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Around The Farm: August 28, 2013

Smith's power, Sulser's dominance highlight night on the farm

Around The Farm: August 28, 2013
August 29, 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. 

Jordan Smith (CF, Carolina): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO

All year, people like me were just hoping to see a little power out of Smith. Through the first four months of the season, Smith only averaged 6.5 extra-base hits per month, not at all the kind of power Smith was supposed to grow into. Luckily for us, that power came together in August, as Smith has 12 extra-base hits already with a few days to go. Plus, Smith owns a beautiful 11:21 SO:BB and has been cutting his teeth in center field, where -- assuming he can handle the position in the long-term -- his bat would play up. It was beginning to look like Smith was stuck in place, but this red-hot August paints a rosier picture going forward for the outfielder.

Cole Sulser (SP, Mahoning Valley): ND, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO

As a 25th round pick and senior sign, any results Sulser puts up in a short season league should be taken with more than a grain of salt. Still, there are some positives to take away from the 23-year-old's season. First off, he missed all of 2012 after having Tommy John surgery, but the right-hander is still commanding the ball quite well (50:9 SO:BB in 48.0 innings). Second off, he is posting elite results with a 2.06 ERA and a 2.08 FIP. He may not be an elite prospect, but it still warms your heart to see someone rebound so well from injury and pitch very well.

  • T.J. House (SP, Columbus): W (7-10), 6.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 5 SO, 1 E. Despite allowing 20 hits in his last two starts, House has only allowed four earned runs in 12.0 innings.
  • Columbus Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO. I would not mind seeing the combination of C.C. LeePreston Guilmet, and Nick Hagadone back in Cleveland closing out games at some point in the future. These are the results they are capable of achieving.
  • Chun-Hsiu Chen (LF, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SO, 1 E. This pop is in Chen's bat, though with an on-base percentage hovering around .300, his prospect stock has taken a hit in 2013.
  • Justin Toole (3B, Columbus): 3-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB. Toole's value comes in his versatility on defense. When he is hitting like this, all the better.
  • Brett Brach (SP, Akron): W (9-9), 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO. This year has seen more downs than ups for Brach, but the right-hander had his stuff working Wednesday night.
  • Brett Myers (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. Myers struggled Saturday in his first rehab start, but put up two scoreless outings since then.
  • Jake Lowery (C, Akron): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB. Lowery now has six straight games with a walk. That combined with his power is helping him turn in a truly impressive season.
  • Tyler Holt (LF, Akron): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 SB. With an improving bat and his defense/speed combination, Holt is putting himself in the picture for a fourth outfielder role in Cleveland in the near-future.
  • Joseph Colon (SP, Carolina): ND, 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 2 SO. Colon may have won Cleveland's minor league player of the week award last week, but Wednesday he was knocked back down a peg by the Lynchburg Hillcats.
  • Rob Nixon (RP, Carolina): 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR. As bad as Colon's outing was, Nixon's topped it. The right-hander has now allowed 19 runs in his last 16.0 innings.
  • Bryson Myles (LF, Carolina): 3-for-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 BB. Myles' numbers have obviously dropped since his extended hitting streak, but more importantly, the outfielder is healthy and producing late into the season.
  • Robbie Aviles (SP, Lake County): L (4-5), 3.0 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR. Things started out well for Aviles, but lately things have gone downhill for the right-hander (16 runs in his last 13.0 innings).
  • Richard Stock (C, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Stock has spent most of his season at designated hitter, but as a catcher, his .286/.325/.467 line profiles quite well.
  • Cody Ferrell (RF, Lake County): 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 SO, 1 E. This was Ferrell's first extra-base hit since being called up to Lake County. As an undrafted free agent, a little more power would be good to see.
  • LeVon Washington (CF, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 CS. Never forget that it is always #WashTime somewhere. His .320/.424/.461 line continues to show the dominance that happens when Washington can stay healthy.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SO. Rodriguez faded a bit in August (.612 OPS), but at least some of that could be the first baseman wearing down in his first full professional season.
  • Sicnarf Loopstok (LF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4. The overall results have not been positive for Loopstok (.521 OPS in 20 games), but he does have three two-hit games out of his last four.
  • Casey Shane (SP, AZL Indians): ND, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO. Shane is still working on walks (16 in 29.0 innings), but he managed to limit the damage Wednesday.
  • Kyle Bellows (RP, AZL Indians): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 WP, 1 HBP. The process of converting Bellows to a pitcher is marching on, with pretty good results here.
  • Yonathan Mendoza (3B, AZL Indians): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB. While Mendoza has not hit for much power, his 26:22 SO:BB and .367 on-base percentage indicate a strong approach at the plate for the 19-year-old.

