Around the Farm: August 3, 2012
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.
Thomas Neal: DH, Akron: 3-for-5, 2 R, SB:
I know that there seems to be a general consensus out there that Neal is not a legitimate Major League prospect, but it’s hard not to like what he’s been doing as of late. With three more hits Friday, Neal’s average sits at .324. What makes him so exciting is how he seems to do a little bit of everything. He might not be great in one area, but he seems to be very good at everything. He’s tallied 31 extra-base hits this year, nine home runs and has walked 31 times compared to 57 strikeouts. He’s also stolen eight bases. Like I said, no particular stat is overly eye popping, but all of them are pretty good. Hopefully Baseball America’s former No. 96 prospect makes his way to Triple-A soon. He has nothing more to prove in Akron.
Jeanmar Gomez: SP, Columbus: (W, 5-2), 7 IP, 3 H, 8 K:
Gomez has had a strange few starts for the Clippers since his demotion. It seems as if he’s either on or off, but he definitely brought his A-game Friday. The right-hander dominated as the Clippers earned a narrow 1-0 win. The performance was markedly different from Gomez’s last two starts in which he allowed four and six earned runs, respectively. Gomez will almost inevitably become a part of the Tribe’s big league plans in the future, and that future could come very soon if Chris Seddon struggles in his start for the Indians Sunday.
- Jason Donald: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K: Donald’s solo shot Friday proved to be all the offense that the Clippers needed. Donald has really heated up as of late and now owns a .280 average with Columbus.
- Tim Fedroff: CF, Columbus: 1-for-4: Fedroff remained hot and tallied one of Columbus’ five hits. In the past week, we’ve seen promotions for Ezequiel Carrera, Corey Kluber, Vinny Rottino and now Chris Seddon. Could Fedroff be the next in line?
- Chun-Hsiu Chen: 1B, Akron: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: There’s the Chun Chen we all know and love. In his second game back since suffering a thumb injury on July 8, Chen gets two hits and his 27th double of the year.
- Juan Diaz: SS, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, GS, 4 RBI, 1 K: It did not take long for the Aeros to get going Friday as Diaz hit a first inning grand slam to give the team a 5-0 advantage. Diaz is not known to be much of a run producer, but the grand slam was his second of the season and brought his RBI total to 52. Not too shabby at all, but two grand slams in a season can have that kind of effect.
- Shawn Armstrong: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K: Armstrong shows that he is indeed human as he allows his first run in eight games with the Aeros. Armstrong created much of his own problems Saturday as he began the ninth inning by loading the bases with two walks and a single. Still, it could have been much worse, and the fact that he was able to limit the damage shows the mental toughness of the 2011 18th round pick.
- Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Aguilar has seen his numbers take somewhat of a dip as of late, and his average now sits at .287. Still, the right-handed slugger collected another extra-base hit and drove in his 52nd run of the year. With just about a month left in the minor league season, it'd be nice to see Aguilar get promoted to Double-A. It's certainly well-deserved.
- Tony Wolters: SS, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 2B: Wolters collected one of Carolina's five hits Friday. It's been an up-and-down 2012 campaign for the 20-year-old infielder, but given his recent play, he should be on pace to open the 2013 season at Akron.
- Ronny Rodriguez: 2B, Carolina: 1-for-4: Rodriguez had his string of three-straight multi-hit games end Wednesday, but the 20-year-old right-handed hitter still kept his modest five-game hit streak in tact by recording a single.
- Will Roberts: SP, Carolina: (L, 4-7), 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 6 K, 1 HR: Hard to know what to make of this start. The strikeouts are nice, but Roberts also showed a lack of composure as he allowed two straight hits in the top of the sixth inning to surrender the lead. Roberts has been somewhat of a mixed bag much of the year since being promoted to Carolina, and his season ERA now sits at 5.99.
