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Around the Farm: August 17, 2013

Around the Farm: August 17, 2013
August 18, 2013
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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.

Clint Frazier: CF, AZL Indians: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K:

You have to temper everything with the fact that Frazier is playing in the rookie league, which tends to inflate numbers. Frazier’s .315 average is only 11th in the league. With that said, Frazier certainly isn’t doing anything to hurt his hype as a top prospect. He has a four game hit streak, with three of the four games being of the multi-hit variety. He hasn’t hit for much power in the home run department, but his slugging is at .521, which is fifth in the AZL, thanks to 11 doubles and five triples. The one area of concern is his selectivity. He’s never walked more than once in a game, and only has two walks since August fifth, an 11 game stretch. He’s struck out 16 times in those 11 games, with six of those games of the multi-K variety. He needs some work, but if he can temper the K’s with more walks, this kid really could be something special.

  • Trevor Bauer: SP, Clippers: L (6-6), 2 IP, 6 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HR: Bauer’s consistency for Columbus has been similar to badly made oatmeal, and today’s start was a clear setback for his future prospect fortunes. In two innings, Bauer made 66 pitches, with only 37 of them strikes. He’s young and has a long way to go, but 2013 has really been a major disappointment. Hopefully, he can turn things around in 2014.
  • Matt Langwell: RP, Clippers: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 2 K: Langwell continued his dominant stretch in July and August, having given up only four runs in 19 1/3 innings overall in both months combined. Langwell is often overlooked versus many of the power arms in the system, but continues to be one of the best relievers overall.
  • Blake Wood: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB: It was a mess of a fifth inning for Wood. He gave up a lead-off walk, then followed with back-to-back one-out singles to load the bases. A Wood wild pitch and a sac fly allowed the two runners to score. Wood had been nearly perfect since a rough outing on July 26th, having given up only two hits and a walk in the 5 1/3 innings since.
  • Vinnie Pestano: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K: Pestano was bailed out by his defense. He gave up a one-out single and a walk, and with two on, gave up another one-out single, but Matt Carson would gun down the runner at home, for the second out in the inning. He then gave up a two-out single, when Tim Fedroff gunned the runner down at home as well. Your welcome Vinnie.
  • Jose Ramirez: 3B, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 R, SB: Ramirez got his third start at third base over the past five ballgames, and continued to hit the baseball while doing it. He had an eight game hit streak snapped on Friday, but picked things right back up on Saturday with two more hits. He’s hitting .341 during that stretch, with two doubles, two RBI and three stolen bases.  He now has 36 stolen bases on the season.
  • Tyler Naquin: CF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K:  Naquin has hits in three of his first four Double A games, and had his first multi-hit game in his Akron career, as well as his first double. Many thought that Naquin’s bat would get him to Columbus this year, but that hasn’t been the case. He has a long way to go to prove that he’s worthy of a number 1 pick.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI: Aguilar may be the hottest player in the system right now, and he proved it again with another big game for the Aeros. Since August sixth, Aguilar has had seven multi-hit games out of 11 total games. Since the sixth, Aguilar is hitting .372, with two doubles, two homers and 14 RBI. He’s had hits in 18 of 20 games, and is only three RBI away from 100 on the season.
  • Toru Murata: SP, Akron: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR: Murata has been consistently good for Akron this year, striking out 94 hitters in his 115 1/3 innings, while walking only 18 batters. He’ll never play for the Indians, but is an important piece to the organization in the minors. You wonder when a guy like Murata might head back to Japan to try and pitch for their top league, rather than wallow as a bounce-around guy in the minors here in the States.
  • Bryce Stowell: RP, Akron: 1 IP: There was a time when Matt Langwell and Stowell were moving through the system together, with Stowell as the high end prospect and Langwell as the fringe guy. Things have certainly changed, as injuries have derailed the former top prospect’s chances as a big league reliever. This was his second appearance since June 22.
  • Dorssys Paulino: SS, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 K: Paulino has more-or-less struggled all season long in his move up to Lake County, but things may finally be start clicking for one of the Indians’ top prospects.  Paulino upped his current hitting streak to six games, which is tied for his longest streak of the year. It’s not a clear-cut breakout for Paulino, but he is hitting .327 in August, which is a good sign for a kid who doesn’t turn 19 until November.
  • Jeremy Lucas: DH, Lake County: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB: Lucas extended his seven-game hit streak, continuing his best season as a professional.  He’s been particularly good since the all-star break, hitting .339 during the 37-game stretch. He also has 40 walks, against only 41 K’s. He’s not a top prospect by any stretch, but the former 12th rounder certainly has become interesting. We’ll see if any of his offense can translate to Carolina next year.
  • Joe Sever: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Sever has four multi-hit games since August 9, continuing a solid season in which he’s hit .288 at Lake County, and .316 at Carolina. Sever just turned 23, so obviously he’s old for the league, but a good story none-the-less.
  • Eric Haase: C, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Haase is an interesting prospect because he’s a catcher, but he’s really not had the type of season that folks were expecting. Many thought that he would break out this year, and while he’s hit 13 homers on the season, he’s struggled overall offensively, hitting only .216 against righties.
  • Robbie Aviles: SP, Lake County: W (4-3), 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R/1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K: Aviles won his first game since July 7, but his ERA is under 3.00 since July. There’s intrigue there as he continues to return from his Tommy John surgery, but he’s not overpowering (27 K’s in 61 innings), and that’s likely not a good thing.
  • DJ Brown: RP, Lake County: S (1), 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K: Brown has had a phenomenal season, especially considering he was a 39th rounder. He’s about to turn 23 in Low A, but you still have to like the numbers. He has 61 K’s in 56 1/3 innings, and can handle multiple innings out of the pen. Another intriguing arm in the bullpen.
  • Dace Kime: SP, Mahoning Valley: 2 IP, 1 R/ER, 6 BB, 2 K: Kime is an interesting pitcher, and the Indians are clearly high on him. This was not his shining moment. He’s walked 12 batters over the last ten innings, while striking out ten. Over his first five games, he struck out 13 batters, while walking only three. Perhaps stamina is an issue right now with the Indians trying to extend him into a starter.
  • Matt Whitehouse: RP, Mahoning Valley: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K: Whitehouse was selected in the 19th round, and since then, has been about untouchable. He’s given up only one run since turning pro, while walking only three. He could be another interesting arm in the Indians system.
  • Breily Puerta: RP, Mahoning Valley: H (3), 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K: Puerta is an interesting prospect going forward. He’s been dominant in Mahoning, and the Indians have been bringing him along slowly. This season, he’s struck out 30 in only 28 2/3 innings, while walking only eight hitters. He’s small, but if he continues to develop, he could be another outstanding closer, or starter, for the Indians down the line.
  • David Cooper: DH, AZL Indians: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Cooper’s overmatching the rookie league, and for good reason. He’s 26, and spent time in the majors. If he gets his back healthy, he really could be an asset to the organization. The Indians have through  the end of the month to add him to the roster, and he could be the ultimate answer to Mark Reynolds.
  • Grant Fink: 1B, AZL Indians: 2-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI: Fink was drafted in the 23rd round by the Indians out of Missouri Western State University. Fink is 22, and is finally starting to take advantage of the youth in the Arizona League. He’s hitting .326 in August, but you have to take it with a grain of salt until he moves up.
  • Scott Barnes: RP, AZL Indians: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 1 HR: Well, this just isn’t good at all, and that’s all I really have to say about that. Barnes is talented, but you have to wonder if his time of being potentially effective is over.
  • Kieran Lovegrove: SP, AZL Indians: 4 IP, 4 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K: Lovegrove is young and promising, but to say he was having a good season would be an overstatement. He’s struggled as he continues to learn how to be a professional. He’ll be fine with time.

