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Around the Farm: June 26, 2014

Rodriguez's four-hit game, Bradley's power outburst highlight the night on the farm

Around the Farm: June 26, 2014
Ronny Rodriguez (Photo: Brittany Chay)
June 27, 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.

Ronny Rodriguez (3B, Akron): 4-for-4, 2 R

Ronny Rodriguez (Photo: MiLB)If Rodriguez's bad month had come in July, following a solid three-month span to start the season, it is possible his slump would not have garnered as much attention. But since Rodriguez's bad results came in April, they were quite noticeable for many. Yet, if we go month-by-month:

April: .130/.183/.148 line, .331 OPS, 12:4 SO:BB in 15 games

May: .269/.304/.471 line, .775 OPS, 18:5 SO:BB in 28 games

June: .299/.333/.390 line, .723 OPS, 17:4 SO:BB in 21 games

That April is just bad, yet Rodriguez started hitting and got his power back in May and June. Rodriguez was always a toolsy player and far from a finished product, and right now, he is showing those tools. Overall, Rodriguez is improving his approach, likely has a little more positive regression coming as his .287 BABIP continues to stabilize, and owns a nice Eastern League-average .123 isolated power on the season. At 22 years old, Rodriguez is still advanced for his age and, outside of one bad month, is not having a terrible 2014 season.

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

Bradley reached base three times in his first two games without displaying the power that makes him stand out, but the 18-year-old changed that Thursday, getting the first two extra base hits of his professional career. All Arizona League stats will need to be taken with heaping loads of salt -- the ballparks, climate/environment, and inconsistent pitching make it a hitter's haven -- but it is hard not to be encouraged by Bradley's debut. It may be only three games, but Bradley has already shown everything that makes him special at the plate; now he just needs to keep it up over the next 2000 games or so.

