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Around the Farm: August 28, 2012

Around the Farm: August 28, 2012
August 29, 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.

Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron Aeros: 2-for-3, 1 2B:

The numbers continue to improve for Akron’s hulking first baseman. No, he has not destroyed the ball since his promotion as most of us had hoped but his line sits at .231/.349/.462. Out of his 12 hits, eight have gone for extra bases, and Aguilar has also consistently been on base since getting the call to Double-A. Though it’s a very small sample size, Aguilar’s ISO of .224 is a marked improvement from the .177 posted with Carolina, so that may suggest that the Carolina field was not a good fit for the right-handed hitting Aguilar; IPI co-editor Jim Pete has mentioned that he watched Aguilar miss out on a handful of near-homers that were off the wall. With the season’s end just days away, Aguilar’s performance at the plate will be something to keep an eye on. He seems to finally be settling in at Akron, so how will he finish down the stretch? So far, it looks to be pretty good.

Brett Brach: SP, Akron: (W, 4-7), 7 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K:

Plain and simple, Tuesday may have been the best professional performance in Brach’s career. It’s tough to say what really happened, but the right-hander has been dominant as of late, allowing just three runs in his past 20 1/3 innings of work. Brach had worked earlier in the year in a piggyback role, but he seems to have flourished since the Aeros have started allowing him to pitch deeper into games. His season ERA now sits at 3.90, and Brach has really performed well at every stop in the minors. With a fastball that tops out in the low 90s, Brach’s future as a Major Leaguer may be unlikely, but he’s made positive strides this season. Still, he walks far too any batters (3.5 BB/9), and that number will have to decrease significantly if he is to continue to get by his average stuff.

