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Around the Farm: September 3, 2014

Frazier, Ramsey, von Schamann's standout performances highlight the night on the farm

Around the Farm: September 3, 2014
Clint Frazier (Photo: IBI)
September 4, 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.

Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SO

Clint Frazier (Photo: MiLB)Frazier may not have the consistent ability of a major league player to reach his talent level, but that is not a surprise given he is not quite 20 years old and in his first full professional season. Clearly the talent is there for Frazier and it was on full display as the Captains opened up their best-of-three playoff series with a 6-2 win at Classic Park. Frazier had trouble showing off his out-of-this-world bat speed and power this season day-in and day-out, but such are the challenges most (if not all) young prospects face in the lower levels of the minor leagues. The next few years will be about whether Frazier can do things like this consistently, but it is impossible to be consistently great without first having the ability to be great. We know Frazier can be great and Wednesday was no exception.

James Ramsey (CF, Columbus): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

James Ramsey (Photo: MiLB)The Clippers were also winners Wednesday, taking Game 1 of their best-of-five series 9-4 at Huntington Park thanks in part to Ramsey's big night. Ramsey's hot debut at the Triple-A level was partially helped by a .378 BABIP, but the outfielder's .184 isolated power and 10.2 percent walk rate are positive signs for the future. An outfielder who can hit for a little power and draw walks is definitely valuable, and while Ramsey is still working on making more contact (26.8 percent strikeout rate), this is still a positive outcome for Ramsey's second full professional season. With 29 games already under his belt in Triple-A, the 24-year-old Ramsey should be able to put the finishing touches on his game with the Clippers next year and be an option at some point later in the season for the major league club.

Duke von Schamann (SP, Akron): ND, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR

Duke von Schamann (Photo: MiLB)The RubberDucks entered the postseason in a swoon, one they could not quite stop in Game 1 of their best-of-five series, falling 3-2 in 11 innings at Canal Park. The loss was not on von Schamann's shoulders, however, as the right-hander tossed seven quality innings to keep the RubberDucks close. The outing was a nice turnaround for von Schamann, who had really struggled of late when it came to getting strikeouts and preventing runs. The 23-year-old's season stats ended up fairly middle of the road (4.20 ERA, 4.5 SO/9, 2.3 BB/9 in 135.0 Double-A innings), but that is still a decent season from a younger pitcher. Though von Schamann's youth does not help his limited upside -- not all pitchers profile as dominant in the long run, no matter how young they are for their level -- it does make him an intriguing pitcher to follow in 2015.

  • Kyle Davies (SP, Columbus): W (1-0), 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR. I am sure Davies would rather be in the major leagues right now, but the fact that the soon-to-be 31-year-old pitched decently in Triple-A this season (along with turning it up a notch here) should get him at least a shot somewhere in the offseason.
  • Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. It took Sturdevant a while to get the call to Columbus, but since then, he has pitched pretty well, just like he did Wednesday.
  • Shawn Armstrong (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Armstrong had to wait even longer than Sturdevant for his callup, and while he is still new to the level, his last four outings have been scoreless (compared to allowing three runs in his first two appearances).
  • David Murphy (RF, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 E. The rehabbing Murphy got Columbus off to a good start in this game, cracking a two-run home run in the first inning that gave the Clippers a lead they would never relinquish.
  • Matt Carson (LF, Columbus): 2-for-3, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Carson may not be a September hero in Cleveland this season, but the 33-year-old has brought some of that 2013 magic to the International League playoffs so far.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Columbus): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB. The interesting thing about Lindor stumbling out of the gate in Columbus is he has ultimately settled in right now as an average Triple-A player. If this is Lindor adjusting, imagine what will happen once the 20-year-old is acclimated to the level.
  • Justin Sellers (2B, Columbus): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI. Sellers tends to do more with his glove than his bat, but the middle infielder found himself on base early and often in the win.
  • Luke Carlin (C, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 SO. The only current Clipper who was also a part of the team's playoff berths in 2010 and 2011, Carlin did his part Wednesday.
  • Giovanni Soto (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 SO. Soto's dominant season continued in this outing, as the left-hander kept the RubberDucks in the game and further cemented his status as a left-handed reliever to keep an eye on for a big league bullpen spot in the future.
  • Louis Head (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 SO. Head's transition from Carolina to Akron did not go smoothly, but the right-hander has not allowed an earned run since July 31 and owns a 12.1 SO/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 16.1 innings in that time.
  • Elvis Araujo (RP, Akron): L (0-1), 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO. Araujo, on the other hand, pitched well upon his callup, but has struggled of late, with 12 walks and 13 hits allowed in his last 11.2 innings.
  • Erik Gonzalez (SS, Akron): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 E. Gonzalez cooled a bit after a red-hot start in Akron, but the recently-turned 23-year-old did his best to lead the RubberDucks to victory Wednesday.
  • Alex Lavisky (C, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Lavisky and Gonzalez were the only two RubberDucks with an extra base hit in this game and together accounted for four of Akron's six hits.
  • Joe Wendle (2B, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 HBP. This game could have been over before extra innings if not for Wendle, whose opposite-field single scored the tying run and kept things alive in Akron for a little longer.
  • Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): W (1-0), 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO. Brown continued his second half turnaround in Game 1 of the Captains' playoff series, tossing 5.2 near-shutout innings and setting Lake County on the right path.
  • Robbie Aviles (RP, Lake County): H (1), 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO. Aviles, on the other hand, has not been quite the same since returning from injury in the second half (4.00 ERA, 4.0 SO/9, 1.5 BB/9 in 18.0 innings), but he did well enough in this outing.
  • Trevor Frank (RP, Lake County): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. The game was not close by the time Frank got into the game, but the right-hander was still his usual dominant self in the ninth inning.
  • Bradley Zimmer (RF, Lake County): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. After launching three extra base hits in his first three games in Lake County, Zimmer kept it up on the opening night of the Midwest League playoffs.
  • Paul Hendrix (3B, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 SO. Hendrix may not have been the same hitter in the second half (.907 OPS in 55 first half games; .727 OPS in 60 second half games), but he was on point here.
  • Mike Papi (DH, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 SO. Papi is still in the process of exorcising his BABIP demons (he still only has a .204 BABIP through 39 games), but the 2014 first round pick is walking a ton (15.8 percent walk rate) and gathered two hits on Wednesday.
  • Ivan Castillo (SS, Lake County): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 SO, 1 E. Like Brown, Castillo continued his second half turnaround (.719 OPS in 59 games) by getting on base twice.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB. At this point, it would not feel like a Captains game without Rodriguez getting a hit, even if it was not one of the extra-base variety Wednesday.

