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Around the Farm: July 8

Around the Farm: July 8
July 9, 2011
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T.J. House
Kinston Indians)

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.

Brett Brach: SP, Kinston: Game 1: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K, W (6-5):

Brach struggled out of the gate, giving up two walks in the first inning, but was lights out after that, going 1-2-3 in the 2nd and fourth, and should have went 1-2-3 in the third, if not for an error by Burnette at first.  Still, Roberto Perez would nail the runner trying to steal second.  Brach dallied with a no-hitter, giving up his first hit with two outs in the fifth inning. Brach would then give up a lead-off double in the sixth, but would get through the inning to finish a fantastic night for the win.  When you watch this kid live, it's really impressive how he commands the plate with location and speed.  If this kid has a 94 MPH fastball, he'd be on the fast-track to Cleveland.

T.J. House: SP, Kinston: Game 2: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K:

House decided to follow Brach's lead by coming out in the first and struggling. He gave up a lead-off double, and after a K, gave up a walk. An infield single later, and House had the bases loaded with only one out. He would induce a pop fly, then struck out the final batter of the inning to keep the game scoreless. More struggles in the second, when he would give up a lead-off walk and a single, and after a sacrifice bunt, there were runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. House would calmly get the next two batters to fly out. From then on, House was humming.  He would go 1-2-3 in the third, give up a single in the four for the only runner, and give up a walk in the fifth, for his only runner in that inning. Overall, House struggled with control, but really continued to work the plate with not only his electric fastball, but his offspeed stuff as well.  I really think this kid is working on those secondary pitches to the point where he's willing to give up some stuff to perfect them.  Keep an eye on House over the next year. There may be something to him yet.

