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Around the Farm: July 16, 2011

Around the Farm: July 16, 2011
July 17, 2011
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Juan Diaz
Akron Aeros)

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.

Juan Diaz: SS, Akron: 2-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K: 

Diaz has carried a hot stick for Akron in July, and is currently on a ten-game hit streak. He's been particularly hot over the past week, going 7-15, with three runs, a double, a homer and two RBI. Perhaps his still basking in the all-star glow.  Diaz appears to have taken the next step in his development. He's a big kid at 6'3" tall, but has never had much pop in his bat. This season, Diaz already has six homers (his career high is 8), 17 doubles (career high is 22) and 44 RBI (his career high is 60), and is on pace to shatter all three. His power numbers have increased in each of the past three seasons. No, I don't think Diaz is going to come out and hit 40 homers a season, but with his size, I do think he'll ultimately project as a 20-25 homer guy. If he ever figures out how to cut down his strikeouts and increase his OBP, he could really become a prospect to watch.

Beau Mills: 1B, Akron: 3-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI: 

Mills has the average back up to .295 thanks to a current six-game hit streak.  You have to be impressed with Mills overall performance since returning from the DL earlier this season. He started off hot, bringing his average up to .300, before a mini-slump brought it back down into the .260's.  He was also lacking a bit of pop in his return that was a bit of concern. Well, the average is back up, and the power is back in full force. His ten-game stat line is an insane .361/.600/1.200 for a 1.800 OPS. Ummm, WOW...

  • Jason Kipnis: 2B, Columbus: 1-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Kipnis rolled out another one of his stat-filling nights, even with only one-hit. Of course, the one hit was a big one, a one-out, bases-loaded, two-run double.
  • Jason Donald:  3B, Columbus: 1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Donald followed up Kipnis' double with a two-run single that ultimately proved to be the game-winner. While Donald broke his five-game multi-hit streak, he did continue his overall six-game hit streak, raising his average for the Clippers to .317.
  • Nick Johnson: DH, Columbus: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Johnson has been a disappointment since signing a minor league deal with the Indians. He scuffled at the plate early, then went on the DL. He came back yesterday and hit his first 2011 home run, so perhaps he's finally right.
  • Justin Germano: SP, Columbus: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 5 K, 1 HR: Germano followed his brilliant start on July 6th with another solid outing. This is believed to be Germano's last start with the Clippers, but you just never know, especially when you put up numbers like he has over his last two starts.
  • Chen Lee: RP, Columbus: 1 2/3 IP, 1 BB, 2 K, W (2-0): Lee continued his outstanding 2011 season with his seventh straight appearance with the Clippers without giving up a run. Overall, he's 2-0 in 10 1/3 innings, giving up only six hits and three walks, while striking out 17. Lee's not leaving Columbus any time soon, but I'm sure big Mo' has already started to get this kid up to Cleveland. Not this year folks, not with some older, more seasoned players ahead of him.
  • Nick Hagadone: RP, Columbus: 1 2/3, 1 K, S (2): Hagadone has been outstanding since June 23, spanning eight appearances and 12 innings. Over that time, Hagadone has given up ten hits and three walks, while striking out 13. It seems as though Hagadone has really settled into his set-up roll in Columbus, and because of it, you'll be seeing him in Cleveland soon.
  • Jordan Henry: CF, Akron: 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB: Henry routinely provided games like this in 2010, but has really scuffled in 2011. He brings a big league approach to the plate, so hopefully he can return to his 2011 form.

  • Raul Padron: C, Akron: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K: Padron has been a pleasant surprise for the Indians, who signed him at the end of June for organizational catching depth thanks to injuries. He's hitting .311, with nine runs and ten RBI in his 13 games.
  • Ben Copeland: RF, Akron: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K, SB (6): Copeland's another free agent June signing for depth, and has been nothing but good since joining the team. Copeland is on a seven-game hit streak, and is hitting .299 in his 18 games with Akron.
  • Karexon Sanchez: 3B/2B, Akron: 1-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K, SB (14): Sanchez is finally getting back to the play that made him so valuable to the organization. He's not a top prospect and never will be, but he can really fill up the stat box with his fantastic fielding, and havoc around the bases. Sanchez will be a major league player someday, more for his ability to play several positions than anything else.
  • Cristo Arnal: 2B/LF, Akron: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI: While Arnal is an offensive liability for the most part, he is a defensive whiz. This season, he's played games at first, second, third, short, left and right, and made one error overall, and at first base no less. When you can play that many positions well, you'll likely find yourself toiling on a major league bench at some point.
  • T.J. McFarland: SP, Akron: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K, W (6-4): McFarland has been one of the best starters in the organization since June 24th, other than a blip during his last start on July 9th. He rebounded nicely last night, and appears to be reestablishing himself as one of the top lefties in the organization.
  • Abner Abreu: RF, Kinston: Game 1: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Abreu continued his home run barrage in game one, hitting his fifth home run in his last nine games. I'm not ready to say he's back just yet, but if his power has returned, perhaps his stock will as well. I do worry about beginning of the year struggles, which was his knock even before the injury and other struggles over the past two seasons.
  • Anthony Gallas: LF, Kinston: Game 1: 2-3: No, Gallas' two hits didn't really mean much in the grand scheme of game one last night, but he's been mired in a HUGE slump, so the two hits are a big deal.
  • Abner Abreu: RF, Kinston: Game 2: 2-3, 1 R, SB (19): Abreu continued his hot-hitting ways with a two-hit game in game two.  Overall, Abreu goes 3-5, with two runs, a homer, an RBI, a walk, a stolen base, and no strike-outs. He's improving with every swing of the bat.
  • Steven Wright: SP, Kinston: 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R/1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, L (1-2): Wright certainly improved on his last start, in which he was bombed for four home runs, but took the hard-luck loss thanks to the weak offense and some shoddy defense (including an error by Wright himself). He's still learning the nuances of the knuckler, but the four walks will be a normal occurance.
  • Giovanny Urshela: 3B, Lake County: 1-4, 1 R, 2 RBI: Urshela's single in the eighth inning scored two runs, and made things interesting. While Lake County would go on to lose, Urshela's clutch hit kept the Captains in the game.
  • Nick Bartolone: 2B, Lake County: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Bartolone has struggled with the bat all season long, but was the only Captain with multiple hits in the game.
  • Jake Lowery: DH, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Lowery continues to impress the organization, and now has a five-game hit streak. His ten-game stat line is .270/.372/.541.
  • Alex Lavisky: C, Mahoning Valley: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Lavisky only had one-hit today, but let's put it in perspective. His hit was a double, and he was playing catcher (and not DH-ing) when he hit it. It also gave him a six-game hit streak. He's not hitting a ton right now, but he's hitting. He's got an abundance of talent, and it should be interesting to watch Lavisky and the organization open that talent up.
  • Henry Dunn: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K: Dunn was the 50th draft pick in 2010, and for those wondering how low that is, it was their last draft pick. Dunn played in his second game with Mahoning Valley after playing in the Arizona League for the past two seasons, and I'd say he's made an impact. Dunn hit a fourth inning grand slam for his first professional home run. Boy, I'd love this kid to make himself into a prospect.

Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI. Also, his latest book the 2011 Cleveland Indians Top 100 Prospects & More is available for purchase for $20.95 to customers in the US (shipping and handling extra).

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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