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Around the Farm: August 21, 2012

Around the Farm: August 21, 2012
Jesus Aguilar
August 22, 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.

Ronny Rodriguez: 2B, Carolina Mudcats: (Game 1): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI:

You have to like the kind of season that Rodriguez has had. The 20-year-old right-handed hitter launched his 17th home run of the season Tuesday and drove in his 62nd RBI. Given his performance this season, there is reason to believe that Rodriguez does have a solid chance at starting out next year at Double-A Akron. With an ISO of .183 this season, Rodriguez at the very least seems to have above-average power. It will be interesting to see how Rodriguez continues along. Could we be looking at a player eventually capable of hitting double-digit home runs in the Majors? Regardless, like many young international prospects, Rodriguez’s plate discipline still needs plenty of work: he has 79 strikeouts compared to 18 walks this year. 

Tim Fedroff: CF, Columbus Clippers: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K:

Fedroff has scuffled as of late, hitting just .220 in his last 10 games, so it was nice to see him put together a multi-hit performance. With the minor league season coming to a close soon, Fedroff will almost assuredly find himself getting a look with the Major League club come September. It’s been quite the year for Fedroff, who has posted a .325/.392/.533 line at Columbus. It’s unlikely that Fedroff is anything more than a potential fourth outfielder, but his impending arrival in Cleveland may be one of the few interesting storylines to watch come September.

