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Around the Farm: July 4, 2012

Around the Farm: July 4, 2012
July 5, 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.

The Arizona League Indians’ game was suspended last night in the second inning. Juan Herrera had a hit in two at bats, Dorssys Paulino continued roping the ball with a two RBI triple, and Jorge Martinez hit a sac fly to score Paulino. The AZL Indians can score some runs, and were up 3-1 when the game was stopped.

Thomas Neal: RF, Akron Aeros: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB 1 SB:

If you’re in Akron, and you haven’t taken a notice of one Thomas Neal, you had better do it in a hurry, because I can’t imagine that he’s going to be there much longer. Neal is just on fire right now, and is doing everything you could possible want from a top prospect. He had an eight game hit streak busted up on the third, but restarted a new streak in a big way on the fourth. He’s gone an insane 19-for-39 in his last ten games, with 12 runs, seven doubles, three homers, 11 RBI, seven walks (and seven K’s) and a stolen base. In other words, he’s playing like a top 20 prospect in the system. Hell, he’s playing like a top five prospect. Of course, we are talking about sample size, but if Neal is finally healthy and playing full tilt since before last season’s trade, you could be looking at decent plus prospect acquired for virtually nothing.

Ryan Rohlinger: 2B, Columbus Clippers: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI (Grand Slam), 1 BB:

Rohlinger is a 28-year-old former major leaguer (148 games over four different seasons) that’s spent his entire season in Akron. He was called up to fill an infield spot in Columbus, and just went off. At Akron, Rohlinger would have an occasional big game, and even had four homers on the year.  He’s had some power in the past (hit 18, 16, 13, 11 and 10 homers in a season before), so it’s nice to see it resurface in his second 2012 Triple A game. His third inning grand slam broke the game open, as the middle infielder drove the ball over the centerfield wall. If he makes it to the Indians, something incredible will have gone wrong to make it happen…but a big finish in Columbus or back in Akron is fine with me.

Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County Captains: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB:

It’s really fun watching a guy get hot and just start shredding the baseball, and that’s what Jose Ramirez has been doing at Lake County. On a night when seven of the nine Captains’ batters had two hits or more, Ramirez was the only one that had ‘or more.’  Over his past ten games, he has a sick .425/.465/.525 line, and over his past five games, he’s gone 11-for-19, with four runs and three doubles. He’s hitting .356 overall in both Mahoning Valley and Lake County, and after hitting .325 last season in the Arizona League, you’d have to think that he’s starting to be a bit more important to the Indians with regards to being a prospect worth really developing.