  • Jared Goedert: DH, Columbus Clippers: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI 1 BB: Goedert's numbers have dipped quite a bit as of late as the right-handed hitter owns just a .211 in his last 10 games. But on Tuesday, Goedert hit his 19th total home run of the year. Hopefully, he is able to end the minor league season on a high note and perhaps join the big league club in September.
  • Vinny Rottino: RF, Columbus: 3-for-4, 1 R: At 32 years of age, Rottino is essentially the definition of a minor league lifer, but at least he's doing a pretty good job at it. In 54 games with the Clippers, Rottino has a .306 average.
  • Juan Diaz: SS, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K: Many are starting to look at Diaz as a future Major League option, at least in the short term, and it's easy to see why. His defense has always been spectacular, but his bat may finally be catching up. In 13 games since being promoted to the Clippers, Diaz has hit .306. Not too shabby, and let’s not forget about his sudden power surge as Diaz has hit 13 home runs this season despite never hitting more than nine in a previous season.
  • Eric Berger: SP, Columbus: 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K: Berger rebounded nicely from his previous outing in which he allowed six earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings pitched. The left-hander is likely no more than organizational depth, but he has posted good strikeout totals at 8 K/9.
  • Scott Barnes: Closer, Columbus: (S, 2), 1 IP: Barnes notched his second save of the season by pitching a perfect inning. With the season set to end in just a few days, it will be interesting to see if Barnes is back in Cleveland come September.
  • Josh Judy: RP, Louisville Bats: 2/3 IP: Remember this guy? It was not long ago when he was one of the more popular relief prospects in the Indians system before he was designated for assignment and claimed by the Reds in December. His numbers have taken quite the hit in his new home. In 39 games with the Bats, Judy has a 6.96 ERA. Not being a follower of the team, it’s hard to tell what happened as the numbers are basically a 180-degree difference from the 3.12 and 2.68 ERAs he posted with the Clippers in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
  • Jordan Henry: RF, Akron: 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 1 K: Henry drove in two of the Aeros’ three runs Tuesday, and the left-handing hitter has really been heating up as of late. In his last 10 games, Henry has hit .343, and he is currently settling in with a nice four-game hit streak.
  • Thomas Neal: LF, Akron: 1-for-5, 1 2B, 1 K: Neal moves his hit streak to eight games and recorded his 24th double in the process.
  • Adam Abraham: 3B, Akron: 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB: The former 13th round pick collected two hits for the Aeros Tuesday and has quietly put together a productive season. Abraham has hit at least 13 home runs in each of the past three seasons and could be on pace to open next season at Triple-A. At best, however, the right-handed hitter would be described as organizational depth as he is a below-average defender with just an average bat at this point.
  • Preston Guilmet: Closer, Akron: (S, 24), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K: Guilmet did allow one run, but he also notched his 24th save of the season. Even with the one run, his season ERA sits at 2.31.
  • Ronny Rodriguez: 2B, Carolina Mudcats: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: It’s hard not be excited about this one. Rodriguez launched his 19th home run of the 2012 campaign Tuesday. Remember that he is still only 20-years-old, so by no means is it inconceivable to believe that he won’t still add more power as he matures. Already, his power surge from last year has been impressive (11 home runs in 394 PA compared to 19 home runs in 463 PA this season).
  • Delvi Cid: CF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 K, 2 CS: I’m probably more excited about Cid than others primarily because I like a player who provides speed on the base paths, and Cid can certainly do that. Though this proved to be his weakness Tuesday as he was caught stealing for ninth and tenth time this season.
  • Giovanny Urshela: 3B, Carolina: 3-for-4, 1 2B: Urshela recorded his 29th double Tuesday. Urshela has been somewhat of a surprise this year as he’s hit 12 home runs to go along with a .281 average and an ISO of .159. His defensive play has always gotten high reviews, but his bat has also made some noise this year. Much like Rodriguez, Urshela is an intriguing candidate to start next season at Akron.
  • Josh Martin: RP, Carolina: 1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 HR: Martin makes his debut since being promoted from Mahoning Valley. All in all, it was a pretty solid debut as the only hit and run he allowed came on a solo shot.
  • Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County Captains: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Ramirez’s brilliant 2012 campaign continues. The switch-hitter tallied his third home run and raised his average to .345. His play and value has been compared to that of Ezequiel Carrera, which may leave something to be desired. However, the fact that he is an infielder with such a skill set still makes him an intriguing one to watch.
  • Jordan Smith: DH, Lake County: 3-for-5, 1 R: Smith has become more and more popular as of late, and it’s easy to see why. On Tuesday, he recorded three more hits and his season line sits at .317/.366/.461.
  • Alex Lavisky: C, Lake County: 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB: Lavisky had about as perfect of a game as you could imagine. Slowly but surely, the Lakewood native seems to be heating up as he’s now posted a .273 average in his last 10 games.
  • Elvis Araujo: SP, Lake County: 7 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR: The long ball was a problem for Araujo Tuesday, but all in all, it was a pretty productive start, especially considering where he was just a few months ago when he seemed to get rocked start after start. At least he was able to provide some length and post excellent strikeout numbers. The long bombs are also not concerning as it was only the sixth and seventh home runs that the left-hander has allowed this year.
  • Cody Penny: RP, Lake County: (BS, 1), (L, 2-1), 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K: After five straight scoreless outings, the right-hander finally gives up some runs.
  • Joseph Wendle: 2B, Mahoning Valley Scrappers: Game 1: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: One of the best surprises of the 2012 draft has been Wendle, the Indians’ sixth round selection. The former PSAC star is clearly an advanced hitter and has posted a .320/.363./.464 line. He’s a player who will be interesting to watch as he advances through each stop in the system as he’s clearly already figured out the New York-Penn League.
  • Dorssys Paulino: SS, Mahoning Valley: Game 1: 2-for-3, 1 RBI: Paulino seems to have found his groove now. In eight games, the 17-year-old now has 10 hits. I dunno about you, but I’ll take that ratio any day.
  • Jake Sisco: SP, Mahoning Valley: Game 1: 4 IP, 6 H, 6 R/ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K: One step forward. Two steps backward. After allowing just three total runs in his last 14 innings, Sisco got rocked Tuesday. The young right-hander was unable to even make it through five innings. It’s a disheartening sign for a pitcher that many of us have been very excited about dating back to last season.
  • Luis Encarnacion: RP, Mahoning Valley: Game 1: 1 IP, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP: Talk about living dangerously. Encarnacion managed to walk three batters and throw two wild pitches without allowing a run.  That’s the type of tightrope act I’d love to see some of our Major League pitchers learn.
  • Dorssys Paulino: SS, Mahoning Valley: Game 2: 1-for-3: The Scrappers had just five total hits in their 1-0 loss against Batavia, but you knew that one of the hits had to belong to Paulino.
  • Luis DeJesus: SP, Mahoning Valley: Game 2: (L, 4-2), 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR: DeJesus was as good as they come in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but he unfortunately was saddled with the loss. In 13 starts with the Scrappers, DeJesus has a 1.93 ERA. 

