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Around The Farm: July 17, 2013

Rodriguez's career night highlights the night on the farm

Around The Farm: July 17, 2013
Nellie Rodriguez (Photo: Lianna Holub)
July 18, 2013
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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.

Note that Columbus is on their All-Star break.

Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Mahoning Valley): 4-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI

When he was drafted in the 15th round last year, Rodriguez came advertised as someone with tremendous raw power but who was pretty far from being able to realize it consistently on the field. Despite that rawness, the organization pushed Rodriguez to Lake County to see if the first baseman could handle the aggressive promotion. Well, things did not go well (.194/.305/.256 line in 47 games), but they are going much better for Rodriguez in Mahoning Valley. That promotion was always aggressive, so Rodriguez's early failures were basically to be expected. After being dropped a level, Rodriguez has a .321/.383/.486 line in 29 games. He is still working on getting to his power there every day so that it does not just come in flashes, but this is a good step.

Erik Gonzalez (3B, Lake County): 2-for-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 SO, 2 E

Wednesday night basically had all of the good and bad involving Gonzalez on full display. Gonzalez has a little pop in his bat (.171 ISO) and he showed that with his home run. He also has a little swing-and-miss in his swing and does not walk enough, something driving his low on-base percentage (.306). Gonzalez also does not play the best defense, and while errors are a poor judge of defensive ability, having 19 on the year certainly is not a good thing for someone who might fit best long-term filling a utility role. While he can be streaky, Gonzalez can put his ability and tools together from time to time and Wednesday night was an example of that.

  • Preston Guilmet (RP, IL All-Stars): S (1), 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO. Guilmet did what he has done for his whole career: he answered the bell when called upon and got an out. This out gave Guilmet the save in the Triple-A All-Star game.
  • Omir Santos (C, IL All-Stars): 0-for-1. Santos did not start the game, but the catcher was behind the plate to end it. The 32-year-old is having a nice year (.276/.316/.374 in 48 games) and it is good to see him recognized.
  • Kyle Bellows (LF, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 SO, 1 E. Bellows had an ugly error earlier in the game, but he turned his day around with a walk-off single. His offense is down in 2013 (.232/.260/.313), though he is also learning how to play the outfield on the fly.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB. Lindor got his first career Double-A hit Wednesday afternoon. The first of many (or, if he gets called up quickly, not-so-many).
  • Tyler Holt (CF, Akron): 1-for-1, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 BB, 1 SB. Not a bad day from the center fielder, as Holt only got on base four times and threw some power in there. Get him up to Columbus already.
  • Will Roberts (SP, Akron): ND, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO. This was not a pretty outing for Roberts, but the right-hander did battle. He saved the bullpen by getting through five innings and the bullpen responded by throwing four scoreless innings in a win.
  • Tony Wolters (C, Carolina): 3-for-3, 1 HBP. Despite shifting to the hardest position on the diamond, Wolters is holding his own in Carolina. He is not dominating (.271/.340/.371), but he is adjusting.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Carolina): 2-for-5, 1 SO. Another two hits for Smith, who continues to do a good job of hitting the ball, though we are all still waiting to see him realize his power potential (.085 ISO).
  • Zach MacPhee (3B, Carolina): 2-for-4. MacPhee had his first multi-hit outing since June 5, a sign that the utility man is stumbling. This is just a chance to start turning his season around, though.
  • Cole Cook (SP, Carolina): L (0-1), 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2 HR, 1 WP. Cook's 7.78 ERA between three levels tells you everything you need to know about how 2013 has gone for the right-hander.
  • Todd Hankins (LF, Lake County): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB. Lake County has not been kind to Hankins (.210/.300/.371 line in 16 games), though the outfielder did steal his seventh base Wednesday.
  • Dylan Baker (SP, Lake County): ND, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR. Walks have been an issue for Baker lately as the right-hander has allowed 13 in his last three starts (12.2 innings). With a 4.08 BB/9 on the season, those walks are something that will hold Baker back if he cannot get them under control.
  • Lake County Bullpen: 9.0 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 11 SO. After Baker's departure, Cody PennyLuis MorelGrant Sides, and Benny Suarez kept the Captains in the game. Jack Wagoner gave up the go-ahead run, but overall, the bullpen did its job.
  • Dace Kime (SP, Mahoning Valley): L (0-1), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO. Kime now has six strikeouts, one walk, and two runs allowed in his first six innings as a pro. Not a bad start to a career.
  • Harold Guerrero (RP, Mahoning Valley): 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 SO, 1 WP, 1 HBP, 1 E. Guerrero has had some struggles with control so far in 2013 and those were on full display Wednesday.
  • Joel Mejia (RF, Mahoning Valley): 0-for-5. Not the debut the toolsy Mejia was looking for, but give him time. Things will get better for Mejia; the talent is there.
  • Matt LaPorta (DH, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. LaPorta continued to look good in his Arizona rehab, and while the 28-year-old is not likely to help the major league club, it is still great to see him playing and getting healthy.
  • Silento Sayles (CF, AZL Indians): 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 SO, 1 CS. The speedy outfielder strangely took eight games to attempt his first stolen base and he was thrown out. The night was still a success for Sayles, though, as he hit his third double of the young season.
  • Kieran Lovegrove (SP, AZL Indians): ND, 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2 WP, 1 HBP. I cannot wait for Lovegrove to get out of the Arizona League so we can finally get some reliable stats on him. With eight wild pitches and three hit batsmen in 24.3 innings, though, Lovegrove may be a little too wild to promote right now.
  • Carlos Diaz (RP, AZL Indians): L (0-1), 0.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1 E. After the AZL Indians rallied to tie the game in the top of the ninth, Diaz allowed a walk, committed a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and a single to let the AZL Dodgers win. This is one that Diaz will try to just delete from his mind.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