  • Vinny Rottino: RF, Columbus: 3-for-4, 3 H, 1 BB: Rottino is a career .295 hitter in the minor leagues. His Major League average? .176. Hmmm, perhaps the excitement for guys like Fedroff, Jared Goedert and Thomas Neal is a little premature.
  • Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K: Like Fedroff, Phelps could find himself in Cleveland come September and deservedly so as the switch-hitter has hit .436 in his last 10 games.
  • Jared Goedert: 3B, Columbus: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K: Goedert cannot catch a break as of late, hitting just .171 in his last 10 games.
  • T.J. McFarland: SP, Columbus: 4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 6 BB, 1 K: McFarland is officially the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the Indians’ farm system. He seems to either be really good or really bad. After dazzling in his last start where he struck out six and walked only one while allowing just one run in seven innings, McFarland comes back to get rocked for seven runs while walking six batters and striking out just one.
  • Juan Diaz: SS, Columbus: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 K: One day after hitting a first inning grand slam, Diaz remains hot and collected three more hits.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron Aeros: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Aguilar has not stormed out of the gates in Akron as some have hoped, but there has still been a lot to like. In just seven games, the right-handed hitter has already notched three doubles and driven in five runs. That elusive first home run is probably just around the corner.
  • Thomas Neal: LF, Akron: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 1 K, SB: Hard to believe, but Neal has now gone hitless in his last three games. On the positive side of things, he was still able to get on base Tuesday by collecting two walks, and he also reached double-digits in steals with his 10th.
  • Tyler Holt: CF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Whether it be with Carolina or Akron, Holt has been pretty consistent this year. On Tuesday, he notched two hits, and his average with the Aeros now sits at .257.
  • Jordan Henry: RF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K: Henry continues to heat up, hitting .333 in his last 10 games. He also grabbed a walk and struck out once and has now walked 30 times compared to 27 strikeouts this year.
  • Toru Murata: SP, Akron: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K: This was definitely Murata’s longest and best outing since moving into the starting rotation at Akron. Over his last 10 appearances, the Osaka, Japan native has been especially effective as he’s posted a 2.20 ERA.
  • Tyler Cannon: DH, Carolina: (Game 1): 0-for-1, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K: Cannon did not collect a hit, but he remained hot and got on base twice with walks. In his last 10 games, Cannon has hit .419 with an on-base percentage of .500.
  • Tony Wolters: SS, Carolina: (Game 1): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 K: Wolters hit his eighth triple of the year in the Mudcats’ first game Tuesday though he also recorded his 95th and 96th strikeouts of the season.
  • Jordan Cooper: SP, Carolina: (Game 1): (W, 7-7), 5 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K: Cooper was outstanding en route to earning his seventh win of the 2012 campaign. He scattered five hits throughout five innings and was never really threatened at any point.
  • Giovanny Urshela: 3B, Carolina: (Game 2): 2-for-3: Urshela was essentially Carolina’s only offense in the second game as the Mudcats mustered only four hits, and Urshela had two of them.
  • Tyler Cannon: DH, Carolina: (Game 2): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 K: Cannon’s recent knack for getting on base continued in the second game of Carolina’s doubleheader as the right-handed hitter doubled in the second inning.
  • Delvi Cid: CF, Carolina: (Game 2): 1-for-2, 1 2B, 1 2B, SB: Cid is hardly a prospect, but given his skill set, he’s an easy player to get behind. On Tuesday, he notched his 20th double of the season and stole his 31st base.
  • Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County Captains: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI: Lindor has definitely struggled as of late, hitting just .200 in his last 10 games. As the 2012 season has progressed, the grind of a player's first professional season seems to have definitely taken its toll on Lindor. His success for his age cannot be downplayed, however, and Lindor came through Tuesday, hitting a two-out, two-RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Captains a comfortable lead.
  • Luigi Rodriguez: DH, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Rodriguez hit his fifth triple and 24th double Tuesday. The toolsy, switch-hitting outfielder has held his own in the Midwest League this year, though his .265 average falls well short of the .379 average he posted in 25 games last season with the AZL Indians. The Arizona League is known for its offense, and Rodriguez has definitely seen his numbers fall since moving to Lake County last season. It will be interesting to see how Indians prospect Dorssys Paulino adapts to making the change from the Arizona League to the New York-Penn League. Rodriguez is proof that exceptional numbers in the offense heavy Arizona League may not immediately translate in other leagues, so it will be important to note the effect the league change has on Paulino’s numbers.
  • Bryson Myles: LF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 K: Myles owns a .283 average, which is nice, but he has also struck out 75 times opposed to 27 walks this year, which is not nice.
  • Daniel Jimenez: SP, Lake County: (W, 2-3), 7 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K: This was arguably Jimenez’s best start of the 2012 campaign. The left-hander also rebounded nicely from his previous outing on August 16, in which he allowed eight earned runs in just five innings.
  • Enosil Tejeda: RP, Lake County: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Tejeda continues to pitch brilliantly since allowing three runs in his first appearance with the Captains. Tejeda has essentially been flawless in the 12 outings since, and his ERA now sits at 1.53 in 17 2/3 innings pitched.
  • Dorssys Paulino: SS, Mahoning Valley Scrappers: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 K: Paulino is rapidly becoming one of the best (and most popular) prospects within the Tribe's system. It'd be an understatement to call his promotion to Mahoning Valley well-deserved after the 17-year old tore up the Arizona League by hitting .355 with six home runs and 30 RBI.
  • Joseph Wendle: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-4: There was very little offense on display Tuesday from any Scrapper as no Mahoning Valley player recorded more than one hit, and the team collected just four total. Wendle was one of the fortunate four, and the Division II product now owns a .320 average.
  • Luis Morel: SP, Mahoning Valley: (L, 2-4), 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R/0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K: Talk about being a hard-luck loser. The 19-year-old right-hander allowed zero earned runs and even flashed some pretty good stuff by striking out nine batters. It was a marked difference from Morel's last start where the youngster was rocked for four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of work.
  • Josh Martin: RP, Mahoning Valley: 2 IP, 2 K: Martin provided two perfect innings of relief to cap off a strong evening of Scrapper pitching. The 2012 10th round pick lowered his season ERA to 4.33 with the performance.
  • Richard Stock: C, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-3, 1 K: The Indians 2012 23rd pick continues to perform nicely since making his professional debut with the Scrappers. In 15 games, Stock has now hit .288, but the 21-year-old has struggled with plate discipline as he struck out for the 13th time Tuesday and has walked only twice.
  • Levon Washington: CF, AZL Indians: 3-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI: Three at-bats. Three hits. Hopefully, this is a sign that Washington is well on his way in the recovery of his hip injury.
  • Anthony Santandar: RF-LF, AZL Indians: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB: Santandar recorded his 13th double of the season and boosted his average to .310 with the two-hit performance.
  • Nelson Rodriguez: 1B, AZL Indians: 1-for-4, 1 3B, 1 BB, 2 K: The hulking Rodriguez notched his third triple Tuesday. Given his size, that’s hard to believe though I’m not complaining either.
  • Hector Rondon: SP, AZL Indians: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K: After having elbow surgery on November 15, Rondon is finally back. It’s been a tough road for Rondon, who also had Tommy John surgery in 2010, so it’s really unknown as to what the Indians can expect moving forward. Regardless, the fact that he made the appearance for the AZL Indians, shows that he is very much on the road to recovery, plus it’s hard not to like the results as well.

