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Around the Farm: June 16, 2013

Around the Farm: June 16, 2013
June 17, 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.

Carlos Moncrief: CF, Akron Aeros: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB:

There isn’t a player who is more intriguing to me than Carlos Moncrief. I’ve talked about his talent for three years now in both my ATFs and my weekly Carolina Mudcats’ pieces. He has all the tools in the world to be a top prospect, but has two things going against him: his age (he’s 24) and his approach (he strikes out, a lot). You can never trust a small sample size with a guy like Moncrief, but you can always hope that it is the beginning of that final move. That’s where I am with Moncrief. I’m cautiously optimistic that things are starting to click for the fleet-footed outfielder. He upped his hit streak to fifteen games, and has raised his average from .246 to .294 during that stretch. His slash is .429/.478/.698, and has three doubles, a triple and four homers, to go along with 13 RBI and 15 runs. He has struck out 11 times, but also walked six times, while stealing three bases. He can play all three outfield positions, has a great arm, and is a good defender. In other words, if it’s finally clicking, the Indians could have something. Of course, it is just a small sample size…but fun to watch for sure.

  • Lonnie Chisenhall: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K: Chisenhall cracked his eighth double and scored his 20th run in his 26th game at Columbus. He also had his second two-hit ballgame in a row, and his 13 multi-hit game overall with the Clippers. He’s hitting .421 against righties, and things are going so well for him, he’s even hitting .310 against lefties. He needs to be up and soon. They may be waiting for movement with Asdrubal, but they shouldn’t.
  • Cord Phelps: LF, Columbus: 2-for-4:  Phelps has been playing extremely well of late, and has 11 multi-hit games in his last 21 games. Phelps is playing for a September call-up, an injury call-up, or for another team. His days of being considered a potential starter are long over. He’s not good enough to be a defensive replacement, and his offense just isn’t consistent enough to be a factor at the big league level.
  • Jeremy Hermida: DH, Columbus: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K: Hermida belted his 11th homer for the Clippers, and is the leader in homer for the Clippers. Phelps is second. Hermida will never be a major league factor again, but he’s found a niche as a minor league power bat.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka: SP, Columbus: L (0-3): 3 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR: It is what it is with Matsuzaka right now. He was solid in his return start on June 11th, and was less so on Sunday. He did make 73 pitches, so they are building up his arm strength I suppose, but you have to be really optimistic to think he’ll ever be a factor with the Indians in any meaningful way.
  • Scott Barnes: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 K: It would be nice if Barnes could settle down and get a few of these types of games in a row. This was his second straight one inning, shutout appearance. Let’s get a few more.
  • Bryan Price: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K: I’m beyond thinking that Price is anything more than a minor league relief option, but you do go “hmmmm” when you see a one-inning, three K performance. The problem is that there’s no consistency to this at all.
  • Jose Ramirez: SS, Akron: 1-for-5, 1 RBI:  Ramirez has really struggled to find consistent contact at the Double A level. It’s not even July yet, and Ramirez is only 20-years-old, so there’s plenty of time for him to continue his development. He’s still a top talent, and there’s plenty of season left for him to show it.
  • Justin Toole: LF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 2B: Toole and Moncrief were the only two Aeros with multiple hits, and Toole has done nothing but hit for the Aeros in his three stints with the club. He has hit in 15 of his 19 games with the Aeros, so perhaps this is where he should stay.
  • Enosil Tejeda: RP, Akron: 1/3 IP:  Tejeda has been one of the better relievers in the system this year, and that’s saying something. This was his eighth game with the Aeros, and he’s yet to give up an earned run. He’s struck out 10 in 9 2/3 innings, while walking only one.
  • Trey Haley: RP, Akron: 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB: Something has to be wrong with Haley, either health related, or mechanics related, or both. In his last three appearances, he’s gone two total innings, and given up seven hits, three walks and seven runs, while striking out three. There’s no doubt that his arm is electric, but it appears as though injuries and inconsistencies may be too tough to overcome.
