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Around the Farm: April 17, 2014

Plutko's overall brilliance highlights the night on the farm

Around the Farm: April 17, 2014
Adam Plutko (Photo:
April 18, 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. 

Adam Plutko (SP, Lake County): ND, 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 8 SO

Adam Plutko (Photo: MiLB)In Plutko's first start of the season, the right-hander had the run prevention without the dominance (four innings, 3:3 SO:BB, no runs). In his second start, Plutko had the strikeouts, but not the run prevention (4.2 innings, 6:0 SO:BB, five runs -- four earned). Finally, Plutko put it all together in his third start of the season Thursday night, mowing down hitters and not allowing an earned run. Plutko comes into 2014 as an advanced college arm who should be up for a quick promotion to High-A with good performance, and given the right-hander's 17:5 SO:BB in 12.2 innings, he is making a compelling case. There is only so much the polished 22-year-old can prove in the Midwest League; as long as Plutko pitches like this, he should get up to Carolina for his next challenge before long.

Jose Ramirez (2B, Columbus): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 CS, 1 PO

Even with the big night Ramirez only owns a .265/.296/.367 line on the season, but while the overall results are not Jose Ramirez (Photo: MiLB)there yet, the middle infielder has still been as consistent as they come. Ramirez has reached base in all 12 games he has appeared in (Jesus Aguilar also owns a 12-game reached base streak to start the season); the middle infielder just has not reached base as much as you would like to see. Some of that is attributable to Ramirez's .273 BABIP, though how much to expect his BABIP to rise is an open question. In Low-A, Ramirez had a .378 BABIP in 313 plate appearances, while in Double-A that mark sank to .290 in 533 plate appearances. Ramirez has the skillset to post extremely high BABIPs, but he does need to drive the ball a little more and not roll over on as many grounders as he did in Double-A. Fixing his BABIP, something that will take some work on Ramirez's part, will be a big part of determining how far his offense will go.

