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Around the Farm: August 15, 2012

Around the Farm: August 15, 2012
August 16, 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.

Jeremy Lucas: C, Mahoning Valley Scrappers: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI

There are many here at IPI that are high on Lucas after the Indians drafted him this past season, and he isn’t disappointing at all, with Wednesday night’s game perhaps being his best as a professional. Lucas saved his best for last, doubling in the bottom-of-the-eighth to score the game-winning run for the Scrappers, who were playing the first place Auburn Doubledays. I’m not yet convinced that Lucas is a big-time prospect, but these are the types of games that may change my mind. He certainly is another one of the offensive sort of catchers that the Indians have been drafting and signing lately, and will be a kid to watch going forward.

Shawn Morimando: SP, Lake County Captains: W (6-4), 6 IP, 2 H, 6 K:

Morimando was dominant last night, with perhaps his best start of 2012, and coming off of one of his worst. Morimando certainly should be on everyone’s radar going forward after getting drafted last season in the 19th round. He’s not yet 20 years old, but possesses the stuff to give him a chance at a top-of-the rotation spot going forward if he continues to develop. These are the types of starts he’ll need to find more consistency to make that happen. He’s still young though, and his next start will give him 100 innings plus in his first year in a full system level.

Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 4-for-4, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI:

Cord Phelps did most of the damage for the Clippers on Wednesday night, scoring three of the seven runs, driving in four of them, and rolling out four of their nine total hits. Phelps has done everything that he needs to do in his minor league career at this point, and while he’s clearly not going to supplant Jason Kipnis any time soon as the regular second baseman, it’s hard to believe that he won’t be given a chance to compete for a utility role in the coming month. Phelps is certainly a major league caliber player, and I believe he could even start over the long term for the right team. He just needs a chance.

T.J. House: SP, Akron Aeros: W (7-3), 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R/1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K:

House continued his breakout season with another quality start. He’s gone at least seven innings in four of his last seven games, and continues to showcase the look of a pitcher that may be one of those #2 or #3 starters that can just swallow up innings, and dominate on occasion. It will be interesting to see how he finishes this season, and how he follows up next season in Columbus. He has a plus arm, and if his learning curve continues at the highest level, he could be the one pitcher in Akron or Columbus right now that projects as a starter that can make a difference at the big league level.

