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Around the Farm: July 9, 2014

Gonzalez's big game highlights the night on the farm

Around the Farm: July 9, 2014
Erik Gonzalez (Photo: IBI)
July 10, 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.

Note that the AZL Indians had a scheduled day off on Wednesday.

Erik Gonzalez (SS, Carolina, Game 1): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Erik Gonzalez (Photo: MiLB)After a brief taste of Double-A -- where he posted a .803 OPS in six games -- Gonzalez is back down in Carolina and looking to get his overall season back on track. Not counting his .341/.368/.495 line in 22 April games or his Akron interlude, Gonzalez only owns a .635 OPS in 40 games, a bit of a comedown for the 22-year-old. Gonzalez is a very talented player, though he could use some more walks to really improve his season. With a .109 isolated power in 62 High-A games, it is necessary for Gonzalez to walk more in order to improve his roughly league-average .327 on-base percentage. As is, that type of production from a shortstop is valuable, but as for how it projects up through the system, Gonzalez still needs to improve in order to make real noise in Double-A and above.

  • Toru Murata (SP, Columbus): L (0-1), 7.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 1 HR. Following a rough first start back in Columbus on July 4 (three runs, seven strikeouts, one walk in four innings), Murata put up a similar line while making it through 7.1 innings this time.
  • J.C. Ramirez (RP, Columbus): 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 WP. In his first outing back in Columbus after a stint in Akron, Ramirez continued his Triple-A struggles (3.85 ERA, 3:8 SO:BB in 11.2 innings).
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Aguilar had Columbus' only extra base hit on the night, continuing his consistently strong Triple-A season (.275/.379/.473 line in 72 games).
  • Joseph Colon (SP, Akron): ND, 6.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO, 2 BK. With another solid outing, Colon's ERA is now down to 2.56 to go with his 73:38 SO:BB in 105.1 innings.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (2B, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB. Rodriguez is still looking to gain firmer footing of late (and in 2014 for that matter), with the 22-year-old drawing his first walk and putting up his first extra base hit of July on Wednesday.
  • Tony Wolters (C, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB. Wolters has hit for more power so far in July, though Wednesday only saw him getting on base. There is nothing wrong with reaching base three times, of course, and Wolters increased his on-base percentage to .324 in his first 78 games in Double-A.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 SB. Wednesday's steal gives Lindor 22 on the season to go with a .746 OPS and 57:37 SO:BB through 80 games.
  • Tim Fedroff (CF-LF, Akron): 1-for-5, 3 SO. Making his first appearance in Double-A since 2012, Fedroff stumbled a bit with this three-strikeout game.
  • Ryan Merritt (SP, Carolina, Game 1): ND, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1 BK. Merritt's Tuesday outing was interrupted by thunderstorms and a power outage, with the game suspended and completed on Wednesday. Despite the disruption, Merritt still ended with a solid outing to go with his impressive 2014 season.
  • LeVon Washington (LF, Carolina, Game 1): 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO. Another three times on base pushed Washington's on-base percentage to .425 as #WashTime continues to make waves with the Mudcats.
  • Yhoxian Medina (3B, Carolina, Game 1): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI. Medina is still taking advantage of playing every day, though the return of Erik Gonzalez pushed him off of shortstop. Heading into game two, Medina had a 10-game hit streak.
