Around the Farm: August 26
Cory Burns: Closer, Akron: S (33), 1 2/3 IP, 1 BB, 3 K:
It has been a big lead for Akron closer, Cory Burns. Burns was named to the Eastern League's postseason All-Star team on Thursday, and celebrated with his Eastern League's leading 33rd save last night. The 33 saves represents the all-time Aeros' save record, which he broke on August 3rd with his 30th save. He's also currently tied with K-Tribe closer Preston Guilmet with the organizational saves lead, while both are also tied for second in all of the minors with their 33 saves. Burns is being bred to close baseball games, as is Guilmet, and while there's not a clear leader at this point, Burns may be next in line for the simple fact that he's ahead of Guilmet in the organizational pecking order. While Chris Perez is currently holding down the position with the Indians, it's not too farfetched to think that Burns would supplant him in 2013...or sooner if Perez were to falter in any sort of significant fashion. Burns performance last night was his tenth consecutive game without giving up an earned run.
- Luis Valbuena: SS, Columbus: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 K: Noone ever said that Valbuena couldn't rake in Triple A. The Tribe's newest version of Andy Marte is 5-for-11 since being demoted back to the Clippers. If he could ever replicate that bat in the bigs, he'd never play in the minors again. I'm not sure that Valbuena will ever get another long-term shot with the Indians.
- Tim Fedroff: LF, Columbus: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 K, SB (3): Fedroff has been a steady producer for the Clippers this season, but hasn't been able to reproduce the scintillating season he had to start the year off in Akron. He is currently on a six-game hit streak, and has hit safely in 8 of his past nine games.
- Corey Kluber: SP, Columbus: L (7-10), 3 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 K: You could make a case that this was Kluber's best outing of the season. Sure, on August 16th, he had a no-hit bid going when he left, with 11 K's, but it wasn't nearly as efficient as last night's three-hit, two-walk, 7 K outing. Kluber is still erratic, but his solid outings are borderline spectacular.
- Matt Langwell: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K: Langwell struggled a bit, but didn't give up a run in his fifth straight appearance, covering 6 1/3 innings.
- Josh Judy: Closer, Columbus: Judy is often overlooked with a bevy of superlative arms surrounding him, but he continues to produce. The big righty hasn't given up a run since a four-run implosion on August 11th, covering seven Triple A games and 5 2/3 innings. He's only given up two hits and two walks during that stretch.
- Ben Copeland: CF, Akron: 1-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Copeland led off last night, and found a way to plate two runs. This guy is such a producer, and deserving of a shot next year to make the Clip-show. He's not every going to make an impact on a major league roster, but he's the type of guy that is the glue to a good minor league system.
- Juan Diaz: SS, Akron: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI: Diaz is really heating up offensively to close out the season. He's had four two-hit games in his last six, going 8-for-23, with three runs, a double and an RBI. The power hasn't developed yet, but at 6'4", there is a bunch of upside for this kid. A big year in Columbus next year could make things interesting.
- Chun Chen: C, Akron: 3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K: Chen has been flat-out scuffling over the last half of August, and he's seen his average drop to it's current .259, even after his three-hit performance. There's no reason for concern, as Chen has had a bit of a choppy second half thanks to some back issues.
- Michel Hernandez: DH, Akron: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: When does this guys stop hitting? This mid-season pick-up is still hitting .348 on the year for the Aeros. This Cuban-born player should find himself in Columbus next season, filling a veteran role.
- Steven Wright: SP, Akron: W (2-3), 6 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R/ER, 5 BB, 6 K: Wright is the Indians' organization's version of a traveling vagabond, as he's made appearances for Lake County, Kinston, Akron and Columbus. His stats have been a mixed bag as he continues to work on that new knuckleball of his. Overall, he's 4-7 with a 4.35 ERA, and while there are better statistics in the organization, there's a small part of me that thinks he'll make a major league team because of that knuckler.
- Kelvin De La Cruz: RP, Akron: 2/3 IP, 1 BB, 2 K: The Kelvin De La Cruz relief experiment continued last night, with another successful appearance. DLC clearly has a short leash right now, as he's yet to have pitched a complete inning. Still, if he can stay healthy and maintain his mechanics, he could really become an effective pitcher out of the pen. He's only given up a hit and two walks. All of his outs in his 1 2/3 innings have been strikeouts.
- Carlos Moncrief: RF-CF, 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K: This game really showcased Moncrief's pluses and minuses in a nutshell. He hit his career high 15th homer, and struck out three times. He has struck out 152 times on the season so far. If he could become more selective, his production would multiply.
- J.D. Reichenback: SP, Lake County: L (7-2), 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R/3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K: Reichenbach has really found himself as a starter, and while last night's performance wasn't up to par, he's 3-1 with a 3.05 ERA in his last ten games, the last five in a row as a starter.
- Bryson Myles: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-4: Bryson Myles hit streak has hit ten games, and the outfielder has a hefty .424/.537/.515 line over the same stretch, while raising his average to .315. Myles is at the top of the hill with regards to the 2011 draft so far, and he should skip Low A in 2012, and head right to Raleigh for the debut of the High A Carolina Mudcats.
- Josh McKeon: RP, Mahoning Valley: 1 2/3 IP, 3 K: McKeon made his NY/Penn debut in spectacular fashion, with a perfect inning and two/thirds, while striking out three.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.