Around the Farm: April 29, 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.
Cody Allen: RP, Columbus Clippers: W (1-0), 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K.
In 2010, Cody Allen was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 16th round after having Tommy John surgery in 2009. Allen chose to stay in school after he felt he deserved top-ten money. In 2011, Allen was re-drafted by the Indians in the 23rd round, and this time, he signed. He’s always been a pitcher that many of the writers here at Indians Prospect Insider have thought highly of, and now, he’s proving us all right. In 2011, Allen began his rocket journey in Mahoning Valley, before making appearances at Lake County, Kinston and Akron. Overall, he went 5-1, with a 1.65 ERA, and still managed to stay under the radar. He started the 2011 season back in Carolina, but after two dominating performance, was moved immediately to Akron. After five near-dominating outings with the Aeros, Allen was moved last week to Columbus. He made his first appearance today in Triple A, and once again, dominated. It’s actually interesting, thinking back to his 2010 demand for first-ten-round money. It’s clear that we still wouldn’t have been paying him enough. I now find it intensely hard to believe that Allen won’t end up in Cleveland at some point this summer. He’s just too good, and with Hagadone in Cleveland, and with Lee on the DL, it’s possible that Allen just might be the top bullpen arm in the system.
Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County Captains: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI.
Lindor has really rebounded after his first mini-slump of the season, and is once again tearing the cover off the ball over the past week. The #1 prospect in the Indians system is currently on a five-game hit streak, with four of the five games of the multi-hit variety. During the streak, he’s gone 11-for-21, with three runs, a double, a homer, two RBI, two walks and two K’s. He’s absolutely killing left-handed pitching, to the point that it’s nearly unfair, hitting .462 on the season. While he’s only hitting .263 against right-handed pitching, it is interesting to note that his two homers come from that side of the plate. Overall, Lindor’s line is an impressive .314/.369/.451. It will be interesting to see how long an 18-year old in his first full season of professional baseball can keep this up. Remember, we’re talking about a high school kid who’s never played anywhere close to 140 games. I’m betting he can keep this up, but don’t be surprised if he can’t.
T. J. McFarland: SP, Akron Aeros: Game 2: W (4-1), 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 1K.
The days of being a top prospect appeared over for McFarland, but there’s no reason to take him completely out of the equation with regards to making a push for the bigs in the future. McFarland was one of the best starters in the Carolina League in 2010, going 11-5 with a 3.13 ERA. The big lefty struggled late that season, and it carried into the 2011 season in Akron. Regardless, he plowed through and managed a more than respectable 9-10 record with a 3.74 ERA. So far this year, he more resembles the pitcher that dominated the Carolina League, than the one that spent the season trying to figure out the Eastern League. He lowered his ERA to 1.85 with the win, which is 8th best in the Eastern League. What’s in McFarland’s future? The Indians need to see him maintain this type of pitching for a full season, which will likely end in Columbus. If that happens, McFarland will likely play a role with regards to the 2013 Indians, whether it be as a spot starter or a member of the bullpen.
Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Phelps has been cold of late after a torrid start to April. He’s still hitting the ball, with hits in eight of his last ten games, but hasn’t been able to string together many multi-hit ballgames. Today, Phelps hit a homer and a double against former Clipper, Justin Germano, and continues to be a viable option for the Indians going forward.
Matt LaPorta: DH, Columbus: 0-for-4, 1 K: Yesterday’s game was only LaPorta’s second this season without a hit, breaking an 11-game hit streak, and a four-game multi-hit streak. He’s still hitting .368, and over .400 over his last ten games.
Russ Canzler: 1B, Columbus: 3-for-4, 1 SB, 2 E (3): Canzler’s bat is finally waking up, as he currently has three multi-hit games in a row, and four out of five. He’s gone 7-for-11 during that three game stretch, and has upped his average to .289. It seems as though the 1B/LF/DH situation at Columbus, with LaPorta, Canzler and Mills is really starting to get interesting. Of course, all three are suspect major leaguers.
Corey Kluber: SP, Columbus: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R/0ER, 2 BB, 6 K: Kluber has continued his string of alternating good/bad starts with today’s solid outing. He’s given up 0, 4, 1, 3 and 0 earned runs since his first start. He’s also struck out 34 batters in 26 total innings, which is a distinct change of pace for Kluber from last season, but not seasons prior. Last season was the first he didn’t strike out more batters than innings pitched.
Tim Fedroff: CF, Akron: Game 1: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Fedroff didn’t have a massive game, but he did manage to tie the game in the twelve inning of the first game of yesterday’s scheduled double header. With the Aeros down 3-2 in the bottom of the twelve, he earned a lead-off walk, advanced on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on Jared Goedert’s single. He’s hitting .323 on the season.
Jared Goedert: LF/1B, Akron: Game 1: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K: Goedert kept the game alive with his 11th inning single, and continued his torrid 2012 pace. This was his seventh two-hit game in his last ten, and breaks a three-game mini-slump in which he was only 1-for-9. Of course, in the other seven games, he was 14-26, so it all evens out in the end. I would have to imagine that Goedert gets the first bump to Columbus when the time comes.
Adam Abraham: 1B, Akron: 0-for-1, 1 R, 2 BB: Abraham didn’t blow up this game, but he did manage to get on base twice, and scored the Aeros first run. Little did he know that the game would go to 12 when he came out for a pinch-runner early on in the game. He breaks a five game hit streak, but has hits in five of his last seven games.
Ryan Rohlinger: 2B, Akron: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K: Rohlinger was a defensive replacement for Davis Stoneburner, and it ultimately paid off. Rohlinger would draw a lead-off walk in game one, moved to second on a sacrifice, then scored on Michel Hernandez’s two-out single to win the game.
