Around the Farm: June 15, 2012
By Jim Pete
June 16, 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.
Anthony Gallas: LF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI:
Gallas is absolutely shredding the cover off the ball for the Muddies. Over the last ten games, he has a .400/.400/.743 line. He currently has a six-game hit streak, in which he’s gone 10-for-20, with four runs, a double, three homers and five RBI. It’s hard not to get excited about a guy from Cleveland that continually rises from the ashes to put together stretches of baseball like this. He dominated the Midwest league last season, and while he’s struggled overall in Carolina, he has put together stretches of sublime baseball in which he looks like a guy that can move through the system. The interesting thing about Gallas is that he’s a righthanded hitter, and can bring some pop when he’s on. He’s at an advanced age for the Muddies (24), so he’ll need to get moving on up to be taken seriously moving forward.
Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB:
When you think of Lake County, the first name that pops in your head is likely Francisco Lindor. Past Lindor, you probably look at Luigi Rodriguez, Alex Lavisky, Elvis Araujo, Joe Colon, Felix Sterling, and even a guy like LeVon Washington first. Those that really pay attention to the Captains likely think of Jordan Smith, at least in that conversation, if not near the front. Smith is hitting a solid .302 on the year, and just might be the first bat to head for Carolina. He’s 16-for-42 over his last ten, with a line of .381/.480/.548 during that stretch. Smith dominated at Mahoning Valley last season, before stamina got the best of him over the last couple of weeks of the season. He’s seemed to figure all that out. I would even go so far as to say that if Smith had some power, he’d be talked about in the top ten prospects. His bat is that good.
- Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: Game 1: 1-for-3: Columbus had four hits and three walks total in the seven-inning affair, so you nearly have to mention all of them. Carrera continues hot play that’s seen him hit nearly 100 points higher in June than in April or May.
- Trevor Crowe: RF, Columbus: Game 1: 2-for-3, 1 2B: If you mention one hit when there’s only four, you nearly throw a parade for the guy that has half the team’s hits during the game. It’s hard not to root for Crowe after he’s had to battle through injuries over the past couple of years. He’s 3-for-8 since returning from injury, with hits in both games.
- Russ Canzler: DH, Columbus: Game 1: 1-for-2, 1 BB, CS (2): Canzler, while nothing like the player that hit .314, with 18 homers and 83 RBI last year, has been playing solid baseball after his May swoon that saw him hit only .238 for the month. He did hit .287 in April, and is hitting .275 in June, but he only had four homers as of game 1, but was coming off a grand slam on Thursday.
- Chris Seddon: SP, Columbus: Game 1: L (7-4), 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R/ER, 6 K: Seddon pitched a double-header-shortened complete game, and wasn’t terrible, but it is worth taking note that it was his worst start of his past three, in which he’d gone 21 innings, and given up only two earned runs in going 3-0. As it stands, over his last four games, he’s at 27 innings, and given up six earned runs, 26 hits, three walks and struck out 25.
- Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: Game 2: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Carrera upped his average to .260 with his two hits, and continued his steady offense. He’s gone 13-for-33, with eight runs, a double, two homers and six RBI over his last ten.
- Tim Fedroff: LF, Columbus: Game 2: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K: Fedroff finally made it to Columbus, and may be the forgotten guy there. He has merit as a player, and is one of the scrappier guys on the team. With Trevor Crowe and Ezequiel Carrera, he may be in line for that #4 outfield slot, once Tribe management does the right thing and gets rid of the black hole known as Aaron Cunningham. Fedroff had gone 0-for-9 in his previous three ballgames.
- Russ Canzler: 1B, Columbus: Game 2: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Perhaps Canzler’s bat will heat up over the summer. The big first baseman hit his second homer in as many days, and 2nd in three games. He’s definitely not the answer at first base for the Indians, but he could make things interesting for Matt LaPorta going forward. It seems fairly clear that the Indians management has ceased thinking highly of LaPorta, so is there a chance that Canzler can be that next guy?
- David Huff: SP, Columbus: Game 2: 3 IP, 12 H, 8 R/ER, 2 K: There really isn’t any way to look at this one other than to say it’s a step backward for Huff. It was his third straight struggle, as he’s given up 16 runs over his last three appearances, totaling only 14 1/3 innings.
- Eric Berger: RP, Columbus: Game 2: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K: Berger has been crazy good over his last two appearances in long relief for the Clippers, giving up only the hit and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. He’s also K’ed 7 during that stretch. If you take out one bad start, Berger has been one of the best Clippers’ pitcher in both the pen and the rotation.
