Around the Farm: April 20, 2014
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, all of Triple-A Columbus, Double-A Akron and Low-A Lake County were off on Sunday.
Shawn Morimando (SP, Carolina): W (2-0), 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Morimando had another good outing, and is right on par with the top effort he gave on April 9th which was his best outing of the year to date (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 6 K). He has now made four starts and has looked every bit the high upside prospect on the rise that he is as he is now 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA. Most impressive is the extremely low walk rate as he is still striking out batters at about the same rate (6.8 K/9) as he has over his career (6.4 K/9), but his walks are way down (2.2 BB/9) compared to his career rate (4.5 BB/9). Last season he had a nice season at High-A Carolina where he went 8-13 with a 3.73 ERA, but he struggled with the walks (5.1 BB/9). At least in the early going he’s showing a dramatic improvement in his fastball command and his secondary stuff is improved. He’s a left-handed pitching prospect to get excited about.
- Erik Gonzalez (SS, Carolina): 1-for-4, R, K. Gonzalez has been steady through the first two-plus weeks of the season as he has a hit in each of his last 10 games and is hitting .375 with a 1.007 OPS over that span.
- Anthony Gallas (RF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, K. Yes, Gallas is 26-years old and is doing what older players should be doing in Carolina. But it’s great to see him healthy and performing, something he did three years ago at Low-A Lake County before injuries got in the way. That 2-14 walk to strikeout ratio is a concern, but he’s putting himself in line for a potential promotion to Double-A Akron later this season.
- Alex Monsalve (DH, Carolina): 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI. Monsalve continues to be an enigma. He has all of the physical gifts to be a very good catching prospect, but injuries and inconsistency with his performance continues to weigh him down. This was a good game and one a player like him should have more often at the High-A level….but doesn’t.
- Torsten Boss (2B, Carolina): 0-for-3, R, BB, E. Boss is off to a rough start with his new organization. Since being acquired from the Orioles in the trade for Preston Guilmet, he is just 2-for-31 (.065) in eight games for High-A Carolina.
- Charlie Valerio (1B, Carolina): 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB. Valerio is a guy you tend to root for. He’s the ultimate teammate and a guy who knows he is blessed to be in the position he is in. His versatility and leadership skills should continue to give him opportunities as a role player.
- James Roberts (3B, Carolina): 0-for-4, 2 K. Roberts struggled at the plate in this one, but he’s had a nice showing at Carolina to date hitting .340 with 7 RBI. Only one of his 16 hits has gone for extra bases, and even that one hit was not hit hard, so there are definite concerns with the bat.
- Ryan Battaglia (C, Carolina): 0-for-3, BB, K, PB. Battaglia appeared in just his third game of the season – the second with Carolina - and is still hitless on the season in 10 at bats with five strikeouts.
- Jacob Lee (RP, Carolina): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. An outstanding outing for Lee as he faced the minimum over his two innings of work. He needed just 19 pitches to finish his two innings, and pounded the strike zone (15 strikes, 78.9%).
- Rob Nixon (RP, Carolina): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Nixon has been susceptible to some big blow ups, but when he is on he can be impressive with his mid-90s fastball. He needed 20 pitches (12 strikes) to pitch his one inning, but he finished off an impressive all-around win for the Mudcats.
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.
HE HAS THE SAME PROBLEM SO MANY KIDS IN THE INDIANS SYSTEM HAVE: THEIR STUFF ISN'T ML QUALITY.
Can he get there..at 5 foot nothing and under 200 pounds..it's doubtful. There isn't a lot of physical maturing left. His bread and butter pitch, his FB, sits in the mid 80's / mid low 80's with some movement. A pitcher who relies on a fastball that "isn't" (fast) won't even fool all of the hitters some of the time..
Is that what defines a ML prospect?..right now he's facing young hungry kids that are 19 and 20 and 21 and playing in the A+ ball.. He has the advantage.. If he can develop a pitch that gives him an advantage against more disciplined/capable hitters.. then his prospect status as a potential ML'er will change..
As of right now.. you just don't see it..
Do you see eventually seeing Morimando and Meritt making to Akron before the end of this baseball season. If that does happen do they become more of a legit prospects for the Indians?
I know its early, but this year there are pitchers who are more impressive in there outings than there was at this time last year. To me that means development is happening.