Around The Farm: July 14, 2014
Lavisky's big night, Aguilar's home run derby performance highlight the night on 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.
Alex Lavisky (Akron, C) - 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Lavisky had a rare big day at the plate and made the most of it. His first multi-hit game in two weeks was highlighted by a two-run homer in the top of the 10th that scored the eventual game winning runs. Maybe this effort is just what he needed to get out of his recent funk which has seen him post a last 10 games batting average that is, even with this game included, is almost 100 points off of his season pace (.175 in his last ten compared to .272 in 42 games on the season).
- Jesus Aguilar (Columbus, Triple-A Home Run Derby) - Aguilar hit four home runs in the first round to advance to the second, where he failed to advance to the final round (his second round home run total not known).
- Tony Wolters (Akron, SS) - 2-5, 1 R, 2 K - Wolters continues his pattern of getting a multi-hit game every five days or so as he returns to his old position. He filled in with regular shortstop Francisco Lindor likely making the trip to Altoona for tomorrow night's Eastern League All-Star Game straight from Minneapolis, where he played in the Futures game Sunday.
- Anthony Gallas (Akron, DH) - 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K - Gallas' recent struggles with the bat continues (.222/.341/.417 in his last 10 games), but a good eye at the plate allows him to have a good day.
- Jordan Smith (Akron, RF) - 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K - Smith has his second three-hit game in his last 10. Unfortunately, he is only 4-for-27 (.148) in the other eight games.
- Justin Toole (Akron, 3B) - 2-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI - Toole continues to hit well, especially as of late (he is batting .364/.371/.455 with five RBI in his last 10 ballgames and .303/.369/.358 in 41 Double-A games with the RubberDucks this season). The only negative that one could find with this effort would be grounding into a fourth-inning 5-4-3 double play.
- Joseph Colon (Akron, SP) - ND, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R (earned), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 HBP - A solid effort that would've been good for an individual win on most days.
- Shawn Armstrong (Akron, RP) - W (4-1), 1.1 IP, perfect, 2 K - Armstrong, more known for picking up saves (11 on the season), earns his fourth relief victory of the season while coming within one pitch of striking out the side in the bottom of the 10th inning.
- Todd Hankins (Carolina, CF) - 1-4, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB - Hankins had only one hit today, but it was a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to put the Mudcats in the driver's seat with a three-run lead. He also stole his 20th base of the season (in 65 games). Hankins has been raking as of late, posting a .341/.413/.537 slash line with nine RBI and seven steals in his last 10 games.
- Yandy Diaz (Carolina, starting 3B) - 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 HBP - Diaz had another big day at the plate before being pulled for pinch runner Yhoxian Medina after being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the seventh. Hopefully, this is merely precautionary and not the result of a serious injury.
- James Roberts (Carolina, 2B) - 2-4, 1 R,1 K - Roberts now has three multi-hit games in his last five after a five-game stretch in which he went 2-for-17 (.118).
- Ryan Battaglia (Carolina, C) - 0-1, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K - While he remains hitless since May 30, the Brisbane Backstop triples the number of times he has reached base in July (all on walks).
- Michael Peoples (Carolina, SP) - ND, 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R (all earned), 1 BB, 6 K, 2 WP, 1 HBP - Peoples seems to be settling into a "two good outings, two bad outings" pattern. He has the offense to thank for the no decision today.
- Clayton Cook (Carolina, RP) - W (2-3), 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (earned) - Cook pitches well enough to keep the 'Cats in the game and earns a well-deserved relief win.
- Josh Martin (Carolina, RP) - S (1), 2 IP, 1 BB,3 K - Martin earns his first save of the season in multi-inning fashion.
- Claudio Bautista (Lake County, 2B) - 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K - Bautista continues to dominate Midwest league pitching, raising his last 10 slash line to .368/.400/.632.
- Paul Hendrix (Lake County, SS) - 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K - Hendrix's only hit of the game was a big one. His three-run homer in the bottom of the third extended the Captains lead to 4-0 and provided half of the scoring in the Caps' six-run offensive outburst.
- Nellie Rodriguez (Lake County, 1B) - 2-4, 1 R, 1 K, Picked Off 1 time - Nellie-Rod stays hot, increasing his last 10 slash line to .419/.419/.907. The good news is that he is posting an .488 isolated power number. The bad news is that his batting average and on-base percentage are the same, indicating plate discipline issues.