  • Vinny Rottino: DH, Columbus: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 BB: Rottino was on base all day long, kept his average up to .311, and joined in a Columbus barrage that included 17 hits and 13 runs. Looks like the Clippers had their own fireworks in mind. So, am I the only one that thinks Rottino should be an honorary member of the bullpen Mafia?
  • Matt LaPorta: 1B, Columbus: 3-for-6, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI: LaPorta’s average sits and .312, as he had another good night on the road. LaPorta just keeps plugging along, and I have to believe…is praying that he’s traded to someone that will give him another senseless shot.
  • Russ Canzler: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB: Canzler rolled out his third base glove for the fourth of July game, and drilled his 19th and 20th double on the season. I’m starting to think that Canzler may be an option for the Tribe fairly soon, especially if he’s a viable option at third base.
  • Chad Huffman: RF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Huffman throws out a game like this once or twice a week. He can’t sustain it, but can certainly fill a minor league box score on occasion. I just can’t fathom that he keeps his job all season long with some decent bats showing up in Akron.
  • Gregorio Petit: SS, Columbus: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB: Petit had his second multi-hit game in a row, and his five hits in the past two nights are one more than he had in his previous eight games, which more or less tells Petit’s true story. Good to see the hot streak for the light-hitting infielder.
  • Luke Carlin: C, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1BB:  Carlin’s playing time has been hit-and-miss, and more or less every other game or so now, but he does have a three game hit streak, with two of the games being multi-hit affairs.
  • Chris Seddon: SP, Columbus: W (8-5), 6 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K: There are some in the system that really like Seddon as a potential major league candidate should injuries hit, because Seddon does have the ability to miss bats. He wasn’t perfect today, but he wasn’t bad either. He’s scuffled here and there, but has only had two bad starts since May 16th. I don’t think he’s next on the list of call-ups, but he is certainly in play. Like Rohlinger, Seddon has spent some time in the bigs, and is looking to get back.
  • Frank Herrmann: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 2 K: It doesn’t get much better than 11 total pitches, with eight strikes in a two K inning.
  • Chris Ray: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Ray still only has a 2.31 ERA, and pitched in a rare eighth inning, “game already done” contest. He had given up three earned runs in his previous two appearances, so it’s good to see him back to pitching well.
  • Matt Langwell: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H: Langwell continues to go under the radar, but continues to pitch extremely well. He did give up three earned runs in his last outing, but has been near dominant other than that.
  • Jeremie Tice: DH, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K: Tice is hitting .350, and now has five two-hit games in his first ten. Tice has to have everyone in the front office watching and hoping upon all hope that he can stay healthy for the rest of the season. If he does, I do think he’s a viable option THIS year. I’m not saying the Indians will push him that hard, but he does have that kind of bat. What’s key is health and position.
  • Juan Diaz: SS, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K: What an interesting line that is. Diaz rolls out a triple, four ribbies, and two strikeouts. I wonder if it will get him called up? In all honesty, Diaz is playing his best minor league baseball of the season, with hits in nine of his last ten, and a current three-game hit streak. His ten game line is .308/.372/.538.
  • Paolo Espino: SP, Akron: W (3-2), 3 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR: Espino’s last start was horrible, but his previous four were outstanding, to go along with the Fourth of July gem. He isn’t a guy that they are going to look at hard at the rotation, as there are several in line before him, but if he keeps paying his dues filling in where needed, perhaps it will pay off with a shot down the road, or with another ball-club.
  • Tyler Sturdevant: RP, Akron: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K: I have to imagine that they want Sturdevant back in Columbus where he belongs. He made it briefly in 2011 but struggled, but that’s where he belongs. In three appearances in Akron, he’s had two solid outings, and one bad one, but there’s no doubt that you’ll get more of the dominant than the struggle. If that’s the case, he’ll be taking someone’s spot in Columbus soon.
  • Tyler Holt: CF, Carolina: 0-for-4, 2 K: If the rumors turn out to be true, and they were rampant at the game on Wednesday night, than Tyler Holt has been promoted to Akron. As of this writing, it is all speculation at this point. If true, long overdue. If not…well…long overdue.
  • Tony Wolters: 2B, Carolina: 3-for-4, 1 R: Now Wolters offense is just sick. He has back-to-back-to-back multi-hit ballgames, and has a nine game hit streak in which he had five multi-hit games. Over his past ten games, he’s hitting .357, with seven runs and six RBI. He’s only walked once, and that needs to improve, and he’s struck out seven times. His overall OBP is only sitting at .303, and that really needs to improve.
  • Giovanny Urshela: 3B, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI: You know what I think of this kid right now. His bat has come a long way in the past 10-12 months, and he continues to show off those skills with another homer and multi-hit game. He’s now gone 13-38, with nine runs, three doubles, four homers, twelve ribbies and one walk over the past ten games. He hasn’t struck out once.
  • Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Carolina: 3-for-4: OK, so he just hit a bunch of singles, but now his average creeped up to .283
  • Tyler Cannon: C, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R: Cannon continues to show a nice bat with a new catching tool. Cannon has a four-game hit streak, and has hits in five of his last six. He’s hitting .313 over his last ten games. It’s interesting that this former infielder has become the primary catcher.
  • Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: If you follow Tribe baseball at all, you know that he has a plus hit tool, and likely could be the first guy up to Carolina if any move gets made. He’s killing the ball right now, and his ten game line is .395/.439/.474, with seven runs scored, three doubles and RBI.
  • Alex Monsalve: C, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI: Monsalve continues to show his variety of talents with a triple during the Fourth of July game. Monsalve has essentially claimed the catcher position from Alex Lavisky, and is running away with it right now. He still has a lot to learn on that side of the plate, but the Indians are giving him that chance, even though Lavisky is the better defender. Over his past ten games, Monsalve is hitting .325, with six runs, two doubles, one triple, two homers, ten RBI, two walks and three K’s.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Just another multi-hit night from Sabourin, who has had 13 in his last 31 ball games. He’s hitting .295 overall right now, with a seven-game hit streak, and has a ten game line of .324/.308/.459. Sabourin has gone from minor league fill, to someone to take note of. I’m not saying he’s worked his way into the top ten, or even the top 50, but he will  get some consideration going forward. The kid can hit, but in the end, when you play first base, you have to develop power, and Sabourin’s slugging is only .378.
  • Bryson Myles: CF, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS, 1 PO: It’s good to see Myles with a couple of hits, and even though he got caught stealing and picked off, perhaps that’s a sign that his hamstring is healed, and that he’s healthy again. The kid is a big-time talent, and if he can stay healthy, I think he can move quick through the system. He has a long way to go though, and a lot to learn.
  • Todd Hankins: 3B, Lake County: 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 K, 2 SB: Hankins continues to do things to show up in ATF, and his speed is king right now. He has five stolen bases in his last eight ball games, and his OBP is up to .344 on the season, and .389 in the last ten games. If Hankins gets on base with that speed (17 SB, tied with Lindor for the team lead, and tied for fourteenth place in the Midwest League), he becomes a factor.
  • Zach MacPhee: LF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 RBI: MacPhee is still learning the ropes, while only hitting .115 against lefties, which really curtails his ability right now. Still, he’s hitting a more than respectable .261 against righties, with a double, triple, two homers and 12 RBI.
  • Joe Colon: SP, Lake County: W (7-8), 5 H, 3 BB, 6 K: Colon is a case of record not matching statistics, as he’s rolling with a 3.01 ERA right now. He’s only had one bad start over his last ten, and hasn’t gone less than five innings in any of them. During that stretch, his ERA improves to 2.82 over 60 2/3 IP, with 60 hits, 25 runs (19 earned), 15 walks and 41 K’s. Colon is really making his name right now as an innings eater, and the 22-year-old should be one to watch going forward, to see if he can continue his solid play in the higher levels.
  • Antwonie Hubbard: RP, Lake County: 1 IP: Hubbard had a nice, quick appearance after giving up a run in each of his last two appearances.
  • Joseph Wendle: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 1 2B: Wendle was the only player on the team with multiple hits, which shouldn’t surprise anyone at this stage of the game. He has four multi-hit games over his last six, and his hitting .372 overall, and .400 over his last ten. His bat is clearly more advanced than the NYP.
  • Charlie Valerio: C, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 E: Valerio continued his modest four-game hit streak, in which he has a solo hit in each. He’s still learning the ropes as a defender with his third error at catcher in ten games, and fifth overall, splitting time at first base.
  • Juan Romero: DH, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-4, 2 K: I have little things that I look forward to every day when I start ATF, and I take a guilty pleasure in checking Romero’s stats, wondering if he hit more homers, or struck out more. Today…K’s reign supreme. He has an incredible 25 in 13 games so far.
  • Jake Sisco: SP, Mahoning Valley: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB: Sisco didn’t get a K, but looked good for the second start in a row overall. He’s gotta watch those walks though, as he now has an 11 BB to 9 K BB/K ratio in his four starts this year.
  • Cody Penny: RP, Mahoning Valley: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Penny has had three shutout appearances against one in which he gave up two runs. The 16th rounder out of UNC will no doubt be shooting for Carolina next year, so he can play at home.