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

User Comments

August 29, 2013 - 11:23 PM EDT
House has really come on strong in the second half. I was talking some to the pitching coordinator tonight and he had some very good things to say about him. He's solidified himself as a ML option for next season, and possibly this season. I think it is 50-50 he is called up, and only not a sure thing simply because the Indians have so many options for the pitching staff to call up.
Billy Lybarger
August 29, 2013 - 1:12 PM EDT
Tondo - "TJ House has a 2.05 ERA and 54:17 K:BB in 61.1IP in his last 10 starts. He's a legit MLB SP depth option for next season."

I was wondering if anyone else has noticed the turnaround in AAA TJ House has produced. His last 10 starts have shown solid results. His FIP over these last 10 starts is a very nice 2.48 as he has been stingy with giving up the long ball.
I wonder if they plan to call him up this September, and in what role?

August 29, 2013 - 12:33 PM EDT
Perez is THE perfect MLB backup-C. He will never hit much, but so far has always improved his bat enough to get promoted. I'm confident that he can adapt and improve his stats enough next year in Columbus that he becomes the 3rd catcher option, but Lowery could overtake him. Indians' system is pretty stacked at the Catcher position and will feature two legit prospects almost on any team. My 2014 starting roster predicition: AAA = Lowery/Perez, AA = Monsalve/Wolters(+Wallace), A+ = Lucas/Haase(+Valerio), A = F.Mejia/Stock(+Battaglia)...Cervenka and Lavisky would be cuts
August 29, 2013 - 10:58 AM EDT
Re: Perez. That's impressive considering at least one of his SP (Bauer) is not very good at holding I've always heard about base stealers that you steal off of the pitcher and not the catcher.....yet we rate a catcher's defence how he controls the running game.....
August 29, 2013 - 10:54 AM EDT
I think Columbus's catcher Roberto Perez threw out Billy Hamilton trying to steal yesterday. Hamilton is some base stealer, so that is an impressive feat.

Perez can't hit at all, but can walk. Must have one hell of an arm though behind the plate, and has thrown out 36% of guys trying to steal this season.
August 29, 2013 - 9:10 AM EDT
J.Smith = will see

Sulser, Doane and Whitehouse were good late round selections. Should have gone that way more in the 12th to 18th round too.
There should be plenty of room in the LC and Carolina bullpens next season and I hope they push and test Sulser to A+ ball considering his age.

TJ House has a 2.05 ERA and 54:17 K:BB in 61.1IP in his last 10 starts. He's a legit MLB SP depth option for next season.

I'd be ok with letting all 3 of J.Smith, CPerez and Albers walk this offseason considering our RHRP depth in the system. Spend the money saved on a couple of bats instead and re-fill the bullpen from within and some reclamation/depth FAs.

Too bad Chen wasn't able to carry over his AA success to Columbus. If he did it would be him in Cleveland now, not freaking Carson.

Lowery probably has been the most consistent bat in the entire system this season. He almost never has a monster day or 0fer. 1-3/1-4 and a walk are his standard. He should be the starting C in Columbus next season with some of the other guys needing the playing time and ABs in Akron (Monsalve/Wolters).

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