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Around the Farm: April 14, 2014

Around the Farm: April 14, 2014
Dorssys Paulino (Photo: Lake County Captains)
April 15, 2014
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Note, Triple-A Columbus was rained out on Monday night.

Dorssys Paulino (SS, Lake County): 0-for-5, 3 K, 4 E. Nope, that is not a typo. Paulino had four errors on the night, though the team itself totaled seven on the night! Obviously the bad weather that moved through the Cleveland area on Monday had an effect on the defensive play in this game, but there is no excuse for a player on a full season roster committing four errors in a game. He committed a fielding error with two outs in the second inning that led to a run and then made an error on the very next play, and then committed another fielding error in the third inning and a fourth and final fielding error in the sixth inning. The Indians plan to exhaust every possibility of him remaining as a shortstop, but every day he is looking like more and more of a third baseman or left fielder in the making. Offensively, he is off to another slow start hitting .238 in 10 games though has done a nice job of making consistent contact with just seven strike outs in 42 at bats.

Duke Von Schamann (RP, Akron): 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Wow, this is about as impressive an outing as a pitcher can have without overpowering and dominating a lineup. Schamann managed to go five innings on just 43 pitches (27 strikes) – about eight pitches an inning – and used a pitch to contact approach combined with solid command and location to burn through the Thunder lineup rather quickly. He only recorded one strikeout so he was fortunate to have 13 of the 15 batters he faced hit the ball right to his defense. Nonetheless, this is an encouraging outing and one to build off his Indians debut on April 9th when he went three innings and struck out six batters. He looks to be built up and about ready for full time duty in the rotation, though looks like he will piggyback with Arias for the time being.

Carlos Melo (RP, Carolina): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 2 K. Okay, I know that the run was not earned, but anytime you walk three guys in an inning and give up a hit – earned or not – that’s not a good outing. He can throw the ball through a wall but doesn’t know where it is going, and even though that velocity is intriguing he is 23 years old and has a history of command issues in the minors. He might be on borrowed time right now and could be the first casualty on the Carolina roster to get the axe this season. 

  • Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 1-for-4, 2 K, SB. The strikeouts continue to pile up for Naquin as he now has 15 strikeouts in 39 at bats, and he has struck out at least once in all of the 10 games he has played except one. I know it is early, but when do we start showing concern with his plate discipline woes?
  • Ronny Rodriguez (3B, Akron): 0-for-4, 2 K. Rodriguez is ice cold at the plate and is off to a poor start with a .152/.237/.182 triple slash line. He has just one extra base hit in nine games and has 10 strikeouts in 33 at bats.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Akron): 0-for-4, 3 K. The strikeout epidemic in Akron has trickled down to Smith who is usually pretty good at limiting strikeouts and making consistent contact. He came into the season averaging a strikeout every 8 at bats for his career, but this season is striking out once every 2.4 at bats.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 1-for-3, BB, K, SB. The early season struggles in the Akron lineup have even had an effect on Mr. Lindor as he is only hitting .256 though he has a healthy .784 OPS.
  • Gabriel Arias (SP, Akron): 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Arias needed 69 pitches to get through his four innings of work and put forth a solid line while sidestepping some traffic on the basepaths. He has put together two solid outings in the early going for Akron and looks like a solid piggyback starting option for them.
  • Todd Hankins (LF, Carolina): 2-for-5, R, 2 2B, K. The versatile Hankins gets a start in left field and has his first multi-hit game of the young season.
  • Erik Gonzalez (SS, Carolina): 2-for-5, RBI, SB. Gonzalez continues to play well in the early going and is now hitting .319 with a .756 OPS in 11 games this season. He’s flashed some athleticism and speed on the bases as he swiped his third bag of the year and has really played a nice shortstop.
  • Alex Monsalve (C, Carolina): 2-for-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, K. Monsalve rips his first homer of the season and is up above the .300 mark hitting .306 through nine games. While he probably should be at Double-A Akron, he needs to make the most of his time at High-A Carolina to show some consistency with his offense.
  • Anthony Gallas (RF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, K.  Gallas is blistering hot over his last two games and has been an extra base hit machine with two doubles and two homers. The 2:10 walk to strikeout ratio is concerning, but he’s hitting .310, showing power, and finally getting a chance to play regularly – which is good to see.
  • James Roberts (3B, Carolina): 1-for-4, 2 K, 2 E. One of the few times Roberts has struggled in the early going this season. Even though managed a hit in four at bats, he struck out twice and committed two costly errors.
  • Shawn Morimando (SP, Carolina): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. Not one of Morimando’s better outings, but also a sign he is growing as a pitcher. He clearly did not have his best stuff on the night yet even after allowing six baserunners and two home runs in five innings he left only allowing three runs.
  • Eric Haase (C, Lake County): 1-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB. Haase smoked his second homer of the season and also drew a walk. The walk carries a little more weight with me since his plate discipline is something he is really trying to develop, and he now sports a nice 6:7 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • Grant Fink (3B, Lake County): 1-for-3, R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 E. Fink really stuffed the box score in this one reaching base three times in five plate appearances, but he made his impact felt with a grand slam homer to left field in the fourth inning to put the Captains right back in the game.
  • Anthony Santander (DH, Lake County): 0-for-4, R, BB, 2 K. Santander has still not made an appearance in the field this season, and continues to struggle at the plate hitting .121 with 12 strikeouts in 33 at bats over nine games.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 1-for-2, 2 BB, K. Rodriguez continues to show a nice, relaxed and disciplined approach in the early going this season. He has his average up over .300 as he is hitting .306 and has a solid 7:9 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • Luis Lugo (SP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 2 K. A poor outing from Lugo and the second straight poor one from him to start the season as he allowed four runs in 3.2 innings his first time out on April 9th.  His struggles stem from an inability to consistently pound the zone as he has 6 walks in 5.2 innings and has lacked a feel for the command of his good arsenal of pitches.
  • Robbie Aviles (RP, Lake County): 4.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Aviles stepped up with a nice outing to eat some innings after Lugo’s early exit. He went three shutout innings his first time out on April 9th so two good outings in a row is encouraging to say the least. Perhaps he is finally putting it all together.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

