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Around the Farm: July 23, 2012

Around the Farm: July 23, 2012
July 24, 2012
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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.

Thomas Neal: LF, Akron: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI:

Neal had been in a bit of a slump, but things really started to pick up for the Aeros outfielder about a week ago. In the last six ballgames, Neal is hitting a whopping .440, having gone 11-for-25, with seven runs, a double, two homers and ten RBI. He’s walked twice, without a strikeout, and has a 1.201 OPS. Overall, Neal is hitting .306, and just screaming to get bumped up to Columbus. Those of you about to tell me that there’s Major League fill in Columbus, and there’s no room for Neal, save it. He’s playing out of his mind this year, and real major league prospect or no, he needs to get bumped up.

Matt Pagnozzi: C, Columbus Clippers: 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K:

I could stare at numbers all day long, and rare would be the day that Matt Pagnozzi would have anything offensive that would ever make him someone to beware of, or something to run up to your GM’s office and say, “We gotta get this kid.” On Monday afternoon, Pagnozzi, the nephew of former St. Louis All-Star catcher Tom Pagnozzi, went off. Pagnozzi rocked two homers, and rolled out five RBI. For those counting at home, Pags had 18 coming into the game, so his total nearly equaled a third of his total RBI on the entire season. I don’t see Pagnozzi getting a chance with the Indians any time soon, unless there’s an unforeseen trade or injury in the future, and even then, Luke Carlin is likely the guy going forward. Of course, multi-homer games could change things, and do it quickly.

