Around the Farm: April 27, 2012
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.
Matt LaPorta (LF, Columbus): 2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, K.
Good Lord is LaPorta such a tease. I feel like Michael Corleone in the Godfather as every time I give up on LaPorta, he pulls me back in! In 18 games with Columbus he is hitting .371 with 6 HR, 15 RBI and 1.130 OPS. There is no denying that LaPorta has the talent and ability to dominate in the middle of a lineup. The problem is he is once again, for the third time in his career, doing it at the Triple-A level. Maybe the third time is the charm and when he ultimately gets called up to Cleveland he will flourish and become a solid run producing bat. I don’t think anyone is expecting him to be Albert Pujols, but if he can at least be consistent and productive, he would help the big league lineup immensely just with the presence of his power and right-handed bat. I have not given up on him completely, and neither should you. But by the same token, my expectations are extremely low when he eventually does get the call to Cleveland.
Adam Abraham (DH, Akron): 2-for-4, R, 2B.
If you are not paying attention to Abraham, then shame on you. He is a prime example of a guy that came into the minors with a very limited ceiling and has surpassed all expectations because of his toughness, dedication to his work, and aptitude. His career appeared to be on the outs when he repeated at Low-A Lake County in 2010 and struggled in the first half of the season there, but then things began to click for him and his approach really improved where he started drawing more walks and would swing at better pitches. That approach carried over to High-A Kinston last year and has carried over to Double-A Akron so far this year. Not only is he hitting a solid .297, but he also has an excellent .426 on-base percentage thanks to 9 walks (just 4 strikeouts) in 37 at bats. If you like blue collar, workman-like players that bring their lunch pail and hard hat to every game, this is the guy for you.
Anthony Gallas (LF, Carolina): 3-for-3, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI.
Gallas continues to be like Rocky. No one gives him a chance, but he keeps fighting and takes advantage of any small opportunity given. On Friday night he took another step at finding his way into manager Edwin Rodriguez’s regular lineup. At the outset of the season he was the fourth or fifth outfield option in Carolina, but I think at this point he has solidified himself as the regular left fielder. As an undrafted free agent he has had to work for every chance he has been given by the Indians. It started with them signing him after he was not drafted in 2010, then the Indians sending him to Lake County last year and giving him a chance, and this year sending him to Carolina. In every instance he has made good on the opportunity afforded to him. He made some noise last year with a good first half season at Lake County, so if he can replicate that with another good year at Carolina, then people are going to have to start taking him a lot more seriously as a prospect.
- Lonnie Chisenhall (3B, Columbus): 1-for-3, R, 2B, BB, K. Chisenhall’s lefty-righty splits continue to get further apart with every game. He is hitting .250 with a .763 and 11 Ks in 36 ABs against lefties, and hitting .370 with a 1.005 OPS and 4 Ks in 46 ABs against righties.
- Russ Canzler (1B, Columbus): 2-for-4, K. After an awful start to his season, Canzler is slowly starting to put things together going 10-for-25 in his last 6 games. Though 21 Ks in 76 ABs is alarming.
- Beau Mills (DH, Columbus): 2-for-4, R, 2B, K. Mills is kind of forgotten in Columbus and is off to a solid start hitting .310 with a .858 OPS in 10 games. But at the moment he is way down the pecking order for Major League options at first base.
- Trevor Crowe (RF, Columbus): 0-for-4, K. Crowe got off to an awesome start, but has cooled some of late (1-for-11 last 3 games) and his numbers are starting to level off. Even still he is hitting a blistering .345 on the season.
- Luke Carlin (C, Columbus): 2-for-3, RBI, BB. Carlin has been the rock of the Columbus team the last three years and been one of the key driving forces to two straight National Championships and potential a third in a row.
- Zach McAllister (SP, Columbus): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. McAllister was stellar on Friday night and really made one mistake pitch on the solo homer he gave up. The sinker was working well and he threw 65 of his 94 pitches for strikes.
- Tim Fedroff (CF, Akron): 1-for-3, 2B, BB, K. Another solid game for Fedroff as he reached base in two of his four plate appearances. He has an interesting 14:14 walk to strikeout ratio in 60 ABs this year.
- Jared Goedert (LF, Akron): 0-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K. The reigning Minor League Player of the Week went hitless but still found a way to impact the game with 2 walks. He now owns a .493 on-base% this season.
- Thomas Neal (RF, Akron): 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, 2 K. Neal got off to a horrendous start as he went 4-for-20 his first 6 games, but since he is 9-for-24 and has his line up to .295/.367/.364. The batting average and on-base numbers are solid, but he is not showing any power (only 3 doubles in 44 ABs).