  • Jared Goedert: 1B/RF, Columbus: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Everything I said about Phelps is true for Goedert as well. He’s likely a utility player going forward, but could perhaps be a fringe starter for a team that really needed an infielder. He’s been struggling of late in Columbus though, going 2-for-33 over his previous nine games heading into Wednesday’s affair.
  • David Huff: SP, Columbus: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR: Huff had one of his best starts of 2012, coming off perhaps his worst. On August 9th, Durham rocked Huff for nine runs in 4 2/3. He rebounded  nicely, and left with the potential for a win. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
  • Scott Barnes: RP, Columbus: 1/3 IP, 2 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR: Barnes is a good pitcher, but it is disconcerting when he rolls out appearances like this one. He had been pitching well of late, but his 135.00 ERA from last night’s game certainly didn’t add to his yearly totals.
  • Tyler Sturdevant: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K: Sturdevant had his fourth straight scoreless appearance, and his third hitless appearance during that same stretch.
  • Thomas Neal: LF, Akron: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB: Neal has been struggling of late, but is still hitting .312 on the season, and still has the look of a guy that should be more on the radar than he is. He’s 4-for-9 over his last four games, with four runs, a double, homer, two RBI and eight walks, without a strikeout.
  • Chun Chen: DH, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: Chen has been back since August 2nd, after missing nearly a month, and has only gone 8-for-24, with three runs, a double and two RBI. Chen just keeps hitting the baseball, but still without any power to speak of.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron: 1-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K: Aguilar had his first double and his first two RBI at the double A level, and not has hits in his first two games.
  • Matt Lawson: 2B, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB: Lawson cranked out his third straight two-hit game, and continues to absolutely destroy Eastern League pitching. He’s 6-for-10 in his last three games, with two runs, a double, an RBI and a walk.
  • Kyle Landis: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K: This was Kyle’s fourth straight shuthout appearance over the last 5 1/3 innings, with seven strikeouts, and without a walk. He’s been a bit inconsistent this season, compared to last, but has still had a nice season, and should be heading to Columbus next season.
  • Preston Guilmet: Closer, Akron: S (21), 1 IP: After Guilmet struggled during the beginning of the month, he’s turned back into that lock-down closer, not giving up a run in his last five appearances.
  • Carolina Mudcats Offense: 2-for-30, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI, 13 K: Perhaps this is what happens when you promote your stud power hitter to Akron, or perhaps it’s what happens when a pretty good starter really finds himself for one night. Either way, Carolina was completely shut down.
  • Grant Sides: RP, Carolina: 2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K: Sides faced a rough patch, giving up eight runs over a stretch of four games at the end of July and the start of August. He’s rebounded nicely over his past two, with three innings of no-hit baseball.
  • Kyle Blair: RP, Carolina: 1 IP, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K: It appears as though Blair will be used in one-inning situations for the time being, perhaps to limit the damage he can give up. Wow, not really the phrase you want coming after your name.
  • Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 2 R: Here he goes again. This was his fifth two hit game in his past nine, and has gone 13-for-35, with eight runs, two doubles and two RBI during that stretch. Will he be able to continue this sort of hitting in Carolina next season? If so, he has to be taken seriously as a prospect going forward, if he isn’t already. I sure think he should be mentioned with the top middle infielders in the system.
  • Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB: Jordan Smith continues to hit the baseball, with his fourth multi-hit game in his past eight. He has the most advanced bat in Low A Lake County, and I still think could find himself in Carolina before the end of the season.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI: Yawn…Sabourin cranks out his THIRD straight two-hit game, and his seemingly thousandth multi-hit game of the season. It’s not even news at this stage of the season. The only question now is how high is this kid going to raise his average before the end of the season.
  • Nicholas Pasquale: RP, Lake County: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 K: Pasquale has been very good so far in his six appearances with the Captains, other than his last. He’s not one of those elite arms, but is one to watch to fill in a slot in the mid-level relievers of the system.
  • Antwonie Hubbard: RP, Lake County: 1 IP, 1 BB: Hubbard completed the five-hit, one walk shutout on Wednesday night, and delivered another solid relief outing with the Captains. He’s an older player at this level though, turning 24 in July.
  • Ryan Merritt: SP, Mahoning Valley: 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R/1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K: Merritt seemed to follow suit of the other starters for the Tribe organization tonight in rebounding  from rough starts with one of his better starts of the season. He had given up seven runs in his past two before last night’s solid outing.
  • Jack Wagoner: RP, Mahoning Valley: BS (3), 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 K: Wagoner has been rubber banding between good and bad appearances, and certainly isn’t doing what you would expect of a 23-year old at this level.
  • Dorssys Paulino: DH, AZL Indians: 3-for-4, 3 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 K: Paulino is just instant offense at this level. His numbers are just ridiculous at this point, and has at least three hits in four of his last six games, and in his last three. Over the past three games, he’s 10-for-14, with eight runs (!!!), two doubles, two homers and eight RBI. Yeah, he’s 17 years old.
  • D’Vone McClure: LF, AZL Indians: 3-for-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: McClure has been back-and-forth in his first 16 games as a professional, but that can be expected. These are the games that keep cropping up though, which is exciting for those that see this kid’s massive potential. He’s really raw, but boy, when his baseball IQ catches up with his talent, look out.
  • Eric Haase: C, AZL Indians: 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Haase has been one of the hottest players in the system with his fourth straight multi-hit ballgame, and his fifth in six games. He’s 10-for-16 Over that four game stretch, with five runs, thre doubles, a triple, two homers and five RBI. Like Jeremy Lucas, another offensive catcher to watch.
  • Mitch Brown: SP, AZL Indians: W (1-0), 5 IP, 2 BB, 5 K: Brown went five innings for the first time in his professional career, and had far and away his best start in the organization. This was a brief glimpse at what Indians’ fans could have to look forward to in the future.

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 jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

User Comments

Tony
August 17, 2012 - 12:34 AM EDT
Yeah, not sure where the FOR comment came from with Jim....he tends to be overly optimistic with prospects sometimes (right Jim ha!). Morimando is a talent and one of the Indians best prospects. There is always a chance for FOR potential with any pitching prospect, but he's a guy with his stuff and size that projects as a middle to back of rotation starter of a lefty in the pen.
Phil
August 16, 2012 - 10:47 PM EDT
Morimando with FOR ability?

