Around the Farm: August 7, 2014
Ramsey, Loopstok, Vick power their way to the top of Around the Farm
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
James Ramsey (CF, Columbus): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SO
Ramsey's debut with the organization had not gone smoothly, but Thursday, the 24-year-old flipped the script, launching his first two extra base hits and looking the part of a priority prospect. Naturally, taking too much away from one good game is as irresponsible as making judgments on Ramsey's rough first five games, but there is a balance to be found. Clearly Ramsey has work to do on making consistent contact (12 strikeouts in six games), but the center fielder has shown an ability to do something with the ball when he connects. Ramsey's first exposure to Triple-A -- which doubles as his time in the Cleveland organization -- has not been a smooth transition, but luckily he will be judged on a lot more than six Triple-A games at the beginning of August 2014.
Sicnarf Loopstok (DH, AZL Indians): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB
Loopstok may have gotten a late start to the season, but the 2013 13th round pick has done his best to cram an entire season into his first two games, launching two home runs in each game. For those keeping track, after Loopstok only had two extra base hits in 24 games with the Scrappers last year (a double and a triple, no homers), the 21-year-old has now doubled his extra base hit output in just a couple of days. Obviously we cannot do much with projecting out this performance -- no one could possibly maintain a 2.667 slugging percentage and a 3.417 OPS -- but what is most important right now is that Loopstok is back on the field. The back-to-back multi-homer games are naturally amazing, but what is most important to get Loopstok's career back in motion is just having him playing games.
Logan Vick (LF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SO
After posting a .170/.323/.252 line through June 3 with the Mudcats, Vick was sent down to Lake County and essentially relegated to prospect afterthought. However, Vick was never as bad as that line, as a .236 BABIP was obscuring the good his strong approach at the plate was doing (45:29 SO:BB in those 41 games). There was still a little too much patience and swing and miss in Vick's game at that point, but such a low BABIP was never sustainable. Since his return to Carolina, Vick has seen his BABIP continue to rise, though considering it is only up to .256 on the season, it will likely keep increasing in the future. In his 19 games since returning, Vick is getting on base and showing more power, with a .237/.382/.441 line, a 16:14 SO:BB, and a normal .295 BABIP. Vick is not dominating the Carolina League, but he is definitely better than his raw stats would indicate.
- Gabriel Arias (SP, Columbus): W (6-2), 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO. Arias is not a high-end prospect, but the right-hander has found decent success in the upper levels of the minors in 2014 and turned in one of his best performances of the season Thursday.
- Shaun Marcum (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO. This was Marcum's first appearance above the Arizona League this year as the right-hander continues to work his way back from thoracic outlet surgery.
- Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI. Based on his season numbers (.274/.327/.432 line, 39 extra base hits in 110 games), it is hard to tell Moncrief struggled mightily through the first two months of the season. Overall, it has been a solid season for Moncrief in his first exposure to Triple-A.
- Audy Ciriaco (DH, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SO. Ciriaco launched his 13th home run of the season Thursday, setting a new personal record for homers in a season.
- Zach Walters (2B, Columbus): 0-for-4, 1 SO, 1 E. This 0-for-4 night ended Walters' hitting streak at 18 games, but the 24-year-old has still been very impressive in his first six games in the organization (1.077 OPS) while showing off his versatility, appearing at second base, third base, and left field.
- Will Roberts (SP, Akron): W (11-11), 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO. Roberts' solid season in Double-A continued Thursday as the right-hander ate up a bunch of innings while limiting his walks. The soon-to-be 24-year-old could use some more strikeouts, but overall, his 3.99 ERA and 87:30 SO:BB in 140.0 innings could be much worse.
- Michael Bourn (CF, Akron): 0-for-3, 2 SO. Bourn's rehab assignment with the RubberDucks carried on here as the center fielder put up his second-consecutive 0-for-3 performance. Luckily rehab assignments are all about the process of getting a player back to game speed and not about the results.
- Erik Gonzalez (SS, Akron): 0-for-2, 2 BB. Gonzalez's hitting streak came to an end at 17 games -- leaving him tied with Tyler Naquin for the RubberDucks' longest streak of the season -- but the 22-year-old still reached base twice on the night.
- Alex Lavisky (C, Akron): 1-for-3,. Lavisky's hitting streak did not come to an end Thursday as the catcher extended his to eight games.
- Anthony Gallas (RF, Akron): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 SO. The same goes for Gallas, with the exception being his streak is one game behind Lavisky's at seven.
- Dylan Baker (SP, Carolina): W (2-2), 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO. After not going more than 3.2 innings in any of his first three starts since returning from his fractured fibula, Baker was all the way back Thursday. Though this outing was not dominant, the right-hander pitched six innings for the first time since April 8.
- Ben Heller (RP, Carolina): 0.0 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 HR, 1 E. Heller's rough transition to the Carolina League continued Thursday as now owns a 5.19 ERA and 8:9 SO:BB through 8.2 innings.
- Yandy Diaz (3B, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B. The power is coming in slowly for Diaz, but that remains the only real piece missing for the 23-year-old (.365 on-base percentage, 29:29 SO:BB, .070 isolated power in 55 games), who is celebrating a birthday today.
