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Around the Farm: July 29, 2013

Around the Farm: July 29, 2013
July 30, 2013
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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.

Nellie Rodriguez (Mahoning Valley 1B): 3-4, R, HR, 3 RBI: Rodriguez is just going off in short season and it looks like he has made the adjustment necessary to earn a return to Lake County. Rodriguez is barely 19 and has shown advanced production in short season with an improving BB:K rate. His OPS has risen almost four hundred points since his demotion.

Clint Frazier (AZL CF): 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, K, BB: The Indians first rounder has had an incredibly encouraging start so far in the AZL. Of course, production can get inflated in Arizona and his strikeout rate is somewhat concerning, but his start has added positivity to the depth of this organization. Having two impact position players in Lindor and Frazier has added really tangible improvement to the organization over the last two years.

Joe Wendle (Carolina 2B): 2-4, 2B, R, K: The splendid splinter, well maybe not, but he has been outstanding in Carolina and though his age for the level is advanced his stock as a prospect is constantly rising. Wendle is showing impressive power production in terms of both home runs and doubles in a challenging league while maintaining a relatively low strikeout rate. Wendle needs to be promoted immediately following the trade deadline.

  • Juan Diaz (Columbus SS): 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB: Diaz has transitioned from middling prospect to 4A depth at this point, but his versatility does offer some value. Diaz has been playing all over the infield and his bat has improved of late.
  • Chun Chen (Columbus LF): 1-2, 2 R, BB: Chen’s success has not really transferred to Columbus. In reality, Chen’s lack of power of any type really limits his ceiling as a prospect. His .295 OBP in Columbus is not helping either.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka (Columbus SP): 8 IP, 4 ER, BB, 4 K, 2 HR: Daisuke has six consecutive starts of at least six innings and has been impressive of late. Too little too late in terms of being big league relevant but competitive starts for Columbus offer some organizational value.
  • Erik Gonzalez (Carolina SS): 3-4, RBI: After having some success in Lake County, Gonzalez has been moved to Carolina and the early returns have been positive.
  • Shawn Morimando (Carolina SP): 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K: Not Shawn’s best outing as he was unable to limit base runners or runs themselves.
  • Lake County Captains (Offense): 4-31, BB, 12 K: Outside of Levon Washington returning to Lake County with a hit, this game could not have gone worse for the Captains.
  • Claudio Bautista/Juan Herrera (Mahoning Valley 3B/SS): 4-10, R, 2 K: The left side of the Scrappers infield had mirror lines. No extra base hits but two hits a piece works.
  • Josh McAdams (Mahoning Valley LF): 2-4, 2B, K: The Indians 2012 seventh rounder was another Scrapper with a solid evening. McAdams is another nineteen year old trying to make the challenging transition to life as a minor leaguer.
  • Dace Kime (Mahoning Valley SP): 3 IP, H, 4 K: Kime has looked too old for short season and he should be, but this is still an impressive outing. Kime showed impressive control, and I always love when a pitcher produces more strikeout than base runners.
  • D’vone McClure (AZL LF): 2-5, R, 2B, 3 K: McClure is an immense talent who has struggled so far in a limited sample in Arizona. McClure is only nineteen but 35 strikeouts in twenty-two games speaks to how raw he is offensively.
  • Josh Tomlin (AZL SP): IP, K: The cowboy with a solid rehab outing. Tomlin will probably be rehabbing and building arm strength for the remainder of the season.
  • Juan Santana (AZL RP): 6 IP, 4 H, 4 K: Santana’s best outing to date in this young season. Only four base runners in six innings is what you want to see out of young pitching.

Interact with Michael by email at and on Twitter @MichaelHattery

User Comments

July 30, 2013 - 2:09 PM EDT
Is Plutko getting built back up to pitch with MV/LC this season? Or did his late signing push him to instructs?
July 30, 2013 - 1:18 PM EDT
As for Tomlin, I just don't see any way the Indians put a rehabbing starter coming back from TJ surgery in the pen in a pennant race. He very likely will not pitch in Cleveland this year. His rehab assignment will expire in late August, so they can option him without burning one since there will be less than 20 days left in the season then (20-day rule) and can simply just add him when needed in September as a roster guy but not pitching.
July 30, 2013 - 1:16 PM EDT
I've seen Wendle a boatload of times and have talked to the Indians front office, coaches and even scouts from other teams about him numerous times. No doubt he can hit. That's not even a question. But it's the defense at second base and some questionable versatility, and not much of a run tool as well as his advanced age at High-A which bring him down. He's definitely on the prospect radar, but he does not have the youth, upside and more well rounded tools that teams covet and prioritize. He's just going to have to continue to perform and work on improving defensively and maybe add some versatility to his game. Ramirez and Rodriguez are better prospects because of their defensive abilities, athleticism, youth and tools.....wendle is just the more polished hitter right now.
July 30, 2013 - 12:58 PM EDT

Just a question about Tomlin's rehab. Since he officially started his rehab, is he on the 30 day clock starting July 25th, or whenever it was? I know he has options, so will the Indians just have to option him to the minors in order to continue his rehab at the end of 30 days?