  • Joe Sever (1B, Carolina, Game 1): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Sever continued to hit since his return from the disabled list, pushing his on-base percentage back over .400 (to .409) in 29 games.
  • Yandy Diaz (DH, Carolina, Game 1): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO. Like Sever, Diaz is doing well since going on the disabled list on opening night, putting up a .290/.397/.355 line in 29 games.
  • Todd Hankins (CF, Carolina, Game 1): 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 CS. Hankins missed about two weeks with a right oblique strain, but the center fielder came back strong in his scheduled five innings Tuesday (the game was suspended after he was already pulled from the game).
  • Michael Peoples (SP, Carolina, Game 2): W (6-7), 6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR, 1 WP. Peoples' ERA may be at a pretty high 4.60 mark, but the right-hander's 74:31 SO:BB in 74.1 innings offers hope the 22-year-old is pitching better than his ERA indicates.
  • Yhoxian Medina (2B, Carolina, Game 2): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Medina extended his hitting streak to 11 games in game two while bringing his OPS over .700 for the first time since April 4.
  • Erik Gonzalez (SS, Carolina, Game 2): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 SO. With Carolina's only extra base hit of game two, Gonzalez continued his work from game one in breaking out of his extended slump.
  • Jordan Milbrath (SP, Lake County): ND, 6.0 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 WP. The strikeouts have been down for Milbrath, but lately the right-hander has gotten his walks under control. In his last four starts, Milbrath owns a 3.04 ERA and 11:3 SO:BB in 20.2 innings.
  • Claudio Bautista (2B, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO. After a slow start to the season, Bautista has seen his numbers rebound, putting up a .918 OPS in 28 June/July games.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Another Captain hitting better since the calendar turned to June, Rodriguez's season line is up to .249/.332/.458 to go with 14 home runs in 82 games.
  • Torsten Boss (RF, Lake County): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Since being sent down to Lake County, Boss only has 17 hits in 25 games, though nine of those hits have gone for extra bases.
  • Clint Frazier (DH, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 SO. Don’t look now, but Frazier is hitting well recently and slowly seeing his season stats creep up. Through 72 games, the 2013 first rounder is at a .713 OPS and is starting to see his power come through in-game.
  • Paul Hendrix (SS, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 SO. Hendrix, on the other hand, is slowly seeing his red-hot start to the season regress back to normal. The 22-year-old still owns a .280/.379/.460 line in 70 games, though.
  • Julian Merryweather (SP, Mahoning Valley): L (0-1), 3.2 IP, 10 H, 7 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR. Merryweather started his professional career well, though since being tasked with turning the lineup over in his last three starts, his results have suffered.
  • Taylor Murphy (RF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 HBP. Coming into Wednesday, Murphy had one extra base hit and a .333 slugging percentage. After Wednesday, the 2014 18th round pick's home run doubled that total to two and increased his slugging to .429 through 13 games. Fun with small sample sizes!
  • Bradley Zimmer (CF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B. Zimmer is looking the part of an advanced college bat in the New York-Penn League, posting a .316/.400/.395 line in the first 11 games of his professional career.