Steve can be reached via email at orbaneks@gmail.com.

User Comments

Tony
August 23, 2012 - 8:49 AM EDT
Andy, yes, Paulino shows good power to all fields. Him being pull happy doesn't mean he can't hit the other way, just a flaw he is working on. When he is right, he centers the baseball well and really pounds the ball gap to gap.
Berberry
August 22, 2012 - 4:05 PM EDT
The Muddies have 4 of the top 18 HR hitters in the Carolina League as of today. They're younger than most of the guys around them on the list as well. RonRod is up in the top 5 with some overage sluggers, the only comparable guy to him on the list is Bogaerts (who is in AA now.) Excited to see this group keep moving through the system.
Phil
August 22, 2012 - 3:15 PM EDT
Is Ronny Rod's plate discipline an issue? Maybe. Is it crippling his development or success? Absolutely not. Is it an irreparable issue? No.

Everybody was high on this kid last year just because of the tools he possessed. It's fun to see a kid start using those tools consistently.

Love the up-the-middle fielders we have in the organization but man, I wish we had an impact arm or two......
Andy
August 22, 2012 - 2:16 PM EDT
Tony, you have written that Paulino has exceptional bat speed. Sean Mahon has written that Paulino can get pull happy. Is he currently showing much in the way of opposite field power?
Tony
August 22, 2012 - 11:09 AM EDT
Way too much attention being paid to Paulino's defense. Yes, he has tons of errors, but this is what 17-year old Latin kids typically do, even the good defenders. The difference is that we typically don't see 17-year old Latin kids play stateside as they are in the DSL so we don't "see" or pay attention to the errors out there. He no doubt needs to hone in on his defense, but he has a lot more ability defensively than people think. I've already seen people call him a defensive liability and future DH....so far from reality. He is not a gold glover in the making, but has the arm, actions and athleticism to be a solid defensive player in the infield once he matures, gets more instruction, and most importantly gets more experience.
Seth
August 22, 2012 - 11:05 AM EDT
Looks like an error by Paulino led to 4 unearned runs last night. He needs a LOT of work on defense.
elrod
August 22, 2012 - 9:28 AM EDT
I cannot imagine how RRod does not get put at AA in 2013. But stranger things have happened in this organization.
detdawg
August 22, 2012 - 8:34 AM EDT
Just checked out the Arizona Indians box score and noticed that LeVon Washington has a SB in addition to his 3 hits. IMO, the SB is an even better indication that he's recovered from hip surgery. Good to see.
Tony
August 22, 2012 - 8:33 AM EDT
I think there is a good chance that Rodriguez is called up to Akron for the playoffs. Maybe not to play but to at least be with the team during the playoffs for the experience. Wolters could be in the mix as well since the starting SS and 2B currently at Akron are low profile guys and much lower on the prospect totem pole for the organization.
detdawg
August 22, 2012 - 8:28 AM EDT
R-Rod hasn't improved his plate discipline at all this year. IMO, he shouldn't be promoted until he shows some improvement on this front. He's young enough to learn and would still be young for the Carolina League next year.

I don't think we know how good Paulino is offensively until he performs in the NY-Penn or Midwest Leagues. And I believe any discussion that Paulino is comparable, or superior, to Lindor is premature until then.

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