Around the Farm: July 19, 2011
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.
Matt Packer: SP, Akron Aeros: 8 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K, W (4-9):
Where has this guy been all season? Well, that's not totally true, because since July 7th, the Matt Packer that exploded on the scene in 2010 reappeared. In his last three starts, Packer has pitched in 23 1/3 innings, giving up only 15 hits, four earned runs and two walks, while striking out 20 batters. Hopefully this trend is one that will continue, because the Indians needs some left-handers to return to form. With eight innings of two-hit, shutout baseball, Matt Packer may just be back to prospect prominence.
Paolo Espino: SP, Columbus Clippers: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR:
Espino has been an interesting story this season, and added another chapter to that novel tonight with a sorely needed solid spot start for the Columbus Clippers. The Clippers needed to rest some much-used arms, so they made the call to Akron and brought up the rubber-man, Espino, who has pitched at seemingly every level and in every slot this season. Tonight's start was brilliant, as Espino made 74 pitches (55 K's) in his five shutout innings. He's by no means going to be a stud at the major league level, but there has to be a need for a player that can start on a whim, can play set-up, long relief, and even close if needed. If you can deal with an occasional blow-up, Espino will always come through with impressive performances.
- Jason Kipnis: 2B, Columbus: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 K: Kipnis didn't have a stellar night by any stretch, but he did lead the game off with a home run, getting Paulo Espino and the Clippers on an early roll.
- Cord Phelps: SS, Columbus: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: You get the impression that Phelps is about to go on one of his offensive tears. He's 5-11 over his past three games, with four runs, a homer and three RBI.
- Tim Fedroff: CF, Columbus: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: It's not like Fedroff went off or anything, but I suppose with every outfielder to ever play outfield for the Tribe (with the exception of the nagging Austin Kearns) getting injured, we need to start watching all the Clippers outfielders. Fedroff is a year away from making any major league impact...or is he?
- Shelley Duncan: 1B, Columbus: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Duncan, another potential Indians' outfielder, has hit two homers in the three games since returning to Columbus, and is batting .364.
- Jared Goedert: 3B, Columbus: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Remember Jared? No, I'm not talking about the Subway guy, but the former break-out prospect who really hasn't done a thing since spending time on the DL earlier this season. He had a big game tonight, but is still hitting a whopping .197.
- Michel Hernandez: C, Columbus: 2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB: So, the Indians go out and sign this guy to cover Akron with their catching injuries, and he goes out and hits .455 in an eight game sample, and gets called up to Columbus for his effort. In two games with the Clippers, he's only gone 3-6, with two runs, a double, two RBI and a walk. Whoever signed this guy needs a raise.
- Mitch Talbot: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K: Welcome Mitch Talbot to his 30-day tryout as a relief pitcher. He was more than impressive tonight in his one-inning of work, and will need to continue to excel or find himself looking for a new organization.
- Tyler Sturdevant: RP, Columbus: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 H, 1 R/0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K: Like Espino, Sturdevant was called up to the Clippers. I'm not sure how long it will be for, but he logged three big innings tonight, getting his first Triple A save. Sturdevant has a major league arm, but is still struggling to find consistency. This Clippers bullpen is absolutely loaded with big arms, and Sturdevant just adds to the fun.
- Beau Mills: 1B, Akron: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K: Everybody's old/new favorite prospect to talk about was at it again, launching a three-run blast in the fourth inning last night, to blow the game open. Mills has now hit five homers in his last ten games, has a nine game hit-streak, and has an insane ten-game line of .432/.500/.946 for a 1.446 OPS.
- John Drennen: RF, Akron: 2-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Drennen had his best game since returning from his 50-game suspension, and he needed it. Prior to tonight, he had gone 1-21 since returning.
- Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: 1 IP: Bryson made a ho-hum debut tonight in the ninth inning, and buzzed through his three Altoona batters with no problem. Bryson should be in Columbus or higher right now, so he'll be an interesting watch with a boatload of talented relievers already at Triple A. None are as talented as this kid though, if he can stay healthy.
- Anthony Gallas: LF, Kinston: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Gallas continued his return to form with another stat-filling night, as he upped his his streak to five games. He's eight for his last 17.
- Adam Abraham: 3B, Kinston: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Abraham had his first two hits since last Wednesday. The story of Abraham's life, and why he can't take the next step as a prospect.
- Abner Abreu: RF, Kinston: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB: I gotta tell you, every night when I get set for ATF, I look forward to seeing what Abreu's done. I don't know for how long this will last, but Abreu is back, and then some. Abreu has five homers in his last 11 games. Even more impressive though is that a guy that used to strike out four times as much as he'd walked has suddenly figured out patience. He's walked six times, compared to striking out seven, in his last ten games.
- Argenis Martinez: 2B, Kinston: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Martinez is leading the K-Tribe in hitting at .321. Granted, he just joined the team at the beginning of the month, but he's not known for his offense.
- Steven Wright: SP/RP?, Kinston: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 K: Wright starts, Wright relieves...who knows what Wright does these days. I'm not sure the Indians know what to do with him either.
- Cody Elliott: CF, Mahoning Valley: 3-5, 1 R, 1 K: Elliot has gone 5-9 in his last two games, with four runs scored. He's just a place-holder until Bryson Myles returns from his hamstring issues, but is holding his own.
- Tony Wolters: SS, Mahoning Valley: 2-5, 2 RBI: Wolters had been struggling at the dish prior to tonight, going one for his previous 16, but returned to form with two hits and two ribbies.
- Jordan Smith: RF, Mahoning Valley: 1-2, 2 R: While Smith has gone largely unnoticed in Tribe circles, he's done everything but pulled out a vuvazela to get noticed. He's now hitting .352, has a seven game hit streak, and hit in 24 of his 27 games played. Now, if the 6'4", 205 pounder can develop some power (0 HRs).
- Will Roberts: SP, Mahoning Valley: 4 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K: The Tribe's fifth rounder this season made his second start, again on a pitch-count, and looked mighty impressive. In his two appearances, he's gone 5 2/3, giving up seven hits and three walks, while striking out four. He's yet to give up a run.
- Harold Guerrero: RP/SP, Mahoning Valley: 4 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 K, W (2-1): Guerrero is a starter, but piggy-backing Roberts tonight, and was actually more impressive. Especially when you consider that Guerrero has given up 17 runs in his first six appearances (this was his seventh, and first in relief).
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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 email@example.com.