- Cole Cook: RP, Carolina: 2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K: Cook looked as good as ever Friday as aside from one walk, he pitched two perfect innings. But at 23 years old, Cook is old for the Carolina League, so his success should not come as a surprise.
- Jairo Kelly: SS, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 K: Kelly is still only 19 years old, so it might be premature to worry about his low .223 average in the New York-Penn League. However, the two strikeouts are concerning as the switch-hitter now has 52 strikeouts this year and has walked just 10 times.
- Richard Stock: DH, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K: The Tribe's 2012 23rd round pick has had a brilliant start to his professional career. In 10 games and 39 plate appearances, the left-handed hitter has compiled a .353 average. Small sample size indeed, but it's still a solid start.
- Luis DeJesus: SP, Mahoning Valley: (W, 4-0), 7 IP, 3 H, 6 K: Simply put, DeJesus has been outstanding since his demotion to Mahoning Valley. In nine starts, the right-hander now owns a 1.41 ERA. I hate to jinx it, but it looks like he may be due for a promotion back to Lake County. If so, hopefully he is up to the task this time around.
- Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 K: It's hard not to get excited over Ramirez at this point. Two days removed from a perfect 4-for-4 performance, Ramirez collected three hits Friday. The scrappy infielder does a lot of little things that might not necessarily make him a premiere prospect, but he still seems as if he could eventually fit in nicely with the big league club. His .344 average in 37 games at Lake County is simply hard to ignore.
- Jerrud Sabourin: 2-for-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI: Sabourin certainly seems to be the feel good story of the Indians' minor league system this season, and it's easy to see why. The 22-year-old previously undrafted first baseman hit his 22nd and 23rd doubles of the season Friday and raised his average to .301. Does he have a Major League future? Probably not, but I wouldn't best against him either.
- Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB: 2011's 9th round pick has been so consistent since joining the Tribe's system last summer. That remained true Friday as the left-handed hitter collected two hits and raised his average to .310.
- Nicholas Pasquale: RP, Lake County: (H, 1), 2 IP: It has been quite the ride for the Indians' 2012 20th round pick, who has spent time in Arizona, Mahoning Valley and now finds himself in the bullpen at Lake County. The Tribe does not seem afraid to push the young right-hander, and judging by the results, Pasquale seems up to the challenge.
- Shawn Morimando: SP, Lake County: (W, 5-3), 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 3 K, 1 HR: Morimando continues to pitch efficiently for the Captains. For a 19-year-old, Morimando has really been impressive this season.
- Nelson Rodriguez: 1B, AZL Indians: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Everyone seems to be very excited about the Indians’ 2012 15th round draft pick and for good reason. The powerful right-handed slugger has displayed great power and while he didn’t record a home run Friday, he did record two hits, including a double.
- Jorge Martinez: 3B, AZL Indians: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: It’s been said before but Martinez looks like a different player this year. The switch-hitter recorded his fourth home run Friday, and now carries a .379 average in 29 games. His plate discipline still needs improvement (7 BB to 28 K), but a promotion could lie ahead.
- D’vone McClure: LF, AZL Indians: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K: The Tribe’s 2012 4th round pick certainly has all the athleticism in the world, and his potential is very exciting. He’s gotten off to a little bit of a slow start with the AZL Indians with his average at .219 in eight games.
- Dorssys Paulino: SS, AZL Indians: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: Arguably the top prospect in the Tribe’s system not named Francisco Lindor, Paulino has turned a lot of heads this season. The 17-year old right-handed hitter seems to be able to do a little bit of everything and now has a .336 average in 30 games in Arizona.
- Mitch Brown: SP, AZL Indians: 3 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R/2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR: The Indians’ 2012 2nd round pick had been outstanding thus far in Arizona, but he had mixed results Friday. After getting the first two outs in the first inning, Brown ran into some trouble after allowing a double and triple back-to-back. However, aside from a solo home run later in the contest, Brown stayed in control, and his ERA now sits at a very reasonable 3.09.
Steve can be reached via email at email@example.com.