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Around the Farm: July 5, 2012

Around the Farm: 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.

Tyler Holt (CF, Akron): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 K.

Welcome to Akron, Mr. Holt. On Thursday the Indians promoted Holt to Double-A Akron and wasted no time in inserting him into the Akron lineup and at the top of the order. He played center field and reached base in two of his five plate appearances and scored two runs. Not a bad debut and finish to what was a crazy day of travel for him. He recently struggled through a tough June at High-A Carolina where he hit just .198 with a .489 OPS in 28 games, and it looked like he was regressing after he got off to such a solid start. The poor performance of late in Carolina brought his numbers down to .263 with a .688 OPS in 81 games, and it looks like the Indians are looking to give him a bit of a spark with the promotion to Akron. He probably should have been in Akron to begin with this season, but now that he is finally in Akron it will be interesting to see how the Indians incorporate him and Jordan Henry into the mix since both primarily play center field.

Joseph Wendle (2B, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-3, R, RBI.

Wendle only had one hit and actually saw his batting average drop a little, but he is off to quite a pro debut for the Indians. In 13 games with Mahoning Valley he is hitting .370/.444/.500 and has a very notable 5 walk to 1 strikeout ratio in 46 at bats. Early on in his pro career he is showing an innate ability to put the bat on the ball and really limit strikeouts, which is one of the things the Indians loved about him going into the draft and ultimately why they drafted him in the sixth round. I have now seen him play two times and I have to say he reminds me in a lot of ways of another second sacker in the system: Cord Phelps. Like Wendle, Phelps came into the system with little fanfare and was looked at as an overachieving offensive second baseman and has since developed into a solid prospect that is big league depth for the Indians. In two to three years the Indians would be happy if Wendle turns out the same.

