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Around the Farm: June 18, 2014

All-Star games and bad weather leave only the RubberDucks in action

Around the Farm: June 18, 2014
Jake Lowery (Photo: Jim Piascik)
June 19, 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 Carolina and Lake County were off on Wednesday. Plus, Mahoning Valley was rained out and Columbus' game was suspended in the fourth inning.

Anthony Gallas (LF, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Anthony Gallas (Photo: MiLB)Gallas hit his second home run in seven Double-A games Wednesday night, giving him six extra base hits in those games. The outfielder has hits in six of those seven games as he has dominated in his first real exposure to Double-A. Gallas' surge does not come without some worry -- the outfielder has six strikeouts and no walks after posting a 52:17 SO:BB in 58 High-A games -- but right now he is simply hitting the ball well. The outfielder is still an older prospect without as much pedigree, but even after getting the call to Akron, Gallas is continuing to hit for power and stuff the box score.

Joseph Colon (SP, Akron): 8.0 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP

Joseph Colon (Photo: MiLB)As you can see based on Wednesday's start, Colon really buys into the pitch-to-contact approach. Colon's goal is to throw the ball over the plate and make something happen quickly, whether it be an out or a hit. Sometimes that approach falls apart -- if hitters string the hits together, the runs will come in bunches -- but more often than not in 2014, Colon has pitched deep into games despite a mediocre 52:29 SO:BB in 81.2 innings. Adding some strikeouts to Colon's game could help the right-hander in the long-term, but as he is right now, Colon is eating innings and finding success in Double-A.

Joey Wendle (2B, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Joey Wendle (Photo: MiLB)Another multi-hit effort Wednesday made it four straight games and five out of the last six for Wendle. Not only have the hits been coming lately for the second baseman, Wendle is continuing to hit for power, as his .158 isolated power is easily above average. Wendle does not jump out as a prospect like a Francisco Lindor, but the second baseman is putting together a solid season in his first year in Double-A. With a .268/.326/.426 line and strong 43:20 SO:BB in 69 games, Wendle is showing that his 2013 was not all about being an older, more experienced bat in the Carolina League. Though Wendle's offense has regressed some from his torrid 2013, the second baseman is still doing pretty well this season.

Jake Lowery (1B, Akron): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Jake Lowery (Photo: MiLB)After a seven-week layoff following being hit in the eye by a pitch, Lowery is slowly starting to round back into form. The 23-year-old only owns a .561 OPS since returning, though Lowery has also shown his pop in that time as well. Lowery's four extra base hits and .167 isolated power in the 11 games since his return are much better than how he had performed prior to his injury, though all of this is dealing with small samples. It is only natural that Lowery will need some time to get all the way back, and though the hits are not falling just yet, the 23-year-old has enough walks to balance his high strikeout rate (23:14 SO:BB in 22 games). With that in mind, Lowery is a candidate to see some better results follow his solid approach in the coming months.

  • Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Akron): S (7), 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO. After not allowing a run for 22.1 straight innings, spanning 15 appearances, Sturdevant has allowed one in each of his last two outings. The right-hander is still pitching well on the year, however, with a 1.45 ERA and 30:9 SO:BB in 31.0 innings.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Lindor does not typically hit for a ton of power, but he does not need to all the time in order to find success. The shortstop's great approach, on-base ability, and plus defense bring Lindor plenty of value, but flashing some power like this obviously does not hurt.
  • Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO. Naquin did not get a hit for the second consecutive game -- a rarity of late -- though the outfielder did get on base via a walk. The center fielder still owns a .316/.373/.438 line in 68 games this year despite his "slump" over the last two days.
  • Tony Wolters (C, Akron): 0-for-3, 1 BB. Wolters' plate discipline numbers look like Wendle's (44:22 SO:BB in 60 games), but the catcher's lack of power is really hurting him. A .260/.328/.318 line from a catcher is not all bad -- and Wolters is still learning in only his second year at the position -- but the 22-year-old could use a little more pop in his bat.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (3B, Akron): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 CS. Though it does not show in his season stats, Rodriguez is continuing his post-April breakout of late. Like Wolters, Rodriguez could use some more power to help his June numbers, but overall, the infielder has been much better since his terrible April (.331 OPS in April, .775 in May, .674 in June).

