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Around the Farm: June 15, 2014

Around the Farm: June 15, 2014
Mitch Brown (Photo: IBI)
June 16, 2014
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Brown might be 0-6 on the season, but we are seeing some positive growth from him since the first week of May. His last two outings have been about as well as he has pitched as a pro as he has allowed just 2 runs in 11.0 innings and has allowed just 6 hits, 3 walks and has 9 strikeouts. He has more consistently thrown strikes and pitched deep into games as this outing was a season high for him for innings pitched and also the longest he has ever pitched at Low-A Lake County. Perhaps we are seeing him starting to put things together.

Cody Anderson (SP, Akron): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 6 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. Maybe the most disappointing performance of the season to date. Anderson continues to struggle as he went just 3.0 innings in his last start and allowed 8 runs on 10 hits and 3 homers. He has allowed 5 homers in his last two outings and the 6 walks in this one is another area of concern. On the season he is now 2-5 with a 4.92 ERA and has allowed 10 homers in 71.1 innings and has also has just 44 strikeouts. The Indians are working through a delivery adjustment with him but he’s still having trouble with consistency and he is just not the same guy he was last season.

  • Tim Fedroff (DH, Columbus): 1-for-2, 2 R, 2B, RBI, 3 BB. Fedroff has been on an on-base tear of late getting single hits in just three of his last five games but has multi-walk games over that period with 11 total walks.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus): 3-for-4, R, 3 RBI, BB. After a slow start at Columbus, Urshela looks to be settling in hitting .317 with a .939 OPS over his last 10 games and has 4 walks and 2 strikeouts in 41 at bats.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB. Don’t look now, but Moncrief is off to a big June hitting .311 with 4 HR, 13 RBI and 1.024 OPS in 12 games. His slow April-May start and good June so far is exactly the pace he had last year in his breakout season at Double-A Akron.
  • Danny Salazar (SP, Columbus): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. Salazar returned from the disabled list and had a solid outing. He threw 69 pitches (46 strikes) and had a much needed good outing. If he is healthy and 100% again, he could be a big boost to the Indians later this year.
  • Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 1-for-4, 2B. Naquin’s hitting streak reaches 17 games and wasted little time extending it with a third inning double. He has had exactly one hit in each of his last four games but is still up to .325 with his batting average and has an .824 OPS.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Akron): 2-for-3, BB. Smith reached base in three of his four plate appearances and he had one of his better games this month. It has been a struggle for him so far this season but there is still hope he is going to put it together and have a big second half.
  • Jordan Cooper (RP, Akron): 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Cooper has done a nice job this season eating innings in middle relief at Akron. His 4.59 ERA is deceiving as he has a solid 11-31 walk to strikeout ratio in 33.1 innings and is holding hitters to a solid .254 BAA.
  • Giovanny Soto (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K. This is now Soto’s ninth appearance since returning from an arm injury he suffered in late April, and he has not been the same pitcher since his return. In those nine outings he has thrown 11.1 innings and allowed 23 hits, 14 runs (all earned), 6 walks and has 9 strikeouts.
  • Joe Sever (1B, Carolina): 2-for-4, RBI. It was a pretty quiet night offensively for Carolina, but Sever continued to play well since returning from his hand injury. In the nine games since returning he is 13-for-34 at the plate and has reached base in every game.
  • Luigi Rodriguez (RF, Carolina): 2-for-4. Rodriguez has had a poor season to date, some because of performance and some because of injuries that continue to hold him back; however, he has played better of late hitting .367 with a 1.033 OPS over his last 10 games.
  • D.J. Brown (SP, Carolina): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. After some struggles his last few outings, Brown found his groove again in this one with a near perfect five innings of work. The fact that even in light of those previous struggles the Indians kept him in the rotation is a good sign to his increasing prospect value to the organization.
  • Michael Peoples (RP, Carolina): 3.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Peoples, unlike Brown, has found his role reduced some of late as he is now in a piggyback role and has struggled for most of the season. He’s a guy who has seen his value drop some so far this season.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-5, R, HR, RBI, K. Another quiet night at an Indians affiliate as Lake County managed just two runs on seven hits. Frazier pounded his fourth homer of the season and second in his last 6 games. He has a strong finish to his first half, so the hope is he is on the verge of a nice, consistent showing in the second half.
  • Eric Haase (C, Lake County): 2-for-5, 2B, K, 2 E. Haase continues to be an extra base hit machine as he has 41 hits on the season and 22 of them are of the extra base hit variety. The .250 ISO is pretty impressive through 44 games.
  • Trevor Frank (RP, Lake County): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Frank had a great first half racking up a 2.28 ERA and a nice 4-24 walk to strikeout ratio in 27.2 innings. He has been Lake County’s most consistent and dominant reliever all season and could see himself moving to High-A Carolina very quickly in the second half of the season.
  • Ben Heller (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K. A guy maybe overlooked by some coming into the season, but a guy the Indians have liked since drafting him and a guy who has been an exceptional performer to this point in his minor league career. A 28-82 walk to strikeout ratio in 66.0 innings.
  • Yonathan Mendoza (3B, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, R, RBI. Keep an eye on Mendoza. He is not a big time prospect nor will probably ever be one, but he is a guy the Indians like because of his versatility and a solid bat. He’s off to a solid start this season with hits in all three games he has played.
  • Jorge Martinez (LF, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI. Martinez is still only 21 years old and a guy the Indians still believe in as a higher profile prospect, but there is no doubt his prospect status is not what it once was. He is going to need a big year at Mahoning Valley to restore it a little.
  • Kieran Lovegrove (SP, Mahoning Valley): 1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 0-for-1 at the plate. Yes, Lovegrove was in the lineup. I don’t know why Lovegrove was in the lineup but I would have to guess without delving into it further that it was a lineup mix up by manager Ted Kubiak (like what Mike Hargrove did with Charles Nagy years ago). Lovegrove’s debut outing was not pretty, but perhaps the fact he had to hit had an effect on his performance.
  • Carlos Melo (RP, Mahoning Valley): 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 K. I have no idea why the Indians continue to give innings to Melo. He walks way too many batters and has not been a very good reliever over his career. I get the need to not give up on a 100 MPH arm, but sometimes a guy just has no idea where it is going nor ever will.