What on earth would make you say something that ridiculous?

His 55-47 K/BB ratio or his whopping 0.56 K/9 ratio?

I hate how loosely people throw that "front-of-rotation" term around; pet-peeve of mine. I mean, the Indians MLB team doesn't have a SINGLE front-of-rotation starting pitcher, it's incredibly rare.

Phil
August 16, 2012 - 4:42 PM EDT
detdawg-

Baseball America just ran a huge article on Paulino and said he has the best plate discipline of any recent Latin American signing. Good try though with you negativity!

You keep harping on plate discipline with McClure and Haase too yet ignore their strengths. At least your consistent with you nit-picky criticism.....
Joe
August 16, 2012 - 2:55 PM EDT
There certainly appears to be a lot of very good young prospects in the system now, and in 2-3 years they could all be with the Indians. Unfortunately the strong core we have in Cleveland now will be at or close to free agency. What does this mean ?
For the next couple of years not much will change. Fringe players and the over-the-hill gang will continue to parade thru the lineup,and we will continue in mediocrity.
Then when these young players start to arrive, there will be no veteran leadership, unless the front office changes their approach. Unless they do, there will be no one in the stands to support this team. we are in a sad state right now, and, Tony, as great as your work is, along with your other staff members, I hope all this work does not fall on deaf ears. It is good to hear you all voice your candid opinions on poor management decisions. I just hope they hear you.
Tony
August 16, 2012 - 2:46 PM EDT
Phelps played some 3B in the AFL two years ago. He can play there in the minors to fill in, but is not a Major League option there.
Rich
August 16, 2012 - 12:50 PM EDT
After watching Asdrubal, Lillibridge and Donald play shortstop this year I'm not a big fan of shortstops who can't field, even if they can hit.

Move Paulino to 3rd base and he can take over for Lonnie when he leaves in free agency in four years.
Joey
August 16, 2012 - 11:54 AM EDT
Paulino is only 17 and people complain about his defense. Maybe its his name, but I like him more than Lindor
Justin
August 16, 2012 - 11:05 AM EDT
Has Phelps played 3B this year or past?
troy
August 16, 2012 - 9:23 AM EDT
No kidding, this AZ Tribe is freaking loaded! Best farm club we have had since the 1992 Kinston Indians who had the likes of Manny Ramirez, Brian Giles, David Bell, Herbert Perry, Darrell Whitmore, Omar Ramirez, Alan Embree, Albie Lopez, Ty Kovach (Who blew his elbow out), Chad Ogea,

Every morning the first thing I do is check out the AZ Tribe box lol

These are all high end prospects albeit very raw.Next year is going to be a blast following these kids as well as the likes of Lindor, Luigi Rodriques, Ronny Rod, Wolters, and if Washingtons frail body holds up.
Tony
August 16, 2012 - 9:05 AM EDT
The AZL team is damn fun to follow. Just oozing with talent and potential both on the position player and pitching front. I seriously can't recall a year recently where so much top end talent was stuffed in rookie ball. There may be 8-10 guys on that roster that are in the Top 30 next year, maybe more, and there are others with promise as well.
Rich
August 16, 2012 - 8:45 AM EDT
I was about to express shock that Paulino got through a game without making an error or three, but then I noticed he was the DH.

Looks like the Indians might have found a position for him.
detdawg
August 16, 2012 - 8:36 AM EDT
I'm a fan of Morimando, but never saw him as having TOR potential. At the end of the day, hope to see a MOR guy.

Really disappointed in Barnes. This has been a lost year. Wonder if he failed to rehab sufficiently after knee surgery.

Paulino's only apparent weakness is plate discipline but he's certainly young enough to improve in that area. In contrast, his 18 yr old teamate McClure has a surprisingly advanced batting approach, drawing walks at an impressive rate of 13%.

Really excited about Haase's potential. Has a .315 ISO over last 10 games. He too, has plate discipline issues, though, with an overall BB% of 5%, even less recently. Nevertheless, his ceiling seems very high.

Great outing for Brown. Zero hits and a k-rate of 1 per inning.

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