  • Russ Canzler (RF, Columbus): 1-for-3, R, HR, RBI, BB. Canzler reached base twice in four plate appearances and hit a solo homer. The Indians could certainly use that kind of production in LF in Cleveland.
  • Chad Huffman (DH, Columbus): 2-for-4, K. On a roster filled with so many first base-outfield-designated hitter types with Canzler, LaPorta, Goedert, and now Rottino, and the likes of Thomas Neal and Nick Weglarz pushing to move up, I have to think Huffman’s days in Columbus and in the organization are numbered.
  • Cord Phelps (2B, Columbus): 0-for-4, 2 K. Phelps is now 0-for-14 at the plate in his last 4 games, and in his last 8 games is hitting just .071 (2-for-28). This is not the kind of showing he needs right now when he is one of the pieces the Indians will probably try to trade this month for a big league need.
  • Jeanmar Gomez (SP, Columbus): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR. Gomez needed 101 pitches (62 strikes) to get through his 6.0 innings of work, and he danced around danger all night. His first two outings for Columbus have been pretty subpar allowing 16 hits, 3 walks and only striking out 7 batters in 13.0 innings.
  • Eric Berger (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR. I give Berger some love in Minor Happenings yesterday with some good stuff from things I am hearing, and he responds with a clunker of an outing. Talk about timing. If he can ever prove consistent over a long stretch, I still think he has a shot at the Indians bullpen down the road.
  • Thomas Neal (RF, Akron): 2-for-4, RBI, BB. Confidence is an amazing thing, and right now Neal has a lot of it. He reached base in 3 of his 5 plate appearances and is now hitting .312/.387/.468 on the season. He’s ready for another shot in Triple-A.
  • Chun Chen (1B, Akron): 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. He may have only had one hit and saw his batting average drop, but I’d love to see more nights like this where Chen is hitting balls out of the ballpark. It is something that is vital to his future since he needs to show much more power at first base to have a big league shot.
  • Nick Weglarz (DH, Akron): 2-for-4, RBI, 2 K. As mentioned in Minor Happenings yesterday, Weglarz is striking out at a higher rate of late, but the more aggressive approach of late at the plate has still produced very favorable results. Keep doing it.
  • Adam Abraham (3B, Akron): 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K. Abraham has had a solid season to date, and if not for a tough 3-4 week stretch from the end of May to the middle of June, he’d be having a great season. He now has 30 extra base hits and sports a solid 34-55 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • T.J. House (SP, Akron): 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. House has hit a little bit of a rut of late as he has been roughed up in each of his last three outings where he has allowed 14 earned runs on 21 hits in 14.1 innings. It also makes 4 of his last 5 outings he has struggled as he allowed 7 earned runs on 13 hits in 4.1 innings on June 15th.
  • Tony Wolters (2B, Carolina): 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI, K. Since a dismal April start where he hit .130 with a .390 OPS in 18 games, Wolters has been very good since May 1st hitting .284 with a .751 OPS in 56 games and proving the Indians were right to have him play this season in Carolina.
  • Bo Greenwell (RF, Carolina): 2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI. Greenwell has hit well since being activated two weeks ago. In 13 games he is hitting .340 with a .936 OPS, and has 6 extra base hits. He probably should be in Double-A Akron, but the outfield situation there is very crowded at the moment, especially with the recent promotion of Holt.
  • Anthony Gallas (DH, Carolina): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 K. Gallas is another guy that probably should be in Double-A, but will have a hard time getting there this season unless several injuries crop up and open up a spot for him there. He’s had a very nice season to date hitting .269 with a .794 OPS, and continues to improve his stock.
  • Michael Goodnight (SP, Carolina): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Goodnight only threw 51 of his 92 pitches for strikes (55.4%). Command continues to be his downfall and is something he is trying to work on and become more consistent with.
  • Grant Sides (RP, Carolina): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Guys like Cody Allen and Shawn Armstrong have received a lot of attention this season for the strides they have made as relievers in their first full season, but Sides is another one that has really had a great first full pro season. In 24 combined outings between Low-A Lake County and Carolina he is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA (41.2 IP, 24 H, 14 BB, 43 K).
  • Alex Lavisky (DH, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2B, K. Lavisky has shown incremental improvement this season, but not nearly the strides expected for a player in his second full season and that a seven figure bonus was given to.
  • Leonardo Castillo (3B, Lake County): 0-for-3, 2 K. The Indians don’t want to completely ruin the confidence of the young Castillo, a player that they are very high on, but he continues to struggle at the plate and needs to take a step back. Perhaps the hot hitting Jorge Martinez in Arizona may soon swap places with him.
  • Cody Anderson (SP, Lake County): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Anderson is still starting, but his outings are really being limited by a three inning limit each time out. He has now made four starts in a row that have been exactly 3.0 innings, and this is because the Indians are trying to manage his workload the rest of the season and have him finish with around 100 innings.
  • Felix Sterling (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Boy has Sterling really struggled the last two months. Whether he is starting or pitching out the bullpen, it has not mattered as in his last 10 outings he has allowed a whopping 48 runs (37 earned) on 46 hits, 7 homers, 18 walks in 29.2 innings. Ouch.
  • Jeff Johnson (RP, Lake County): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Since his first three outings for Lake County where he totaled 2.0 innings and allowed 10 runs on 10 hits, he has now made 26 appearances (2nd most in the Midwest League since April 23rd) and has allowed 10 runs (8 earned) on 17 hits, 12 walks and has 43 strikeouts in 32.0 innings. That’s how you bounce back from a tough start.
  • Jairo Kelly (SS, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-5, R, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 K. After a tough 4-for-34 (.118) start to his season in his first 8 games, Kelly has bounced back in his next 8 games to go 10-for-31 (.323) and looks to be settling in.
  • Joe Sever (DH, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, R, RBI, K. Sever had his third multi-hit game in his seventh game as a pro and is now hitting .320/.379/.320 on the season. He has yet to record an extra base hit, but has only struck out 3 times in 25 at bats.
  • Aaron Siliga (LF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB. Siliga is still only 19 years old even though this is his second season in The Valley. He has some upside with the bat even though he has just 2 extra base hits in 16 games. One positive so far is his nice 6-7 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • Juan Romero (RF, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-3, R, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 K. Romero is a man of only two outcomes. When he hits the ball, great things usually happen as he has 12 hits (6 extra base hits) in the 26 times he has put the ball in play. In his other 27 at bats, he has struck out and is actually striking out at a ridiculous rate of once every 1.96 at bats.
  • Luis DeJesus (SP, Mahoning Valley): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 1 K. DeJesus was like Houdini last night as he dodged and weaved and somehow missed the big blow as he allowed 9 baserunners and had runners in scoring position all night. He is having a nice season so far for Mahoning Valley going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in 4 starts, and his performance reminds me some of Vidal Nuno from three years ago.
  • AZL offense: 2-for-29, 0 R, 0 XBH, 2 BB, 13 K. The Arizona League Indians were shut out on Thursday night by a score of 11-0 and the offense was held to just two hits on the night. One interesting note is that Jorge Martinez did not play. Whether or not it was just a night off since he had played almost every game, or he has been promoted to Mahoning Valley or Lake County, should be known within the next 24 hours.
  • Luis Lugo (SP, AZL): 3.0 IP, 4 H, 6 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. After a strong showing in extended spring training, Lugo is off to a slow start in the Arizona Summer League season as in 3 starts he is now 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA. In his last two outings covering 6.0 innings he has allowed 10 runs (9 earned) on 8 hits, 3 homers, 5 walks and has 6 strikeouts.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

