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Around the Farm: July 24, 2012

Around the Farm: July 24, 2012
July 25, 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.

Matt Packer: SP, Akron Aeros: W (2-0), 7 1/3 IP, 8 H, 2 R/ER, 3 K, 1 HR:

Packer is a prospect, and he’s a very good one. While he won’t make a splashing finale into my mid-year rankings, if I were a betting man, I’d say that a month-and-a-half more of what he’s dealing now will get him into my top fifteen for next season. Overall this season, including his rehab starts in Arizona and Carolina, he’s 3-0, with a 1.04 ERA in seven starts over 26 innings. He’s given up 21 hits and three earned runs, while walking one (!!!), and striking out 22. Folks, that’s what we in the biz like to call DOMINATING! He’s not a number one guy in a major league rotation, but as a southpaw with multiple out pitches, he can be a guy in the Masterson mold…if he can stay healthy. Packer is the real deal.

  • Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI: This Carrera kid OWNS ATF right now. No, I’m not rolling him out as a headliner every night, but he is doing everything possible. Keep raking Zeke, and you’ll get your turn. Right now, Carrera is 16th in the IL in hitting for those that have qualified. He’s also leading the Clippers in hitting (qualified), which is utter dumbfounding, considering he was hitting .236 on June 2nd. Since then, Carrera is hitting .322 in 46 games, with 33 runs, 10 doubles, two triples…and if you can believe it, four homers.
  • Matt LaPorta: DH, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 BB: Ahhhh, Matty LaPorta, you are still here! Congrats on your season-long stint in pout-viller…er…Columbus. I don’t know LaPorta, and I hope he eventually finds his way onto a major league club. I really do. I’ll even commit to putting him on here when he does well, but boy, I’m sick of it. Let’s move on already…
  • Jared Goedert: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K: Goedert was hitting .242 on June 15th, and like Carrera, musta eaten a healthy dose of Wheaties, because after that game, he’s hitting .339 in 29 games, with 21 runs, eight doubles, two homers, and 14 RBI. You’d like to see more power there, but it’s good to see him playing well, and mostly at third base.
  • Scott Barnes: RP, Columbus: H (6): 1 1/3 IP, 1 BB, 3 K: Yes, Scott Barnes will likely return to the role of starter next year. Yes, Scott Barnes will be competing for a rotation slot with the Indians next year. Yes, he’s a prospect to watch, and has plus ability, but isn’t an ace going forward. No, I have no freakin’ clue what he’s still being used as a reliever this year, especially after signing Romero.
  • Frank Herrmann: Closer, Columbus: S (4), 2/3 IP, 1 BB: Chris Ray goes bye-bye, and Frank Herrmann becomes a cllosser (that’s not a typo…thanks for the e-mail). Frank Herrmann becomes a cllosser, and saves games in three straight appearances. Nnoo, it does not mean he’s a factor in the system going forward.
  • Tyler Holt: CF, Akron: 0-for-4: The only thing worth mentioning with regards to Holt’s call-up is that it’s been a horrible move. He’s hitting a whopping .203 since the promotion, and just been a non-factor. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for.
  • Juan Diaz: SS, Akron: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI: You know, Diaz has made a bunch of appearances here over the past month, and I was expecting when I looked at his stat line that he’d be hitting .280 at this point. Well, I was wrong…there he is…at .259. While .259 doesn’t stand out, the fact that he was hitting .226 on June 20th should make it a little better. He’s hitting .310 in the month since, with 24 runs, 10 doubles, two triples and five homers. He also has a whopping 24 RBI as well. Could my 2010 and 2011 sleeper finally be waking up? Maybe that cup of coffee was worth something after all!
  • Preston Guilmet: Closer, Akron: S (17), 1 IP 1 H, 2 K: Guilmet doesn’t remember a thing, does he. He got rocked in his last appearance, to the tune of three runs in 1/3 of an inning. His ERA that night was 81. That was two days ago. Today…tick…tick…tick…BOOM. Guilmet is unflappable, and while he doesn’t have an ‘ELITE ARM,’ and isn’t considered a prospect, he’ll be a major league pitcher, and in my opinion, a good one.
  • Joseph Colon: SP, Carolina: 4 1/3 IP, 9 H, 9 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR: The big question with any young pitcher is how they transfer their ability from level to level. Joe Gardner was a guy that always intrigued me in the past because he dominated in the lower minors, then hitters started figuring him out before he was traded in the Jimenez deal. Colon reminds me a lot of Gardner. He came to Carolina after dominating in Lake County. Well, unlike Gardner, he may have already met his match. He’s given up 16 runs (11 earned) in two games over 9 1/3 innings, and is 0-1. Now it’s early, and I guarantee you he figures things out in Carolina, but for how many levels more? There still doubt there, but he could still be a workhorse starter.
  • Grant Sides: RP, Carolina: 1 IP, 1 K: Sides has appeared in ten ballgames since June 23rd, and he’s been nothing short of dominant in several back-end roles. He’s got four saves, in four save opportunities. He’s got 13 K’s in 12 1/3 innings. He’s given up only one run. The only flaw is that he’s given up seven walks…but, it’s not hurt him, yet.
