Around The Farm: July 24, 2013
Power from #WashTime, Naquin, and Haase highlight night on the farm
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.
LeVon Washington (LF, AZL Indians): 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 E
It is a given that parsing out meaning in Arizona League stats is next to impossible. The Arizona air and the nature of the pitching in the league lead to inflated offense, meaning that just scanning box scores will not tell you all that much about a player. One time I think it is alright to use Arizona League stats as a guide, however, is when someone is at an extreme, as Washington currently is. After Wednesday's power binge, Washington owns a .531/.595/.969 line with a double, two triples, and three home runs in nine Arizona League games. While the actual numbers themselves are pretty fluky, they are also a sign of a player currently at a level he just does not belong at. While it is understandable that the organization wants him completely healthy before sending him back to Ohio, it is time to promote Washington. There is no reason #WashTime should not be back in full season ball, likely dominating it like he was when he left (.351/.468/.532 line in 22 games at Lake County).
Tyler Naquin (CF, Carolina): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SO
The overall results for Naquin in his first full professional season continue to impress (.286/.353/.439 line) and getting out of the cavernous Carolina League stadiums could turn some of his doubles into home runs (24 doubles, eight home runs). He is still striking out quite frequently (96 in 93 games), though that is something that could fade in time. It is easy to forget that this is his first full professional season -- an important thing to remember -- and that he should improve going forward. While I would like to see him challenged in Double-A, that relative lack of experience may be why the organization is holding him back in Carolina.
Eric Haase (C, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 E
Coming into 2013, Haase was one of the top catching prospects in the organization. At 20 years old, the assignment to Low-A Lake County was the normal and logical step for his development. This season has not gone perfectly (.239/.305/.435 line in 78 games), though considering this is Haase's first real time outside of the Arizona League, it is pretty successful overall. The power has been for real (.196 ISO), and while the on-base percentage has not been there, that should (hopefully) come with time. If Haase is able to combine more walks and more consistent contact (leading to more hits) to his power, then he will become one of the most valuable players in the organization.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka (SP, Columbus): L (2-6), 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 E. That is four straight starts of six or more innings from Matsuzaka, who seems to have turned a corner lately (20:3 SO:BB, 1.35 ERA in 20.0 innings over his last three starts).
- Nate Spears (1B, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 SO. Spears has been adding first base to his resume of late, a necessary quirk for the 28-year-old Spears to stick around in the organization in a utility role.
- Luis Hernandez (2B, Columbus): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B. Hernandez got a late start to the season thanks to an injury and his power is still working its way back (.065 ISO in 33 games).
- Jeremy Hermida (LF, Columbus): 0-for-4, 3 SO. Hermida is doing well overall (.376 OBP, .802 OPS), but that has come with a ton of swing-and-miss this year (112 strikeouts).
- Toru Murata (SP, Akron): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR, 1 WP. Murata has rediscovered his form of late (three runs in last 13.0 innings), though the long ball continues to victimize him (20 in 117.0 innings).
- Shawn Armstrong (RP, Akron): L (0-1), 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO. After missing over two months with an injury, Armstrong is still struggling with limiting runs and his control (5.05 ERA, eight walks in 10.2 innings).
- Cedric Hunter (LF, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SO. While Hunter continues to tear up Double-A (.285/.349/.599 in 36 games), he is likely below Carlos Moncrief and Tyler Holt on the callup pecking order.
- Chris Wallace (DH, Akron): 2-for-3, 1 2B. Wallace is the grizzled veteran of the Akron backstops, though the "old man" got a chance to show Jake Lowery and Alex Monsalve how it is done at the plate Wednesday.
- Shawn Morimando (SP, Carolina): W (7-9), 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR. Morimando continues to get results this year (2.88 ERA), though the 51 walks in 103.0 innings is something the left-hander needs to work on.
- Erik Gonzalez (SS, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SO. The organization called up Gonzalez Wednesday morning, not that it affected his Wednesday-Thursday dominance.
- Jordan Smith (RF, Carolina): 2-for-5, 1 CS. Smith continues to show a strong form in terms of getting hits, but his continued lack of power makes it hard to see him profiling in a corner (.082 ISO in 97 games).
- Joe Sever (1B, Lake County): 3-for-5, 1 2B, 4 RBI. Sever continues to mash the ball at the Low-A level (.306/.367/.455 line in 65 games) and press for a callup back to Carolina.
- Luis DeJesus (SP, Lake County): W (4-10), 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 WP, 1 BK. On the bright side, DeJesus did not allow a home run after allowing them in back-to-back outings. On the not-so-bright side, this outing raised the right-hander's ERA to 6.45.
