Around the Farm: May 25, 2014
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.
Paul Hendrix (3B, Lake County): 4-for-4, 2 R, 3B. What more is there left to say about the month that Hendrix is having? He looked to be cooling off some as leading into this game he was just 4-for-21 (.190) in his last 6 games with an astonishing 13 strikeouts in those 21 at bats, but took out all of his frustration in this one. Since being inserted into the starting lineup he has more than taken advantage of his opportunity as he is hitting .378 with a 1.096 OPS in 23 games this month. That is an offensive showing that was greatly unexpected, but great to see and puts him on the radar now as a prospect worth following and seeing how he adjusts and performs in the higher levels. He has mostly played shortstop but the Indians continue to get him some time at second base and third base in order to keep him sharp there since he still profiles as a utility player and if a spot at Carolina opens up at either one of those positions may get him up there sooner.
- Elliot Johnson (CF, Columbus): 2-for-3, BB, K, E. Johnson had the only multi-hit game for the Clippers. He continues to fill in all over the diamond and though his ship appears to have sailed with the Indians he may actually still be in the mix as a possible Major League option for the Indians only if Mike Aviles and Justin Sellers were both to get hurt.
- Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 0-for-4, 3 K. Aguilar has cooled off considerably in May as he is hitting just .186 with a .576 OPS in 17 games for the month compared to the .356 average and 1.107 OPS in 24 games he had in April.
- Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 0-for-4, 3 K. Moncrief has now put together three straight multi-strikeout games including two straight games with three strikeouts in four at bats. He now has 48 strikeouts in 160 at bats, so at least in the early going the strides he made last year with the discipline appear to have gone backward a little.
- Danny Salazar (SP, Columbus): 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 9 K, 1 HR. A typical Salazar outing this year where he threw a lot of pitches to throw just 5.1 innings. He threw 104 pitches (66 strikes) and racked up a high strikeout total, but he needs to be more efficient with his pitches and quit getting into so many 3-1 and 3-2 counts.
- Kyle Crockett (RP, Columbus): 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K. This was Crockett’s Triple-A debut and a solid outing for him. He is finding in his brief call to the bigs and now in his first outing in Triple-A that the going is much tougher than at Double-A and below – but even though he is adjusting he is still pitching well which is a sign of a guy that once he shakes the nerves is going to be special.
- Frank Herrmann (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Herrmann has really had a fantastic season this year with a 1.42 ERA and 13.5 K/9. He has a 5.7 BB/9 but that is expected in his first year after Tommy John surgery.
- Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 1-for-3, BB, K. Naquin reached base in two of his four plate appearances and has now hit in 6-straight games. He’s really having a solid season at the plate hitting .286 with a .740 OPS in 46 games.
- Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 1-for-4, SB. Lindor continues to do it all and have a very nice season. In addition to his excellent leadership and defense, he is stealing some bases (10), knocking in runs (29 RBI), showing some power (.418 SLG, .130 ISO) and hitting for average (.288) and getting on base (.368).
- Alex Lavisky (C, Akron): 3-for-4, K. Lavisky has found himself a niche as a backup catcher in the upper levels as he is putting up the best string of at bats of his career. He seems more relaxed not playing every day and his approach looks solid. Even though he may be a backup right now, he is still someone who could factor into the mix in Cleveland as a backup or emergency catcher at some point down the road.
- Toru Murata (SP, Akron): 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Murata has really done a nice job filling in innings at Akron. He’s a utility pitcher the Indians have in the upper levels to fill in where needed and he fits that role perfectly. In his last 5 appearances he has allowed just 3 runs in 22 innings (1.23 ERA).
- Enosil Tejeda (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Tejeda has been banged around a little in his last three appearances as he has allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 3.2 innings. That’s not a ton of damage, but by his standards it is a blow up.
- J.C. Ramirez (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Ramirez has pitched well since his return from surgery and might actually be the first Akron reliever who gets moved to Columbus. There are several others who are pitching better and for longer, but Ramirez was slated to go to Columbus at the outset of the season before he got hurt. It will be interesting to see just how long he stays in Akron.
- Yhoxian Medina (SS, Carolina): 3-for-5, R, 2B, K, CS. Don’t look now but Medina is starting to heat up as he has multi-hit games in three of his last four games and is 8-for-18 at the plate over that span.
