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Around the Farm: April 10, 2012

Around the Farm: April 10, 2012
April 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 in yesterday's game.

LeVon Washington: CF, Lake County Captains: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 K, CS (1):

In the game of baseball, the players that generally excel are the ones that learn from slumps and bad play quickly. Washington seems to have done that after struggling mightily in his first full season of professional baseball in 2011. Washington hit a paltry .218 last season, with 89 strikeouts. Many outside the organization began questioning his status as a top prospect, but Washington clearly refocused, got healthy, and came into spring ready to showcase the five-tool ability that had many thinking he was worthy of a #1 pick. So far this season, Washington has been on base in all five games, including hits in four of those five. He has three multi-hit games, including back-to-back, three-hit games that has his average up to .450. Add to that five walks against only five strikeouts, and you have a guy that’s really starting to showcase a selectivity at the plate. His OBP is at a mammoth .560, and his OPS is at 1.060. Welcome to the big-time, Mr. Washington.

Rob Bryson: RP, Akron Aeros: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K:

If you’ve followed my ATF’s over the past several months, you’ll know that I’ve always been high on Rob Bryson. Since coming over in the Sabathia deal, Bryson’s arm has never been questioned, but his health sure has been after surgery on a labrum and rotator cuff tear. Since the start of 2010, Bryson’s arm has been healthy, and with that health has come fantastic numbers. In 2010, with Lake County, Kinston and Akron, Bryson went 7-2, with a save and a 2.53 ERA in 53 1/3 IP, striking out 80 batters, while walking only 21. In 2011, Bryson’s progress took a hit when he broke his foot just prior to the season starting. Instead of progressing from Akron to Columbus, he started his year off two months late back in Lake County, before quickly progressing through Kinston and Akron, Bryson went 2-1, with a 2.29 ERA in 39 1/3 innings, with 48 K and 16 walks. Now a year behind schedule, Bryson needs to go to work to become a relevant factor with the major league club by the end of the year. After a rough first outing, Bryson came roaring back tonight with two solid innings of work. Overall, Bryson has gone 3 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and a run, while striking out eight and walking only one. He should be a factor in Columbus by June 1st, and may be ready for an August call-up by the Tribe…if he can manage to stay healthy.

Lonnie Chisenhall: 3B, 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, E (3):

Yeah, sure, Chisenhall still needs some work before he can transition to the bigs full-time, but if he continues to put up numbers at Columbus the way that he’s been, that time could be sooner, rather than later, especially taking into account the Indians early season offensive struggles. Chisenhall has hits in four of his six games so far, with a double, two homers and three RBI. He’s only struck out twice, but only walked once. Still, it’s easy to see why Chiz is clearly one of the Indians top five prospects going forward. Of course, when he does make the move to the big show, it’s clear the Indians will be giving up a bit of defense, as the kid already made his third error of the season, but yeah, the offense should make it worth it. He’ll be a factor by the summer, if not sooner.