I wonder about Tomlin in the pen. He's never had powerful stuff, and those soft-tossing command/control types don't usually profile well in the bullpen, but Josh is such a competitor maybe he could make it work.
July 30, 2013 - 12:43 PM EDT
Have any of you actually watched Wendle play? Or are you making these comments from looking at stat lines? Cause that's what it sounds like. I've seen all 3 of them second baseman come through this level and they are not that impressive so much as to think wendle cant over take them
July 30, 2013 - 12:05 PM EDT
I agree, people said similar things bout jram, and now hes top ten or 5 pending where u look. That said, he's a prospect. And if he isnt whats it called? Love the arm chair managers. I trust cleveland front office, you should too.

Just my opinion.
July 30, 2013 - 9:44 AM EDT
Here's the thing. When an IBI writer labels Wendle a "prospect," that does not mean he or she is saying that Wendle is a future All-Star or even a Major League regular. All that implies is that he could one day play in the bigs. That could be for one game or 1,000 games, but the "prospect" label simply means he has the potential to one day be a big league player. To me, Wendle looks to be a player that could eventually be a Major League utility man, and there is no doubt that his prospect value has risen considerably this year. Wendle reminds me of Cord Phelps and seems to have the ceiling that we all thought Phelps had a few years back. Phelps has since kind of flamed out, but there is no doubt that he was once a legitimate prospect, or at least the Indians thought so, because the team kept giving him chances in Cleveland. Given the higher priority infield options, I would not be surprised if the Indians begin experiment with Wendle in the outfield this offseason to further enhance his "prospect" value. No Norm, he's not a prospect in the same breath as say Francisco Lindor or Dorssys Paulino, but there is no doubt that he is a prospect nonetheless.
July 30, 2013 - 9:21 AM EDT
I don't agree with labeling Wendle a "non-prospect" but I also don't see the Tribe moving him to Akron. It's unfortunate, because with Wendle's advanced age, it would be beneficial to get him to a higher level quickly to see if they do have something there. Once J-Ram or R-Rod is promoted to Columbus along with Moncrief, I wouldn't mind seeing Wendle promoted and splitting time between LF, DH, and 2B. Until Naquin can display a modicum of plate discipline, there's no need to move him to AA.

I don't think that Wendle has a future as an everyday player in MLB, but he could definitely be a solid platoon/utility/bench bat.
July 30, 2013 - 8:51 AM EDT
Yeah, Wendle is going nowhere until at least one of Rodriguez/Ramirez/Lindor are shipped out to Columbus or traded.

Tomlin very likely will not pitch in Cleveland this year. Maybe, MAYBE he is up in September as an extra guy on the roster to maybe get a few innings in, but it is not likely. Remember, last year at this time Carrasco was on rehab as well and never sniffed time in Cleveland. They are going to be extremely cautious with him, and the bullpen is not something that appears to be a good fit for him coming off surgery. They have enough pen options that I believe he simply just keeps building arm strength and his workload back to start next year.

DeJesus has had a very disappointing year. He is a guy that the Indians liked last year, which is obvious because he is in the rotation this year - rotation often means priority at least in lower levels. But wow are the numbers not pretty. You still look at the stuff and intangibles, and there is something there, but he has really dropped in value this year and might be working his way into a bullpen/swing role going forward.
July 30, 2013 - 8:38 AM EDT
Sterling has been better of late with an ERA of 1.08 and WHIP of 1.38 in his last 10 games as compared to his season numbers of 4.89 and 1.75. He's also gone 2-3 innings in his last three outings, so maybe a return to the rotation is in the cards. This is his age-20 season, so not a lost cause yet. I'd rather see him or even Morel in the rotation over DeJesus, who has really struggled all year.
July 30, 2013 - 8:20 AM EDT
Tomlin needs to build up innings......control is the last thing to come after TJ surgery so don't assume he'll have as good of control as he did (at least in the near future). Building up to 5/6 IP per start could get him there.
July 30, 2013 - 4:24 AM EDT
Tomlin to the pen? I think they need a guy who can come in and not walk anybody.

Not saying that because of the 1 ip but looking where he could fit in after rehab.
July 30, 2013 - 1:45 AM EDT
Very surprised at your comment regarding Wendle. How many MIs are allowed to play at the same time in the Eastern League? The Indians have 3 superior MI prospects already in Akron from nearly every evaluators viewpoint, Wendle may have more power than any of them but he is much older. He also does not have their speed and cannot hit LHP.

Although Wendle is not as horrible as Sabourin, some IBI writers do go on the oddest binges writing about non-prospects,

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