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 6, 2012 - 6:20 PM EDT
Well, the only reason why I figure LaPorta didn't get an extended look...well...there's two...are:

1. They don't want to ruin his value in Cleveland, and figure he will...


2. He's in the doghouse for some reason...

Of course, there's always just the simple fact that the Indians don't know how to handle players the right way...
July 6, 2012 - 9:04 AM EDT
I'm actually one that hopes LaPorta gets another shot with the Indians. He's definitely got his limitations, but I hope they did not just give up on him too soon and he goes on to another team a la Brandon Phillips and finds himself. Now, I think at this point he is closer to Andy Marte than Phillips, but I hope at least before the Indians kick LaPorta to the curb they give him at least one more extended look because he won't be any worse than Duncan at least. But that may all be wishful thinking on my part as I think he is going to be traded.
July 5, 2012 - 6:33 PM EDT
Yeah, I know Mike, I have no reason to dog on LaPorta. It's completely outta nowhere. I hope he goes to another club too,

...but while we're at it, I hope he goes TO THE INDIANS to make me look foolish....that would be a novel idea. But when your ceiling appears to be Ryan Garko, and when I say ceiling, I mean he's never come close to Garko's numbers in the bigs in his 220 previous games in the bigs. nothing really there to start banging the drum for, is there.

As I've always said from the time I started discussing him ad a poor mans Garko, prove me wrong. I'd be glad to eat a little crow about the guy and have him hot the hell outta the ball.
July 5, 2012 - 12:25 PM EDT
Jim I read your ATF everyday to see how you dog on LaPorta. I hope he goes to another club and makes you look foolish.

11 MLB at bats this year....
July 5, 2012 - 9:11 AM EDT
a note to consider Mr. Tice the year he was drafted led the NCAA-div 1 in home runs at the Univ. of Charleston SC. he was a third baseman as well so playing LF ' shoudlnt be major problem most infielders transition well to the of. Lets hope his offensive numbers (an rbi/game) isnt a mirage

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