Around the Farm: August 25, 2014
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 5-for-6, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI. This is one of the top performances in a game by any Indians minor league player this season. He is now hitting a blistering .368 with 4 HR, 9 RBI and 1.055 OPS in 20 games this month, and is rivaling his hot month in April to begin the season. His hot August has pushed his overall season numbers up to a .302 average, 18 homers, 73 RBI and .898 OPS in 113 games. He is one of the most feared hitters in the International League and should be in consideration for league MVP, but the question remains: why is he not in Cleveland? With Carlos Santana at first base and Zach Walters playing mostly DH, it would seem that there is no spot for Aguilar, but why not play Walters at third? Or in right field? This would open up the DH spot for Aguilar at least against left-handed pitching where he could really help the Indians instead of playing Mike Aviles in the outfield (or even Tyler Holt, though who has impressed in the early going).
Matt Carson (LF-CF, Columbus): 5-for-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI. Talk about breaking out of a slump in a big way. That’s exactly what Carson did on Monday night. He entered the game in a nine-game funk where he was just 5-for-35 at the plate and was hitless (0-for-12) in his last three games. He took out his frustrations on Indianapolis pitching in this one and in the process had his best game of the season. Last year he was called up around this time to help in Cleveland, but that does not look to be the case this year as the Indians have a lot more outfield depth in Triple-A from which to choose from this season to help down the stretch.
Bradley Zimmer (CF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, K. Zimmer is really putting together some impressive totals in his first pro season. He’s raking to the tune of .410 with a 1.188 OPS in August, and overall is hitting .316 with 4 HR, 30 RBI, 9 stolen bases, 17-28 BB/K ratio and .896 OPS in 41 games. I know, I know….move him up. Fans should get their wish soon as he should join Lake County or Carolina if they make the playoffs.
- Francisco Lindor (SS, Columbus): 2-for-6, 2 R, 2B, 3 K. Lindor has been better of late recording at least one hit in five straight games and three straight multi-hit games; however, the plate discipline since his promotion to Columbus continues to be a concern with a 6-29 BB/K ratio.
- Ryan Raburn (DH, Columbus): 1-for-6, R. Raburn is now 1-for-14 in his three rehab appearances with Columbus. This is a guy who at this point the Indians should just wait until rosters expand on Monday before reactivating him, something they probably will do.
- James Ramsey (CF, Columbus): 1-for-2, R, RBI, BB, K, HBP. This is not a noteworthy stat line, but what is noteworthy is Ramsey was hit by a pitch in the fifth and struck out in his next plate appearance in the sixth but was removed from the game in the ninth inning.
- Tyler Cloyd (SP, Columbus): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Another strong outing from Cloyd as he went at least 6.0 innings for his 14th straight outing. Personally, I’d like to see the Indians bring him back next season on a minor league deal, but you have to believe he will be fishing for a better opportunity elsewhere.
- Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Columbus): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K. This was Sturdevant’s first rough outing in some time as he had allowed just one run over his last nine outings coming in. Eight of the ten earned runs he has allowed have come in three of his 20 outings in Columbus.
- Shaun Marcum (RP, Columbus): 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 0 H, 1 HR. The Shaun Marcum experiment did not work out for the Indians this season as the hope was that he would help at some point this season. I have to believe he and the Indians may try to work out a deal to come back next year on a minor league deal.
- Anthony Gallas (DH, Akron): 0-for-3, RBI, 3 K, SF. While Gallas has really impressed with his power and run producing abilities since he promotion to Akron, the one thing that draws a lot of concern and questions the sustainability of his success is his poor 18-64 BB/K ratio in 257 at bats.
- Bryson Myles (LF, Akron): 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, K. Myles was the lone bright spot from a poor offensive effort by the RubberDucks who as a team collected just 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk and had 12 strikeouts.
- Cody Anderson (SP, Akron): L (4-10), 4.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. There were a lot of people prior to the season who claimed that Anderson would help the Indians at some point this season. I tried to temper those claims all offseason and spring, and now we are seeing why he is a lot further away than many realized.
- Jordan Cooper (RP, Akron): 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR. Cooper came in long relief as he usually does, though was not his usual solid self in this one. He’s had a decent season and should continue to be upper level pitching depth going forward.
- Trey Haley (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. It has been a lost season for Haley as he battled back from right shoulder surgery and missed most of the first half of the season. His days as a prospect look to be a thing of the past, but you still hold out hope that things will eventually click for him.