July 19, 2013 - 12:20 AM EDT
Lindor has a good shot to be in Cleveland - and for good - by this time next year. So if Cabrera is traded, the Indians will likely have to use Aviles as a stop gap for a half season or so to bridge the gap to Lindor. Too early to call him up this year.
July 18, 2013 - 9:17 PM EDT
@ Rookie,

I'll take a crack at your question. The Tribe seems likely to trade ACab with Aviles in tow until Lindor or Ronny Rodriguez or even Jose Ramirez develop into the everyday SS. It's highly likely going to be Lindor, but there's no guarantee.

That said, it is possible, although very unlikely that ACab remains through out the length of his contract. The Tribe could give him a qualifying offer to net a draft pick. Of course there are two other options here I've not mentioned: trading him before the deadline or waiting until this offseason. I think they will pursue moving him, at the right price, but I'm not sure Pittsburgh or St. Louis will ante up the young SP the Tribe wants. There have been lengthy discussions between the Cards and Indians though, so it would seem eventually they might work something out.

Back to Francisco Lindor, he is on track to be AAA sometime next yr. I would not be surprised to see him start at AAA next yr. it will depend on what happens this yr. But it is possible Lindor is in Cleveland next yr, probably during the second half of the season.
July 18, 2013 - 5:38 PM EDT
Do you see the long term plan for Indians to make Linder their shortstop either next year or the year after (depending on how he does in minors) and trading away Cabrera?
Jim Piascik
July 18, 2013 - 12:41 PM EDT
Didn't catch that on Sayles' steal attempt. I'm more surprised that he hasn't run yet. I wonder if the organization is working on something with him and not letting him run loose.

I agree on Wolters. Even that line with the changes he is making and the responsibility he is taking on as a catcher is impressive.

Rodriguez has some pretty high upside, though his hit tool is what will make or break him. It will be interesting to see how he handles Lake County the next time he is up there.

Ad thanks Steve!
July 18, 2013 - 9:21 AM EDT
You did not advise any additional info regarding Sayles' first stolen base attempt. He attempted to steal home and was called out. I guess that is an interesting first steal attempt playing pro ball.
Steve Kinsella
July 18, 2013 - 8:32 AM EDT
On a week where I'm starving for baseball the ATF has given me a quick fix in the a.m.

Keep up the good work!
July 18, 2013 - 8:08 AM EDT
Tony Wolters - .271/.340/.371. He may not be dominating in the sense that his is only a .711 OPS, but for a guy as youngish as he is, learning a new position, this is a revelation. If he can continue to develop as a catcher and hit decently, there are teams that are always looking for catching prospects. He could be a very nice trade asset down the road.
July 18, 2013 - 6:49 AM EDT
Nellie Rod is my favorite prospect in the system because of his intriguing power potential. A big righthanded bat with plate discipline. Hopefully he evolves in to a Richie Sexson type firstbaseman.

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