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Around the Farm: August 4, 2012

Around the Farm: August 4, 2012
August 5, 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.
Logan Vick: LF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI:
The Indians selected Vick in the 11th round in this year’s First-Year Player Draft after a junior season in which he was All-Big 12 after hitting .345, with 25 doubles, four homers, 43 RBI and 19 stolen bases. He had a crazy .441 OBP to top in all off. This kid is an absolutely fearless fielder, and really is similar to the Tribe’s centerfielders in past years. He especially reminds me of Tyler Holt with regards to his style of play. Vick was a late sign, and one of the only late signs for the Indians, as they held onto the money while they were in the process of trying to sign D’Vone McClure and Caleb Hamrick. They were hoping to come out of those two signings with a few bucks left over to make a late run at Vick, and that’s exactly what they were able to do. Vick’s struggled a bit this season in his five ball games, and came into Saturday’s game having gone 1-for-his-first-11, but rolled out his first multi-hit game of his career, as well as his first RBI. I’m sure it won’t be his last.
Claudio Bautista: 2B, AZL Indians: 4-for-5, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB:
Bautista is starting to make himself an interesting topic of conversations, thanks to games like this. Sure, this league is full of offense, as about 200 AZL Indians had multiple hits on Saturday Night. With that said, Bautista hit his third homer in his past six ballgames, and has 11 RBI during the same stretch. I talked to a scout here in Carolina about him this weekend, and his first reaction was, “Who?” Once he got his bearings straight, he seemed cautiously optimistic. “From everything I’ve heard, he has a frame that will fill out, and can drive the ball for a kid his size. He also has good speed…” It’s fairly clear to me that Bautista has a long way to go, and needs to really even out from game to game, as he has big games or oh-fers right now. One game does not make a season, nor does one week. We’ll see if he can carry it forward.
  • Tim Fedroff: CF, Columbus: 0-for-4: Fedroff has to be fired up that he wasn’t one of the Indians’ call-ups. Of course, Carrera was playing just as good, and you could get into an interesting debate about who is a better all-around player, but there’s just something about Fedroff that makes me want to root for him. He needs a look in the next few weeks to see if this kid is more than what the “experts” expect of him. Even with this of-fer, Fedroff is hitting .364 on the season, and has six multi-hit games in his last ten.
  • Matt LaPorta: LF, Columbus: 1-for-3, 1 BB: If there was any doubt in your mind about how the Indians feel about LaPorta, those should be cleared up now. He’s lost the favor of the Indians’ management, and really isn’t a prospect at this point. He may get another look in the coming weeks, but it might be to perhaps peddle him. That’s the only explanation for Vinnie Rottino getting a look with the Indians, the Tribe dealing for Lars Anderson, Ezequiel Carrera getting called up, while LaPorta continues to dwell in Clipper-ville.
  • Lars Anderson: 1B, Columbus: 0-for-4, 2 K: Anderson played in his second game, and he’s now 0-for-7, with a walk and four K’s. What a nice start for the clone of Canzler and LaPorta and Rottino and…well…you get the point.
  • Aaron Cunningham: RF, Columbus: 1-for-3, 1 K: I’m about to use IPI’s resources to start a donation fund to pay the Indians’ management to cut this clown. I’m sick and tired of players of this caliber littering two levels of this system. I understand you need to have guys fill the roster ready to play in the bigs…but is this guy ever going to fill a role? No. Cut the chord.
  • David Huff: SP, Columbus: 5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K: Huff had his first start with an ERA under 2.00 since June 20th. In his previous four, he’s given up six, three, four and four earned runs, so it was the step in the right direction.
  • Scott Barnes: RP, Columbus: L (0-3), 1 1/3, 2 H, 2 R, 3 K: Barnes didn’t pitch bad, but after a Cord Phelps error cost him getting out of an inning, he gave up a double that changed the complexion of the game. Still, he deserved better.
  • Bo Greenwell: RF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 RBI: Greenwell was the only Mudcats’ player with more than one hit. This kid has been killing it in Carolina. This is his third year in the Carolina League, so it’s more than past due, even with his injuries. He’s hitting .333 in 38 games.
  • Carlos Moncrief: CF, Carolina: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB: Moncrief had one f two extra-base hits, and had the only stolen base for the Mudcats, showcasing his five-tool prowess. He’s been struggling of late, and this wasn’t a break-out ballgame, but just a snapshot of his potential.
  • Anthony Gallas: LF, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B: Gallas has been one of the better players on the team this season offensively, but he’ll always get overlooked by players with more talent than he. He’s been struggling of late though, going 1-for-11 in his last three ballgames.
  • Jordan Cooper: SP, Carolina: L (6-5)5 2/3 IP, 9 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR: Cooper made his first start since June 9th, and only his second with the Mudcats. This one was terrible, as he gave up four runs, and saw his ERA rise above 4.13.
  • Kyle Blair: RP, Carolina: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER: This really is painful to watch. The former fourth rounder is just surrounding himself with horrible outings, with no end in sight. He returned from the DL on July 25th, and has made two one inning appearances since then, and actually looked a bit dominating. Of course, that didn’t last. A player can always turn things around, but Blair has a long way to go for a kid who’s about to turn 24.
  • Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 2B: Ramirez is just shredding the baseball, as we speak. The slight second baseman is just a sublime hitter at this stage of his career. This is his second season, and he’s hitting .333 overall. His career line is a crazy .333/.373/.446, with an .820 OPS. What’s most impressive though is that in his 89 professional ballgames, he’s struck  out a grand total of 33 times, against 23 walks. Sure, you want to see more walks, but wow, talk about your professional at bat. Let’s see if his size becomes an issue going forward with regards to stamina. If it doesn’t, this kid could be an OBP nightmare for every league he plays in.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: This kid is the epitome of why we play the games, and don’t just live and die by minor league pundits who say who’s good, and who isn’t. AT some point, you gotta play the games, and that’s exactly what Sabourin is doing. He has five multi-hit ballgames in his last seven games, which is his specialty this season. During that stretch, Sabourin has a .464/.448/.607 line, and he’s leading his team in hitting by a ton. What a special season. He’ll be an interesting watch next year, just to see if he can replicate, and perhaps begin adding power.
  • Bryson Myles: RF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB: There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Myles is one of my favorite players in the system, and he’s slowly, but surely regaining that luster as he’s recovered from his injury woes from earlier this season. He’s hitting .385 over the past week, with three stolen bases. It’s clear his legs are nearing 100%.
  • Jake Lowery: C, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI: Lowery’s year started off promising, as he skipped Lake County, and headed for Carolina. After struggling mightily after the first month of the season, Lowery found himself back in Lake County, hunting for his game. He may have found it. Over the last four ballgames, he’s 6-for-16, with three runs, a double and three home runs, including back-to-back on Friday and Saturday. That’s going to be Lowery’s calling card going forward…that crazy power. If he can manage to roll out home runs like he has recently, his average won’t matter much.
  • Joe Wendle: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 1 E: Mr. Wendle keeps on hitting the baseball, and is leading the team in batting over the past seven games with a .324/.355/.467 line. He did add his eighth error in only 34 games.
  • Robel Garcia: SS, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: It’s distinctly possible that Robel Garcia is finally turning things around after playing really badly offensively all season long. Garcia is hitting .310 over his last ten ball games, with four doubles, four walks and four K’s. It’s that approach that’s most intriguing to me right now, because he has 87 K’s on the season.
  • Josh Martin: RP, Mahoning Valley: 3 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 2 K: Martin started in the pen, and pitched very well, then was moved to the rotation, and was fairly good, then moved back to the pen. That move hasn’t been so good, as he’s given up seven earned runs in his past two ballgames, over seven innings.
  • Luis Encarnacion: RP, Mahoning Valley: 2 IP, 3 BB, 1 K: Encarnacion had a stretch of four games in which he was torched, from July fifth through July 25th. Over his last two games, he’s looked better, going three shutout innings. The control is an issue though, as he’s walked 15 this season in only 12 2/3 innings, while striking out 11.
  • D’vone McClure: CF, AZL Indians: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: McClure has already tasted professional baseballs ups and downs over his first nine ballgames. He started off torrid, going 6-for-14, with six runs, his first homer and three RBI. Then came the slump. He went 0-for-15 in his next four ballgames, before rebounding in his last two, going 4-for-8. There’s no doubt that he has talent, and there’s no doubt that his ability is raw. Arizona is clearly an offensive league, so it will be interesting to see what the real scouts have to say about the kid once he rolls his talent into Ohio next year.
  • Jorge Martinez: 3B, AZL Indians: 2-for-6, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K: Martinez blasted his fifth homer, and drove in his 26th RBI of the season in Arizona, and continues to just rake. He’s fifth in the league in hitting, and has a .377/.400/.600/1.000 line on the season so far. He already has his career high in homers, and is tied with doubles and triples in 15 less games than last season.
  • Nelson Rodriguez: 1B, AZL Indians: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Rodriguez is only hitting .244 so far on the year, but he rolled out homer and double number four in only his 14th game of the season. You have to be crazy excited about this kid’s early power production, and while he’s struck out 15 times, he’s walked 15 times as well.
  • Ryan Battaglia: DH, AZL Indians: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Battaglia hit his third homer in ten games, and now has one in back-to-back nights. He’s hitting .360 during that stretch of games.
  • Kieran Lovegrove: SP, AZL Indians: 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R/2 ER, 3 K: Lovegrove has struggled so far this season, but did show signs of life last night, with three K’s, without a walk. It’s so hard to judge some of these pitchers in this league, because of the ungodly offense, so I’ll hold off on my thoughts on guys like Lovegrove and Howard until I can see them in a league where a team doesn’t have seven multi-hit players, as the Indians had last night.

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

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