Around the Farm: April 6, 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.
Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, E.
Get used to lines like this from Aguilar this summer at Huntington Park. That bandbox of a park is ideal for him and he could put up some impressive power numbers this season, sort of what he did in the Venezuela Winter League in the smaller ballpark he played in there (.610 slugging% and .280 ISO). He has gotten off to a hot start racking up three straight multi-hit games and has hit safely in all four games, plus he has even walked three times. It will be interesting to see what happens come June if he is having a career season in Columbus and whether he is in the mix for a spot in Cleveland.
Cole Sulser (SP, Carolina): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 7 K.
Sulser was impressive in his season debut limiting the opposition to one hit and an unearned run over five innings. Last season he went 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA at short season Single-A Mahoning Valley, and at least at the outset of the season he is proving that was no fluke and that he can actually be better. Time will tell, and the beauty of a baseball season is that the course of the season will truly flesh out the good and bad performers. Even so, Sulser is getting more and more interesting, especially since I saw him up to 94 MPH with his fastball on Sunday.
- Justin Sellers (SS, Columbus): 0-for-5. Sellers is only holding the shortstop position warm in Columbus for the eventual arrival of Francisco Lindor. The Indians like his defense and versatility, but he simply does not hit enough. He’s a DFA candidate when/if the Indians need another 40-man spot.
- Matt Carson (LF, Columbus): 2-for-3, R, 2B, BB. Carson just continues to produce and do his thing in Columbus. He knows his role and understands that his Major League options are limited as strictly a depth option. That said, if the Indians have a very short need for an outfielder, he could be first in line for a call to Cleveland.
- Tyler Cloyd (SP, Columbus): 3.2 IP, 11 H, 7 R (6 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. Not a good Indians debut for Cloyd. He threw strikes as 61 of his 90 pitches were in the zone or swung at, but he clearly fooled no one on this day. He’s a marginal depth starting arm, so the good news is that you can live with such a performance from him. The same kind of outing from Bauer might have had some jumping off a few ledges already.
- Austin Adams (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. This is exactly what we want to see out of Adams in the early going is a guy who is pounding the zone with strikes. He has now made two appearances and thrown 3.0 shutout innings and more importantly allowed no walks.
- Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 0-for-5, 3 K. Already Naquin’s second multi-strikeout game in four games and he now has 6 strikeouts in 16 at bats. The plate discipline is something he is really honing in on and needs, and at least in the early going he is still struggling with it.
- Joe Wendle (2B, Akron): 3-for-4, R, BB, K. Wendle got untracked on Sunday and is now 4-for-13 (.308) at the plate on the young season. He also has a 4:4 walk to strikeout ratio.
- Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron): 0-for-4, 3 K. After a hot start on Thursday night, Urshela has gone ice cold in the three games since going 0-for-9 at the plate with 4 strikeouts. His 3 strikeouts on the day were part of a rough day for Akron hitters as they totaled 15 strikeouts as a group.
- Will Roberts (SP, Akron): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K. A Yeoman’s effort from Roberts as he threw 55 of his 86 pitches for strikes and came within one batter of a quality start. Even with the good amount of traffic on the bases he managed to limit the damage, competed and kept his team in the game.
- Todd Hankins (2B, Carolina): 1-for-4, 2B, RBI. Hankins is one of my favorite player because of the way he plays the game so hard, has versatility, and can impact a game on the bases. He’s off to a solid start at Carolina, and hopefully this time he can stay healthy and see where his season takes him.
- Logan Vick (CF, Carolina): 0-for-2, 3 BB. Vick is just 1-for-12 at the plate and hitting .083 on the young season, but he now has 4 walks and a nice .353 on-base percentage. He is a walk machine, so the trifecta on Sunday is of no surprise. If he stays in the Carolina League all season he could end up with around 90-100 walks.
- Charlie Valerio (1B, Carolina): 2-for-4, R, K. Valerio is the third catcher at Carolina though will see a lot of time at first base – especially right now since Carolina is a little banged up in the infield.
- Carlos Melo (RP, Carolina): 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 0 BB, 0 K. Melo can throw a ball very hard. But even though he gets his fastball into the upper 90s, he lacks a true feel for it and the command needed to be much more effective with it. He is part of a unique bullpen at Carolina that is loaded with a lot of guys who may not survive the season in the Indians organization.
- Dorssys Paulino (SS, Lake County): 0-for-4, 2 K. After a nice season opener when he went 2-for-4, Paulino has since followed that up with an 0-for-12 showing in his last three games. Awakening that bat and developing his approach are the main areas of focus for him this season.
- Brian Ruiz (LF, Lake County): 2-for-3, BB, K. Ruiz is a local kid the Indians selected out of high school in Cleveland and is getting his first crack on a team at the full season level. He is 3-for-11 in the early going and has had limited playing time, but his start is encouraging.
- Adam Plutko (SP, Lake County): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K. While Plutko did not allow a run, his peripherals in this game were up and down. He did a nice job limiting hits and had a few strikeouts, but the three walks are a surprise. If he puts it together for another 3-4 starts he could be pushed to High-A Carolina with ease.
- Ben Heller (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Heller had a very good showing at short season Single-A Mahoning Valley last season, but the hitters will be much tougher at the Low-A level. He’s a lower level depth bullpen arm and one who will need a ton of results to get a shot in the upper levels.
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.
April 7, 2014 - 10:26 PM EDT
Wow, my wife won't let me retire until Medicare and Social Security completely kick in!
I think Whitehouse, Sulser and now von Schamann should be on anyone's "Tomlin-watchlist", as the next late round College spec with a real shot to become an innings eater.
I'm also very curious to see how Arias does in Akron. He was a smart Minors depth signing with some upside left.
Speaking of, I had hopes that Radeke could have a similar minors career. What happened to him? Been injured for a long time now
Would like to see Whitehouse on that Mudcats roster since their BP does not have a lefty
Sorry to ask, but what happened to Howard and Sisco?
Troy, 40 years? 3 games in? Seriously? Yeah, a little much I think you'll agree on reflection.
He may very well flame out, but lets give it a little time to find out, what's the harm? Hopefully he'll win you over.
Finally your thoughts on the minor trade the Indians made with the Dodgers?
Aguilar is really beginning to look promising.