  • Zach McAllister (SP, Columbus): W (3-0), 7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 SO We cannot really know how well McAllister is pitching until he is facing major league hitters again, but as of right now, the right-hander looks ready to step back into Cleveland's rotation. McAllister owns a 1.48 ERA and 20:5 SO:BB in 24.1 Triple-A innings this season.
  • Bryan Price (RP, Columbus): 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO. Price was not dominant Thursday, but this was the right-hander's first action in Triple-A this year. After going on the disabled list at the beginning of the season with a shoulder injury, seeing Price back at the level he should have started the year at is a good sign.
  • Jesus Aguilar (DH, Columbus): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO. With his 12th home run in 60 Triple-A games and another three times on base (pushing his on-base percentage to .376), Aguilar continues to make the case he should get a longer look at the major league level.
  • Roberto Perez (C, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Coming into the season, Perez's calling card on offense was his high walk and strikeout rates. He is maintaining those in 2014, but with 17 extra base hits in 45 games, Perez is showing some power to go with that patience.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 2-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SO. Moncrief's double gives him 11 extra base hits on the month, almost as many as the right fielder had (13) in April and May combined.
  • Gabriel Arias (SP, Akron): ND, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO, 1 WP. Following a superb start his last time out (his first since coming back to Akron from Columbus), Arias was not as strong Thursday. Walks are not normally an issue for Arias, though, and this is probably more of a blip on the radar for the right-hander.
  • Joe Wendle (2B, Akron): 0-for-2, 1 RBI, 2 SO, 1 SF. The day after a bad hop in the field gave Francisco Lindor a broken nose, Wendle fouled a ball off himself and left Thursday's game with what is preliminarily being called a sprained hand. It is simply not a good time to be a RubberDucks middle infielder.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Akron): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB. That is two good games in a row for Smith, and while they do not outweigh the first 67 rough ones, it is possible the right fielder is beginning to recapture the approach that made him successful at every stop before 2014.
  • Jake Lowery (C, Akron): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SO. Lowery reached base twice Thursday as the 23-year-old continues to improve the farther he gets from his mid-April eye injury.
  • Shawn Morimando (SP, Carolina): ND, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO. Morimando is pitching quite well in the Carolina League as he awaits another callup to Akron. The left-hander's big issue in 2013 was walking too many batters, and outside of reverting back to that form in the month of May, the 21-year-old is much better on that front this year.
  • Clayton Cook (RP, Carolina): L (0-3), 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HBP. After missing so much time, it is not surprising to see Cook struggle out of the gate. The good news is the right-hander is throwing a fair amount of strikes and has posted a 16:6 SO:BB in 17.0 innings.
  • LeVon Washington (LF, Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB. That is not an eye-popping statline, but Washington reached base twice on a night the Mudcats struggled to put much together offensively.
  • Yandy Diaz (3B, Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 BB. The same goes for Diaz, who has shown some strong on-base ability this season, albeit without much power (.360 on-base percentage, four extra base hits -- all doubles -- in 18 games).
  • Jeremy Lucas (C, Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 SO. The two strikeouts are a bit of an anomaly for Lucas, who owns a 42:34 SO:BB in 65 games this season. The double is not, however, as the 23-year-old owns a .159 isolated power in 2014, a solid mark overall and even better coming from a catcher.
  • Luis Lugo (SP, Lake County): L (5-6), 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, 1 HR. Lugo has given up five home runs in his last three starts, but beyond that hiccup, the left-hander is really showing his immense upside. The 20-year-old has 31 strikeouts in his last 21.2 innings and 83 in 67.0 innings on the season.
  • Wander Beras (RP, Lake County): 1.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 5 WP, 1 BK. That is not a typo: five wild pitches, one per out recorded. Beras really just had a night to forget Thursday.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 2-for-3, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. The strikeouts continue to be a concern, but a 75:36 SO:BB in 71 games is exceedingly bad for a power hitter. Rodriguez's .177 isolated power helps to alleviate some concern, as does the fact that at 20 years old, the first baseman is still relatively young for the level.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-5, 1 2B, 2 SO. Like Moncrief in Columbus, Frazier's power is continuing to flourish in June, as the 19-year-old has eight extra base hits in 20 June games compared to 10 total in 42 games in April and May.
  • Logan Vick (RF, Lake County): 0-for-2, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 SO. It is no surprise to see Vick only record walks and strikeouts here, as he employs an extremely passive approach at the plate. In Vick's 850 professional plate appearances, 318 -- over 37 percent -- have ended in a strikeout or a walk.
  • Kieran Lovegrove (SP, Mahoning Valley): 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 0 SO. With a 2:10 SO:BB in 8.2 innings this season, Lovegrove is still refining his command and control in his first action above the Arizona League.
  • James Stokes (RP, Mahoning Valley): L (0-2), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 1 WP. In his third trip to Mahoning Valley, Stokes suffered a setback Thursday in his attempt to get a second shot in Lake County.
  • Shane Rowland (DH, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI. As a backup catcher, Rowland plays sparingly, but the 22-year-old had the Scrappers' only multi-hit game Thursday.
  • Steven Patterson (2B, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-4, 1 BB. This was Patterson's first game without a double, but the second baseman still reached base twice and has made the jump to pro ball seamlessly.
  • Greg Allen (CF, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 HBP, 1 SB, 1 SAC. Allen has also made the jump to pro ball easily, stealing three bases and reaching base nearly half the time in his first five games.
  • Thomas Pannone (SP, AZL Indians): W (1-0), 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 2 HBP. Cleveland's ninth round pick in 2013 is coming out strong this year, both in terms of performance and gaining experience. After Thursday, Pannone still only has 25.0 professional innings in his career.
  • Willi Castro (SS, AZL Indians): 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB. Castro does not have a walk in six games, but the 17-year-old does have a steal, a double, two triples, and two home runs.
  • Emmanuel Tapia (DH, AZL Indians): 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SO. The 18-year-old Tapia is having an impressive stateside debut, with eight hits -- four of the extra base variety -- in his first five games.
  • Simeon Lucas (C, AZL Indians): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 PB. This year's seventh round pick got the first hit of his professional career, doubling to center in the second inning.

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

Tony
June 27, 2014 - 11:05 PM EDT
What Tim said....unless a DL situation crops up with Masterson.
MT88 in WI
June 27, 2014 - 7:17 PM EDT
I hope the Tribe is watching Masterson close for the next few days. If so and he isn't improving DL him with as much retro as possible and get Zach back up here. If Masterson goes on the DL the 10 rule with the minors can be waived...
tim
June 27, 2014 - 7:11 PM EDT
Roger: McAllister is not eligible to be recalled this weekend because he has not spent the 10-day minimum in the minors. Once he does -- and I think that comes Tuesday or Wednesday -- he will surely be back in the rotation.
Roger
June 27, 2014 - 6:48 PM EDT
Tony,
I was always under the impression except for tony pipp (guy lou gerech took over for) a player can never lose his place due to an injury, however C-bus started zac mac last night and he threw over 100 pitches and now it looks like House gets the start sunday against King Felix instead of using last nights start as similar to a bullpen session with limited pitches to prepare him for return to the rotation sunday. Maybe i am nit picing but it just doesnt seem fair to zac mac to be in c-bus instead of seattle. Just my traditional dimes worth.
yourtribe
June 27, 2014 - 2:08 PM EDT
I give Raburn a few more weeks at most to improve. If not get Jesus up here. Not much more to prove in minors. I know Raburn is signed for next year but for not a lot.