July 6, 2012 - 6:08 PM EDT
The Indians outfield situation is really interesting in Columbus and Akron right now, with really interesting prospects at both levels. The Clippers have a group of guys that are looked at as either fourth outfielders (Crowe, Fedroff, Zeke) or depth guys with power potential (Rottino, Goedert, LaPorta, Canzler). Rottino, nGoedert LaPorta and Canzler all have the infield/outfield/DH potential as well. It's funny, but unless you consider LaPorta a legit prospect right now, there really isn't a player that makes your head turn.

Now Akron has some interesting guys in Tice, and Neal...but you can see the hurdle in front of them. Neal seems ready to rejoin Columbus now, but where? Tice? I like him better than any other outfielder mentioned, but he's got the least amount of experience, both at the level, and in the outfield. He may have the best bat of everyone though...

But boy...Neal sure does possess some tools...

CONGRATS TO MY BOY ALEX MONSALVE!!!! COMING TO CAROLINA...AGAIN. Don't worry Alex, I remember your playoff visit last season...

July 6, 2012 - 5:06 PM EDT
Tony, until last night's game, Luis Lugo was 12 strikeouts not 6
July 6, 2012 - 4:09 PM EDT
Fedroff is not hurt, just had his playing time cut into with recent pickup of Rottino. Too many outfielders in Columbus....I see a move of some sort coming very soon, likely during the All Star break to clear some space before the second half. My guess at least.
July 6, 2012 - 3:05 PM EDT
What's happened to Tim Fedroff? He got promoted, did his usually Fedroff thing (hits, walks, not much power) and then disappeared from the box scores. Is he hurt?
July 6, 2012 - 1:08 PM EDT
Well...if nothing else gives the system something...and shows you that their approach is working. Imagine what a star-in-the-making will do with a couple of seasons of that type of seasoning.

If you'd have told me at the start that the amount of players we have right now streaking offensively, I'd have been ecstatic...
July 6, 2012 - 9:08 AM EDT
I have absolutely no insight whatsoever as no one is in AZ at the moment (Sean is just getting back after going out of town for a wedding) and I have yet to talk to the Indians.....but I hope Martinez did not play last night because he is on his way to Ohio. Definitely a lot of interesting bats right now in the system. Maybe no blue chippers, but some interesting bats that have some potential to be something.
July 6, 2012 - 6:22 AM EDT
I would love to see that bat of Martinez make it out of rookie ball right now. Let's get that kid moving! Congrats goes out to Tyler Holt. He was always one of my favorites down here in Carolina because of his aggressive nature at the plate and in the field. He was missing a bit of that over the past couple of weeks, so it was good to see his journey back to Ohio begin with a bang. I was glad to see him get to Akron for an extended period of time, as it does give him a shot at Columbus next year, and puts Cleveland in his sites. I'm not saying it will, but it does give him that opportunity. There's a lot about him that's different from the guys mentioned with him, like Henry, Fedroff...etc...but we'll see if it ever translates. Boy, Thomas Neal is just on fire. I hope this is more than just a hot streak, and it's the Neal that was a top prospect with the Pads. If it is, then this kid can get into the mix here by the end of the season. Now, the Bo Greenwell watch begins...and now we've got Cid, Gallas, Greenwell and Moncrief in Carolina. It's an interesting mix. You have Moncrief, loaded with athletic gifts, but can find that right approach to bring it all out. Gallas, the local boy that just finds the baseball with his bat whereever he goes. Greenwell, the lifer that was on his way to Akron before the injury-woes nabbed him, and Delvi Cid, who may have the best speed in the entire system.It'll be a real curious thing to see which Columbus bat is the next to Cleveland should they need one...or...if one of those bats isn't included in a deal. The watch begins in earnest...

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