- Yhoxian Medina (SS, Carolina): 2-for-6, 2 R, BB, SB. Castillo continues his strong second half showing and is making a case to get more opportunities next season. He is hitting .318 with an .800 OPS in 55 second half games.
- Yandy Diaz (3B, Carolina): 3-for-6, 2 R, BB, SB. Diaz has had a very nice introduction to pro ball this season for the Indians. He has a lot more power than he has shown, but where he has impressed is with his approach and discipline with a stellar 45-33 BB/K ratio.
- Jerrud Sabourin (1B, Carolina): 2-for-6, R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB. Sabourin continues to play well and provide leadership for the Mudcats as they look to nail down a playoff spot. It is interesting that the Indians leftBryan LaHair in Akron all year, an roster spot Sabourin should have – clear evidence of his prospect status in the organization.
- Eric Haase (C, Carolina): 0-for-7, 4 K. It is not very often you see such a line as this in a game. Haase has had a very good season overall, but he’s really struggled in his first showing in High-A hitting .182 with a .518 OPS and 1-12 BB/K ratio in 44 at bats.
- Dylan Baker (SP, Carolina): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 1 K. This was Baker’s seventh appearance at Carolina since his return from his foot injury. He is back up to five to six innings an outing, but the consistency is lacking. I often wonder what kind of year he would have had if not for the freak injury.
- Ivan Castillo (SS, Lake County): 3-for-6, R, RBI. Like Medina in Carolina, Castillo is proving to be a solid lower level middle infield prospect for the Indians with some potential as a utility player in the upper levels and beyond. After hitting .207 with a .486 OPS in 25 first half games, he is hitting .288 with a .739 OPS in 53 games.
- Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 2-for-3, 3 R, 2B, 3 BB. I know I am in the minority, but I believe Frazier has had a very solid first full season as a professional. While the numbers have not been eye-popping and the strikeouts are high, he has shown flashes of his big power and patience at the plate.
- Paul Hendrix (3B, Lake County): 3-for-5, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 K. Hendrix’s solid season continues. He has been one of the key offensive contributors for the Captains all season, and even after his big May and poor June has rebounded and played well the last month-plus.
- Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 2-for-6, R, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 K. Rodriguez has been quite the RBI machine in the second half with 56 RBI in 59 games. The 52 extra base hits and 59 walks are very intriguing from a guy just learning to get to his power.
- Dace Kime (SP, Lake County): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 3 HR. Kime’s inconsistent outings continue as he was touched up for three homers in this one. The Indians insist that he has made some significant strides this season.
- Justin Brantley (RP, Lake County): 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. In the “completely out of nowhere” category this season, Brantley might be the leader as he’s racked up an impressive 4-0 record, 1.36 ERA, and 13-46 BB/K ratio in 39.2 innings. I’d like to see the Indians start him next season.
- Francisco Mejia (DH, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI, 2 K. Mejia has not done much with the bat this season at Mahoning Valley, but he’s held his own and really been a treat to watch defensively. That said, he is still immature as a player and has some hustle issues that have caught the ire of manager Ted Kubiak many times.
- Drake Roberts (3B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, K. Roberts snapped a 6-game hitless streak where he was 0-for-21 at the plate. He’s a small sized, versatile defender with a limited bat, so he is going to have to really improve his approach at the plate (7:36 BB/K) to stick in the organization.
- Juan Santana (SP, Mahoning Valley): L (1-8), 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K. Santana is a guy the Indians like and believe he has starting potential, even though his peripheral stats and overall numbers never really impress. Perhaps he is one of those late bloomers a la a Hector Rondon or Jeanmar Gomez.
- Justin Garcia (RP, Mahoning Valley): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Garcia got off to a really hot start this season but then cooled considerably. He’s pitched much better over his last two outings throwing 5.0 shutout innings.
- Bobby Bradley (1B, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B, RBI. It was a rare night for the AZL offense as they were held to just four hits and two walks, yet still won the game 4-3. Bradley provided half the offense with both of his hits going for extra bases. Impressive yet again.
- Li-Jen Chu (C, AZL Indians): 1-for-4, R. Chu is another player who has impressed in his organizational debut this season. He is 20 years old, can catch and is hitting (.360 AVG, 1.055 OPS), though his prospect status is one that is still in question.
