Around the Farm: October 25, 2013
Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of the daily performances by Indians prospects. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in the Arizona Fall League and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in the game.
Dominican Winter League (LIDOM)
Jose Ramirez (Toros del Este, SS) - 0-4, 1 K - J-Ram has a decidedly un-J-Ram-like night and falls to .217 in six games in LIDOM this winter season. His power production has yet to show up in the Caribbean either as he has only one RBI and no home runs thus far this winter season
Erik Gonzalez (Leones del Escogido, SS) - 1-4, 2 K - Even with this poor performance, Gonzalez continues to play well in semi-regular playing time (.320 with 2 RBI in six games this LIDOM season). the major concern is the strikeout to walk ratio (6:0 - It's not a good sign for a hitter when your K:BB ratio is "undefined").
Juan Diaz (Estrellas Orientales, SS) - 1-3 - Diaz continues to struggle as he now is only 5-for-18 in six games this winter season. Don't read anything into him being pulled for a pinch hitter (see below) as the Estrellas were pulling everybody for pinch hitters in the ninth.
Ronny Rodriguez (Estrellas Orientales, PH) - 0-1 - Rodriguez's entire night conisted of a hitting a pop fly to Gigantes del Cibao first baseman Anthiny Aliottoi in foul territory after coming in as a pinch hitter for Diaz. Rodriguez's playing time has been spotty at best this winter season as he only has nine at bats in three games thus far this LIDOM season. The only stats he has posted thus far is a double (from which he later scored) and a strikeout.
VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)
Elvis Araujo (Aguilas del Zulia, RP) - 0 IP, 1 H - It is difficult, if not impossible to read anything into Araujo's 2013-14 LVBP debut as he pitched to one batter in eighth and gave up a hit before being pulled.
Ezequiel Carrera (Navegantes del Magallanes, CF) - 3-5, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 SB - Finally! A performance worth writing home about! Carrera inches closer to the .300 mark on the LIDOM season (now .283 through 53 at-bats in 14 games) with this offensive gem. Also notable was Carrera picking up his sixth stolen base of the winter season.
Jesus Aguilar (Leones del Caracas, 1B) - 1-3, 2 K - Aguilar had to cool off eventually and it happened tonight. Even with this performance, he is still batting .389 with 4 homers and 15 RBI through 14 games in the LVBP this winter season.
Luis Hernandez (Tigres de Aragua, SS) - 0-4, 1 E - Hernandez had a tough night at the plate (including grounding into a double play) and in the field before being pulled for pinch-hitter Alex Nunez in the ninth inning of a ten-innning Tigres win over the Bravos de Margarita. With tonight's o-fer, Hernandez drops to 6-for-28 (.214) in seven games.
Eric Berger (Bravos de Margarita, SP) - 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 earned), 3 BB, 3 K - Yes, Berger was traded sometime ago, bue he is still worth keeping tabs on. Berger did not last long on the mound tonight as the starter for the Bravos as he made his first poor performance of the winter a spectacularly bad one. I won't go into his numbers on the LVBP season as they have been sent sky high by this one bad performance due to small sample size of the winter season, which is still in its very early stages. It is fair to say, however, that he deserves the benefit of the doubt based on his solid earlier performances in the LVBP this winter season.
Bryan Price (Bravos de Margarita, RP) - 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 earned), 1 K, 1 HBP - The other pitcher with Tribe ties on the Bravos roster did not fare well either on Friday night. Like Berger, this is another case of a pitcher with solid numbers on the short LVBP season so far who had a rough night. Nothing to get too worked up about as of right now.
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL)
Tyler Naquin (Surprise Saguaros, CF) - 2-4, 2 RBI, 1 Sac Fly - Naquin's solid night increases his stats on the Arizona Fall League season to 20-for-54 (.370) with ten RBI in thirteen games. Not surprising, but still good to see Naquin continuing to perform well in what is essentially a full season of minor league all-star games.
Joe Wendle (Surprise Saguaros, DH) - 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB - Wendle not only got two hits on only three at-bats, but got extra bases on both of them. Paired with a walk he got on base three times out of four tonight. Wendle has only played in eight games thus far on the fall season, but is 8-for-27 (.296) with two doubles, two triples, and five RBI in those games. Seeing him get a walk but not a strikeout was a good sign as he has posted a 4:1 AFL K:BB ratio going into tonight's action.
When I see from the reports on this site that he is having success, I am rooting for him to make it as Cleveland Indian and make a impact on the team.
I agree the Indians screwed up in not taking Wacha, but I don't no why people are bashing Naquin.
There are still a lot of intriguing players from the 2011-13 drafts that are just taking longer to push through the system for the Indians. It's not like the Indians just through darts at a draft board. They picked these guys for a reason. Hopefully somebody other than Lindor rises this year into a legit guy to get excited about.
Look at Bauer...do you think they ever draft him because of his internal fixes that the Indians are okay with?
Not a chance...
"Most of those contacted for this informal survey said they had Wacha anywhere from No. 12 to No. 25 on their boards at the time of the Draft. Most said they liked him, but they had others ahead of him on the board. Wacha was, it's apparent, Plan B for many teams picking ahead of the Cardinals.
The key reason for Wacha not being rated higher, as has been discussed, was the lack of a breaking ball when he was at Texas A&M. It's still a distant third to his fastball and changeup, and he'll likely have to improve it going forward, but it's clear teams were hesitant to go all in on Wacha because of that perceived hole in his game.
"There are not many right-handed starting pitchers in the big leagues with a fastball-changeup combination," one scouting director said, mirroring many scouts who were polled about Wacha. "His fastball was very straight. He pitched up in the zone, with the ball hit in the air a lot. We thought he would be susceptible to the big fly."
Wacha's fastball, several pointed out, has improved since his college days, with a few ticks of velocity added. A cutter he wrinkled in a bit late in the year also gave hitters another look, albeit infrequently. More than one scout tipped his hat to the Cardinals, not only for shrewd drafting, but for helping Wacha improve. Just because he's only been a professional for a year and change doesn't mean an organization's coaches can't have an impact."
Now...that doesn't excuse the Indians continually missing, but I understand their value-based approach in the first year of a new draft system.
Naquin isn't a #1 pick, and the apologists that continue to talk about his value ignore some fairly big holes in his game. Now, he could improve...he's mature...has a good head on his shoulders and does have some solid talent...
...but it is what it is...
Anytime any player does well as a rookie are we just going to throw our hands up and complain that the Indians didn't sign him?
I'm more excited about Wendle. He started slow, but he turning into that XBH machine again.