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

Ryan
September 4, 2014 - 4:05 PM EDT
@Roger with Lugo, Brown, Milbrath and Polanco, along with possibly Plutko unless they push him to AA, the A+ pitching staff will be pretty deadly in its own right.
Tondo
September 4, 2014 - 3:41 PM EDT
Can the Indians do anything but keeping the status quo, if they can't get rid of Bourn, Swish, Raburn and Murphy? What can they really do? What's realistic other than trading some bats for some SP, which would not improve the lineup. They simply can't add any bat without sitting millions of dollars on the bench, which we all know they won't do.

They also won't let Aviles go. If they let him go, then one of Urshela or Lindor has to open 2015 with the Indians, but I'm sure they prefer to keep Aviles around up to the trade deadline and then get a prospect back and then bring up one of Lindor/Urshela. Doesn't sound like a bad idea, since both could need more experience at AAA.

Indians are stuck with this lineup for at least another half season. That's the way I see it. They have to hope that one of those has a good start next season and try to dump them then.

I just hope they don't do something stupid just to do something, like trading away the prospects because of that roster deadlock. The Ramsey-Masty deal should remind them how bad such an idea is.
LeaguePark
September 4, 2014 - 3:39 PM EDT
This team's future looks bright. I would like to see Swisher, Murphy, and Raburn not return and might add Bourn to that list. Naquin & Holt would improve the OF defense and so will Urshela at 3B.

Aguilar gives us a RH bat and a guy who has proven to be an RBI machine.

Need more SP & OF prospects but the system is looking way better than it did 3 years ago
yourtribe
September 4, 2014 - 2:32 PM EDT
Tony agree this was sort of a transition year that has turned into a playoff hunt.
Next year we have to keep the youth coming and make a move for a bat.
Bourn has terrible numbers for a leadoff guy. That has to be addressed too.
Naquin has been a hitter every where he's been at. Want to give him a shot.
Really like the potential of Zimmer and Frazier.
Andy
September 4, 2014 - 1:39 PM EDT
Like with Crowe a lot of Naquin's projected value depends on whether you think he can stay in CF or not. One thing the Indians wanted him to work on this season was reading pitchers and stealing bases, and he responded by improving from a 60% SB success rate, 15 out of 25, in 2013 to an 82% SB success rate, 14 out of 17, in 76 games this season. That's a 20-25 SB pace over 135-140 games.

The Indians still lack everyday type OF prospects above A-ball a full two years after Naquin was drafted. I realize the potential folly in drafting based on need at the ML level, but if a 32-yr old David Murphy costs $12M over two years, then something's gotta give. If that means spending the 15th overall pick on a high floor, low ceiling OFer with above average arm and range, then so be it.
Bak Choy Daa doy!
September 4, 2014 - 1:03 PM EDT
My name is Chris.. I'm not afraid to use it - just like to have fun. By the way Wally I have read many of your comments - you need to lay off the kool-aid.
Bok Choy da doy!
September 4, 2014 - 1:01 PM EDT
I can see Naquin in the majors but if he puts up better offensive number than Trevor Crowe consistently you'll see me eating crow.
Walter
September 4, 2014 - 1:01 PM EDT
At least Hiram is not afraid to use his real name when he posts his comments. What is this Bok Choy Daaa doy BS. Only time will tell if Naquin is a bust or makes it to the majors.
Tony
September 4, 2014 - 12:57 PM EDT
I agree that Naquin would not have been called up this season. He's not a star in the making, but is far from a waste of a first round pick. He should play in the big leagues a long time, even if just as a role player....but I think he could be more.
Bok Choy Daaa doy!
September 4, 2014 - 12:27 PM EDT
Hiram/Everybody = what is this love affair with Naquin? He was a wasted 1st round pick./ Why in the hell would he have been called up??? Look at his numbers they are not that bad but they are not that good either.
Tony
September 4, 2014 - 12:12 PM EDT
I know the Indians made the playoffs last year, but to me, this season was transition year. A year they needed to find out some things. They certainly have learned some things with the rotation and appear to have that settled going forward (injuries, as always, be damned). The bullpen looks good and deep. And some bats have emerged as Gomes and Brantley have turned into All Stars and Chisenhall has emerged.