- Mason Radeke (SP, AZL Indians): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. This is great to see as Radeke made his 2015 debut after working his way back from Tommy John surgery. He should get a lot of work in Instructional League, and barring any setbacks, should get an opportunity to pitch at High-A Carolina next season.
- Thomas Pannone (RP, AZL Indians): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 4 BB, 5 K. Pannone has done a nice job of limiting the walks this season compared to his struggles last year, though as you can see with this outing is still finding consistency with his command. Between the walks and strikeouts he threw a lot of pitches.
- Erick Algarin (RP, AZL Indians): W (2-1), 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Algarin is a guy who has been a performer early in his career posting a 2.63 ERA in the DSL last season and a 2.32 ERA in the AZL this season.
Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.
remember the Indians have been burnt when pushing supposed top prospects the past few seasons: Santander, Paulino, Martinez, Romero, Hamrick, McAdams and even M.Brown and NRod last year. On the other hand, they've been rewarded with their conservative approach by Holt, Urshela, Aguilar
Btw, Aguilar just blasted another HR in his first AB today...
The reason Aguilar isn't called up right now is easy, roster spots. Unless the team decides they are not going to use Dickerson anymore (and I doubt that because of the obsession for platoons) then who do you drop for Aguilar? It is too bad this stretch of 5 games in 10 days against LHSP couldn't have happened after September 1st, it would have been nice to see Aguilar and Urshela get some ABs, if Francona finally gets his head out of his butt, and realizes Kipnis should not be batting against LHP also.
I would not roster Lindor, he doesn't need to be rostered, and with the uncertainty regarding keeping Raburn and Aviles for next year, why waste a 40 man roster spot when you don't need to since Francona won't use him any way.
I hope ZImmer gets aggressively promoted, it is sad seeing how fast other organizations are willing to move their guys up but the Indians are always playing it so conservatively. Like Bradley would have probably been sent up 2 weeks ago, Chang, 1 week ago.
Also, Papi just plain sucks. I mean he can't even hit his way out of a paper bag. 1st round pick? Child please.
Fire Brad Gant if these are the chumps he's drafting.
Just stupid Zimmer is still at mv!!! A college AA 1st rd pick playing at that level still?????
And why has Aguilar been stuck in AAA with the way this team scores 3 or less consistently??
Also, I agree, the Tribe should be exploring some multiple player moves. It will clear some spots on the 40 and might bring back a decent return.
Crazy idea: trade Mike Aviles for Bartolo Colon. I really don't want Colon (I'd want Jon Niese), but thought I'd throw the thought of Aviles for Colon out.
Roberts is likely going to be rostered. I could see a situation where he is not...so I'll label him maybe. But the Tribe should protect as much quality pitching as possible. Personally, I like Roberts I think he has some upside still. At 23, he is a guy I think could still get a little stronger and throw a little harder. He will log innings and figures to be at a 4/5 SP.
Papi is not going to hit well enough to be an everyday player in he bigs
I'm higher than most on Roberts and Wolters, but I would still leave them unprotected. Don't see Hankins get picked up, the jump from A+ to MLB is too steep and he's no elite prospect to gamble on.
Soto, Araujo and Armstrong would be picked. A sleeper selection could be B.Myles, as he has the tools to be a 4th OF and some rebuilding team could take a chance on him. His history of injuries could actually work in favor of the team picking him, as he could be hid that way for portions of the season.
My hope is that the Indians can free up some 40 spots via trades. 2 for 1 type deals. I'm looking at guys like Aviles, Bourn, Scrabble, Hagadone, McAllister, Tomlin, EGonzo, who are either blocking, blocked, replaceable, inconsistent or out of options. A package of McAllister and EGonzo should net a decent return. If McAllister loses out on a rotation spot, his value is shot and he will be lost for next to nothing. Packaging him with an emerging, but blocked prospect might be the best way to squeeze out the most value out of both. Would the Mets do something like that plus maybe a reliever for Niese? Not sure they'd want McAllister though as they have too many young SP, maybe replace him with Bourn...Gonzalez+Bourn+Hagadone/Scrabble for Niese? I'd consider that
Here's some of the better prospects that will be available in the rule 5 draft...
Gio Urshela - he's virtually a lock to be rostered, possibly as soon as Sept.
Cody Anderson - he will be rostered.