  • T.J. House (SP, Columbus): W (1-1), 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO. Only making his second start of 2014, House already looked like he was in midseason form. Following a solid 2013 in Columbus, the left-hander is looking even better through his first 11.0 innings (2.45 ERA, 9:2 SO:BB).
  • Scott Barnes (RP, Columbus): H (1), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Continuing Columbus' cavalcade of lefties Thursday, Barnes tossed two scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 1.04 with 9:3 SO:BB in 8.2 innings.
  • Nick Hagadone (RP, Columbus): H (2), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. And Columbus' cavalcade of lefties ended here with Hagadone, who could be turning a corner after posting his first flawless inning of 2014.
  • Vinnie Pestano (RP, Columbus): S (1), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO. Pestano continues to look perfectly good down in Triple-A, but how to get it to extend to the majors is still the big question.
  • Roberto Perez (C, Columbus): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB. Riding a season-long eight-game hit streak and a .360/.429/.560 line, the defense-first Perez is showing some life on offense. If he hit anything like this for an extended period of time, combined with that defense, Perez would be a legitimate major league option.
  • Will Roberts (SP, Akron): W (2-1), 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO. Roberts is rarely dominant (he only has seven strikeouts in 18.0 innings), but the right-hander does a good job of limiting runs (3.50 ERA) and succeeding without the most flashy stuff.
  • Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Akron): H (1), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Following back-to-back outings with runs allowed to start the season, Sturdevant has back-to-back scoreless innings for the RubberDucks as the right-hander works his way back from last year's shoulder issues.
  • Kyle Crockett (RP, Akron): S (2), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HBP. Pitching on back-to-back nights, Crockett once again did not allow a run, making it 16.2 scoreless Double-A innings for the left-hander stretching back to last year.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI. In addition to putting the RubberDucks ahead with a two-run single in the eighth inning, Urshela raised his line to .304/.353/.522 in 13 games.
  • Bryson Myles (LF, Akron): 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 CS, 1 PO. Not the best day on the basepaths for Myles, but getting on base three times pushed the outfielder's line to .394/.432/.697 in his first 11 games at the Double-A level.
  • Tony Wolters (C, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Thursday's double gives Wolters three on the season and helped round out the catcher's line a little more (.333/.395/.410 in 11 games).
  • Cole Sulser (SP, Carolina): ND, 6.0 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO. Sulser got hit around a little Thursday, but he limited the damage and ended up giving Carolina the chance to win. The right-hander now has a 2.70 ERA and 15:1 SO:BB on the season.
  • Rob Nixon (RP, Carolina): L (0-2), 1.1 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. Following 2.1 innings of scoreless relief from Grant Sides, Nixon allowed five unearned runs as a part of the Mudcats' four-error 10th inning. A little better pitching would have helped, but what can a pitcher really do during a four-error inning?
  • Carlos Melo (RP, Carolina): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 2 WP, 1 HBP. Well, a pitcher can try to avoid walking three, uncorking two wild pitches, and plunking a batter. Melo now has eight walks, three wild pitches, and two hit batters in 4.2 innings.
  • Anthony Gallas (RF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. The 26-year-old Gallas has made the most of his regular playing time in 2014, posting a .308/.333/.596 line in 13 games. His 12:2 SO:BB is less-than encouraging, and as his power surge begins to regress, Gallas will need to control the plate a little better.
  • Todd Hankins (2B, Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 E. The hits have not fallen in for the versatile Hankins (.196 batting average in 13 games), but the 23-year-old has shown more pop than he did in 2013 (.196 ISO).
  • Luigi Rodriguez (LF, Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 SB. A nice, well-rounded 2014 debut for Rodriguez, who will look to stay healthy after being limited to 56 games in 2013.
  • Caleb Hamrick (RP, Lake County): W (1-1), 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO. Hamrick is starting to head in the right direction. After allowing five runs in each of his first two outings (both four innings), the right-hander cut it down to two runs Thursday. Fixing his 5:7 SO:BB could help Hamrick going forward.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI. A pretty quiet debut from Frazier, though I would expect the 2013 first round pick to start lining lasers out of Classic Park soon enough.
  • Eric Haase (C, Lake County): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 SO, 1 E. Haase still needs a little work in limiting his strikeouts (11 in 10 games), but with six walks and a .278/.381/.639 line, the catcher is making it work with the strikeouts so far in 2014.
  • Cody Ferrell (LF, Lake County): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 SO. Just like Gallas, the soon-to-be 24-year-old Ferrell is making great use of his extended playing time, posting a .350/.458/.650 line in 14 games with three steals.
  • Josh McAdams (RF, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 E. McAdams has been limited in the early going, but a few nights like this could jumpstart the 20-year-old's season.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

April 18, 2014 - 10:45 PM EDT
No problem Path, and that wasn't directed at you....just a general commentary in response to a lot of people already clamoring for some guys to move up and whatnot. Things can always change and sometimes the Indians have different plans for players, so we will see what happens.
April 18, 2014 - 7:54 PM EDT
Sure Tony, you seem to know. And are sometimes right. My comments are never about what I think, or what I think I know (wink, wink), what the Tribe FO will do. I could really care less about doing that. I just say what I think (in my humble opinion) they should do! That is, what I want them to do. That's way more fun! In my opinion the Indians are way conservative in moving players up, but hey, that's just me. 8--)
April 18, 2014 - 7:28 PM EDT
I think we should recognize what appears to be a great start by pitching coach Steve Karsay at Carolina. He has done a fine job with a staff that really does not have big projection. The most projectible is on the DL now and those that can throw strikes are doing just that. On the whole the team is performing well especially when considering that many of the more talented prospects have been nicked. Not a hugely talented bunch, it is good to see them playing above that.
April 18, 2014 - 4:31 PM EDT

