 27 RBI and .707 OPS. Yes, the 93 strikeouts are a concern, but he is off to a nice start in July (.318 AVG, .984 OPS). Also, remember, some guy named Lindor hit .257 with a .707 OPS in his pro debut with Lake County in 2012.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 3-for-5, R, 2B, RBI. Rodriguez is on some kind of hot streak of late. After hitting .221 with 8 HR, 25 RBI and .694 OPS in 65 first half games, he is hitting .345 with 5 HR, 17 RBI and 1.140 OPS in 15 second half games.
  • Luis Lugo (SP, Lake County): 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 6 K. Lugo has an ugly 5.57 ERA in 17 appearances this season, but depending on what peripherals you look at they are solid to outstanding. He has 97 strikeouts in 76.0 innings and about a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio.
  • Justin Brantley (RP, Lake County): 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Brantley is having one heck of a pro debut. The 23-year old nondrafted free agent signing now has a 0.59 ERA in seven appearances having thrown 15.1 innings and allowed 8 hits, 1 homer, 2 walks and has 13 strikeouts. Frank Herrmann part deux?
  • Greg Allen (RF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, 3 SB, A. After a fast start going 5-for-9 in his first two pro games, Allen then went 5-for-31 over his next eight games before this much needed multi-hit effort. Ripping off three stolen bases is also impressive.
  • Bradley Zimmer (CF, Mahoning Valley): 0-for-2, 2 BB, SB, E. He has only played in nine games but so far Zimmer has been as advertised. He is hitting .323 (10-for-31) with a 4-5 walk to strikeout ratio and also has 3 stolen bases.
  • Ordomar Valdez (2B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-3, R, 2B, CS, PO, E. Prior to this game Valdez was in a 4-for-30 stretch over his last nine games. Even with the struggles to get very many hits he has had a solid approach at the plate with a 6-6 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • Sean Brady (SP, Mahoning Valley): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K. The best outing yet in the young season for Brady. This was his longest outing and easily his most impressive one, and since getting touched up for 8 hits and 5 runs in 4.0 innings in the season opener he has allowed 11 hits and 3 runs in his last 19.2 innings.
  • Justin Garcia (RP, Mahoning Valley): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Garcia’s perfect 2014 campaign came to an end in this one. Entering the game he has made five perfect appearances and racked up 13.0 shutout innings of work, but all good streaks eventually come to an end.
  • Alexis Pantoja (2B, AZL Indians): 1-for-5, R, RBI, K. Pantoja has been hitting well in the early going with a .280 average in 12 games played and a nice 4-3 walk to strikeout ratio. Those are the early things I tend to look for is if there is the makings of a good approach - especially from a pretty good defender.
  • Bobby Bradley (1B, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 3 RBI, E. I know it is the Arizona League where offensive numbers are ridiculously inflated, but you have to love the start Bradley is off to in his career. He is showing some power and some on-base ability. 
  • Justus Sheffield (SP, AZL Indians): 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 2 K. This was Sheffield's pro debut. He ony went 1.1 innings because his pitch count is still being built up after he had some time off the mound with the conclusion of his high school season.
  • Leandro Linares (RP, AZL Indians): 3.1 IP, 4 H, 7 R/ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 2 HR. Maybe not starting threw off his routine, but this was an ugly outing for the Indians top international pick up last July. After walking just 2 batters in 9.1 innings over his first two appearances his command completely failed him in this one.
  • Yoiber Marquina (RP, AZL Indians): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K. The early returns have been positive for the catcher turned reliever Marquina. In five appearances covering 6.0 innings he has yet to allow a run on 2 hits, 3 walks and has 4 strikeouts.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

Walter
July 7, 2014 - 4:11 PM EDT
Justin Garcia got promoted to Lake County.
Tony
July 7, 2014 - 4:01 PM EDT
Heller promoted to Carolina today.
Walter
July 7, 2014 - 3:54 PM EDT
Good to see Fink have a great day of going 5 for 5. If he is able to cut down his strike out rate and increase his hit rate does he become more of a legit power hitter and prospect?

Dont understand why people are picking on Frazier's power numbers. It's his first full season. He's only 5 hrs behind Rodriquez, they both strike out a lot, similar batting avg. The other issue is Rodriquez is repeating LC after a disaster year last year in which he was demoted to MV.
art
July 7, 2014 - 2:28 PM EDT
I know Frazier has picked it up a bit, but his strikeout rate is starting to concern me.