Ryan Merritt - he will be rostered.
Will Roberts - maybe.
Tony Wolters - maybe.
Shawn Armstrong - maybe.
Elvis Araujo - maybe.
I think the Tribe might lose a cpl players in the rule 5 draft. Hankins is a guy I think flys under the radar, he's got versatility and speed maybe a cheap UTL option: Jamey Carroll or Nick Punto type. They may take the risk with guys like Wolters, Armstrong, Araujo, and Roberts. Soto would probably draw some interest as a LH BP arm. Tejada might be ready now, but he's not the typical rule 5 arm that gets drafted - teams seem to prefer power arms.
Yes I want to see others have opportunities but take a look at how many complete seasons in a major league rotation our current group has... There are none between Salazar/ Bauer/ House/ Carassco/ Tomlin. I think McAllister and Kluber have 2 combined.. That small number concerns me for 2015....
Hawk, I will have a big Rule 5 update in September and run down all the eligibles. I pretty much know offhand who is eligible, so anyone you are maybe worried about feel free to ask in the meantime.
Walter, yeah, no excuse to keep playing the likes of Raburn and Dickerson when the Indians can just put Walters out in the outfield and then have Aguilar DH. None.
As for Zimmer, there is a definite chance he skips Lake County next season (like Naquin did last year)....though it depends on whether Frazier moves up or repeats (he's had a solid year so I say he moves up). The Indians have them as priority center fielders, and I don't see them being willing to have them split time out there.....so one is in Lake County and one in Carolina to START next season. Once things get rolling, they can change. If I had to put a wager on it now I would say Frazier to Carolina and Zimmer to Lake County next year....but that Zimmer could move quickly. If Zimmer goes to the AFL and does well, then it is not out of the realm of possibility that Zimmer goes straight up to Akron (though would be a long shot of course).
But I think we will see Bradley up with Lake County for the playoffs. Even if as an unrostered player but with the team in the clubhouse and workouts. Lake County looks like they will get in but Carolina has some work to do. I would expect guys like Zimmer, Mejia, Bradley, Chang and maybe even Brady or Allen to go to one of Lake County or Carolina if they are in the playoffs.
Hiram, Castillo is a solid middle infield prospect. The ceiling is limited because of the bat and approach, but he's established himself as a guy who could continue to start at shortstop next season at Carolina or Lake County - however guys like Chang, Castro, etc will push him aside as they are higher priority. He's going to have to make his bones as a utility guy and do his best when he gets starting opps. As for Yandy Diaz, he should be the everyday third baseman at Akron next year.
Marquina is a bullpen arm only at the moment. Has just the two pitches, but has some arm strength and upside. Very raw to the mound obviously. Stocky guy, but powerful. Algarin is a new guy who has come onto the scene who I don't yet know much about.....but will once I get out to Arizona and see him here in a few weeks.
Speaking of breakout season, that's what Aguilar had, and probably for the 4th straight season that is. The big fella keeps improving. He has really tightened up his BB:K ratio while improving his BA and ISO, that's impressive.
What more to say about Bobby B.? As sick as his numbers have been from the start, he has improved every month. He owns a .409 ISO in August. He must be bored by now.
What's the prospect status of Algarin and Marquina? They must like Algarin, as he was brought to the States at a young age after only one DSL season and I know Marquina got a nice signing bonus, but as a catcher, but both work from the pen. Are they built up to start/piggyback or are they "only" pen arms from here on out?
Good to see Radeke back on the mound. Really liked the late round pick on him
where does Yandy Diaz begin the season next year??
do you think Ivan Castillo's performance is making the organization 2nd guess his prospect status?? It's hard not to like what we're seeing
That said, I like the power Walters has shown, but dude will probably never offer much besides that. Not saying that's not valuable but he won't walk much and will K A LOT.
My real fear is that come September, well have Holt, Aguilar, and Walters basically benched in favor of Raburn, Giambi, and Chris Dickerson.
Is there a chance that Zimmer will jump past LC to Carolina similar to what the Indians did with Ramirez last year where he started in Akron instead of Carolina? I think one person the Indians should allow to play winter ball this season is Paulino.
Maybe not much of a bold statement at this point, but I'm going to say Morimando reaches AAA and the Bigs before Anderson. It's going to be interesting to see where he falls in the prospect rankings, I find it hard to believe he is still in the top 15.