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Around the Farm, September 10, 2012

Around the Farm, September 10, 2012
September 11, 2012
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians’ prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing during yesterday’s ballgame.

Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI:

Ramirez just hasn’t stopped hitting all season, and he did everything he could to carry the Captains today. It didn’t pan out, but what did pan out was Ramirez becoming a player in the prospect pool. If he can continue at this level, he goes from being a question mark, to being a star. Ramirez went 7-for-18 in the playoffs, with three runs, two doubles, a homer and seven RBI in only five ballgames. Boy, I can’t wait to see what he does as he moves forward. I get the feeling that this kid is no fluke. He drove in the first Captains’ run of the game, with a double to score Alex Lavisky.

Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 K:

Lindor saved his best play of the season for the playoffs, and there’s really no question about it. He went 7-for-21 in the playoffs, with five runs, two doubles, a triple, a homer and four RBI. When you take into account that this kid is still only 18-years old, and doesn’t turn 19 until November, just boggles the mind. I know, it’s a bit of hyperbole, but I really believe that this playoff series shows you what kind of player he will be as the games get more important. When this kid gets to the majors, they’re all important, and as his stamina improves, I think he hasn’t even touched how good he will be. His offense is so raw right now, but so good. I really…really believe he’s going to be an all-around giant if he stays healthy.

Jake Lowery: DH, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K:

Lowery’s a great kid, and came into this season as a potential power hitter. After starting off the season in Carolina hitting the ball fairly well, he began to struggle, and ended up getting demoted to Lake County. After struggling there initially, things began to pick up during the summer. He ended his season on a positive not, with two extra base hits. That’s the type of power we were looking for when the Indians drafted him. Now, if it can just get consisten.

  • Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 1-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB: Smith “only” had one hit, but got on base three times, and in typical fashion, showcased a keen eye for offense. On a team like this, you can really say that Smith may be the best pure offensive player.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Sabourin actually tied Smith with a .286 playoff average, and you have to believe that he’s sad to see this season end. Sabourin broke out this year, and whether it was because he figured things out, or whether it was because he had a bunch of protection, it doesn’t really matter. The Sabour-tooth tigers will be waiting for his entrance into the Carolina League next season.
  • Bryson Myles: LF, Lake County: 1-for-5, 2 K: Myles ended up hitting .474 during the playoffs, and welcomed himself back into interesting, as he finished strong in a season that could have been marred by injury.
  • Tyler Naquin: CF, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 3 K: Naquin ended up hitting .353 for the Captains during their playoff run, and may have put himself a back on the map after missing a month at Mahoning Valley thanks to back issues. Well, he can hit, and should find himself in Carolina with the Lake County crew next season.
  • Alex Lavisky: C, Lake County: So, Lavisky was pretty solid this season. No, he didn’t hit .320, but he didn’t hit .200 either. He has good power, can defend, and played better as the year progressed. Could Lavisky be on the radar?
  • Joshua Nervis: RP, Lake County: 1 IP, 1 K: Nervis was the only Captains pitcher to not give up a run. Anderson got shelled. Pasquale did too. Jimenez was okay, and Valera gave up two. In between, Nervis…well…wasn’t. Unfortunately for the Captains offense, ti wasn’t good enough. Not even close.

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

User Comments

September 12, 2012 - 12:19 AM EDT
Naquin does not need (and should not) play in Lake County. He's an advanced player that as one person suggested probably could be in Double-A to start right now, and hell, maybe that is where he starts next year. Like with a lot of college guys, he will skip Lake County next year. Sure, there is a chance they just send him to Lake County....but it would really just be a waste of time. In the end it will work itself all out.
September 11, 2012 - 11:22 PM EDT
Tony might feel differently but it looks to me like they let Naquin play for about 100 ABs before they started to make adjustments. He has excellent swing mechanics and I believe the Indians will try to improve his power leverage and loft off the bat. They have had some success with this with Chisenhall and Kipnis who had similar mechanics. However, a notable failure was Carlos Rivero who never learned to get the ball up, as Tony can tell you. Interestingly enough, they seem to be using the same approach with Smith who also has the same mechanics. If it works, Naquin can play RF. If not, he makes it to the MLs as a CF or 4th OF. At least that is my thoughts on the limited looks I have had of Naquin over the year.
September 11, 2012 - 7:59 PM EDT
Doesn't Naquin have to do something to merit a promotion? He steadily got worse until he got hurt in MV. He got some hits the other day but something tells me that the only reason he didn't have 4 K's in this game is that Myles made the final out with him on deck. More contact, please. That many K's are only acceptable for power hitters.

While I'm being Debbie Downer, Nervis is going to be 24 next month; shouldn't he be dominating Low A ball guys?
September 11, 2012 - 7:26 PM EDT
Naquin would be spinning his wheels at LC to start the year. Most believe he could've jumped from A&M right into AA and not be over-matched.

He's the highest priority OF in the system; they will make room for him wherever they want him to play.
September 11, 2012 - 6:07 PM EDT
While I understand that Naquin is the highest priority prospect of the group mentioned, the fact that he only played in Lake County during the playoffs makes me think he would return to Lake County for April & May before moving to Carolina. Had he not missed a month with injury and moved up sooner, I could see him opening in Carolina.
Obviously injuries and other moves (trades) could alter this setup.
September 11, 2012 - 12:56 PM EDT
Yes, it will be interesting to see how the outfield shakes out next year in Carolina. But right now, Naquin is the highest priority outfield prospect, so he would get the nudge at Carolina based on where things stand right now. THings may change in the offseason of course. I could see a scenario where Naquin, Luigi, J-Smith and Myles are in a 4-man rotation in the outfield at Carolina next year and Washington starts in Lake County (he did miss all season). Plus, as always, injuries between now and the end of next spring will factor into things.
September 11, 2012 - 11:36 AM EDT
I do business w someone that watched Nervis pitch in Sonoma. The guy is an ex-college player/ minor leaguer and a friend of the coach and he goes to a lot of games. Says the two of them think Josh is hands down the best pitching prospect they've seen come thru SSU, that he has the stuff and the mental ability to pitch in the bigs. Would have gone to a larger school, but had some problems w pot/ motivation in highschool. Hey, so did Tim Lincecum! Definitely worth watching going forward.
September 11, 2012 - 9:48 AM EDT
I'm surprised you see Naquin in Carolina next season. I figured he would start off in LC as there are a number of guys needing to play regularly (LeVon, Bryson, Luigi R and Jordan Smith) likely making that move as well.
September 11, 2012 - 8:41 AM EDT
The Captains have had a really fine year developing prospects. I never thought Rickon was anything special as a batting coach but his results with these guys over the year has been exceptional IMO. Just the OF alone will make Carolina competitive. There are three OFs, Naquin, Myles and Smith who don't have a lot of power but are excellent hitters and pretty decent defenders from what I see. Then you have the big ceilings of Luigi Rodriguez and Levon Washington. Both have potential to be ML all-stars IMO but seem to have health issues. Sorting these guys out should be exciting. Pretty safe to say that Carolina won't be losing much in the MI or at C. Laviskey is probably the best defensive receiver in the system other than the offensively challenged Perez and give every indication he has gotten a clue about hitting as the season progressed.

I really don't see a lot of potential TOR starting pitching in LC but some of the staff might have ML upsides in varying degrees. Nearly everyone is in serious need of command improvement and they are not as young as the position players.

Fine year all around for the players and the staff.

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