- Lake County Bullpen: 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO. The combination of Kyle Crockett (making his Low-A debut), Cody Penny, and Grant Sides shut down South Bend and took the win home for the Captains.
- Martin Cervenka (C, Mahoning Valley, Game 1): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 PB. After a rough go at Lake County (.452 OPS in 15 games), Mahoning Valley has not treated Cervenka much better (.629 OPS in 17 games), though Wednesday went well.
- Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Mahoning Valley, Game 1): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 IBB. With Rodriguez knocking another extra-base hit, opposing pitchers are starting to fear (and intentionally walk) the slugger.
- Joel Mejia (RF, Mahoning Valley, Game 1): 2-for-3, 1 2B. The toolsy Mejia is hitting pretty well in his first six games out of Arizona (.360 OBP), though this was his first extra-base hit.
- Mahoning Valley Pitching, Game 1: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO, 3 WP. In a bullpen game, Kenny Mathews (aka Kent Mathews), Alexis Paredes, and Harold Guerrero kept State College in line until Paul Hendrix's walk-off walk in the eighth inning.
- Juan Herrera (DH, Mahoning Valley, Game 2): 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 3 SO, 1 SF. In Mahoning Valley's second-straight extra-inning game, Herrera erased his poor day to date by finishing the sweep of the doubleheader with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.
- Josh McAdams (LF, Mahoning Valley, Game 2): 2-for-3, 1 SO, 1 CS. Despite the caught stealing, it is good to see a successful night offensively for McAdams, as he has stumbled so far in his first exposure above the Arizona League (.256/.310/.291 line in 34 games).
- Claudio Bautista (3B, Mahoning Valley, Game 2): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SO. After committing two errors in the first game, Bautista responded at the plate in game two.
- Luis Lugo (SP, Mahoning Valley, Game 2): 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1 BK. The Scrappers had only allowed Lugo to go five innings in his previous starts, but the left-hander made it through 5.2 innings while lowering his ERA to 1.47 and his FIP to 3.12 Wednesday night.
- Matt LaPorta (DH, AZL Indians): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Even though the people en masse have given up on him, LaPorta continues to rake during his rehab work in Arizona (four home runs, three doubles in seven games).
- Sean Brady (SP, AZL Indians): L (0-1), 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR. Brady had not allowed an earned run coming into Wednesday, so one bad night is acceptable. The 2013 fifth round pick now has a 10:2 SO:BB in 9.0 innings.
- Anthony Vizcaya (RP, AZL Indians): 0.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR. Vizcaya has alternated some pretty good and some pretty bad outings recently, with Wednesday biting him hard. He now owns a 8.73 ERA and 4.34 FIP in 23.2 innings.
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I don't know what the answer is, but the Indians HAVE to find a way to infuse more upside pitching prospects into this system.
I think Jim is right that Sever belongs in Carolina. He is not a serious prospect but he is far closer to one than Sabourin. And it give space for Big Nellie in LC.
It looks to me like the pitching is improving. Some of the young arms look like they are developing and may move up this year. There is still a shortage of quality arms. I even watched Dice pitch and he is a smart old guy. Does not really have the arm speed or pitch movement necessary to be a viable ML starter but he has command and knows how to pitch. Speaking of pitching, I think I will wait a while before giving up on Carrasco and Bauer.
I believe Adams is ready for a promotion to AAA. The only thing that appears to be holding him back from such a promotion is there is no space in the pen in Columbus to put him there. Price, Langwell, Guilmet, Lee, Hagadone, Rapada, Wood and Barnes are all pitching well and/or are on the 40-man and considered ML options. That's a lot of pen arms. I believe we will see some players shake loose from there either with more permanent callups to Cleveland or some trades, and when that happens, Adams will be promoted.
As for Washington, no way he should go to Akron. He has just 4 career games at the High-A level and is 1-for-14. He definitely needs at least a half season there, or he needs to go there right now and finish strong and then play in the AFL and do well so that he can be considered for Akron to start next season. Right now unfortunately, he is on track to open in Carolina next season unless he does what I said in the previous sentence.
I agree there is not a lot of pitching to be overly excited about in the Tribe farm system, but we still have McAllister, Kluber, Salazar, Bauer and Carrasco under team control for a long time. Between those 5 and the stockpile of middle infield prospects as trade chips, the Tribe should be able to field a pretty solid rotation for the foreseeable future.
I love the hitters in the minors but WHO is going to pitch? I think the Indians should carry 13 bullpen arms and just throw out a pitcher every inning because that seems like the only pitchers this organization can draft/groom.