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Around the Farm: June 18, 2012--Here comes the Valley

Around the Farm: June 18, 2012--Here comes the Valley
June 19, 2012
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Around the Farm was originated here at Indians Prospect Insider, and 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.

Juan Romero: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI:

Romero was signed by the Indians in 2010, and is playing his first games in the New York-Penn League. He just turned 19 on the 16th of June. The kid has shown a bunch of power from the right side of the plate in the Arizona League, tying for sixth in the league in 2011 with six homers, and leading the league in 2010 with seven. The kid is flat out raw, and really needs to work on his approach at the plate before he can make any sort of push through the system. He struck out 67 times in 40 games in 2010 (while walking only 16 times), and then followed that up with 70 K’s and 13 walks in 2011. He hasn’t hit above .240 for any season. Still, any time you start the season off with a couple of homers, you have to take notice. Could the 6’1”, 175 pounder be developing into a future right-handed power candidate? Time will tell.

Brett Brach: SP, Akron Aeros: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R/0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K:

Brett Brach isn’t the best pitcher in the Indians system, or even the best pitcher for the Akron Aeros. With that said, Brach has managed to put together several games over the past couple of years that could easily match up with pitchers that ARE the best in the system. Brach’s not a flame thrower, or even a guy that can hit spots with regularity, but he does go through stretches where everything clicks, like Monday night’s start. Brach has quietly put together a nice season in Akron. While he’s had games in which he’s given up five runs in 3 2/3 innings, and three runs in 4 1/3, he’s also had five starts in which he’s given up one run or less, and all as a starter. I find it fairly safe to say that he’ll never be a factor at the major league level, but you never know when something clicks to make a guy consistently good. If Brach could take that step, he definitely could be a peripheral guy in the future. As with anything though, consistency rules, and Brach has to find it.

  • Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Carrera now has a five game hit streak in which he’s gone 6-for-18, with three runs, a double, a homer and two RBI. His average is up to .260.
  • Matt LaPorta: 1B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: LaPorta was the only Clipper with two hits, and considering the Clippers only managed five total, that’s saying something. His sixth inning homer gave the Clippers a 2-0 lead. It wouldn’t last long though.
  • Russ Canzler: DH, Columbus: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K: Canzler has a six game hit streak, and has hits in nine of ten games. During the past six, he’s gone 8-for-20, with three runs, two doubles, two homers and 12 RBI. Yeah, that’s in six games, but a five and four RBI day will do that power hitter.
  • T.J. McFarland: SP, Columbus: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K: McFarland got tagged for 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings in his last start, which was really his only bad start of the season. He rebounded nicely on Monday, with another solid outing, only giving up a walk and six hits. He only threw 88 pitches, with 57 strikes.
  • Eric Berger: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H: Berger is used to either starting, or pitching in long relief. Monday night’s outing was his first one inning performance of the season. He now hasn’t given up a run in three appearances, totaling 7 1/3 innings pitched.
  • Thomas Neal: CF, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Neal has been all over the place in the line-up of late, but found himself in the three hole on Monday night, and responded with two doubles and two runs.
  • Nick Weglarz: LF, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Weglarz continued his hit streak to four games, and has hits in eight of his last ten. He’s hitting .300 during the stretch, with five runs, four doubles, three homers and nine RBI.
  • Kyle Landis: RP, Akron: 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB: Landis is one of my favorite overachievers in the Indians’ system, but he’ll occasionally get tagged like he did on Monday night. It was his first runs given up though in seven previous appearances.
  • Preston Guilmet: RP, Akron: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H: Guilmet has certainly found his groove, but couldn’t make a two-inning close on Monday night. There’s no way that closer will be his role should he make it to Cleveland though, he’s just not that type of pitcher in my opinion. He’s only given up one run over his past ten games, covering 10 2/3 innings, but still seems to lack that out pitch to make him a consistent closer.
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: L (3-1), 1/3, 2 H, 1 R/ER: Bryson had looked good in his previous three appearances, but can never seem to maintain it for any solid length of time. At least he didn’t walk anybody, but he was supremely hittable.
  • Jose Ramirez: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 SB, 1 CS: Ramirez is a 19-year-old free agent signee who actually led the Indians farm system in average in 2011 when he hit .325 in the Arizona League last season. Not a bad start as the lead-off hitter for Mahoning Valley.
  • Hunter Jones: LF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI: Jones was a tenth rounder for the Indians in 2010 out of high school, and spent the rest of 2010 (.190) and all of 2011 (.257) in the Arizona League. The 20-year-old made his NY-Penn debut in grand fashion, with is second professional triple.
  • Evan Frazar: 1B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 1 R: Frazer returns to Mahoning after being drafted in 2011 and playing in 19 games for the Scrappers, in which he hit .304, with a homer and six RBI.
  • Erik Gonzalez: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Gonzalez has been in the system since 2008, and has shown some offensive ability over the years. This is his first season with Mahoning.
  • Enosil Tejeda: Closer, Mahoning Valley: S (1), 1 IP, 1 K: Tejeda was one of my favorite relievers last season, and had a stretch of baseball in which he may have been the best reliever in the system, even if it was a short season look. He starts off this year where he left off last year, with a dominating performance. Don’t be surprised to see him make a quick jump.

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

June 19, 2012 - 11:31 AM EDT
Joseph...thanks again...

Hey...don't be afraid to shoot me an e-mail on games you actually get to. First hand reports are awesome...

It was interesting that they held the draft class out last night...can't wait to see some of these kids make an impact...
June 19, 2012 - 11:13 AM EDT
Frazar is a utility guy, so he played 1B last night. I am to believe he will be playing all four infield positions this year. Romero has an absolute CANNON in right field.
June 19, 2012 - 8:39 AM EDT
Joseph, thanks for the 1st hand report.

From what I've heard about Hunter Jones' athleticism, I'm a little disappointed to see him being played in LF. Would have thought him a good fit in CF.

Frazar was drafted as a SS. I would have thought he could have easily moved over to 3B, or played RF. 1B?

Will be interested in seeing some of the '12 draft class compete. I'm assuming these will be position players only, and that the high ceiling HS arms will remain in Arizona.
June 19, 2012 - 7:44 AM EDT
Jim, Isaw the game in Jamestown. Iwas hoping to see some of the new draftees, but none of them played. What I did see was a very good defense (The outfielders can really throw. I haven't seen an Indians team like that ever, and that was without Naquin playing.) Valeria looked good behind the plate, and the infield was solid. Rameriz looked very good and was safe on that second steal attempt. Frasar is not really a first baseman, but it looks like you could play him anywhere with good results.

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