Around the Farm: September 5--The Year-End Edition
By Jim Pete
September 6, 2011
Beau Mills: 1B, Columbus: 2-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 K:
Mills put an exclamation point on a fine season with his third multi-hit game in a row, and his fourth in five games. Over his past three games, the big first baseman has gone 8-for-12, and in his past five games he's gone 11-for-20, with four runs, three doubles, two homers and three RBI. While Mills is only hitting .269 for the Clippers, it's clear that he's playing more like the guy that hit .300 for Akron, and less like the guy that's struggled since a big year in Kinston three years ago. Mills is a couple of months more of this type away of being ready to assess his game at the big league level.
- Corey Kluber: SP, Columbus: L (7-11), 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R/1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K: Kluber made a short start so he would be available during the Clippers' playoff series with the Durham Bulls starting Wednesday night. Kluber has mostly been good, if not great since the beginning of August, including 6 2/3 innings of no hit ball on August 16th. He's had two bad starts during that time period, but that's what you get with Kluber. When he's good...he can be real good, and when he's not, well, he's not.
- Paolo Espino: RP, Columbus: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 4 K, 1 HR: Espino continued a brilliant stretch of baseball since mid-July. During those nine appearances, Espino has made five starts, but really six including his four-inning stint yesterday. Since the July 19th, Espino has given up six runs over 36 2/3 innings (0.98 ERA), while walking four batters and striking out 39. The fact that he can pitch in any situations makes him a lock for the majors next year. There's no doubt that Espino will be the long reliever for the Tribe next year...at some point.
- John Drennen: LF, Akron: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K: Drennen closed the year strong, with his fourth multi-hit game out of his past seven. During that stretch, Drennen has gone 10-for-32, with three runs, two doubles, a homer and three RBI.
- Karexon Sanchez: 2B, Akron: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Sanchez continued to fill the stat line, as he's done over the past week for the Aeros, going 8-for-21 (.381) over his last six games. Sanchez can play multi-positions, and can carry these hot streaks over long periods of time. While he only hit .220 on the season, he began finding his stroke towards the end of the season. He'll likely start the year off in Akron next year, but look for Sanchez to move to Columbus quickly.
- Donnie Webb: RF, Akron: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB (14): Webb finished the year off with back-to-back-to-back-to-back two hit games in which he went 8-for-16, with five runs, two doubles, two triples an RBI and a stolen base. Webb was likely playing with some urgency, since his .214 average wasn't going to get him anywhere next season.
- Bo Greenwell: RF, Kinston: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B: Greenwell ended the regular season with a five-game hit streak with his first multi-hit game at High A since June 10th. Greenwell can hit the baseball, but took a major step back thanks to health issues. It will be interesting seeing where he starts the year off in 2012 after essentially treading water in 2011.
- Tyler Cannon: 3B/2B, Kinston: 2-4, 1 R: Cannon was really scuffling at the plate prior to last night's game, going 4-for-29 over his past nine games. Cannon can hit the ball, and will no doubt start the season off in Double A Akron next season.
- Cody Allen: RP, Kinston: 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K: That's right, Allen, hitting in his High A debut, scored a run, and drove in an RBI thanks to defenses changes that left the K-Tribe without a DH.
- Cody Allen: RP, Kinston: 3 IP, 1 H, 3 K: Allen was absolutely awesome in his K-Tribe debut, with three innings of one-hit baseball. Who knew he could hit too.
- Mike Rayl: SP, Kinston: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R/1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K: Rayl pitched a solid three innings in his final start before the playoffs. Kinston kept him to three innings to be ready for the playoffs. Over his last two starts, he's gone a combined ten innings, giving up eight hits, one earned run, two walks, and struck out seven.
- Giovanni Soto: SP, Kinston: 1 IP, 1 K: Soto pitched one strong inning in relief to gear up for the first round of the playoffs. He's looked good in his last three relief appearances, giving up one earned run over the last 5 1/3 innings pitched, giving up three hits and two walks, with six K's.
- LeVon Washington: CF, Lake County: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Washington ended the season with a hit in his fourth straight game, going 7-for-17 over that stretch. Washington has finally begun to show off his talent after struggling for much of the season. It's hard to say whether or not the Indians will move him right up to the notoriously tough Carolina League, or give him some more time in Lake County.
- Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Lake County: 2-4, 1 RBI: Rodriguez ended his topsy-turvy 2011 season with a multi-hit game. He showed off some power and solid hitting in streaks, but couldn't really maintain it over long stretches.
- Danny Salazar: SP, Lake County: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 5 K: Salazar looked solid in his third and last start for the Captains in 2011. In his brief stint, he's gone eight innings, giving up only one earned run, while striking out five batters. He crushed lefties, who hit only .188 against him since the call-up.
- Luis Encarnacion: RP, Lake County: W (2-3), 2 IP, 2 BB, 3 K: Encarnacion has been solid over his past ten games, going 1-1, with a 2.4 ERA. Over his last seven appearances, the lanky righty has pitched in 10 1/3 innings, giving up only one earned run, walking 10 and striking out 11. Clearly, control is his issue moving forward.
- Harold Guerrero: RP, Lake County: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K: Guerrero made his second appearance after starting the year in Mahoning Valley, and had his best showing to date with three innings of one-hit baseball. Overall, Guerrero has a 1.80 ERA in his five innings with the Captains.
- Clayton Ehlert: Closer, Lake County: S (16), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB: Ehlert saved his best baseball for last, saving six of his last eight appearances. He has been absolutely sublime for most of the season. Since June 7, Ehlert has gone 25 innings over 19 appearances, giving up 15 hits, two runs and four walks, while striking out eight hitters. The kid can pitch, and it will interesting to see if he can match Burns and Guilmet next season in Kinston.
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Jim is currently the co-site editor, the ATF/Carolina Mudcats/Indians/General Site Columnist, and the co-host of IPI's weekly online radio show, Smoke Signals. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IPI, or contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.