Hafner was kept way to long after it was clear he was a broken down fraud. It was better to pay him to stay away as opposed to taking up a valuable roster spot. But I digress!!!
Tony
June 27, 2014 - 1:40 PM EDT
Nik, the two guys I am really interesting in seeing are Chang and Castro. Was really impressed with them in Instructs and spring training and there is a lot of praise coming from the Indians on Chang. They really like him.
Tondo
June 27, 2014 - 12:54 PM EDT
Too bad that Wendle got injured, as he was getting better and better in AA.

Even worse that Hankins at Carolina is injured too. Would have been a great opportunity for him to get some playing time in AA.

Really liked the Pannone selection last year. The Indians have been good drafting out of the JuCo ranks, especially pitchers, for little money in the mid to later rounds: Hankins, Merritt, Anderson, Baker, Mathews, Pannone and now Robinson and Eubank
Nikolaos
June 27, 2014 - 12:11 PM EDT
Thanks Tony for the link to the international prospects listing...once again, great job. Just out of curiosity, is there anyone on that list that you in particular are paying close attention to? As always, Thank you.
Tony
June 27, 2014 - 11:32 AM EDT
Not many guys in the Carolina pen who should see a promotion to Akron this year. Maybe as a spot callup due to injury, but no one pushing for one based on performance, development or pedigree. There will probably be some shuffling there soon as Heller and Frank really should be in Carolina.
Mudcat Fan
June 27, 2014 - 11:07 AM EDT
Thanks Walter. I'll check him out. They have played around a lot with different people in the closer role since Head left but no one has really fell into the role.
Walter
June 27, 2014 - 10:55 AM EDT
@ Mudcat Fan

A pitcher that might be close to a promotion to take Head's position could be Ben Heller at Lake County.

Mudat Fan
June 27, 2014 - 10:50 AM EDT
Is their anybody in the cats pen that has potential to move this year? I have not heard much about them this year since Louis Head moved to Akron. It seems like Josh Martin and Jacob Lee have had pretty good seasons minus a few outings.
Tony
June 27, 2014 - 10:16 AM EDT
Way too early to give up on Smith, especially considering his history of performance to date. He's a superior prospect to Sever and Washington at this point and deserves to be in Akron above them. Washington's bat is good, but he's not even in the same area code with Smith when it comes to defense. I agree that Smith has slipped some this season, but I still go by his history more over a poor first half. I'm curious see how he finishes the season and if the struggles continue.

Tapia is a guy I included in the top 15 international prospects listing in April: http://www.indiansbaseballinsider.com/blog/2014-ibi-top-10-indians-international-prospects-64921
Sternfan10
June 27, 2014 - 8:46 AM EDT
Bring Washington and Sever up from Carolina to Akron, their wasting their time in High A. Washington could take over for Jordan Smith, his ship is sailed, he has no chance of reaching the bigs. I will never trust the stats from the Arizona League, Paulino was a beast in the Zona League and has morphed into a bust at Lake County, so take the stats from Castro with a grain of salt.
Nikolaos
June 27, 2014 - 8:31 AM EDT
Emmanuel Tapia is a prospect that intrigues me...simply due to the fact that I know very little about him. I take it that this is his stateside debut in the AZL and played DSL prior? What is the scouting report on him? Our entire farm system has been devoid of legitimate Corner infield prospects for quite some time now (minus Aguilar and Chisenhall a few years ago). I know that top priority will continue to be Aguilar and Bradley...but is Tapia a guy that could come in and make some noise?
James
June 27, 2014 - 8:19 AM EDT
Were there releases made by the organization recently? I thought I heard that, but I can't find them anywhere.

Also, where do we think Mike Papi will go? Lake County?

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