- Todd Hankins (CF, Carolina): 3-for-5, 3B, K, PO. Hankins had hit a little bit of a lull over the past week but broke out with this fine performance. He just continues to rake as he is hitting .355 with a 1.039 OPS for Carolina in May.
- LeVon Washington (LF, Carolina): 1-for-5, R, RBI, 3 K. Washington is a solid 7-for-24 (.292) since his return from injury. I really hope he can maintain his health and not have any setbacks the rest of the season as I really want to see how he performs over a long stretch of games.
- Torsten Boss (2B, Carolina): 1-for-3, R, HR, RBI, BB, K. Boss cranked his third homer of the year and he drew a walk, so this was an encouraging game for him; however, he’s really struggled since joining the Indians organization as he is still hitting just .185 with 25 strikeouts in 92 at bats.
- James Roberts (3B, Carolina): 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB. It may not be pretty and the numbers may not be eye-popping, but Roberts just continues to hit and perform each night. He reached base in three of his four plate appearances in this one and is now hitting .306 with a nice .404 on-base percentage in 43 games.
- D.J. Brown (SP, Carolina): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K. This was a much better outing from Brown than the preview three where he gave up 14 runs in 15.2 innings. Command is one of his best assets but he has not had it the last two times out with 4 walks in each outing.
- Grant Sides (RP, Carolina): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Sides has really had a nice bounce back season as he now has a 1.35 ERA in 14 appearances, a .143 BAA, 3.6 BB/9 and 7.2 K/9. He’s not getting as many strikeouts but the walks are down considerably and he’s getting results.
- Jacob Lee (RP, Carolina): 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. Lee blew the lead and was tagged with the blown save in this one. He’s really struggled this season with a 5.33 ERA, .306 BAA and for a power pitcher only has a 5.7 K/9. When the Indians add some arms from the draft in a few weeks he could be one of several arms that are in trouble on the roster.
- Louis Head (RP, Carolina): 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Head was tagged with the loss in this one. This was his second straight rough outing as he had almost the exact same line on his last time out on May 21st when he went 1.0 IP and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits, 1 walk and had 3 strikeouts. Prior to these two rough outings he had allowed just 1 run in 13 appearances (15.2 IP).
- Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 2-for-5, RBI. A solid game from Frazier. Sure, everyone will focus on the lack of homers and the high strikeout totals, but he’s holding his own in a league that is often tough for young players. Remember, Lindor hit just .257 with a .352 OBP at Lake County in 2012.
- Eric Haase (C, Lake County): 1-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, PB. The new daddy jacked a homer in his first game back after missing a few games for the birth of his child. He now has 9 homers on the season and has a ridiculous .306 ISO on the season. An amazing 17 of his 29 hits have gone for extra bases!
- Claudio Bautista (2B, Lake County): 2-for-4, RBI. Bautista continues to hit well and his overall numbers are starting to creep up to expected levels. He is hitting .421 with a 1.041 OPS in his last 10 games.
- Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K. From where I sit, this was Brown’s best outing of the season. He threw strikes, limited the damage when runners got on base, and really did a nice job of attacking hitters. This is a start to build off of and his fourth straight solid to good start in a row. This is great to see and maybe we are slowly seeing him put it together.
- Matt Whitehouse (RP, Lake County): 1.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K. This is one of the craziest lines you will ever see from a reliever. In the big leagues, no reliever is out there to allow 9 hits and get knocked around, but things are different in the minors when guys get their work in no matter what.
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Hankins always intrigued me because of his speed potential, but where did that power come from? Nice surprise, especially in the Carolina league. His BABIP is well below .300 too, so this seems legit so far. Will be interesting to follow.
Haase's overall numbers look good, but he's still an inconsistent prospect for a spec repeating. His K-rate hasn't improved and is still way too high and his biggest tool, his power, is non existent when it matters most: with runners on it's below .400 SLG. That tells me that he does his most damage when young pitchers take risks or make mistakes with no one on. Mistake hitter?
Naquin's season is encouraging, especially if he can keep his OBP above .340 and be an efficient base stealer. He still profiles as a platoon bat though (.439 OPS vs LHP). I still think the plan is to have him and Myles take over the OF platoon of Murphy/Raburn in 2016. They're on pace and it's set up perfectly for it.