  • Bryce Stowell: RP, Akron: 1 1/3 IP, 3 K: Stowell was once the best reliever in the system. Injuries and time have put an end to that. He’s been absolutely perfect in his last three games over four innings, giving up absolutely nothing, while striking out six.
  • Jordan Smith: CF, Carolina: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB: Smith threw up his fifth multi-hit game over the past ten, and always seems to be on the verge to break out this year before a stretch of no-hit games slow him down. He’s also struggling with power again, which was his big knock. Manager Dave Wallace and the Indians brass have moved him into center to perhaps counteract some of the power issue, and he’s responding. He’s stolen two bases over the past four games.
  • Luigi Rodriguez: RF, Carolina: 1-for-1, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 BB: Rodriguez really makes me scratch my head. He has 13 total walks in Carolina this year, and three of them came today. This stat line will make him a major leaguer. He’s got the same skill set as Carlos Moncrief, with the one added advantage of being a lot younger. If he can continue to replicate this, he could be a star.
  • Paddy Matera: SS, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI: The Indians signed the 25-year-old Paddy Matera on June 5 ocrom the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League. He has hits in seven of his nine games with the Muddies, and has a six-game hit streak. FUTURE. MAJOR. LEAGUER. Alright…not really.
  • Cody Anderson: SP, Carolina: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K:  It’s interesting that Anderson pitched today with the All-Star game coming up. Perhaps he’s not going to pitch in the game, or perhaps his short outing was based on the fact that he’s going to go an inning. Either way, he wasn’t quite on his game, but still pitched well.
  • Francisco Valera: RP, Carolina: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K: This says it all about Carolina’s bullpen. It’s not very good…not good at all.
  • Grant Sides: RP, Carolina: L (2-3): 1 2/3 IP, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K: Sides didn’t really deserve this, but he didn’t help himself either.  He walked his lead-off batter in the eighth, then struck out the last two batters after a sacrificed moved the runners to second. He came back in in the ninth and got an infield ground out and a K before he walked Drew Robinson. Fabio Martinez, who may be the worst pitcher in the system, was brought in and gave up a two-run blast to end the game.
  • Erik Gonzalez: SS, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 K: Gonzalez came into the game having gone 0-for-10 during his last three games.
  • Erik Haase: C, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K: There are still a lot of folks intrigued by Haase as a potential major leaguer down the road. He did hit his seventh home run of the season on Sunday in his first year in a full-season league. The former seventh rounder is still raw, but there definitely is some ups in his game.
  • Joe Sever: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Sever’s hitting .327 in the month of June with the Captains, and has done nothing but hit at both Lake County and Carolina. There’s are some similarities in upside with Jerrud Sabourin, who is at Carolina.
  • Chris Perez: SP, Lake County: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 K: Yeah, it’s THAT Chris Perez, who made his first rehab appearance on his way back to Cleveand. It wasn’t anything special, but he got his work in.
  • Jack Wagoner: RP, Lake County: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K: Wagoner has really been fantastic this year. He’s made 19 appearances, and given up 10 earned runs. Seven of those runs came in two games.

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

Bobby D.
July 25, 2013 - 6:48 PM EDT
Hey Pete you might want to reconsider your sarcastic remark about Paddy Matera since he has the highest on base percentage in all the Indians Organization
June 17, 2013 - 5:20 PM EDT
The hard part for me is the fact that I consider myself a fan ahead of a journalist. I follow this team and write about them because I'm an Indians fan. You combine that with the fact that I'm a minor league-bot, and the fact that what I like about the minors are the "Bull Durham-esque" stories, it makes it difficult to be objective.

The Hermida's are my favorite players...they are the Crash Davis', who ultimately aren't ever going to be full-time major league players at any point...

...may get a cup of coffee at some point, but will never be a factor in that nobody's ever going to say, "We have to go out and deal for Hermida to be our everyday guy."