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

Nikolaos
June 20, 2014 - 6:55 AM EDT
Thank You Art for the fielding update on Wendle. Not too shabby for a hit oriented player...
art
June 19, 2014 - 11:44 PM EDT
In his last 25 games, Wendle has a triple slash line of .346/.383/.495. No matter how limited you are defensively, that will get an organization's attention if he can keep up anything even close to these numbers.

I know he isn't a kid, but he just turned 24 a couple of months ago, so he is pretty much averaged age for AA ball.

His standard defensive stats aren't bad at Akron either, with only 4 errors and a fielding % of .989
nubballguy
June 19, 2014 - 9:10 PM EDT
Was wondering about Ramirez too, thanks for that update.

Also curious about Bryan Price, haven't seen his name in an Akron boxscore in a while.
Tony
June 19, 2014 - 1:04 PM EDT
Ramirez has a hamstring injury they are waiting out...
Walter
June 19, 2014 - 12:49 PM EDT
Another person who is blocking Wendle is Ramirez. Speaking of Ramirez, he has not played the last couple day for the Clippers?
He still showing as active. Is there a nagging injury that he has?

Tony
June 19, 2014 - 12:38 PM EDT
Wow, the Indians and a lot of minor league affiliates get rained out last night and people start to go crazy ha!

Wendle has a tough road ahead of him. He's limited defensively and second base is really the only everyday position he profiles at. That's a big reason for the Phelps comp....a guy who has had success in the minors but his defense and lack of versatility probably limits his big league future. He's going to have to hit and hit a lot.....or at least prove that he can be reliable as an outfielder and first baseman to add some versatility. And that doesn't even get into the fact that Kipnis is blocking him for the foreseeable future.
nubballguy
June 19, 2014 - 12:34 PM EDT
Matthew, a little strong no? I would say that the reason we are interested is because this site is in large part about following and tracking guys in the minors. Because that's what interests us.
If Rich is not interested in the guys in the minors, I would suggest to him that he just focus on stories and articles on the big league club.
As to what is to happen to players such as Wendle, we'll just have to see how things develop. I'm curious to see if he is indeed Cord Phelps, or maybe Jeff Kent. That's part of the fun to see how it plays out.
Matthew
June 19, 2014 - 11:18 AM EDT
Rich--

We're paying attention because we actually like baseball and we're not all assholes like you.
Walter
June 19, 2014 - 10:14 AM EDT
With the Class A and Low A ready to start the second half today, do we expect any movement/promotions by the Indians this week?
Nikolaos
June 19, 2014 - 9:39 AM EDT
Kipnis was already on the disabled list this year and was last year as well. I love Kip and you are right he is the future...but a lot of our prospects making position changes (Moncrief, Wolters, Paulino, etc.). If a guy can hit and has value to an MLB team, position will not block him from moving up...especially if a bat is needed. I am sure Left Field, 3rd Base and 1st Base could be alternatives for him.
Rich
June 19, 2014 - 8:31 AM EDT
Jason Kipnis is signed through 2019 with a club option for 2020. I really don't understand why we're paying any attention to a second baseman who's hitting .268 in AA. He could be hitting .368 and I don't know if that makes him anything other than future trade bait.

Kipnis is an All-Star and is currently hitting cleanup. He's not going anywhere, and Wendle doesn't appear to have the ability to play another position and his bat won't play at DH. He's blocked.
Nikolaos
June 19, 2014 - 8:18 AM EDT
In your Indians Baseball Insider Top 100 Prospects (excellent job again, I may add), you compared Wendle to Cord Phelps. So far this year, has Wendle shown that he may have more bat to ball potential and more power than Phelps? Phelps never projected to the major like expected, so I am hoping Wendle still has a little more upside. Also, how is his defense coming along? Guys like Wendle and Sever sound like they have upside bats, but below average defense or no true position....

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