Around the Farm, October 20, 2012
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 (AFL) and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in the game.
Here is the rundown of what Indians players in fall and winter ball did yesterday.
Arizona Fall League
- Tyler Holt: RF, Scottsdale Scorpions: 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K: Holt is what he is…a speedy, blue-collar lead-off hitter that has his good days and his bad days. He’s hitting .261 in the AFL, after hitting .258 during the 2012 season, and .254 in the 2011 season. Like I said…he is what he is.
- Alex Monsalve: C, Scottsdale Scorpions: 1-for-4: The 20-year-old catcher has a lot of upside, but he hasn’t shown any of that during the AFL as of yet. He has a .158/.188/.133 slash-line so far. I wouldn’t look any further into that other than the fact that he’s 20, and this will happen.
- Carlos Moncrief: DH, Scottsdale Scorpions: 2-for-4, 1 K: You just knew that my boy Carlos Moncrief would save his first AFL game, and first game since breaking his hammate bone in August. I watched Moncrief all summer long, and if you followed my ATF’s, you know this kid is the real deal. I watched him day-in and day-out make hard throws look easy, and his tools are really second to none in the system. The ONLY downside is his age, and it’s not like we are talking about a 30-year old here. He’s 23, and his 2013 season is the pivotal year. Will he turn into that cornerstone outfielder, or will he be a former-pitcher-converted-much-too-late-to-acquire-major-league-skills. Sorry, but you don’t have to talk to this kid long, to know he has the right attitude to go along with all that raw skill. If it clicks, Moncrief will be a star. If it doesn’t, he’ll still be a major league player. He’s just too good.
- Ronny Rodriguez: 2B, Scottsdale Scorpions: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, SB: Perhaps Rodriguez was happy to have his pal Moncrief back in the lineup, or perhaps he was just ready to break out. Whatever happened, Rodriguez broke out of an 0-for-11 slump in the AFL to have his best game of the year. Like Moncrief, I was able to watch Rodriguez for the entire summer, and this kid is better than a lot of the big prospect houses give him credit for, especially for a middle infielder. His overall tools aren’t as good as Moncrief’s, but his power is surprising and developing, and he has good baseball IQ. He turns 21 in April. He may not be a future superstar, but he’s got skill to be a solid big league player if he continues to develop. Perhaps this was the impression that my boy Steve Orbanek was talking about yesterday.
Dominican Winter League
- Juan Diaz: SS, Estrellas de Oriente: 1-for-4, 1 RBI: Diaz has a nice 2012 season, and while he’s likely a Luis Valbuena like future MLB player, at least he has a shot to fill in should the Indians need a middle infielder in 2013. Again, he’s not ever going to be a mega-MLB star, but he does have a chance to be a serviceable player going forward. His problem in Cleveland is that he’s a middle infielder, and behind him are 6-8 better prospects going forward. He’s hitting .250 on the DWL season.
- Tim Fedroff: CF, Aguilas Cibaenas: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K: Fedroff is now 5-for-16 and hitting .313. Go figure, this kid hitting .300 again. When you think prospect, you always think of mega-stars like Manny Ramirez or Jim Thome, but you can’t forget kids like this. Why? Major League teams are full of players like Timmy Fedroff…you know…hard working kids that figure out how to get things done. If he keeps getting it done, there’s no doubt that he’s a Terry Francona-type kid. I can see Francona saying, “if we had 24 more guys like Fedroff, we’d win a World Series.” No, I’m not saying I want 25 Fedroffs, but you get my point. The kid is a scrapper.
- Steven Wright: SP, Leones del Excogido (Boston Red Sox): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 7 K, 1 HR: No, the Indians didn’t just deal for Wright, but here he was, facing off against his old friend, Tim Fedroff. Raise your hand if you think this one is going to bite them in the proverbial booties.
Venezuelan Winter League
- Gregorio Petit: SS, Leonardo del Caracas: 1-for-4, 1 BB, 2 K: I know that everyone was looking forward to my write up of future-star Gregorio Petit. Okay, maybe not. Petit had a solid 2012 season, but his time with the Indians is coming to a close. Of course, they will likely sign him again, now that I’ve said that.
- Jesus Aguilar: DH, Leones del Caracas: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Big Jesus Aguilar racked up his fourth double and third RBI on Saturday Night. I know that there are mixed reactions to Aguilar, but here’s the thing, if you take him for what he is, you can’t help but be impressed. While he’s never going to be a gold glove first baseman, he’s athletic, and he can be serviceable. I really think we’re talking about a Paul Sorrento type player in the future, who’s going to hit 20-25 homers a year, and roll out 70-90 RBI. In other words, I think he can be at least a neutral guy at first, and not the hole of a position that it’s been for the past few seasons.
- Toru Murata: SP, Navegantes del Magallanes: 3 2/3 IP, 8 H, 4 R/3 ER, 2 K, 1 HR: This seems like Murata’s first bad outing in months…because…well…it is. Right now, we can say this is the exception to the rule for Murata, as the 27-year-old has been virtually unstoppable since August. He is an older guy in the system, which is something to keep in mind, and while I wouldn’t consider him a real prospect, but you never know what can happen down the road in a system devoid of legit upper-level prospects…especially if there are injuries. Again, the frustration is the rest of the system, not Murata. Every team needs players like him, just not whole teams.
Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.