He's the type of player that everyone respects...folks listen to...have major league credibility...understand what it's like to be a #1 prospect...and is a gamer.

That could pay off in a September call-up...or perhaps even as a fourth or fifth outfielder somewhere...but the fact remains that he's not ever going to be a major league ballplayer.

I've never talked to Hermida...and I'm sure his aspirations are still in the bigs, but I've talked to many...MANY guys that come to Carolina at an advanced age (past 24), and their goal is to pull in a professional paycheck playing baseball as long as they give back to the players that are just coming up...

they use it as a way to coach...or as a way simply to give back to the game.

Those are my favorite minor league players...

Sure...I love the Lindors...but I don't want to see them all that long. A guy like Hermida looks alot like Chad Huffman...who looks a lot like Ben Copeland...who looks a lot like...a lot of former high round picks that never make it into the bigs with regularity...but are factors for organizations in holding spots, helping develop players, and allowing organizations to field teams that generally aren't loaded with prospects at every position at any given year...
June 17, 2013 - 4:36 PM EDT
Bob--is it better to mislead the readers of this site and say "Man, that 29 year old Hermida may only be hitting .257 in AAA, but he's destined for ML stardom!"

That's a great way to lose the respect of people who actually follow the minor leagues. People who follow minor league baseball know that only a very small minority of minor league players ever become major league regulars. And by the time the players are 26,27 or older, their chances are even more slim. That's just how it works. Are there going to be some Casey Blakes, who somehow break out at 30 years old and find regular playing time? Sure. But those are the rare exception. Telling your readers that these minor league fillers have anything more than a minuscule chance of impacting a major league roster isn't just misleading, its' irresponsible journalism.
June 17, 2013 - 2:45 PM EDT
In Hermida case "will never be a major league factor again" pretty strong opinion. In phelps case "being considered a potential starter long over" just referring to comments like that and earlier in the year in a tweet there was a comment and I think it was by Tony along the lines of that there was no reason to go to columbus cause there is no one there to watch.....Just giving you guys a little to think of for your own business. There has to be a better way to make the point!
June 17, 2013 - 2:23 PM EDT
I'm not implying Bryan Price is a major league caliber RP. In other orginizations he probably would have gotten a cup of coffee by now. The Tribe has a stock pile of RP. He's one of those fringe type talents, good enough to get there AAA. But maybe not good enough to make & stay in the majors. Point being I think in a weaker system he would have ML exp. in his credentials.

LRod - I think will be one of those guys that posts a good number of K's but gets a fair share of walks too. I'm thinking a Michael Bourn type as far as K rates go.

Cody Anderson - is a guy I think has number 2 upside. He should be at worst a middle of the rotation type. He's got the frame to log 200 plus innings. He is becoming what I think recent Tribe draftee Dace Kime could become, IMHO.
June 17, 2013 - 2:21 PM EDT
Bob, I'm curious what you find negative about what was written about Phelps and Hermida. We are not here to write the things that the players, families, and fans want to hear. There has to be balance and honesty. I agree that all of these players have tons of good, but the reality is that few if any have a real chance of getting to where they hope to go. That's the brutal reality of it, and something that we try to convey and remind people about when "x" player is on a tear or is struggling. I agree that sometimes we need to be a little more sensitive in some of the things written - at least I try to do that - but bottom line it is about trying to have as objective an opinion as possible......and really, overall, we are still largely more positive than negative. Unfortunately, that positivity goes by the wayside some when you are talking about breaking through to the big leagues.
June 17, 2013 - 2:16 PM EDT
The irony here I generally get knocked for being too positive...

Point being...I can't please everybody.

I'm not being negative. I actually meet most of these guys...see their families...their kids...

and writing isn't my profession.

I want them all to succeed.

If you feel I focus on the negative...that's your opinion...and I totally accept that...but like I said...I can't please everyone. I'll just have to let the body of my work stand for itself...