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 18, 2013 - 8:30 PM EDT
Wow, Wes Hodges, that's a name I completely forgot about. And Art, excellent comp as far as the numbers/production goes. Right down to age, level, and possibly ability. Shoot, the numbers are nearly identical in all phases between BB:K, HR, RBI, AVG/OBP/SLG, etc. Great call and I am stealing that one.:)
Joe Chengery
August 18, 2013 - 6:47 PM EDT
Sorry- that VF should have been CF (Center Field).
Joe Chengery
August 18, 2013 - 6:46 PM EDT
Agreed about Naquin: I don't see how he's been a disappointment either. His strikeout rate is a bit concerning, but again, it's his first season of pro ball. Combine that with a little more extra-base hit pop and a greater probability of playing VF in the Majors, along with having solid numbers in the pitching-friendly Carolina League, and I really don't see Naquin being a disappointment in his first year. I can think of several others who come to mind this year (Carrasco, Bauer, Micah Brown, Dillon Howard - he might be the top disappointment in the system this year because it's been a lost year for him, may have come into camp out of shape, and then was suspended because of a substance. In my mind, he is the TOP disappointing Indians' prospect for 2013, over any other one I mentioned or anyone else in my opinion).

As for Naquin, projecting him to reach Columbus was really an accelerated timetable, and a solid argument can be made that Naquin should have been up to Akron sooner, but that couldn't happen because of the logjam of OFers at Akron. Many thought that Moncrief and/or Holt could have reached Columbus by now, but neither have, and it seems that outside of a very late-season call-up, neither may reach it until next season. Therefore, Naquin not reaching Columbus this year, a large part of that was out of his hands in my opinion.
Ryan
August 18, 2013 - 4:29 PM EDT
I am unsure if it was a matter of inflated expectations because of Lindor, but I am not sure how Naquin has been such a disappointment, this is only his first full season of pro ball.
Rich
August 18, 2013 - 4:01 PM EDT
So Vinnie faced five batters and gave up a walk and three hits? It appears he is making no progress at all in getting back to the bigs. Obviously something is wrong with his arm or mechanics, and whatever it is, it isn't easily fixable.
Josh
August 18, 2013 - 1:49 PM EDT
where is wes now???
art
August 18, 2013 - 1:25 PM EDT
Aguilar's numbers are almost an exact duplicate of Wes Hodges in 2008 at Akron. Really uncanny how similar their stats are, and at the same age. I know Hodges subsequently had injury issues, but at this point they are very similar.

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