  • Trevor Crowe: RF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, SB (2): At some point, you have to take a look at Triple A for a potential fix for the left field issues, and Trevor Crowe may be one of those stop-gap measures. Crowe projects to be a solid #4 outfielder in the bigs, but does have the ability to go off offensively, as he’s doing right now in Columbus. Crowe’s average is sitting at .429, with three multi-hit games out of his five total. He’s a threat every time he steps to the plate for the Clippers.
  • Matt LaPorta: LF, Columbus: 2-for-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: The LaPorta watch continues, as the big righthanded hitter slugged his third homer of the early season. LaPorta is hitting a solid .346, and is again starting to entice the big league club with his potential. It’s also interesting to note that he played last night’s game in left field.
  • Russ Canzler: 1B, Columbus: 1-for-6, 1 RBI, 1 K: Canzler’s day was mostly non-descript, other than his 12th-inning single that drove in Chad Huffman with the game-winner.
  • Zach McAllister: SP, Columbus: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R/0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K: McAllister hummed through most of last night’s game, but thanks to a two-base throwing error by Lonnie Chisenhall, and a bad call on a strike by the umpire, McAllister’s numbers suffered. At the end of the day, another good start though. His ERA stands at 2.25 in 12 innings, with 12 K’s and five walks.
  • Hector Ambriz: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K: Ambriz gives the Clippers another two innings of strong work, and does remain a viable candidate for the Indians as the year progresses.
  • Jeremy Accardo: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K: Accardo has been lights out in his three appearances, going four total innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out six, and garnering two saves. Accardo has major league experience, and if he continues to  pitch this well, will force the Tribe’s hand in the coming weeks.
  • Chen Lee: RP, Columbus: W (2-0), 2 IP, 2 H, 1 K: Lee got shellacked in his previous inning of work, having given up two runs. He rebounded nicely with two innings of shutout baseball, getting his second, and more deserving, win of the season.
  • Tim Fedroff: CF, Akron: 1-for-1, 1 R, 3 BB: If there’s a first base anywhere in the country, Tim Fedroff is likely to have stood there at some point. The guy gets on base…a lot. He’s currently raking to the tune of .533, on a four-game hit streak, has walked five times against only one strikeout, and has a .650 OBP.
  • Kyle Landis: RP, Akron: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Landis missed all of 2010, but rebounded and became viable again with a fantastic 2011 season that had him go 10-2, with a 2.54 ERA at Lake County, Kinston and Akron. Landis continues his good pitching this year with four innings of two-hit baseball.
  • Tony Wolters: SS, Carolina: 0-for-4: Wolters is really struggling offensively, going 2-for-21 in his first round in High A. Defensively, he’s as good as it gets at 2nd or short, where he played last night, but his bat needs to pick up some steam to give credence to the Indians jumping Wolters over Lake County.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0 K’s: Aguilar launched his first home run of the Mudcats young season. Aguilar has had a nice start to the season, is currently on a three-game his streak, with hits in four of his first five games overall. Most impressive though is that Aguilar has only struck out twice in 21 at bats. He’s only walked once as well, but boy, cutting down on the K’s is a big development for the big righty.
  • Carlos Moncrief: RF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R: Moncrief is ripe with potential, but like Aguilar, has selectivity issues at the plate (158 K’s last season). This season, Moncrief appears to be cutting down his K’s (3), while upping his walks (4). It’s a short sample, but a good start for the fleet-footed outfielder, who also just happens to have a three-game hit streak, and is hitting .333 overall.
  • Justin Toole: 2B, Carolina: 3-for-4, CS (1): Toole had a nice game spelling Ronny Rodriguez, and is hitting .800 for the season in his utility role.
  • Brett Brach: RP/SP, Carolina: 5 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB: Brach was his typical self, piggy-backing with much more heralded Danny Salazar, and putting up better numbers. Brach may be moving up in the next few days, to fill in some starting gaps.
  • Alex Lavisky: C, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Lavisky has hits in his first two games of his Lake County season, and has his average sitting at .375 to start the year off. Lavisky has struggled mightily with the stick in his first two years after being selected in the eighth round of the 2010 draft straight out of St. Eds in Cleveland. Keep in mind that Lavisky just turned 21 years old, so there’s plenty of time for the big catcher to figure things out.
  • Cody Anderson: RP/SP, Lake County: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 K: Anderson had the better numbers of the piggy-backing with Kyle Blair yesterday, and could be one to watch moving forward.

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

April 12, 2012 - 8:13 AM EDT
I believe in Wolters and his talents, but I agree that the Carolina League is a bit too high for him right now. Maybe he adjusts, but I think what happens is once short season leagues start up you will see a reshuffling of the infielders with Wolters down to Lake County the rest of the season, Garcia to Mahoning Valley. Sorta like with Lavisky last year.
April 11, 2012 - 8:51 PM EDT
Wolters never should have been promoted to the tough Carolina league. He is simply overmatched.
April 11, 2012 - 8:46 PM EDT
Ken--the Indians look at the Clippers a bit different than many teams look at their Triple A team. They use it almost as a holding tank for potential players to bring up to the major league club, and less as a place for their top prospects. Most of that has to do with their top prospects mostly being in the lower levels right now. There are a few toss aways, in my opinion, but it's more or less, the nature of the beast right now. Akron doesn't have many prospects at all, so it will be a year before we see top guys pushing out some of those career minor leaguers...
April 11, 2012 - 12:03 PM EDT
Jim, lots of positives in your summary. My gripe with Indians management is not bringing players along at a faster pace. I would challenge all the "prospects" at higher levels and get rid of career minor leaguers if necessary to do so.

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