  • Jason Donald: 3B, Columbus: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K:  Donald got stepped over again, and he deserved it.  He needs to perform night-after-night, and not just have these two hit outing every few nights between oh-fers.  He had a 2-4 night on July 1, then went 0-5 on the 2nd.  He went 2-4 on the 3rd, and went 0-6 and 0-4 on the 4th and the 5th.  He went 2-4 on the 6th, and 0-3 on the 7th.  Then he had another two hits tonight.  Make up your mind Jason.  Perhaps when you do, the Tribe will as well.
  • Jason Kipnis: 2B, Columbus: 0-5, 3 K: Kipnis got stepped over as well, and went right down the drain tonight. Kipnis is usually fairly reliable to put up stats all over the place, even on nights when he's not hitting.  Tonight, he entered the K-Zone. Just a blip on the screen, as he heads to the XM Futures game with Drew Pomeranz.
  • Jerad Head: LF, Columbus: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: It appears as though Head is about to enter that insane zone he was in earlier in the year when he was flirting with .350.  He's currently on a five-game hitting streak, and in his last two games, is 4-8, with three runs, two homers and four RBI.  I still say he's the better alternative to Austin Kearns. No, he'll likely never be a regular major leaguer, but I think in spots, he can perform much better than Kearns.
  • Paul Phillips: C, Columbus: 3-4, 1 RBI: Phillips is just a spot holder for the Tribe, so it's nice to see him roll out a three-hit game.
  • Jeanmar Gomez: SP, Columbus: 6 IP, 8 H, 7 R/3ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR: Gomez started off last night's game with a triple, and the runner would score, but Gomez would settle down until the sixth inning, when Cord Phelps glove reared its ugly head.  The lead-off runner got on because of a Phelps error.  After a single, the bases would load up without an out when Phelps bobbled another grounder.  Gomez walked the next batter, then gave up a single for two runs, then allowed another runner when his throw to first nipped off Matt McBride's glove (ruled a single).  Gomez' then gave up a two-run homer, and that...was that.
  • Juan Diaz: SS, Akron: 1-4, 2 RBI, 3 K: Okay, so Diaz struck out three times, but he still drove in two runs, which makes up for it.
  • Eric Berger: RP, Akron: 1 2/3 IP, 2 BB, 5 K, W (2-0): Berger gave up the two free passes, but struck out everyone else to get his second win of the season.
  • Cory Burns: RP, Akron: 1 1/3 IP, 1 K, S (24): Burns continues to roll through the Eastern League, with a 1+ inning effort.  He's just plain awesome, and now celebrating a trip to the Eastern League All-Star game.
  • Casey Frawley: SS, Kinston: Game 1: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K: Frawley really is an all or nothing player, and every time I see him he proves it. He either hits for power or K's, and tonight's games were no different.  In game 1, Frawley homered in the third inning for what turned out to be the game winning runs, driving in Tyler Holt.  He did nothing else, but the homer really settled down Brett Brach, who scuffled a bit in the first two innings with control, before settling down.
  • Abner Abreu: RF, Kinston: 1-2, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Game 1: Abreu hit a laser over the left field wall to give the K-Tribe a three run lead in the fourth inning. It was nice seeing the pencil thin Abreu show off some power last night. If he could just find his way back to some sort of relevance.
  • Adam Abraham: 3B, Kinston: Game 2: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Abraham came alive in the second game for the K-Tribe's only run, with a homer.  He's still the hottest offensive player on the team, and has a ten game line of .303/.410/.515. He made a real nice barehand putout on a bunt as well. Signing my son's foul ball nearly put him at the top of this page, but I had to hold on to some journalistic integrity.
  • Preston Guilmet: Closer, Kinston: Game 2: 1 IP, 1 K, S (22): Guilmet's delivery is just plain odd. When he comes back with his wind-up, he hides the ball directly behind his leg and torso before slinging it to the plate. I have no clue how hitters can find the ball, and it's clear that this year, they can't.  His 22nd save puts him in second place in the Carolina League (by 2), and second in the organization (by 2).  I wouldn't bet against him.
  • LeVon Washington: CF, Lake County: Game 1: 1-1, 2 BB: Okay, so Washington is really scuffling at the plate, but he did get a hit, and he did walk twice, showing some plate discipline that he's lacked for much of the year.  Of course, he also got caught stealing, and picked off of first base.  This seems typical for Washington, who's not really showing much baseball IQ.
  • Aaron Fields: 2B, Lake County: Game 1: 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 K: The Indians 2010 42nd round pick had a nice multi-hit game, and drove in the only run for the Captains in the entire double-header.  He's not a major prospect at all, but there's something to be said about that.
  • Michael Goodnight: SP, Lake County: Game 1: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K:  When Goodnight is good, he is very good.  Tonight, he was very good, which is good, because he wasn't very good for much of June. He left with the lead tonight...but ended up with a no decision.
  • Victor Mateo: SP, Bowling Green: Game 2:  7 IP, 3 BB, 10 K, W (9-4): Okay, I know I shouldn't put the enemy up here, but c'mon, it's better than putting up the entire Lake County offense saying how bad they sucked tonight.  Mateo pitched a seven-inning no-hitter tonight, walking on three batters, and striking out ten. I know it's only a seven-inning game, but c'mon's a flippin' no-hitter.  
  • Cole Cook: SP, Lake County: Game 2: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R/0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K: Cook was the bad-luck starter tonight, and while he struggled with control, he may have gone into the seventh inning tied at zero had there not been a throwing error in the second inning. Of course, that error was bookended by there you go.
  • Jake Lowery: C, Mahoning Valley: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Lowery hit his fourth homer of the season, and second in three nights. His average is down to .269, but the power is still there.
  • Alex Lavisky: DH, Mahoning Valley: 0-3, 1 BB: Seriously, I'm starting to wonder if he'll ever hit again.  He's 2-July, and hasn't had a hit since July 2. Since then, he's 0-17. You have to start wondering when he gets sent back to Arizona, because he's really...REALLY in a rut.  He's actually WORSE now than he was in Lake County, where he was batting .207.  Yeah, now he's batting .141. It's that bad.
  • Jordan Smith: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB: Smith is just out-of-his-mind right now. Last night, he raised his average to .358, and in his past four games, is 7-12, with three runs, three doubles, a triple, three RBI, four walks, and only one K. He's moving up folks...
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Mahoning Valley: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI: Sabourin was a non-drafted free agent signee for the Tribe. Tonight, he was the hero, as his walk-off single gave the Scrappers a tenth-inning win.
  • Nathan Striz: RP, Mahoning Valley: 3 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 2 K, W (1-1): One 3 1/3 IP outing on July second that was massively impressive, followed by a 1 IP outing on July 5th that left the faithful dry-heaving.  Another three inning masterpiece tonight, and the dry heaves are forgotten...for now.

Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI. Also, his latest book the 2011 Cleveland Indians Top 100 Prospects & More is available for purchase for $20.95 to customers in the US (shipping and handling extra).

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

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