Steve can be reached via email at

User Comments

August 29, 2012 - 6:54 PM EDT
Hi Jaleel, Sorry if any of my comments offended you. Not my intent, believe me. It would be easy to blame it on old age, ill health or the crappy vampire romance novels I have been editing all year. The truth is I am opinionated and blunt and unlikely to metamorphose(vampire novels)into much better.

Your points on Fedroff and Goedert interest me. Fedroff can actually defend a position (LF) and has a bat stoke that could play in the MLs from what I see. Unfortunately, he is entirely unsuitable as a 4th OF. His future might be tied to Choo for next year. This team needs real players, not prospects IMO. They have to get a serviceable ML 1B in the return if they trade Choo. Then Fedroff has a shot in LF if the Indians can pick up a RH bat for RF. Goedert is a different story IMO. His particular batting stroke reminds me more of Canzler and LaPorta which is overly long and too slow to handle ML breaking pitches/offspeed stuff. He really cannot defend anywhere so he is limited to DH/defensively challenged UT from what I see. i see lots of movement in the 40 so maybe he gets a shot. Even if Hafner comes back, he could get a try at DH.

I think Duncan's DFA is good news for both but I would also believe it is bad news for Duncan's biggest booster, Acta. It really looks like team control is slipping away. I believe you assessed the situation correctly with Damon as well. Just panic at trying to cover for the failure of Sizemore. Can't blame the hope but would probably gotten as good, if not better, from Fedroff.
Jaleel White
August 29, 2012 - 4:33 PM EDT
When Norm is respectful, the dude is a boss. Agree with him completely. Still seems premature to blow up the team, but the team collapsed awhile ago and guys like Damon and Duncan, who was just DFAed, lingered on far too long. Goedert and Fedroff should have been up awhile ago even if their bats or skills may not necessarily translate to the big leagues. Do Duncan's? Or did Damon's at this point of his career?
August 29, 2012 - 4:26 PM EDT
A real good discussion IMO. I am not sure that there is a lot in Columbus or Akron that is serious ML talent. The players who have sufficient talent to play in the majors are limited in position capabilities. Phelps has been tried everywhere and really only plays 2B. Poor Fedroff can only play LF adequately and he really does not have a ML LF bat. Diaz is limited to SS and it is difficult to envision a SS who Ks 4 times his BBs with no speed replacing Cabrera.

Personally, I do not believe the team should be blown up since there is nothing in the system to help for at least 2 years. I hope Dolan does not sell since the likelihood of a buyer keeping the team in Cleveland is small IMO. But 2016 is actually quite close and I personally believe that there is a very good location for a ML team available now. Might not go to Cleveland though since we are not the only "have not". Blowing up the team is the Kiss of Death to Cleveland from what I see. Better to do the best they can in FA which is not the Indians forte. I do not think Acta is a terrible manager but he has a team that starts competively and collapses two years running. Doesn't seem to be a building block for the future.
August 29, 2012 - 2:24 PM EDT
Relatively few are, actually. Regardless, I'm not saying your argument is completely wrong, I'm just surmising how jaded fans would react were your suggestions implemented.

I will quibble with you, somewhat. Playing Phelps would mean benching a *younger* Kipnis. (Not necessarily a bad idea.) And Petit is best suited for AA journeyman status.