  • Delvi Cid: LF, Carolina: 1-for-2, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: I like this kid’s intangibles. He doesn’t have a special bat, which will keep him from every making the majors, but he’s got a four-game hitting streak in which he’s gone 6-for-13, scored five runs, with a double and a homer…which is icing. YOU CAN’T TEACH SPEED…right Urban?!?
  • Carlos Moncrief: CF, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K: This kid is just tearing it up right now. He crushed his team-leading 15th homer, and while I cringed when I saw the 16 strikeouts figuring he had struck out five times, I was pleasantly surprised…he only K’ed twice!!!
  • Carolina offense: 16 strikeouts vs. two walks=painful
  • Tyler Naquin: CF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB: Jeff Ellis speculated that because of his advanced intangibles, Naquin could potentially be a kid that could rocket through the system, with a slight chance at tasting some time in Cleveland next year. While that would be miraculous, that’s the kind of player he is. Great night for the #1 draft pick.
  • Joseph Wendle: DH, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: I’m listening to the Arrested Development song right now, and if you don’t know the song…head to youtube, type in Arrested Development and Mr. Wendal, and you are welcome. Call it the IPI song of the day, and hopefully, Mr. Wendle’s at bat music going forward. That said, Mr. Advanced Bat himself rolled out his second homer of the season. Onward and upward Mr. Wendle…onward and upward.
  • Erik Gonzalez: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI: Gonzalez raked in the Dominican Summer League in 2010, but not much else. The Indians signed him clear back in 2008, but he’s a fringe prospect at best. He hit .138 in June, and .241 in July.
  • Robel Garcia: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 2 R: There were high hopes for Garcia heading into 2012 after he hit .284 in the Arizona Rookie League. He started in Lake County, was overmatched, was moved to Mahoning Valley, and after an initial struggle,  has started to play well. He’s hit in eight of his last ten games, and is hitting .333, with five runs, two doubles and four RBI over that stretch.
  • Josh Martin: RP, Mahoning Valley: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K: Josh Martin was the Tribe’s tenth round pick out of Samford, and was a former teammate of Grant Sides. He was likely an underslot guy, but may have some legs as a reliever. He piggy-backed today, and dominated in his best performance as a pro, and his first appearance without giving up a run.
  • Dorssys Paulino: SS, AZL Indians: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 3 E: I’m guessing that Paulino and starter Dillon Howard didn’t share laughs, as his three errors in the first and second cost the starter multiple runs. He has 11 errors in 22 games.
  • Nick Hamilton: 3B, AZL Indians: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Hamilton has struggled in the pro ranks, but hit his first professional double tonight.
  • Dillon Howard: SP, AZL Indians:  4 IP, 7 H, 9 R/2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR: Well, I’m curious to see the write-up on Howard after this one, as he gave up nine, but only two were earned on the back of about ten errors. He didn’t help himself by giving up two homers, but this wasn’t all his doing.
  • Joshua Nervis: RP, AZL Indians: 2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K: The name cracks me up every time I see it, but he clearly doesn’t emulate it. He’s given up one run this year, in seven appearances, and in the ten innings, has only given up five hits, four walks, while striking out 15. In this offensive league, that’s nothing to sneeze at. He’s a big kid at 6’3”, 230 pounds, and I have to believe is going to be a long-term factor in the bullpen….but it’s early yet.

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

Calling You Out
July 25, 2012 - 8:36 PM EDT
What a nice, constructive comment, Maury.

Except it wasn't. At all. If you're going to criticize, at least use some statistics, examples, etc. so you don't look foolish.
July 25, 2012 - 8:10 PM EDT
I don't know who has less baseball knowledge, Jim Pete or Chris Antonetii.
July 25, 2012 - 9:45 AM EDT
Hi Jim, once the trade deadline has come and gone, I would like to see the Indians make a few moves in the organization that would benefit the development of system. I would promote Diaz and Neal to Columbus. Neither are ML prospects IMO and add nothing to Columbus that isn't already there. But they clear space for 3 Carolina IFs(Aguilar, Wolters, RRod) and 1 OF (Moncrief) to be promoted to Akron. In turn, space is created for Lindor, Smith and some other prospects with ceiling to move.

As I have made clear in the past, I really don't care what they do with prospects that cannot impact the Indians at the ML level and there are no position players other than a couple of IF backups in AA and AAA that can have that effect. I would like to change that. No sense in promoting guys like Holt and Tice who will never be any value to Cleveland. Let the kids play!

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