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.
Chun-Hsiu Chen: DH, Akron Aeros: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K:
Chen may be caught in prospect limbo, but he has certainly found a way to perform at a consistently good level over the past three seasons. He has multi-hit games in four of the past seven games, and has his average up to .313. The home runs are something to watch though, as he only hit five last season after hitting 16 in 2011, and 12 in 2010. Chen has been in Akron since 2011, and his trouble has been the fact that he’s more or less a tweener with regards to position. That really hasn’t stopped him from performing, although it’s fairly clear that the Indians don’t see him as a player that they see moving forward. Perhaps a big season in Akron may make him a bit more appealing going forward.
- Corey Kluber: SP, Columbus: L (1-1), 6 1/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R/5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K: Kluber made his first start after joining the Indians for his spot start that was rained out a few days ago. He made a fairly typical start for the Clippers, striking out eight, but giving up eight hits and a bunch of runs. He seems to be able to overpower some, but good hitters always seem to have his number.
- Jerry Gil: RP, Columbus: 0.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R/ER, 1 BB: Gil replaced Kluber in the seventh with one-out, a run in and the bases loaded. After an error, a walk, a single and an error, a double, a single and another double, Gil was gone. Unfortunately, the bad numbers were still there.
- Matt Langwell: RP, Columbus: 1 2/3, 2 K: Langwell may be one of the most underappreciated relievers in the system. Other guys supposedly have better stuff, but he always seems to outperform them. Today was his fourth appearance, and his numbers overall are outstanding. He’s gone 7 1/3 innings, giving up only two hits and two walks, while striking out seven. Perhaps this is the year that he finally gets the look he deserves.
- Jeremy Hermida: DH, Columbus: 1-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 1 K: Hermida’s top prospect days are long gone, but he’s been playing very well for the Clippers so far, getting on base four times out of five.
- Luis Hernandez: SS, Columbus: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 B, 1 K: Hernandez hit his first homer of the season, and brought his season average up over .300. Like Hermida, he’s now just minor-league fill, but a solid veteran who has played 150 major league games.
- Carlos Moncrief: RF, Akron: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Moncrief is one of my favorite prospects in the system, but the 24-year-old has to progress now. There’s no questioning his power or speed, but the one area that he has to get better at is being more selective at the plate. He struck out 158 times in 2011 and 126 times in 2012. Right now, he has three walks and two strikeouts, so perhaps hard work is paying off.
- Quincy Latimore: LF, Akron: 2-for-5, 1 R: Latimore was a toss-in prospect in the Jeanmar Gomez trade, but he certainly has provided some early offense for the Aeros. He has four multi-hit games over his past six, and is 5-for-8 over his last two, with three runs, a double, a homer and three RBI. He now has two homers on the season.
- Giovanny Urshela: 3B, Akron: 2-for-5: Urshela really made strides with his swing last season, and is looking to continue that improvement in 2013. Urshela’s glove is special, and if he can continue to improve offensively, he really could be an interesting prospect. Lonnie Chisenhall seems to be the future, but you never know when you need a really good glove, and if he has a bat to go with it, all the better. He’s not there yet, but this Double A year will be a huge tell if there’s more to Urshela than just a defensive replacement.
- Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 RBI: Rodriguez showed off some break-out power last year after starting the year off hitting below .200 over the first month of the season. The only issue with Rodriguez going forward is where he may play. There’s a logjam in front and behind him of players that have advanced skills, so he could be in for a position change, or even as a potential piece of a trade. He has fantastic skills, but may play the wrong position.
- Will Roberts & Michael Goodnight: SP/RP, Carolina: 5 IP, 15 H, 14 R/8 ER, 2 BB, 2 HR: There was nothing good about their numbers. Two errors by Joe Wendle and Anthony Gallas didn’t help out Roberts in this game, but neither did the four singles, a double, a hit batter and a grand slam. Goodnight hadn’t given up a run in his first two relief outings, but this one was a bit different. Goodnight struggled with consistency as a starter. Hopefully that won’t follow him as a reliever.
- Joe Wendle: 2B, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K: Wendle upped his hit streak to eight games, and improved his multi-hit streak to four games. Over that four-game stretch, he’s 9-for-16 over that stretch.
- Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 2B: Sabourin hasn’t missed a beat since moving up from Low-to-High A with the Indians, and his .467 average leads the Carolina League.
- Todd Hankins: 3B, Carolina: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB: Hankins has struggled with Carolina, coming into today’s game hitting only .143. His two hits today out of the nine-hole upped his average to .208.
- Tyler Naquin: CF, Carolina: 1-for-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Naquin’s seventh inning double broke up a shutout in Carolina’s Sunday afternoon game against Winston-Salem. Naquin now has a four-game hit streak, and his hitting .351 on the season.
- Logan Vick: RF, Lake County: 0-for-1, 1 R, 3 BB: Sometimes, you just have to respect a guy that gets on base any way he can. Vick didn’t have a hit on Sunday, but he walked three times. That’s the mark of a guy that gets baseball. Vick is a bit unheralded after the Indians drafted him in the 11th round in 2012, but he has some interesting skills that could move him along in the system.
- Nellie Rodriguez: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB: There are always players that spark the Indians’ fans interest, and Rodriguez is one of them. The 6’2”, 225 pounder has plus power, but is as raw as they come. There are a lot of scouts that rave about his tools though, so we’ll see how Rodriguez can build on games like this going forward.
- Jake Sisco: SP, Lake County: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R/0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K: Sisco pitched well for the second straight appearance to start off the season. There’s a lot of potential with regards to Sisco and his plus fastball. As his secondary pitches improve, and as he gets his delivery situated, he should become much more consistent than in past seasons.
- Dylan Baker: RP/SP, Lake County: Baker piggy-backed with Sisco, and both have very similar futures if they can get everything put together. He’s struggled keeping runs from scoring this season, giving up four and three earned runs respectively in his two appearances. On the positive, he has struck out ten, while only walking one.
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.