April 16, 2014 - 4:27 PM EDT

I've never heard of a guy maxing out his power at 23 before....that's a new one...

Fair enough on your distaste of Naquin, though think you're being pretty unfair saying he has only slightly more power than Branltey (shown way more to this point than Brantley had).
April 16, 2014 - 3:16 PM EDT
What happened to Mathews ? I thought he was one of the staters but he's has'nt had many innings.
April 15, 2014 - 3:33 PM EDT
Naquin's also 2 years older than Brantley was at the same levels. Naquin's 23, his power's probably maxed out. The other reason I gave up on him was the horrible baserunning. 20 SB and 13 CS in his career? Still been caught more times than he's succeeded in AA? Brantley can't steal in the majors, but he was only caught 13 times over 2 years while swiping 74 when he was in AA and AAA. Naquin can't steal, has slightly more power than Michael Brantley, and strikes out like he's Mark Reynolds: I don't understand the optimistic rankings on him. I was hoping some of last year was due to his supposed mechanical adjustments to generate more power, but so far this year it's more of the same.
April 15, 2014 - 3:26 PM EDT
Indeed, I gave up on Naquin about 11 months ago
April 15, 2014 - 2:52 PM EDT
I'm surprised that Akron has not called off tonight game because of the snow and cold weather. The Captains and Clippers games have been canceled, along with the Indians/Tigers game tonight.
April 15, 2014 - 2:27 PM EDT

If you're hoping for single digits strikeout rates from Naquin then you might as well give up on him.

If he was simply at the 22% he was last year in A-ball I'd be fine with that.

Don't think it's fair to directly compare Brantley and Naquin either. Sure Naquin is striking out more..but he also displayed WAY more power last year than Brantley ever did in the minors. Naquin had a .147 ISO at Carolina last year...Brantley's high mark came in A-ball when he put up a .107 ISO. The stint where he had that insanely low 5.6% K-rate you brought up...Brantley had a mere .079 ISO.

I don't think it's wrong to think Naquin could put up Brantley-like numbers in the bigs....meaning a .280-.290 average, .330-.345 OBP, with 10-12 HRs, steal 10-20 bases, drive in some runs, score some runs...but a solid but unspectacular player.

