Around the Farm: July 23 (Abner Abreu...Again)
Could the Indians' organization be witnessing the blossoming of one of their biggest talents, right before their eyes? Might the Indians have a power-hitting, five-tool, right-handed hitter residing at High A Kinston? Abreu has tantalized the Tribe brass and faithful before, and was rated the #5 prospect right here at IPI in 2010. Is this the real deal, or just a blip on the radar?
Abner Abreu: RF, Kinston: 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K:
That's right, Mr. Abreu remains in the spotlight for his second straight game, after a big 4-4 night on Friday. He followed up with another near perfect game, and has been absolutely raking over the past month. He's 7-8, with four runs, two homers and seven RBI in the last two games, and has a ten game line of .424/.487/.909. I know the old adage, 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me," but this is the kind of talent that keeps showing up with Abreu. If he was consistent, he has the tools to be the top prospect in the organization. He still remains a project, however, but his selection seems to be getting better. At 21, he still has plenty of time to become a special baseball player.
Cody Elliott: CF, Mahoning Valley: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB:
Elliot is currently riding a six-game hit streak that is even made more impressive by the fact that five of those games are multi-hit outings. Elliot took over the lead-off slot after Bryson Myles went down with wrist and hamstring injuries, and is quickly making people forget about Myles big start. Elliot is 13-29 (.448), with 10 runs, a double and three RBI over the six game stretch. The 21st rounder is certainly making a whole lotta noise early into his career.
- Jason Donald: 3B, Columbus: 1-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, CS 1: I've never been on the Jason Donald bandwagon, but you have to feel a bit sorry for the kid. If ever numbers dictated movement in an organization, it's his. He's currently batting .331, and has a ten-game line of .472/.587/.772.
- Luis Valbuena: SS, Columbus: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K: Valbuena could also be lumped in the unfortunate column. He got stuck in the outfield with the Tribe, and never could find his footing. He's hitting .312 in Columbus, but just may have used up his last hall-pass to Cleveland.
- Jerad Head: LF, Columbus: 1-5, 2 RBI: Head has obviously been sent a message from the Indians. He's having a solid year with the Clippers (.290/15 HR/ 49 RBI), but with the Indians needing outfielders, he hasn't even garnered a sniff.
- Chad Huffman: RF, Columbus: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K: Huffman has been in a horrid slump. He has two hits in his last two games, but prior to that, was 0-for-his-last-26. Ouch.
- Zach McAllister: SP, Columbus: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR: Not the stellar starts we've been used to with McAllister, but a solid one none-the-less.
- Nick Hagadone: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 3 K: With rumblings that Rafael Perez is about to be traded, his replacement continues to roll over International League pitching. Hagadone has given up only one earned run in his last ten games, and has given up only 14 hits and three walks during that time, racking up a 1-0 record, with a save and 18 strikeouts. He may be ready to make the move. Versus lefties, he's got a 2.08 ERA, and holding them to a .179 batting average this season.
- Zach Putnam: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Putnam may be the next in line for a call-up (discounting a Rafael Perez trade), but he's looked downright pedestrian recently. He hasn't given up much in his last two games, but in his last ten, he's given up ten runs over the 13 2/3 innings. If the Indians are calling up their best relievers, there are a couple of others that should be in front of the line.
- Jordan Henry: CF, Akron: 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI: Henry's got back-to-back multi-hit games, going 4-10 against the SeaWolves, with two runs and four RBI. He may be back to his hitting ways.
- Matt McBride: DH, Akron: 2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB: McBride continues to hammer away at Eastern League pitching, and now has four straight multi-hit games in the Eastern League (two back in June, before his call-up), and has gone 9-19, with four runs, four doubles and six RBI during the stretch.
- Chun Chen: C, Akron: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K: Chen hit his tenth homer of the season, and continues to be a steady bat at the catching position. He might be an interesting chip at the trade deadline for teams looking for a catcher that's close to ready. He still needs seasoning, but has done enough over the past two seasons to get noticed.
- Ben Copeland: RF, Akron: 3-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI: Copeland has been nothing short of spectacular since his free-agent signing in June. He was picked up for outfield depth, but there may just be a spot for him at Columbus next year, should the Indians do as I expect, and let go of a couple of veterans.
- Austin Adams: SP, Akron: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 2 K, W (6-8): Adams has his third straight solid start in a row, after scuffling a big in June and the start of July. He's a top 50 prospect in the organization, and the Indians are just waiting to see if he rises or falls. Right now, he's treading water. It's not a bad thing, but he's about to turn 25, and has only one more level to prove himself.
- Bryce Stowell: RP, Akron: 2 IP, 2 K: Stowell may be done screwing around with this recovery. Many have wondered what the deal was with Stowell, who some considered to be the best bullpen arm in the systen in 2010. He's been stuck in Lake County for most of the season, and pitched well. The Indians skipped him over Kinston, and moved him right to Akron, and he flew out of the gates with a two-inning gem. If some trades go down, he could be closer to Cleveland now, then many people thought.
- Eric Berger: RP, Akron: 1 IP: The mustache has been mostly good this season, and over his past ten games, is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA.
- Tyler Holt: CF, Kinston: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K: Holt still strikes out too much, but he's starting to wield the bat that caught the organization's eye early in the season. He's had four multi-hit games in his last six, and he's hitting .391 during that stretch.
- Casey Frawley: SS, Kinston: 2-4, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K: Frawley is only hitting .195 over his past ten games, but his 4-9 in his last two. He tends to ride a roller coaster with his bat, so who knows where he's going next.
- Anthony Gallas: LF, Kinston: 2-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K: Gallas has certainly struggled with the stick in Kinston, batting only .208 in 32 games with the club. He's starting to find his way though. In his last ten games, he's hitting .297, with five doubles.
- Chase Burnette: 1B, Kinston: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: It's good to see Burnette with a multi-hit game, his first such game in July. He's not done much this season, and it's hard to see him moving much further unless he can close the season strong. That's not an easy task in the pitching-heavy Carolina League.
- Toru Murata: RP, Kinston: 1 IP, 1 K, S (2): Murata pitched in his second game after being on the DL for nearly two months. He's looking good, as he nailed his second save of the year. He's not given up a run or hit in his return engagement.
- Lake County Offense: 1-15, 3 K: Granted, last night's game was rain-shortened, but still, another night with only one hit? Yeah, only 15 at bats in the five inning game, which means in the past two, they've had two hits, and Cedar Rapids has only faced 43 batters (42 minimum). Ouch x 2.
- Michael Goodnight: SP, Lake County: There was a time this season when Goodnight was one of the best stories in the organization. That seems like years ago at this point. He's given up 30 runs over his last 33 IP.
- Tony Wolters: SS, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 1 K: Wolters continues to rake with his fifth straight multi-hit game. Along with Elliott leading off, it has been quite a one-two punch over the past week. He's 11-for-his-last-21, with six runs, two doubles and four RBI.
- Jordan Smith: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 2-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB: Smith continues to own the New York Penn League, and remains third overall with a .358 average.
- Enosil Tejada: Closer, Mahoning Valley: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K, S (4): Tejada has had a shaky start to the year, but was excellent last night, striking out the side to get his fourth save of the season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.