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Around the Farm - April 17, 2012

Around the Farm - April 17, 2012
April 18, 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.

Corey Kluber: SP, Columbus Clippers: W (3-0), 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K:

Whatever Kluber was missing last season, he’s found it this season. Kluber has his second outstanding start out of three, raising his record to 3-0, with a 2.81 ERA. In his 16 innings pitched, he’s given up 13 hits, five runs, six walks and 25 K’s. His ERA against lefties is a solid 1.59, with a .238 average against. In a strange twist, Kluber’s ERA is 3.48 against righties, but opponents are hitting only .211 against the righthander. Remember, Kluber has some pedigree as a former 4th rounder for San Diego, so if he “finds it” this season, there could be some potential there down the road, even it’s in the bullpen.

Chun-Hsiu Chen: 1B, Akron Aeros: 2-for-4, 1 R:

Chun Chen is going through a bit of a transition year. Last season, he struggled through an injury-riddled season behind the plate. This year, the Tribe brass decided to move him to first base, and he’s done nothing but struggled, until recently. Chen has found his bat over the past few games, with three multi-hit games in his last four. He’s gone 7-for-16 over the same time period, and has his average back up to .278. Clearly there’s a learning curve here, and if the bat comes with it, this could be a resounding success, especially if Chen remains healthy.

  • Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 1-for-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Phelps upped his hit streak to 11 games, and over the past ten, is hitting a solid .326. If Jason Donald struggles over the next couple of games, he could get another look.
  • Matt LaPorta: 1B, Columbus: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K: LaPorta continues to hit in during the current demotion, and has his average at .316, with a 1.056 OPS. Let’s hope there’s a new approach, and that LaPorta can reach some of that potential.
  • Russ Canzler: DH, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B: Canzler has done absolutely nothing with the Clippers. He’s currently hitting .205, with a .535 OPS. Some International League MVP.
  • Matt Pagnozzi: C, Columbus: 2-for-2, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Pagnozzi’s not going anywhere any time soon, but he’s decimating International League pitching to the tune of .345, with a .455 OBP, and a crazy 1.031 OPS. Maybe he should give Canzler some lessons.
  • Jared Goedert: LF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Goedert continues to roll, with his third straight two-hit game. He currently has an eight-game hit streak in which he’s hitting 13-for-28, with four runs, four doubles, a homer and three RBI. His days of being a prospect are over, but he can play everywhere, so he could be a serviceable replacement at some point.
  • T.J. McFarland: SP, Akron: L (2-1), 4 2/3, 4 H, 3 R/3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K: This was McFarland’s first stumble on the season after two solid starts to open the year. He’s not a top prospect anymore, but if the big lefty can have an effective season, he can certainly be a part of the equation in 2013.
  • Bryan Price: RP, Akron: 2 1/3, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K: Price has pitched well this year, but has given up runs in his last two games.
  • Kyle Landis: RP, Akron: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K: Landis continues his dominance this season with two more innings of shutout baseball. In nine total innings, Landis has given up four hits and three walks, while striking out seven.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: 1-for-2, 1 2B, 1 BB: Aguilar roped another double, but even more exciting is the fact that he drew another walk, without a strikeout. So far this year, he’s at a respectable 6 K’s total, with four walks in nine games. This is the type of progression the Indians wanted to see going forward.
  • Jeremie Tice: DH, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 K: Tice is up to a four-game hit streak, and has driven in five runs in his last three games.
  • Ronnie Rodriguez: 2B, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K: Rodriguez isn’t hitting a ton, but has given glimpses of his potential over the past few games. He has two doubles and a homer in his past five games.
  • Clayton Cook: SP, Carolina: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB: Cook struggled a bit in the first inning, but didn’t return in the second. I’m not going to speculate on why he left the game, but he’s been lights out leading up to this start. You can make your own assumptions, and will fill in the gaps later today.
  • Dale Dickerson: RP, Carolina: L (0-1), 1 1/3, 2 H, 3 R/2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K: Dickerson blew the game after the Mudcats had taken the lead in the top of the eighth inning.
  • Luigi Rodriguez: CF, Lake County: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB (5): Rodriguez failed to get a hit tonight, breaking his eight-game hit streak, but still managed to get on base, and steal his fifth base. It’s early, but he’s certainly making a case to be the top outfielder in the system, especially with Washington hurt.
  • Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, E (3): Lindor is hitting .309 early in the season, and continues to produce at an advanced rate. His error tonight was of the throwing variety, and had nothing to do with his getting to the ball, or fielding it.
  • Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B: Smith has hit a triple in three consecutive games, which has to be relatively rare at any level. Smith is currently batting .314, and has hit safely in eight straight games for the Captains.
  • Bryson Myles: LF, Lake County: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, E (2): Myles has continued to show signs of warming up this spring with his first home run of the season. He’s 5-for-14 in his last four games, with three runs, a double, a homer and two RBI. He still strikes out a little too much for my taste, and needs to become more selective to really turn into that explosive bat he’s shown signs of bringing to the table.
  • Elvis Araujo: SP, Lake County: L (0-3), 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R/1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K: Don’t let the record fool you. Another solid, if unspectacular outing for Araujo. He’s progressed from four innings in his first start, to five in his second, to six tonight, and is sporting a 3.00 ERA.

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 jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

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