- Jordan Henry: CF, Akron: 1-for-4: The mysterious Jordan Henry returned from the DL and played his first game of the season. He’s another speedy centerfielder in the system that falls into the Crowe/Fedroff/Carrera mold. Tyler Holt has to be ready to explode in Carolina.
- Chun-Hsiu Chen: DH, Akron: 1-for-4: Chen extended his hit streak to ten games, but he hasn’t hit a home run since early May.
- Juan Diaz: SS, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Diaz broke an 0-for-11 slump with the home run, but is still hitting only .231 over the past ten games, and is hitting .232 for the season. He won’t likely find himself in the big leagues any time soon.
- Michel Hernandez: C, Akron: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K: Hernandez is one of my favorite minor leaguers in the system. The 33-year old Cuban does nothing but hit the baseball, and while he’s never going to find himself in Cleveland, he’s just the type of lifer you want at the catcher position in the minors.
- T.J. House: SP, Akron: L (4-2), 4 1/3 IP, 13 H, 7 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR: House was extremely hittable. He made 86 pitches, and was hitting the strike zone (58 strikes), but clearly wasn’t doing anything to fool or overpower the Reading hitters. I’m curious at what his velocity was Friday night. It wouldn’t be inconceivable to see House running into some stamina issues, or even some “dead arm.”
- Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 2 K: Bryson had a solid outing in relief of House, and hasn’t given up a run now in three appearances. It’s also interesting to note that he didn’t have any walks, which has been his downfall this season.
- Tyler Holt: CF, Carolina: 0-for-5: Holt’s average is in a free fall after hitting .333 in April. He’s only hitting .171 in June, and perhaps his being stuck in Carolina is finally taking its toll. With Jordan Henry getting the call-up to Akron, you have to wonder if Holt’s not in Carolina for the season. Even with a move up to Akron, there are several outfielders in the same mold already in Columbus.
- Jeremie Tice: DH, Carolina: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB: Tice hasn’t exactly been tearing it up over the past couple of weeks, but his all-star nod was worthwhile. He’s got an abundance of power, and a fantastic bat, and if he can stay healthy, could make a major move forward. If only he was a legit left-fielder.
- Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Aguilar hit his sixth homer of the season, but he hadn’t hit a home run in over a month. I know there’s been speculation on the big first baseman working on his approach at the plate, and while true, there’s still a bit of concern about where his power went. Perhaps now he can put it all together and make that push for Akron.
- Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B: Rodriguez continued his spring surge, and has gone 10-for-34, with eight runs, three doubles, a triple, a homer and four RBI over his last ten games.
- Tyler Cannon: C, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 2B: Nobody is noticing what Tyler Cannon is doing in Carolina. He’s moved full-time to the catcher position, and to the best of my knowledge, hadn’t played the position as a professional prior to this. Aside from having the right name for a catcher, Cannon has begun to turn heads with his bat. Cannon is hitting .394 over his last ten games, all at catcher, and is hitting .414 in June. May the Indians have stumbled upon a future prospect? When the Muddies come home, I’ll see if I can’t talk with Cannon, and find out about his defense.
- Mike Rayl: SP, Carolina: L (4-7), 2 IP, 4 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HR: This start had everything that you don’t want in any start: low innings, too many runs, hits, walks and homers, and only one K. Rayl has had some nice starts since May 31, but balanced them with some dreadful ones as well. Consistency is king, and Rayl can’t find it.
- Luigi Rodriguez: CF, Lake County: 1-fo-4, 1 RBI: Rodriguez was grooving right along with a nine-game hit streak when an 0-for-7 outing ended it. He bounced back with another hit on Friday night, to perhaps start a new one.
- Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB: Lindor continues his fabulous season with another hit. Now, it’s nothing like Thursday’s game in which he managed a hit and SIX walks, but you do have to like the line over his past ten games, in which he has 13 walks and 10 K’s. Sure, that one game inflated it, but it does give hope that his approach is continuing to advance.
- Joe Colon: SP, Lake County: L (5-7) 5 2/3 IP, 12 H, 7 R/6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR: While Colon got touched up in this one, you can still point to his one walk as a sign that he’s still going good. As long as the velocity was there, there really isn’t a whole bunch to worry about right now. Sometimes, a team just has your number.
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.