Kyle Landis: RP, Akron: 3 1/3 IP, 4 K: Landis made a brief foray to Columbus, where he struggled a bit, but came back to Akron for another dominating performance. In 12 2/3 innings so far with the Aeros, Landis has given up a grand total of six hits, one run, three walks and 11 K’s, including today’s perfect outing.
Matt Langwell: RP, Akron: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K: Langwell is another dominating reliever at Akron, going 8 2/3 IP, with eight hits, an earned run and four walks, with ten K’s. He’s definitely not a power arm, but has had great success in the system so far. He’s another guy I expect to make waves in Columbus before the year is out.
Jared Goedert: 3B/LF, Akron: Game 2: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1K: So, today, Goedert spent time in left, right, first and third, showcasing his future value with the Indians. He’s nothing special defensively, but when you look at the options that are already playing in the bigs, along with what’s in front of him, he could really become a factor if he continues hitting at the clip he is (.385/.506/.565).
Chin-Hsiu Chen: 1B, Akron: Game 2: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B: Chen went 0-fo-6 in the first game, running his mini-slump to 0-for-9, before his two hit game in the second affair. Chen has regained his stick a bit, with five multi-hit games out of his past ten, and is currently hitting .293 on the season.
- Tyler Holt: CF, Carolina: 0-for-3, 1 BB: Holt was held hitless for the first time since April 18, but is still pacing the Muddies with a .347 average (eighth in the league), and an even more impressive .437 OBP (sixth in the league). I have a feeling that the Mudcats aren't going to have his services much longer.
- Giovanny Urshela: 3B: Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: Urshela has been hit or miss this season but is starting to find his rhythm offensively, and is currently on a five-game hit streak, and has hit in nine of his last ten games. His overall average is sitting at .269, but his line over the past ten games is at a stellar .350/.372/.500. If he continues with this type of offense, to go along with that glove, you're talking about a top ten talent going forward.
- Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: My biggest worry about Aguilar is that he'll turn into this all-or-nothing swinger, either hitting home runs, or striking out. So far this year, he's shown the ability to hold off on pitches during stretches, but had lately fallen a bit into the old habits. It was good to see his stat line from yesterday, with a dinger, a walk and two runs, again, showcasing that ability to go yard, and get on base. Still a massive talent, but plenty of room to grow.
- Anthony Gallas: DH, Carolina: 2-for-4: Gallas is flourishing with the added playing time, and is beginning to look like the player that was raking in Midwest League for Lake County. While his hitless game Saturday broke up a five-game hit streak, he picked up right where he left of yesterday, with two more hits. He's hitting .333 overall, and .353 over his past ten, and currently has a .404 OBP for the season. The Cleveland native isn't ever going to be a top prospect in the organization, but he's definately one of those guys that can fill a role with the major league club if he can maintain his production through Triple A.
- Delvi Cid: LF, Carolina: 1-for-3, 1 K, 1 SB: The deal with Cid is fairly simple, if he gets on base, he steals bases. The problem for him is the getting on base piece. This season, his OBP is sitting at .303 for the year, and for Delvi to ever become a factor, he has to have that sitting around .350, or ideally, better. He has played better of late, with a .343 OBP over his past ten games, with three stolen bases.
- Michael Goodnight: SP, Carolina: 3 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K: Goodnight just hasn't made the transition very well from Lake County to Carolina, and has had some really bad starts. He's only gone five innings or more twice, and has been getting in trouble with pitch count. Yesterday's five walks have given him 15 on the season in 21 2/3 innings, with only 13 strikeouts. That's just not good enough.
- Kyle Petter: RP, Carolina: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K: Petter's been getting absolutely pounded since moving up to High A Carolina, having given up eight earned runs in 7 1/3 innings, and is showcasing a 9.82 ERA because of it. He's also walked seven, and struck out seven, showing a lack of command.
- Trey Haley: RP, Carolina: 1 IP: Haley was perfect in his inning of work, and the Indians have to be happy with what they've seen so far from Haley. This kid has struggled for years with injury issues, but has a legit three-digit arm, although I can't wait to see him play to see where it's really sitting at these day. He's been near perfect in his two outings giving up a walk, while striking out two in two-innings of work.
- Dwight Childs/Michael Goodnight: C/SP, Carolina: Childs is a solid defensive catcher, and by all accounts, has a nice arm to second. Clearly, Salem figured something out with Childs or Goodnight, because they worked these two over on the basepaths. They gave up six stolen bases in the first three innings, but none after Goodnight left the game. Looks like the starter has one more thing to worry about.
- Luigi Rodriguez: CF, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Rodriguez hit his second homer of the season, and his second homer of the week. The speedy outfielder has been on fire over the past five games, with a five-game hit streak, and back-to-back-to-back three-hit games coming into today’s game. He’s hitting over .300 against righties (.368) and lefties (.318), and is really turning into a major prospect.
- Alex Monsalve: C, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 2B: Monsalve has been struggling at the dish since his four-hit performance on April 20th. He's currently hitting .224. What's really concerning is that Burlington really went after him on the basepaths yesterday, stealing six bases with him behind the plate. Unlike Child's experience later in the day in Salem, the six bases stolen were against all three Lake County pitchers. Wow, in High A and Low A, there were 12 stolen bases against. That's insane.
- Robel Garcia: 2B, Lake County: 1-for-4: Garcia's slowly starting to click behind the plate, and has at least a hit in eight of his last ten games. The defense has to be a concern though, going forward, as his two errors give him ten on the season. That's somewhere below terrible for a second baseman.
- Francisco Valera: RP, Lake County: 2 1/3 IP, 2 K: Valera was the only Captains' pitcher yesterday to not give up a hit, run or walk, and was absolutely perfect. It was a nice rebound coming off a three-run inning and two-thirds on the 26th.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.