It isn't improving at all, just a continuation of last seasons rate.
Bob
July 7, 2014 - 2:08 PM EDT
My mistake that is 1 run
Bob
July 7, 2014 - 2:07 PM EDT
Price has thrown 34.1 innings and just given up 1 hit since last year at this time in Triple A ball. A .26 ERA. After his year last year, Venezuala and this year he should be given a shot at the show.
MT88 in WI
July 7, 2014 - 1:53 PM EDT
Any updates on N. Morgan? If Bourne could have stated healthy another week, Morgan would have been almost to come off the 60 day DL...

Now that Holt is on the roster (and by extension the 40 man), I have to wonder if Morgan will get much more of an opportunity in Cleveland or even in the system...
Tony
July 7, 2014 - 12:36 PM EDT
The Indians only had 39 players on the 40-man roster so no one was required to be removed to add Holt.
Nikolaos
July 7, 2014 - 12:05 PM EDT
If Holt was not on the 40 man roster, how were the Indians able to call him up? Excuse my ignorance if this is a dumb question!
Dennis
July 7, 2014 - 12:03 PM EDT
What is the deal with Shawn Armstrong? He seems to be having a good year in Akron with little fan fare.
Tony
July 7, 2014 - 11:38 AM EDT
Papi reports today. Reporting does not necessarily mean added to the roster or that he is playing. We will find out later on today or tonight whether the latter are the case.
Andrew
July 7, 2014 - 11:27 AM EDT
Little confusing how they do rosters down there... so if he's at MV, does he need a roster spot for being there or only when he's activated to play?
Tony
July 7, 2014 - 10:48 AM EDT
I have confirmation he will be in Mahoning Valley today. But that doesn't mean he will play.
Andrew
July 7, 2014 - 10:38 AM EDT
Tony, I thought Papi reports to MV on Tuesday. Maybe I'm wrong.
Tony
July 7, 2014 - 10:33 AM EDT
By the way, Papi reports to Mahoning Valley today.
Tony
July 7, 2014 - 10:33 AM EDT
Rich, Washington is far from a Jordan Smith or Tyler Holt type. As far as hitting for average and being a singles hitter, yes, if that is what you mean I agree. But Smith and Holt are superior defenders. Even if he hits, Washington's defense is a huge roadblock he is going to need to overcome to get out of the minors.
Homer
July 7, 2014 - 8:57 AM EDT
Bobby Bradley should get a taste of MV before the end of their season. Love his bat, I think 1b type get undervalued unless they have huge power / hype / high avg. like AJ Reed, or Casey Gillespie. Bradley was a great pick up. I thought he would be gone by the Tribes second round pk. I think they got great value getting him in round three.

I really like the Zimmer, Papi, Bradley, Hockin, Allen, Eubank and Hentges pks from this draft. Hentges is very raw, but I think has huge upside to match his size, just a big young LHP.
Rich
July 7, 2014 - 8:46 AM EDT
On Levon Washington: "He’s doing a nice job hitting for average and getting on-base, but the fact he is almost strictly a left fielder really minimizes his value especially since he doesn’t run much anymore and has little power (.096 ISO)."

Washington sounds like a left-field version of Jordan Smith - a corner outfielder with no pop but who puts up a nice BA by hitting a lot of singles.

Is there a place on the big club for players like this, assuming they work their way up through the system? Is their upside Tyler Holt?
Tondo
July 7, 2014 - 8:22 AM EDT
B.Bradley: 13-37, .351 BA, 4:8 BB:K, .969 OPS
M.Gettys: 12-48, .250, 9:18, .668
J.Gatewood: 12-53, .226, 3:23, .527

Yeah, looking good so far with Bradley and the decisions in this year's draft.

Nellie Rod is having the season I hoped Frazier would have and starts to remind me of Aguilar. He is the best hitter in LC. Haase is a statistical mirage, hitting below .200 with runners on. Bautista is looking more and more like an INF version of Moncrief, nice power/speed combo. If he can improve his walk rate and gets more selective at the plate, he could turn into another Urshela/Moncrief type.

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