I tend to agree, the Tribe should stick with some college picks (this yr). Not that I'm against drafting HS talent. Because I wanted to see the Tribe draft Lindor, Archie Bradley or Javier Baez in 11, and Frazier in 13. This yr could be different, I think the Tribe has a real chance to add some serious talent form the college ranks. I'm really impressed with the depth of college arms and HS arms for that matter, but I see the college guys with talent and upside remaining too. There are some talented college bats too, with some upside. Personally, this seems like a deep draft and the Tribe should really benefit with five high (top 100) picks.
Some arms I really like...Luke Weaver, Sean Newcomb, Kyle Freeland, Matt Imhof, Chris Ellis, Nick Burdi, Zech Lemond, Brandon Finnegan, Erick Fedde, Jake Cosart, Chris Oliver, and a several HS arms...Touki Toussaint, Sean Reid-Foley,
Keaton McKinney, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, Mac Marshall, and Cobi Johnson.
April 18, 2014 - 1:08 PM EDT
Personally, I think we at times get a little ahead of ourselves with promotions. Wolters is not going to Columbus anytime soon, in fact, he probably will spend the entire season in Akron. Same thing with Myles and Frazier....both probably finish where they are this season. Remember, Moncrief and Aguilar stayed in Akron all year last season and Lindor stayed in Lake County all year his first season. If anyone moves up from Akron as an outfielder or catcher, to me it would be Holt and/or Lowery/Lavisky to fill roles.
April 18, 2014 - 12:51 PM EDT
Yes, I would love to see the Tribe be a little more aggressive this year with promotions. I say this every year tho 8--).

Specifically, there are pitchers, catchers and outfielders that could be moved up in the next month or so if they continue to produce. Catchers: Wolters, Monsalve, and Haase. Outfielders: Myles, Washington, and Frazier. Pitchers: Morimondo, Merritt, Sulser, Plutko, maybe even Roberts...
April 18, 2014 - 11:50 AM EDT
Carolina and Akron pitching staffs are league leaders in ERA and WHIP. If you look at the prospects of those staffs: Anderson, Colon, Roberts, Merritt, Morimando, Sulser. 5 of 6 were drafted outside the top 10 rounds. 3 CC picks, 2 College, 1 Puerto. How many top 10 picks did the Indians blow on HS pitchers the past 5 drafts? Just saying....the Indians have been good at finding good pitching specs later on some fliers. Maybe they should stick to it and draft "safer" College guys in the top 10 rounds, save budget money in the process too to invest in those guys

TJ House had a sub 3 ERA the 2nd half of 2013 in AAA too. He's a real option for th Indians, especially as a LHSP.

I'm all for depth, but I'm not sure I see the point in keeping both Davies and Banwart in the upper minors to clog the system now that they have own depth that needs time and promotions.
The glass is half something
April 18, 2014 - 10:24 AM EDT
1-5 is a good debut??... Sure a run and and RBI are nice but I would call his debut "meh" Guess it's better than 0-5 and UI definitely expect some true "good" performances from him in the not so distant future.
April 18, 2014 - 8:59 AM EDT
Aguilar looks as though he was born to hit cleanup. This guy is an RBI machine no matter what level he plays in. Eventually, he's going to give this lineup a dimension that it hasn't had in a very long time and it could be later on this year
April 18, 2014 - 8:52 AM EDT
Do you see Plutko getting another 3 starts at LC befroe the promotion to Carolina? Would Brady take his place at LC?

Good debut for Frazier.

I think in next couple of weeks seeing from this trio of Frank, Whitehouse and Mathews be promoted to Carolina to replace Melo and probably Nixon.

Glad to see each outing out that House is becoming more of a potential option for the Indians to use in the starting rotation.
April 18, 2014 - 8:50 AM EDT
Thank you Marty.

Good points Andy
April 18, 2014 - 8:18 AM EDT
I wonder if Baker's broken ankle is the opening in Carolina's rotation that gets Plutko promoted or if the Indians will wait until Morimando is ready to move up to Akron. DJ Brown and Lee both held their own in spot starts recently, could be the opportunity one of them needed as well.
April 18, 2014 - 7:17 AM EDT
PO = Picked Off
April 18, 2014 - 6:32 AM EDT

What does PO mean?

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