But overall approach and how they get to those numbers.....two different players.
April 15, 2014 - 2:20 PM EDT
Nah, Paulino's the next Abner Abreu. He'll probably have a good couple months later on to tease us, before going back to striking out a lot and hitting .200.
April 15, 2014 - 2:12 PM EDT
Paulino needs the Nellie Rod treatment. Send him down to Arizona. Nellie responded well and said it was this demotion that rightened him. Paulino is the next Rivero. Remember him? Another annual top10 guy who's poor performances were excused every year with his age.
Naquin and Paulino didn't make my personal top20 after last season and the little hope I had left for them is vanishing.
Then again, I had Lugo as a borderline top10 guy and he's probably the biggest disappointment for me so far. Really thought he'd dominate low A and get to Carolina by season's end. Plutko too. In fact, the very promising LC rotation is struggling. Hopefully it's just because they work on their weak pitches, but even then, it means they aren't working yet

Random thoughts/questions:

- why is Ronny Rod batting cleanup in Akron?
- van Schamann trade was a steal. He'll be another McAllister.
- Melo looks like another wasted experiment, like Whitenack last season. I hope they don't hang onto him as long. Give another guy the chance
- if Morimando can cut down his BB/9 to 2.5-3, then he becomes a legit prospect. He's repeating the level and it's all about control and his BB to K ratio
- what's the difference between Naquin and J.Smith? I don't see any. In fact, I had rated Smith higher because he handles LHP better and I think he has a better chance of succeeding than Naquin because of it. He also has a much better eye. With that said, why is Naquin rated higher by everyone?
- Tony Wolters has reached base in every game. His OBP is higher than his SLG, lol
- don't see it yet with Erik Gonzo. He never hit .260 and never got over .300 OBP the last 2 seasons at lower levels, so he needs a huge jump in production to be considered legit. Would be a nice surprise, but I'm not holding my breath
- Jeremy Lucas is the most complete hitter at Carolina and nobody (but me) seems to talk about him
MT88 in WI
April 15, 2014 - 1:57 PM EDT
Liking the numbers for Duke VonS so far. Let him be a full time rotation guy, not a piggy back situation.
April 15, 2014 - 1:55 PM EDT
Who was going against Akron last night, Felix Hernandez? ... Naquin continues to strike out like he's Mark Reynolds, when he's the size of Trevor Crowe. For Naquin to be successful, he needs a MUCH lower strike rate than 25%, preferably something in the single digits, otherwise he's a .250 hitter with no power, at best. I've always loved the Brantley comparisons with Naquin: when Brantley was in AA, at a much younger age than Naquin, he struck out 5.6% of the time.
just say n
April 15, 2014 - 11:05 AM EDT
i feel like i read the same stuff every year about paulino but its ok his only 19 lol. think its time to make some plays
April 15, 2014 - 9:56 AM EDT
Wow, Naquin is hitting .205 with a BABIP of .333. Imagine if he was "unlucky".
April 15, 2014 - 9:37 AM EDT
Obviously if Naquin is striking out 34% of the time he's not gonna make it, but IMO if he can get back to under 25% and have a walk rate of 8%+ (basically what he did in Carolina last year) then he should be ok. Definitely something to keep an eye though if you're a Tribe fan. Just from A-ball to AA can be a real prospect killer...
April 15, 2014 - 9:16 AM EDT
How soon before Fink moves up? He's kinda old for that level.
April 15, 2014 - 8:45 AM EDT
Paulino had an inexcusable day, it's that simple. He has to put it behind him and just keep working to improve daily. It has become obvious that Paulino is no SS. He's only 19, so there is plenty of time for him to get it together. Paulino is still a top 10 prospect, IMHO but with an influx of talent coming from the June draft I suggest there's a good probability that Paulino may drop a few notches.
April 15, 2014 - 8:39 AM EDT
I like the Colt Hynes for Von Schamann trade, but man he's pitching great on the yr. He had a strong start in Chattanooga before being traded. Encouraging to see him come over to the Tribe and just continue to work effectively. I think it's possible the Indians got themselves a depth SP or possible Longman.
Canadian Joe
April 15, 2014 - 8:21 AM EDT
It looks as if Aviles is finally healthy and putting up good numbers. Would like to see him have an injury free year and see if there is another live arm in the mix. Santander seems to still have health issues. Another good prospect that has to put these ailments behind him and put up some eye-catching numbers he is capable of.

April 15, 2014 - 8:19 AM EDT
Nice to see Gonzo with a 4:9 BB:SO through 11 games since he was at 5:39 in 39 games in A+ ball last season. His power is down as a result, but I'd much rather see him get on base 50% more - .259 OBP at A+ last season and .373 so far this season - since he seems to be a legit threat to steal a base.

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