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Around The Farm: August 22, 2013

Colon's dominance, Rodriguez's success highlight night on the farm

Around The Farm: August 22, 2013
August 23, 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. 

Joseph Colon (SP, Carolina): W (4-3), 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 1 HBP

The starting pitching pool in the upper levels of the organization was dry up until recently but now the future is starting to brighten. Names like Danny Salazar and Cody Anderson are giving fans reason to rejoice, but Colon's is one that should be mentioned too. The 23-year-old is having a great year in Carolina, posting a 2.99 ERA and 2.88 FIP in 72.1 innings with a 1.84 GO/AO and 7.71 SO/9. The right-hander is getting hitters to pound the ball into the ground, getting strikeouts, and is eating a ton of innings (five or more innings in all but two of his last 13 starts). Colon may not be a top of the rotation arm, but if he manages to develop into a decent back-end starter, it will be huge for the starting pitching depth in the system going forward.  

Ronny Rodriguez (2B, Akron): 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI

A quick look at Rodriguez's season stats paints a fairly negative picture of his 2013 season, as nobody wanted to see the top prospect with a .271/.293/.381 line and only 13 walks through 108 games. There is reason to be happy despite those stats, though. Rodriguez still walks rarely, but his strikeout rate is falling for the third consecutive season (21 percent to 18 percent to 16 percent). That drop-off comes despite moving up a level each season, a real testament to Rodriguez's improvements at the plate. Plus, Rodriguez may not be flashing a ton of raw power like 2012, but Canal Park and the Eastern League does suppress offense. After 43 extra-base hits  2012, Rodriguez has 34 in 2013 with two weeks to go in a tougher league. At only 21 years old Rodriguez owns a decent line in Double-A and should only get better in 2014. It may look rough on the surface, but in reality, Rodriguez has found success in 2013.

  • Josh Tomlin (SP, Columbus): ND, 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO. Triple-A did not agree particularly well with Tomlin, though it is nice to see the right-hander logging five innings for the first time this season.
  • Tim Fedroff (CF-LF, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO. Nights like this have been few and far between for Fedroff, as the outfielder's power regression (.068 ISO this year) has hurt his outlook going forward.
  • Matt Carson (RF-CF, Columbus): 1-for-3, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. I get not being overaggressive with prospects, but I do not get Carson playing full-time in Columbus (.246/.316/.383 line in 117 games) instead of Tyler Holt or Carlos Moncrief.
  • Ryan Rohlinger (2B-3B, Columbus): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Rohlinger continued to do his job Thursday night, playing well and filling in while the next wave of prospects works its way toward Columbus.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Urshela is still working on only swinging at pitches he can drive and nights like this is where that work pays off. The third baseman will look to tap into that power more consistently heading into 2014.
  • Tyler Holt (LF, Akron): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SO. Holt had a minor misadventure in left field Thursday night, misjudging a groundball down the line that led to a triple in the corner. The outfielder is new to the position -- moving there after the promotion of Tyler Naquin -- and is still an elite fielder who can hit a little.
  • Toru Murata (SP, Akron): W (5-4), 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO. Murata pounded the zone as he always does Thursday night. He also kept the ball in the park, which is not a given considering his 22 home runs in 147.2 innings between Akron and Columbus.
  • Jordan Smith (CF, Carolina): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 SO. Power is the biggest flaw in Smith's game. He has not shown much of it in 2013 (.106 ISO), but nine extra-base hits in 21 August games is encouraging for the outfielder going forward.
  • Joe Wendle (DH, Carolina): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SO. Just like Wednesday, Wendle continues to fight back against regression and owns a great line in his first full professional season (.298/.374/.512).
  • Bryson Myles (LF, Carolina): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. As long as Myles stays healthy for the rest of the year, his success in the second half will give him a good place to launch off from going into 2014.
  • LeVon Washington (CF, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 SO, 1 2B. Speaking of players staying healthy. As usual, #WashTime does damage on the field. Some of the shine may be off of Washington, but there is no point giving up on someone so talented.
  • Dorssys Paulino (SS, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SO, 1 E. Though he is still a work in progress on defense (39 errors), the way Paulino has kept his head above water and improved throughout the year (.296/.359/.408 line in August) is truly impressive.
  • Jorge Martinez (RF, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Martinez has discovered some power in the second half as seven of his eight home runs have come post-All-Star break. His .270 on-base percentage in the second half is erasing most of that value, however.
  • Robbie Aviles (SP, Lake County): L (4-4), 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP. With only 28 strikeouts in 66.0 innings this season, Aviles is still working to get his stuff back up to a dominant level.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SO. There is not much more to say about Rodriguez after his walk-off home run Thursday night other than hopefully he can sustain this production when he heads back to Lake County next year.
  • Dace Kime (SP, Mahoning Valley): ND, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. Kime is striking out plenty of batters, but with 16 walks in 24.2 innings, it was nice to see the right-hander limit the free passes Thursday night.
  • Matt Whitehouse (RP, Mahoning Valley): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR. Whitehouse, on the other hand, only has three walks in 31.1 innings. He also has done a good job of limiting home runs as Thursday's was the first allowed this season for the left-hander.
  • Breily Puerta (RP, Mahoning Valley): W (3-4), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO. Puerta finished a dominant night for Scrappers pitchers by moving his SO:BB to 34:8 in 31.2 innings this season.
  • Kieran Lovegrove (SP, AZL Indians): L (1-6), 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 3 SO, 1 WP. The results continue to be secondary to getting Lovegrove stronger and adjusted to professional baseball. So far it seems that the right-hander is making the transition smoothly.
  • Kyle Bellows (RP, AZL Indians): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR. Bellows made a mistake with the home run but seeing the former third baseman generate two strikeouts is impressive.
  • Grant Fink (1B, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Fink continues to swing a decent bat and show some pop (17 extra-base hits in 41 games) so far in 2013.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, AZL Indians): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO. Now up to 50 hits (21 of which have gone for extra bases), 13 walks, and 56 strikeouts in his first 40 games, Frazier continues to get results as he acclimates his approach to professional baseball.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at jpiasci1@gmail.com. If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

