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Around the Farm: August 1, 2012

Around the Farm: August 1, 2012
August 2, 2012
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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.

Paulo Espino: SP, Akron Aeros: W (6-2), 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 11 K:

Look at that stat line a couple of times…I dare you. Seriously, Paulo Espino struck out 11 batters out of a possible 18 outs. He’s been outstanding for much of the season. Over his past 11 starts, he’s 5-1 with a 3.5 ERA over 64 1/3 innings. He’s struck out 51 batters against only 17 walks. Espino isn’t a real prospect, is he? Seriously, he’s only given up five earned runs in a game once, and four once more. Other than that, he’s not given up more than three in a game. The 11 strikeouts were his most this season by three.

Mike Rayl: SP, Carolina Mudcats: W (7-8), 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 K:

Rayl’s last nine or ten starts are a crazy variation of weird. He’s given up a varying amount of runs, from zero to seven, and hasn’t really strung anything together. While Wednesday night’s start wasn’t nearly his best of the season, it’s the type of performance that the Indians are hoping to see on a start-to-start  basis. Until that happens, he’s just minor league fill.

Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County Captains: 4-for-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 3 SB:

Ramirez just won’t go away, and with a game like this, makes another statement with regards to any Indians top 20 prospects list going forward. In the past 13 games, Ramirez is hitting .426, with nine runs, a double, two triples and five stolen bases.  In his last two games, he’s 7-for-9. The Indians continue to strike gold with regards to their middle infielders. While Ramirez isn’t the best the system has to offer, I’m starting to wonder just how good he really is.

  •  Thomas Neal: LF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R: Neal is fourth in the league in hitting over the past seven ballgames, with a .407/.448/.556 line. The Indians clearly think of Neal as a middling prospect, but I clearly think of the Indians management as less than middling…
  • Adam Abraham: 1B, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K: Abraham continued his timely hitting with a two-run single in the fourth inning of Wednesday night’s ballgame. He’s hitting .350 over his past ten ballgames.
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron:  H (6), 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K: This was Bryson’s third straight outstanding outing, covering six innings, giving up three hits and a walk, while striking out nine batters. This is the type of dominating pitching that you would expect from Bryson.
  • Preston Guilmet: Closer, Akron: S (19), 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 K: Well, this clearly wasn’t Guilmet’s best outing, but he managed to get himself a save out of the deal.
  • Giovanny Urshela: 3B, Carolina: 3-for-4, 1 R: Urshela is hitting .344 over his last nine ballgames, which includes five runs and six RBI over the last nine ballgames. He’s not hitting for power, but he’s really starting to make that swing more compact.
  • Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Carolina: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Rodriguez is absolutely lighting it up over the past three ballgames, going 6-for-his-last-10 games. He’s breaking out of a moderate slump with his three straight two-hit ballgames.
  • Todd Hankins: DH, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Hankins rocked his first home run in Double A in his first Double A ballgame. I’d have expected a stolen base for sure, but a homerun?
  • Kyle Blair: RP, Carolina: 1 IP, 2 K: You can say this about Blair…he’s resilient. This was a nice little outing for the former top five pick, but he’d given up 11 runs over the past 5 2/3
  • Grant Sides: RP, Carolina: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K: Sides didn’t roll through the inning, but he did get the job done without giving up any runs, so there’s that.
  • Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB: Here we go again with Lindor, who has put together two straight three-hit ballgames, going 6-for-10, with three runs. He’s scored at least one run in five straight games.
  • Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI: Just when you thought that Smith was coming down to earth, he starts stringing together hits again. He’s 6-for-17, with five runs and four RBI over his last four games.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 3 RBI: The Sabour-tooth tigers go home happy tonight, as Sabourin ups his hit streak to five games.  He’s leading the Captains with  .476/.455/.571 line during the stretch.
  • Leonardo Castillo: 3B, Lake County: 2-for-5: Castillo does whatever he can to stay relevant in the system. Believe me, notice is take by the offense Leo, especially when you have four two-hit games over the past seven.
  • Elvis Araujo: SP, Lake County: W (5-9), 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R/1 ER, 5 BB, 1 K: This wasn’t Araujo’s best start, but he did get a win, which is something that he didn’t often get WITH his great starts.
  • Aaron Siliga: LF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 K, 1 SB: He’s not played well offensively after a stretch earlier this season that had me convinced he was finding his bat. That didn’t turn out to be true, as he’s hitting only .146 over the past ten games.
  • Charlie Valerio: C, Mahoning Valley: 3-for-5, 2 R, 12B, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Valerio is having an outstanding season so far, his five homers ties a career high, and his 26 RBI are on pace to do the same. His average is a bonus as well, as he has a legit chance to him .300 on the season.
  • Jacob Lee: SP, Mahoning Valley: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K: Lee has been very, very good this season, and rolled out another nice, controlled start. It appears as though this ninth rounder is panning out as either a starter, or a long reliever.
  • Geoffrey Davenport: RP, Mahoning Valley: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K: Davenport has been a mixed bag this season, but has put together three good appearances in a row, and will solidify Lake County next season, as a starter or a piggy-back option.
  • Scott Peoples: RP, Mahoning Valley:  Peoples has been automatic since giving up runs in back-to-back games to start his career off.

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

User Comments

August 2, 2012 - 11:54 PM EDT
Ramirez is an interesting prospect, but is not a high level prospect. He's a small guy that has good contact skills and plays solid defense, but the upside to be more is limited. He probably best compares to Ezequiel Carrera, but in the infield. He will probably be in the 25-40 range when it comes to ranking prospects for next year.
August 2, 2012 - 11:15 PM EDT
Well said Brian. I get so tired of hearing "middling prospect" or "filler." Especially with some of the crap playing in Cleveland this year. Why not be aggressive with guys performing in regards to promotion?? Not like we are stacked up with high level prospects. So sick of the same song and dance, I'll get to hear how great these low level guys are even though the number don't show it and then when they disappear at AA I'm supposed to be shocked.
August 2, 2012 - 11:00 PM EDT
When I was in high school, my parents told me NOT to do a whole bunch of different things cause they were dangerous or I could get in big trouble. I believed what they told me, but I did those things anyway cause I had to find out for myself. I feel the same way about prospects who are playing well and putting up great numbers. I trust Tony and the other big national scouts, but I just won't be convinced some of these guys wont perform until I see it myself. Until guys like Neal, Fedroff, and Goedert get an opportunity, I just have to go on believing they could be productive major leaguers. Thats also why I will never be a GM :).

Good stuff Jim. Im really rooting for Urshela. Its nice to hear he's cut that swing down a bit. I recently read that Alfonso Soriano, who also has a veryyyyy long swing, started using a lighter bat. He has produced at a much more consistent pace since then (like a month I believe). Maybe a similar approach will help Urshela get the bat head around on pitches on the inner half of the plate. I don't know, but just a thought.
August 2, 2012 - 8:40 PM EDT
Tony is also very vocal about Neal's status as a middling prospect, if that. He is not ML material from what I see either. What difference does it make where he plays if he cannot help the Indians?
August 2, 2012 - 12:35 PM EDT
Man it would be fun to have some starting pitching to follow and look forward to, although Espino's start looks fantastic.

But who is Jose Ramirez exactly? He's only 19 in the Midwest...We can all see the numbers and they're rather eye-popping, but what kind of prospect is he really? Where did he come from? Do scouts like his swing? Defense any good? Makeup? Am I venturing too far into premium territory? Should I go harass Goldstein and Parks instead? :)
August 2, 2012 - 3:58 AM EDT
Did I see that right Sabourin has a Higher BA then OBP because that's be something.

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