But...Fedroff and Goedert are filler with a tiny but non-zero chance of helping, so why not give them a chance to at least make loud outs? Tony isn't a Diaz fan, but he at least might look interested out there, which Cabrera can't manage.

In any event, I think this all matters to us, but not to Joe fan.
August 29, 2012 - 12:55 PM EDT
One move that I'll give the Indians' brain trust some credit for this year was the weird promotion of Juan Diaz. It may have been coincidence, but that little taste of the big league seemed to motivate him and he started performing at a different level at Akron after that move.
August 29, 2012 - 12:24 PM EDT
I don't totally agree Jeff. Are they not paying to see minor leaguers or 4A players now ? At least call-ups for prospects gives you some hope going forward. At least I would hope so. The players there now have had a chance. Give the younger guys a chance now.
August 29, 2012 - 11:49 AM EDT
Joe, Tony: The problem with bringing up those guys is that then people will say they're "not paying major league prices to see minor leaguers." Face it- Cleveland is not a baseball town win, lose, or draw. People will invent reasons not to come to the ballpark even if the Indians weren't already giving them plenty on the field. Whoever owns/runs the team must simply accept that they'll draw in the low 1M-2M range, plan accordingly, hit WAY more than they miss on trades/draft/signings, keep players healthy, and be lucky. Current leadership only has 40% of those covered, and this mess is the result.

Of course, Art Modell was the entire problem with the Browns of the 90s to hear some tell it. How'd different ownership work out there?

Anyway, these dark times make me appreciate the work and dedication you put into this site even more, Tony. Keep it up, and good health to you in covering a resurgent Tribe in the near future.
August 29, 2012 - 11:30 AM EDT
A change of ownership is hard to conceive. At this point in time, who would want to come in, pay millions to buy, then blow up the team from the top on down. The lower tier of the farm system has some very promising talent, to you are looking at a 3-5 year window before this team has a chance to compete, let alone win. That is a tall order, as it would mean new ownership would have to sustain some large losses (on paper, at least) before any real progress is seen. I would say the only part of the system worth keeping in place is Bud Grant's group, as they seem to be making progress with their recent drafts. The rest of ownership and management should be cleaned out. I find it hard to believe the fans of Cleveland will be in a forgiving mood any time soon, with the present regime staying in place. I believe they have shown total disrespect to the fans over the last couple seasons, at least that is what I get from all these recent posts.
Kudo's to you and your team Tony for remaining objective thru this whole mess.
August 29, 2012 - 10:15 AM EDT
Completely agree Joe. The Indians have a HUGE public relations mess on their hands. It was bad already....but now it is something that may take years to get out from under. Even after years of winning baseball. The viewpoint of the fans right now is they are a loser organization, incompetent, cheap, and poorly run. That's stuff that is hard to change in one or two years. At this point the only option they have to get people back on board - or start to get people back on board - is to wipe the slate clean from the top on down with new ownership and management. I don't see that happening, and I don't necessarily think that is the right way to go about things, but right now the Indians have a serious image problem on their hands. This is the worst stretch of baseball I have seen since the 80s....bad times indeed.
August 29, 2012 - 9:01 AM EDT
Boy, reading these posts for the last month has sure gotten difficult. Some people are never going to get over the last 2 years,and the collapse from contention. Watched a bit of the Blue Jays game last nite. A team with aspirations of playoffs this year.They have undergone a series of crippling injuries this year (sound familiar?) but they have brought up a number of prospects, and are giving them a chance to showcase their talents. What a novel idea !!! Prospects rather than suspects !!!! I guess the Tribe front office hasn't thought of this ground breaking approach. Columbus is going nowhere this year. Why are the likes of Fedroff,Phelps,Goedert, Diaz, and even Petit still there. Give them a chance. Maybe they have a limited future, but give them a chance. Boy, it's hard to believe this franchise developed a lot of stars over the years, because this front office, including ownership have no idea what it takes.
I have been a Tribe fan for the better part of 60 years, and this has to be one of the most disheartening times I can remember. Having said that, I will remain a fan and hope someone comes along that can turn things around. Thank God for golf and beer !!!!

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