- Kyle Bellows (3B, Akron): 0-for-1, 2 BB. Bellows did not get a hit on the night, be with his two walks he essentially went 2-for-3 at the plate. You take that every day.
- Giovanni Soto (SP, Akron): 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Another very good outing for Soto and he has been locked in at Akron in the early going. His cutter looks as nasty as ever, and he now has a great 3 to 21 walk to strikeout ratio (20.0 IP).
- Bryan Price (RP, Akron): 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Price came in the game in the 6th inning with two outs and a runner on 2nd and gave up a hit and the 1-0 lead to the first batter he faced. After that he proceeded to get 7 of the next 8 hitters out, 5 on strikes.
- Delvi Cid (CF, Carolina): 1-for-4. Cid sat atop the Carolina lineup on Friday and played center field because Tyler Holt was unable to play (I believe he is sick).
- Carlos Moncrief (RF, Carolina): 1-for-4, R, 2B, K. Moncrief is such a tough guy to figure out. On one hand he doesn’t hit consistently enough (.222 AVG), but on the other he gets on-base (10 walks) and piles up extra base hits (7 XBH, 54 AB).
- Tyler Cannon (DH, Carolina): 0-for-3, 3 K. Ouch, Cannon went for the hat trick on the night with three strikeouts. He has been kind of a forgotten man and not played a lot, but with 9 Ks in 15 ABs it is hard to get in there.
- Francisco Jimenez (SP, Carolina): 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R/ER, 4 BB, 2 K. Jimenez has had better outings, but he filled in well in the rotation as the Indians are short on starting options at the moment. He is the epitome of what a “utility” pitcher is.
- Toru Murata (RP, Carolina): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Welcome back to High-A, Murata. You turn 27-years old in three weeks, which being back in High-A at your age is a clear sign your future is extremely limited.
- Jose Flores (RP, Carolina): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. I have never been a fan of Flores as I just dislike everything about his delivery. But there is no denying the power as he regularly gets his fastball in the 92-95 MPH range. He now has 15 Ks in 10.2 IP this year.
- Francisco Lindor (SS, Lake County); 1-for-4. I’m a little surprised at how much Lindor has been used in the early going as he has now played in 21 of Lake County’s 22 games this year. As an 18-year old in his first full season, he is bound to hit a wall come June/July.
- Alex Lavisky (C, Lake County): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K. For as exciting as his first few games were, Lavisky is falling back into the player at the plate that he was last season. He has just 5 walks and now has struck out 20 times in 72 at bats.
- Robel Garcia (2B, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 K. Garcia is starting to heat up a little as he is 5-for-14 his last 4 games, but he has just 2 extra base hits and has struck out 22 times in 76 at bats.
- Leonardo Castillo (3B, Lake County): 0-for-3, 2 K. Castillo is playing nowhere close to how he did in spring training. Facing the same competition during spring training he was much more relaxed and had a great spring. He is too tight and trying to do too much right now, and has a line of .147/.185/.160.
- Elvis Araujo (SP, Lake County): 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Another good outing from Araujo and he was tagged with the loss because he simply did not get any run support.
- Rob Nixon (RP, Lake County): 2.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 4 K. Nixon walked on the wildside, but it did not really come back to hurt him too much. The command needs to be better as in 6.0 IP he has 7 BBs.
- Grant Sides (RP, Lake County): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Sides recorded all four of his outs via a strikeout and now has 9 Ks in 7.2 IP this season.
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Anyway, really happy with Araujo so far. I want to see him his his stride here and start dominating and showing a bump with his fastball command and improved secondary stuff. He's on the cusp. I like Soto a lot, and think with that fastball-cutter combo from the left side he could be a solid ML starter or more likely a good reliever. I just don't have a good feel on Mills....he has almost no chance and little value. He's left-handed and not up to par defensively at the ML level, and has LaPorta in front of him as an option, and now Canzler.
Araujo is a top prospect, and has to get to Double-A before we know just how good he is, but they have to be happy with the way he's pitching so far this year.
If Lindor doesn't hit a wall...it will be interesting to see what they actually do with him...
People who don't know Soto, and who are only enamored with power arms, better start paying attention. I guarantee you that in two years, he'll be in the starting rotation for good, and he'll be very, very good as well. He's going to be one of those innings eaters that makes teams look very...very bad.
I know Mills is down in the pecking order, but I have to believe that he'll get a look at some point. He's better than Canzler, in my opinion, but lower on the totem pole because he can't play the outfield. Once LaPorta or Canzler get a call-up or moved, Mills will put some more light on his game. I really think he could provide the Indians with a solid DH once Hafner is out of the picture...whenever that is. Mills has been hitting for a year now, and at a high level. Hope he gets a chance before they cut ties with him.