But they still probably need one more year to truly figure out what they have. They have to get Lindor, Aguilar and maybe even urshela into the mix next season. Others like Naquin and Ramsey could impact as well. And they need to figure out what to do with Ramirez. While all that is happening they need to hope the encouraging performances from the starting pitching and emerging players in the lineup continues next season.
Hiram
September 4, 2014 - 12:00 PM EDT
Antonetti deserves credit in how he's put this organization together. They have a good team and a farm system that appears to be able to let them sustain good ball for an extended time. I especially like the fact that the drafting has improved DRAMATICALLY. Maybe, the team/system needs one more good draft and an another year of development to really be a top of the line system


I do wonder if Naquin hadn't gotten hurt if he would've been called up to this September
art
September 4, 2014 - 11:30 AM EDT
Clint Frazier certainly picked up his batting performance the second half of the season, significantly upping his batting average and walk rate. But his strikeout rate remained high, which has me a little concerned.

We've had a few past prospects in low A ball at age 19 with similar stats to Frazier the past decade or so:

Clint Frazier - .266/.349/.411/.761 56 walks, 161 strikeouts
Luigi Rodriguez - .268/.338/.406/.744 50 walks, 133 strikeouts
Nick Weglarz - .276/.395/.497/.892 82 walks, 129 strikeouts
Corey Smith - .260/.312/.440/.752 37 walks, 149 strikeouts

So his age 19 performance at this level isn't bad, and the improved second half gives me some hope, but I remain cautiously optimistic.
Tony
September 4, 2014 - 11:27 AM EDT
Araujo will certainly be in consideration for a 40-man spot, but there are so many variables right now. Depends on how much space they have on the roster and there are so many other candidates to be added. He's in consideration but is certainly no slam dunk.
Michael Sam
September 4, 2014 - 11:24 AM EDT
Tony,

Do you think the Indians are going to put Araujo on the 40-man this offseason? And what are the chances he gets selected if they don't?
GSon
September 4, 2014 - 10:48 AM EDT
@Walter.. Ben Humphrey at Viva El Birdos ( an SB Nation Blog for the St. Louis Cardinals had a nice column on the Justin Masterson for Jimmy Ramsey trade.. Like so many teams, the advent of acquiring a potential solid middle to top of the rotation starting pitcher for nothing more than a blocked & aging outfield prospect was too enticing for Jon Mozielak to pass on.. With the previous history of being able to right that which is wrong with pitching mechanics as part of the strength of the Cardinals development system, it looked like a good bet.. OOOPs..

Here's the link: http://www.vivaelbirdos.com/st-louis-cardinals-sabermetrics-analysis/2014/9/1/6091893/justin-masterson-the-st-louis-cardinals-lost-bet
Tony
September 4, 2014 - 10:31 AM EDT
Only 5 players are locked into the AFL right now: Baker, Maronde, Wolters, Smith and Head. This is subject to change. They will also be sending an additional 2-3 players with one of them being a taxi-squad guy....but nothing set right now. The rules with the rosters in the AFL and when teams have to submit have really become much more lax in the past few years.
Ross
September 4, 2014 - 10:27 AM EDT
Tony, do you have the list of players that will participate in Arizona this fall?
Walter
September 4, 2014 - 9:23 AM EDT
What were the Cardinals thinking when they traded Ramsey for Masterson? I know Ramsey is not a major leaguer, but Masterson performance has fallen to the point that he should be back in AAA.

I believe if Ramsey continues to do well in Columbus in 15, he might get called up before Moncrief.

Columbus should have a good starting OF next year with Ramsey - Naquin - Moncrief barring if any get traded during the off season.

50/50 chance that Zimmer just might start in Akron. Kind of surprised the Indians did not choose him to play in AFL this off season. I guess Papi needed the playoffs to find his hitting stroke. Here is another individual who could see Akron sometime in 15.

Roger
September 4, 2014 - 8:42 AM EDT
the carolina team in 2015 with the youth available should be downright nasty offensively. not certain about pitching prowess but thy shouldnt haVE any trouble putting up crooked numbers especially in the second half of the season as some of the talent will open in eastlake

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