  • Tim Fedroff: LF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 2 R: Fedroff is a regular edition to ATF, and at this point, there’s just no reason for the smooth-hitting outfielder not to be playing for the Major League Indians. He is crushing right-handing pitching right now, hitting .360 in the International league. No, he doesn’t have the power that you want, but at some point, you have to ask if the guys that are playing in the minors aren’t better than the guys playing in the majors. I know, I know…Fedroff is the next Trevor Crowe…blah…blah…blah. Prove it, and let the kid play. If he turns out to be Crowe, fine, then we know. Until then, give the kid a chance. No, he isn’t the power bat, but he’s clearly an option, or he should be. He’s gone 9-for-17, with five runs, a double, a homer and an RBI over his last four games.
  • Jason Donald: CF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: The ATF march continues for Donald. He’s acquired his third straight two-hit ballgame, his fourth in five games, and his sixth in the past nine ballgames. Over those past nine ballgames, Donald has a .378/.455/.784/1.238 line. His OPS is third in the league during that stretch. He played another game at center today, his sixth of the season. So, do the Indians need a guy that can play all the infield and all the outfield positions? Nah, we have Aaron Cunningham. Oh, and by the way…last in the league over that stretch in OPS? How about our very own Matt LaPorta, with a solid .204…you can’t make that up. Way to grab the ring Matt…
  • Vinny Rottino: RF, Columbus: 3-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 5 RBI: Rottino’s “slump” is officially over. He’s 5-for-9 over his last two games, with two runs, three doubles, a homer and a crazy seven RBI. Overall, Rottino has 25 RBI in 21 ballgames, is hitting .325 for the Tribe, and cal play right, left and first.
  • Russ Canzler: DH, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Canzler is actually tame compared to the other guys on offense. Still, Canzler continues to be the consistent backbone offensively to the team. He hits .271 against lefties, and .273 against righties. He has 14 homers and 54 RBI. He plays a solid infield and outfield. He’s nothing too special, but he’s a guy you wouldn’t feel bad bringing up, because he will always play hard, unlike some other guys he’s playing alongside.
  • Gregorio Petit: SS, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R: Petit has joined his teammates, and has littered International League fields with hits over the past month. The little-thought-of infielder is hitting .368 since July third. He has seven extra base hits in his last 16 games.
  • Tyler Sturdevant: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 2 H, 3 K: Sturdevant has a big arm, but this is the first time that he’s had an outing this season without giving up a run. His ERA right now is 9.00, which tells you just how bad he’s pitched at the Triple A level, especially after two shutout innings on Monday.
  • Matt Lawson: 2B, Akron Aeros: 2-for-5, 1 R: As hot as Neal is, Lawson is even hotter. He’s hitting .444 over the last five ballgames. It is what it is for Lawson, who really is fill, but boy has he been hitting this season.
  • Juan Diaz: SS, Akron Aeros: 2-for-5, 2 R: Diaz is hitting .333 since July 18th, and is starting to have the type of season that makes you think breakout. No, he’s not breakout into stardom, but you really could make a case that he’s breaking out into a major league role down the stretch.
  • Adam Abraham: 1B, Akron Aeros: 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI: I told you all yesterday, get ready for an Abraham explosion. Here we go. The hardest working ballplayer in the system has back-to-back games with a home run, and now has 12 on the season.
  • Ryan Rohlinger: 3B, Akron Aeros: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Rohlinger hit his fifth homer of the season, which is actually a step back for the third baseman. He hasn’t hit this few since 2006.
  • Jordan Henry: RF, Akron Aeros: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Henry has really been scuffling this season, but is actually hitting .286 over his last ten ballgames. There was a time when Henry was a legit prospect, but injuries has sapped his usefulness.
  • Roberto Perez: C, Akron Aeros: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K: Perez is truly one of my favorite players in the system. Like I said the other 20 times he’s made ATF, he rarely gets a hit, let alone two.
  • Steven Wright: SP, Akron Aeros: W (8-6), 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 6 K: Wright has been busy struggling for the most part since June 27th. He’s given up four runs or more in four of his past six starts, but Monday Night’s game wasn’t one of them.
  • Rafael Perez: RP, Akron Aeros: 2 IP, 1 H: Perez had another shutout inning in his nightly march back to Cleveland. He has one more outing with Akron tomorrow, and should join the Indians in time for the tail end of the Tigers series.
  • Shawn Armstrong: RP, Akron Aeros: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K: With Cody Allen in Cleveland and Chen Lee on the DL, Armstrong is the next big thing. This was Armstrong’s fourth appearance, and he’s given up three hits and a walk, while striking out ten batters.
  • Bo Greenwell: RF, Carolina: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Greenwell: Greenwell increased his hit streak to 13 games, with three doubles, a triple and a home run.
  • Carlos Moncrief: CF, Carolina: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: In his last 11 ballgames, Moncrief has scored 10 runs, with two doubles , four homers and 11 RBI. He’s only hitting .359 during the stretch, with three stolen bases.
  • Delvi Cid: LF, Carolina: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 SB: Here’s your daily Delvi-fix. Cid continued to play well with a couple of more runs, and another stolen base.
  • Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 3-for-4, 1 CS:  While Ramirez had a great year last season, this is really his break-out season. He’s a legit prospect, and just another really good middle infielder, in a system that seems to really be loaded with middle infielders. If only they could make a deal with one of them!
  • Jordan Smith: RF: Lake County: 2-for-4: Smith is only hitting .318, and while I chuckle at saying that, you almost thing he should be hitting better than this. He’ll end the year in Carolina.
  • Shawn Morimando: SP, Lake County: L (4-3), 6 IP, 1 H, 2 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K: Morimando has pitched really well over his last three starts, giving up eight hits, four earned runs, but 11 runs in 17 innings. He’s struck out ten, but it’s clear that Morimando has to show command, or he’ll never leave Low A.
  • Tyler Naquin: CF, Mahoning Valley:  2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Mahoning Valley had five hits total, and Naquin had two of them, including one of two extra base hits.
  • Charlie Valerio: 1B, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K: Valerio had the big hit of the game, as his third inning, two-run homer proved to be the game winner.
  • Ryan Merritt: SP, Mahoning Valley: W (3-2), 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K: The 20-year-old put together his second straight solid start. In his last two, he’s gone 12 innings, giving up ten hits, two runs and two walks, while striking out six.
  • Cody Penny: RP, Mahoning Valley: 2 IP, 1 K: Penny was perfect in two innings, and has gone three straight appearances without giving up a run, while only giving up a hit and a walk over four innings pitched.

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

User Comments

July 25, 2012 - 2:00 PM EDT
I'm not worried about Lindor at all. Frankly, he could finish at .240 with the BA and I would be fine because his at bats have been consistent all season. Ideally that is all that matters, not to mention a good walk rate and low K-rate. He has established a very good foundation with which to build upon going forward.
Lee P
July 24, 2012 - 4:09 PM EDT
I told myself not to worry until Lindor's average was lower than Wolters'...I thought I'd be safe all season, but here we are in late-July and there are only 2 points between them. Wolters is doing great and its nice to see him rebounding, but I'm wondering why Lindor hasn't been able to scratch out a couple more hits.

I know the scouting reports are still glowing and the walks have picked up, but his average creeping toward .260 is pretty ugly. What's the deal?

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