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

June 16, 2014 - 11:19 AM EDT
We will see some movement of some players at the start of the second half, but movement for some may be delayed a little depending on when some of the unsigned more advanced guys get into the system and can help at Lake County or Mahoning Valley.

And I agree Art, Urshela is very interesting and is starting to put things together at the plate this season. They have really been working on that approach and learning to lay off borderline stuff and wait for stuff he can drive....and it looks like it is starting to take hold this season.
June 16, 2014 - 11:06 AM EDT
I think Urshela is one of the most interesting guys in the minors this year. His development is somewhat surprising, especially now that he appears to be doing at Columbus what he did earlier this season at Akron. His walk rate is up a bit from his historical norm, I wonder if he has really learned how to be more selective at the plate and this is beginning to translate into a plus batter.

At his age and with his glove, it will be interesting to see how he continues on at Columbus. Could be a top 10 prospect by the end of the season.
June 16, 2014 - 8:55 AM EDT
I think it's safe to say the Lovegrove is a busted draft pick! It's time to send Anderson down from Akron to Carolina, or give him some rest.
June 16, 2014 - 8:49 AM EDT
How is Martinez going to have a big year at Mahoning Valley if there is a potential outfield glut? Current outfield of McAdams, McClure, and Martinez. You have the potential of having Zimmer, Papi and Allen starting there careers at MHV.

Watching the CWS last night, I think Papi would have no problem starting at Lake County. Big walk off hit last night.

With Class A High and low A having there mid season break, have the Indians decided who they are going to promote for the second half of the season? I think Heller should get some consideration.

June 16, 2014 - 8:17 AM EDT
Mike Papi had the game winning RBI for UVA last night.

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