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

Homer
July 10, 2014 - 12:26 PM EDT
I'm gonna give Sternfan the attention he so desperately wants...

First, after 11 games Zimmer looks like Naquin? Really Zimmer is much taller :) and has a much a higher ceiling.

Castro a bust? Really? He's playing in a league where the avg. player is 2.6 yrs older and more exp. it's all about getting him acclimated to the US. You'll figure it out, after all this is a teenager moving to the US for the first time.

Vick has disappointed, no doubt his stock is down. McAdams needs patience, he's still young / raw.
Castillo again another young player needs patience. Santander is 18, playing injured until recently, if anything he should have been shout down earlier...IMO they missed handled him.

Sever belongs in AA? Probably, but he's not a priority prospect.

I like Washington, but unless he starts tearing up the bases, he's limited...agreed.

Ronny Rod? He's still young, 2.7 yrs younger than league avg. I think he's a bench (UTL) player long term...maybe a Mike Aviles type.

Jordan Smith has struggled, but still too early to give up on him. He's recent hot streak was encouraging.

Moncrief will likely struggle with a high K rate, but should produce a decent avg. and a plus arm. Probably, a 4/5th OF.
Ross
July 10, 2014 - 11:29 AM EDT

A few responses to Sternfan 10's comments:
- Zimmerman only has 38 AB's. Too early to pass judgement.
- Mejia is 18 and playing in a league dominated with 21, 22 year old players. Too soon to judge.
- With regards to Castillo and Vick, agree with you.
- With regards to McAdams, suggest he be given a chance as a P. He has a very strong arm.
- Santander is 19 and has been injured all year. Too soon to give up on him.
- Castro is 17 and already playing stateside. Too soon to write him off.
Tony
July 10, 2014 - 11:02 AM EDT
Colon has firmly established himself as a legit starting pitching prospect for the Indians and all but likely is rostered in the offseason. Could be a trade chip too. I am not sure he is top 10 worthy as he doesn't have frontline stuff, but he's developing into a nice innings eating mid-rotation or backend of the rotation arm who throws a lot of sinkers and pretty hard. I would expect he spend most of next season between AA/AAA and is an option later in the year if needed and he is pitching well.
Sternfan10
July 10, 2014 - 10:59 AM EDT
Zimmer is looking like Naquin with less power

Castro is trending towards a bust in Zona, alot of $$ wasted in the International pool.

Mejia is looking like he is not going to hit well enough to be an everyday catcher.

Is it time to pull the plug on McAdams, Leo Castillo, Santander and Vick

Why is Sever still at Carolina, move he guy up

Levon Washington starting to look like an extra outfielder a best

Ronny Rodriguez is basically a filler type of player now

Jordan Smith, why does he keep getting starts, isn't it apparent that he doesn't have the bat to move forward?

Moncrief will struggle in the bigs, terrible strike zone management

When will the Clippers upgrade their rotation and get rid of all the journeymen types littering the starting lineup in the field.

markn95
July 10, 2014 - 10:48 AM EDT
Tony,

Yet another solid outing from J. Colon in Akron. How much has he improved his prospect standing in the organization this year? From what I've read going into 2014, he was considered a back-of-the-rotation, top-25 but never top-10 prospect type. But he's really putting together a solid, borderline dominant year in Double A (c.f., Cody Anderson in 2013, who did it one level below and pushed himself into the org's top 10 list this offseason). Obviously, the one thing missing from his game is strikeouts, and pitch to contact guys are extremely hard to project beyond Double A. Nonetheless, he seems to at least be on the level of guys like Tomlin and T.J. House, who have contributed tot he big league club this year. With Masterson on his way out, is there any chance he competes for a rotation spot next spring? Or is he ticketed for more or less a full year in Columbus in 2015?
Tony
July 10, 2014 - 10:28 AM EDT
I really like Washington's bat as I think it is the real deal. The big thing that is going to hold him back is his defense....something we have seen hold countless good hitting prospects back in the past once they got to Triple-A/Double-A with the likes of Jared Goedert, Jordan Brown, Tim Fedroff, etc.
Walter
July 10, 2014 - 9:48 AM EDT
Gabriel Mejia now up to 39 stolen bases for Indians DSL. His he related to Francisco Mejia?
Nikolaos
July 10, 2014 - 9:41 AM EDT
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. He still is managing to get on base very well (.424 OBP). He isn't doing too bad as far as BB/K as he has 27 BB and 41K so far at Carolina. He hasn't had a chance to run much and I think that has to do with the brass telling him to be more selective and pick his spots to run. I think if he works hard by continuing to get on base, adding some line drive power and tightening up his defense...all while remaining healthy...the sky is the limit. As long as he doesn't have Michael Bourn's left hamstring, he will be ok!
anonymous
July 10, 2014 - 9:35 AM EDT
I don´t know if the sky´s the limit. He doesn´t hit for power, he doesn´t run great anymore, and he doesn´t play great defense for a corner outfielder. He has to consistently hit .300 with a good eye or develop his other tools.
Nikolaos
July 10, 2014 - 8:21 AM EDT
Levon Washington being productive and healthy is great to see. If he can grind through this season and continue his success, the sky is the limit. Any chance he gets bumped up to Akron considering some of the incoming OF depth as well as current OF injuries?

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