- Dorssys Paulino (Lake County, SS) - 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 E - Much like Hendrix, Paulino's lone hit of the game was a third-inning home run, though his was of the two-run variety.
- Jordan Milbrath (Lake County, SP) - W (3-9), 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R (earned), 3 BB, 5 K, 1 WP - Hopefully, Milbrath's second straight dominant outing is a sign of a long-term improvement in his performance.
- Anderson Polanco (Lake County, RP) - 2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (both unearned), 1 BB, 3 K - To be fair, the runs could have just as easily been earned. The error was charged to Paulino on a pretty difficult play in the left-field corner.
- James Stokes (Lake County, CP) - 1 IP, 2 BB, 2 K - A pretty typical James Stokes outing except for a two-batter stretch where he seemed to have forgotten how to throw a strike (honestly, I was afraid at that point that he was injured). Thankfully, a talk from pitching coach Rigo Beltran restored his composure and he struck out Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers) pinch-hitter Webster Rivas swinging to end the game.
- Steven Patterson (Mahoning Valley, 3B) - 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 E - Patterson has his second straight multi-hit night and extends his hitting streak to three games.
- Bradley Zimmer (Mahoning Valley, DH) - 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB - Zimmer continues his strong plate discipline as he now has a 4:7 K:BB ratio in his last 10 games.
- Mike Papi (Mahoning Valley, RF) - 1-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 E - Papi's second pro game sees him drive in his second and third runs of the season, but also saw the first error of his professional career.
- D'vone McClure (Mahoning Valley, LF) - 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K, Caught Stealing 1 time, Picked Off 1 time - McClure picks up his first two RBI of July, but has a rough night on the basepaths.
- Yonathan Mendoza (Mahoning Valley, SS) - 2-3, 2 R, 1 2B - Mendoza seems to be over his recent lengthy hitless streak as he has now hit safely in four straight games.
- Julian Merryweather (Mahoning Valley, SP) - ND, 3 IP, 7 H, 4 R (2 earned), 3 K, 1 HR allowed, 1 WP - It's a testament to how well the Scrapper offense performed tonight that this effort didn't result in an individual loss.
- David Speer (Mahoning Valley, RP) - 3 IP, 1 H, 3 K - Props to Speer on having the night's only positive outing of any length for the Scrappers.
- Anthony Vizcaya (Mahoning Valley, RP) - L (1-3), 1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (all earned), 1 HR allowed - The scariest thing about this outing is that it isn't even the worst of the season for him. That came on June 28th vs. Jamestown (Pirates) - 8 R (6 earned) on 6 H in 1.1 IP.
- Ramon Rodriguez (Mahoning Valley, RP) - 0.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (earned) - This outing may have gotten much worse if Dominic DeMasi had not been brought into the game to get the final out of the bottom of the eighth.
With Papi playing in the OF, the roster situation for next season becomes even more crowded at both single-A levels, especially at LC. I count as many as 10 OF prospects who could/should open on that roster, so something has to give.
Frazier, Zimmer and Papi, obviously, are priority prospects and all 3 should open at Carolina next year, if Frazier keeps hitting the rest of this season. The problem is that both Frazier and Zimmer (and Allen) are CF specs, so it will be interesting how this plays out.
The Indians almost have to push those 3 to Carolina, because the LC roster is loaded with OF options. What do they do with the underachiever bunch, who are still young and where serious money was invested? D.Paulino, Santander, McClure, McAdams. What to do with them? Then you have this draft's 2nd tier crop of Allen, Murphy, Ison, Armendariz. And then there's Sayles, who should be at LC next season too. In that scenario players like Ruiz, Ferrell and Martinez are already pink slipped. Are they ready to do the same with the underachievers? Paulino and Santander are only 19, they'll probably get one last chance as backups, same with McClure, who was a bigger investment. McAdams is on the bubble though, I think.
My best guess is that Allen, Murphy, Santander, Paulino, McClure will be the 5 OF/DH players in LC next season with Sayles and Ison in EST and ready to take over, if one of them continues to disappoint. Armendariz could be a backup in Carolina due to advanced age.