...I do appreciate you reading my stuff...
June 17, 2013 - 2:13 PM EDT
It just appears you guys reports are full of negative opionion in Phelps, Hermida, Price, Stowell as well as many others. Many of the indians prospects have a tremendous amount of GOOD in them or they wouldn't be at the level they are currently at in their lives. just saying.....Negative opinion sports writing gets old to read. Coming from a consumers perspective.
June 17, 2013 - 12:09 PM EDT
Hate to say it, but Price is not much of a major league relief prospect. He's a depth upper level guy along the lines of a Rob Bryson. I think at some point he may get a break and get a cup of coffee at the ML level, but very unlikely with the Indians. Just not a priority pen arm, and it is clear as day with the way the Indians have handled him the last four years. The stuff is interesting, but as mentioned, he lacks consistency with his stuff and that is why he fell off the priority list to begin with. He's always been a guy that limits walks and gets some strikeouts, but is just undervalued. I think, as someone else mentioned, that if he were in another organization he might have a better ML chance....
June 17, 2013 - 11:08 AM EDT
Consistency over his career...and no...I haven't seen him pitch lately...just talk to enough folks in the organization to know what the scouts say about him. There's nothing I would like more than to see this kids succeed...

but he's double A...and doesn't have a legit out pitch...unless there's something in the mix this year, that he hasn't had before.

I've always been high on I have been with Bryce Stowell (who has superior stuff, IMO) and Matt Langwell...

I hope, as I always do, that I'm wrong when I see the writing on the wall with regards to prospects...

I don't think I am with Price, but he IS having a phenomenal you never know I suppose.
June 17, 2013 - 11:00 AM EDT
On Price, what consistency are you referring to and have you seen him pitch lately.
June 17, 2013 - 10:56 AM EDT
Brian Ruiz over D'vone McClure at MV? What's the deal with that? Brass not happy with D'vone?
June 17, 2013 - 10:48 AM EDT
Agree about Moncrief, if it clicks. If not, time becomes an issue. There just aren't many 25 or 26 year olds that ultimately are held in the regard that gets them in the bigs...


Price...don't agree at all...not consistent enough. He'd be an option on some clubs...but they wouldn't be all that good.

Ramirez...agree on the age...and believe they are looking at an 18 month plan with him in Akron. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future, as I believe Lindor is further along than they initially thought.

Agree with Tejeda...but still a ways to go...

LRod...the only thing that allows me to even agree with the K-rate is the fact that he has stretches where it clearly clicks...

Anderson...better than a workhorse IMO...

Haase...I just need to see him a few times. hard to judge from the stats...
June 17, 2013 - 8:47 AM EDT
I've seen the roster for Mahoning Valley......Lugo is in it and Howard is not. Something is up with Howard...
June 17, 2013 - 8:42 AM EDT
Short season leagues start up this week. I'm curious to see how the starting rotations are set. Will Brown and Howard be ready for MV? WIll Lugo make the jump out of rookie ball? Plus the first extended looks at Hamrick, Lovegrove, McAdams, McClure, and Mejia.
June 17, 2013 - 8:38 AM EDT
A lot of thoughts here, so I will try to keep it simple.

Carlos Moncrief - if only he had been developed as an OF from day one. That said, I don't count his "advanced age" against him. In essence he is 22.

Lonnie Chisenhall - needs to be in Cleveland.

Bryan Price - would be in a big league bullpen for some other organizations. The Tribe has tremendous depth, with more on the way.

Jose Ramirez - has done well as a 20 yo. He's at least 2/3 yrs younger than league average most yrs. A testimony of his talent.

Enosil Tejada - has a big league future, IMHO.

Luigi Rodriguez - love the tools. I don't see he ever really reigns in his K rate but should learn to get a few more walks.

Cody Anderson - future workhorse SP. It tells how good he has been this season, that last night was deemed a bit of struggle.

Eric Haase - solid young C, with a nice stick. He's still young and raw, but develop into an everyday C.

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