- Jeremy Lucas (C, Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SO. With 12 home runs, 39 extra base hits overall, a .815 OPS, and a 66:52 SO:BB in 99 games, Lucas is a model of consistency for the Mudcats.
- Jordan Milbrath (SP, Lake County): ND, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP. Milbrath saw his results swoon a bit midseason, but the right-hander has been back on track lately. There are still improvements for the 23-year-old to make -- with his 65:42 SO:BB in 109.1 innings, for instance -- but this has still been a productive year for Milbrath.
- Lake County Bullpen: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 9 R (6 ER), 3 BB, 1 SO, 2 HR, 1 WP. Carlos Melo, Wander Beras, and Alexis Paredes had a collective night to forget as the trio blew an 11-3 lead for the Captains.
- Grant Fink (1B, Lake County): 2-for-4, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HBP. Power was not Fink's issue Thursday, though it has been a little lacking in 2014 (.145 isolated power). That mark is not inherently bad, but given Fink's 147 strikeouts in 101 games, some more pop would be preferable.
- Claudio Bautista (2B, Lake County): 2-for-6, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 E. It goes without saying that Bautista will need to improve his 83:8 SO:BB in order to find success in the upper levels, but if he can fix his approach, the power he is showing in 2014 (.161 isolated power, 10 home runs in 99 games) will play quite nicely.
- Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 4-for-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SO. Frazier still has a ton of strikeouts (129 in 97 games), but his .266/.350/.411 line as a 19-year-old in his first full professional season is pretty good.
- Eric Haase (C, Lake County): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO. Despite cooling off following his hot start, Haase is still hitting quite well (.880 OPS in the first half, .761 OPS in the second half) as he awaits a call to Carolina.
- Ivan Castillo (SS, Lake County): 4-for-6, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SO. Castillo does not normally do much on offense (he owns a .586 OPS in 62 games), but he has hit quite well in his last two games.
- Torsten Boss (RF, Lake County): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB. Though Boss' .193 batting average obscures it, the 23-year-old's .324 on-base percentage, .168 isolated power, and 42:21 SO:BB in 35 Low-A games are all strong.
- Julian Merryweather (SP, Mahoning Valley): L (1-2), 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1 WP. Though Merryweather has been pretty good about limiting walks in his professional debut (27:13 SO:BB in 38.2 innings), the right-hander's control got away from him a little bit Thursday.
- David Speer (RP, Mahoning Valley): 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO. Though he allowed three runs in this outing, Speer's run suppression has been pretty good this year (3.24 ERA) and the left-hander has gotten a ton of strikeouts while also limiting his walks (31:6 SO:BB in 25.0 innings).
- Francisco Mejia (C, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-4. Mejia had one of the Scrappers' two hits Thursday night, with Greg Allen coming through with the other.
- Yonathan Mendoza (SS, Mahoning Valley): 0-for-1, 2 BB. Though he went hitless, Mendoza managed to reach base twice while increasing his SO:BB to 16:19 in 43 games this season.
- Matt Capps (SP, AZL Indians): ND, 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR. The Arizona League team did not go long without a rehabbing major leaguer, as Marcum's promotion was filled by Capps starting his rehab.
- Shao-Ching Chiang (RP, AZL Indians): W (3-2), 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO. Chiang is not running the best ERA to date (5.12 in 31.2 innings), but his ability to really limit walks (22:2 SO:BB) points to better results in the future.
- Sam Hentges (RP, AZL Indians): H (2), 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO. Cleveland's fourth round pick in this year's draft is still being brought along slowly, though he has shown some nice glimpses in his eight innings (1.13 ERA, 8:4 SO:BB).
- Joe Wendle (2B, AZL Indians): 0-for-3, 2 SO. This was Wendle's second appearance in Arizona after seemingly being lost for the season with a broken hamate bone. At this point, it is still early enough that Wendle could find his way back to Akron before the end of the season to make up for some lost time.
- Bobby Bradley (1B, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 3B. Bradley's impressive debut rolls on with the 2014 third round pick maintaining a .372/.443/.628 line with a 25:14 SO:BB and 17 extra base hits in his first 28 professional games.
- Li-Jen Chu (C, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B. The same goes for Chu, who owns a .350/.451/.633 line with a 10:9 SO:BB and 11 extra base hits in his first 21 stateside games.
If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at email@example.com. If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.
Bradley-Move the kid up to Mahoning Valley, give him a late season challenge
Loopstick-Same thing, he is too advanced for Arizona, at least let him DH at the Valley
Castro-This kid is not going to hit well enough to advance very far in the system
Drake Roberts-Busted draft pick
De La Cruz-Why oh Why is he still getting at bats?
Speer-Filler material in low A
Haase-Push him up to Carolina, for a late season cup of coffee
Milbrath-lacks a strikeout pitch, looking like a long man type of pitcher
Melo-Seriousy, why is this guy be given any innings
Diaz-Nice hitter, but not enough power to man a corner position
Vick-Will he break the Mendoza line
Baker-Nice outing, really like him and Brown as starting pitchers
Heller-The bloom has come off the rose, getting shelled at High A
Sides-Bump him to Akron
Ronny Rodriguez-Filler material at this point
Will Roberts- Does this guy have the stuff to maybe be a back end of the rotation type of MLB pitcher, seems to eat alot of innings
Marcum-Hopefully they resign this guy