Tony
August 27, 2013 - 11:34 AM EDT
Who is being negative? I love how when people are objective and keep things real how it is perceived as negative or homerism. I guess it depends on what view you have and how you perceive things.
bobo from Bryant
August 27, 2013 - 11:29 AM EDT
How can you say anything negative about this kid until he has a bad outing? Unbelievable numbers no matter where he is pitching. Someone commented about the fact that he throws 89 - 92. Does the word command mean anything to you?
Joe Chengery
August 23, 2013 - 9:59 PM EDT
As I said before, Howard has been the most disappointing prospect of 2013 for the Indians. You can make arguments for Bauer, Carrasco, any other prospect you wish. But, as least those guys have been on the field and have had good and bad. In Howard's case, it's been all bad because he couldn't get any work in after a less than stellar debut last year. The question is, how badly does he want it? He needs to get into shape, keep himself clean, and work his backside off like he never has before, or this will be one of the worst Indians' picks in recent memory, if not the worst. Let's hope he comes around and excels in Instructs and in '14.
Tondo
August 23, 2013 - 11:26 AM EDT
Colon is really putting himself back on the prospect radar with this season. He has improved pretty much everywhere and should open up in Akron next season along with Anderson and possibly Morimando.
Whitehouse continues to keep up with Crockett for most impressive rookie LHRP. Wish they would have pushed him more aggressively too as he's clearly too good for NYPL and the bullpens in LC and Carolina are pretty bad and filled with non prospects but the AZL and MV bullpens will take care of that come next season, Puerta included.
Also think that LHRP G.Davenport deserved a mention: in his first 3 IP of A-Ball in LC he allowed only 1 hit and struck out 3.
As for Kelich, he had very dominant JR and SR seasons in College and was on my SR sleeper list for day 3. They should just let me draft for them on day 3 lol
Tony
August 23, 2013 - 9:45 AM EDT
Howard's suspension was 50 games. The AZL season is just 56 games. So he should technically be able to come back I think today. Whether he does or not they won't say. If he doesn't pitch this last week I would assume he pitches in Instructs. What a lost season.
Roger
August 23, 2013 - 9:22 AM EDT
T-bone again i am no expert on player development but dillon howard needs to get his head out of his posterior regardless of when he comes back. spend the next 6 months working harder than he has ever worked in his life to become the pitcher his stuff says he can be, showing up at his first spring camp overweight was ridiculous i know he got million dollar bonus but a million dollars is like 100 if you have talent and stuff to make the majors. Then to add insult to injury he test + for prohibited substance. Get head out of ass howard
Tbone
August 23, 2013 - 8:42 AM EDT
Any word when Dillion Howard's suspension is over? Do they plan to pitch him in fall/winter ball?
Daingean
August 23, 2013 - 8:38 AM EDT
Not saying Kelich is a dog but if he were the quality of prospect that you'd get for C-Perez and U then he'd have started at short season A ball. I agree with Rich.....too early to rank him a top prospect.
Rich
August 23, 2013 - 7:34 AM EDT
I looked up Kelich - he's 22 years old playing in rookie ball after four years of college. Most 22 yo's are in AA by now. Let's see what he can do once he starts moving up in their system.
shy
August 23, 2013 - 3:49 AM EDT
The guy who struck out Clint Frazier twice last night, Pete Kelich, has pitched 58 innings in the pros so far, struck out 69 and are you ready for this- walked only one batter. Never in my life have I seen anything close to a 69/1 K/BB rate at any level. Last night he struck out 12 in 6 innings and, you guessed it, walked no one. This guy was a 38th round draft choice out of Bryant by the Padres. I would send Chris Perez, Chris Antonetti, Ubaldo Jimenez, the director of scouting and John Adams the drum-beater all to San Diego for this kid. I am not kidding about the drum-beating. If I were at bat trying to concentrate, that would irritate me. Am I the only one who feels this way?

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