Around the Farm: June 18, 2014
All-Star games and bad weather leave only the RubberDucks in action
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.
Note that Carolina and Lake County were off on Wednesday. Plus, Mahoning Valley was rained out and Columbus' game was suspended in the fourth inning.
Anthony Gallas (LF, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO
Gallas hit his second home run in seven Double-A games Wednesday night, giving him six extra base hits in those games. The outfielder has hits in six of those seven games as he has dominated in his first real exposure to Double-A. Gallas' surge does not come without some worry -- the outfielder has six strikeouts and no walks after posting a 52:17 SO:BB in 58 High-A games -- but right now he is simply hitting the ball well. The outfielder is still an older prospect without as much pedigree, but even after getting the call to Akron, Gallas is continuing to hit for power and stuff the box score.
Joseph Colon (SP, Akron): 8.0 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP
As you can see based on Wednesday's start, Colon really buys into the pitch-to-contact approach. Colon's goal is to throw the ball over the plate and make something happen quickly, whether it be an out or a hit. Sometimes that approach falls apart -- if hitters string the hits together, the runs will come in bunches -- but more often than not in 2014, Colon has pitched deep into games despite a mediocre 52:29 SO:BB in 81.2 innings. Adding some strikeouts to Colon's game could help the right-hander in the long-term, but as he is right now, Colon is eating innings and finding success in Double-A.
Joey Wendle (2B, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Another multi-hit effort Wednesday made it four straight games and five out of the last six for Wendle. Not only have the hits been coming lately for the second baseman, Wendle is continuing to hit for power, as his .158 isolated power is easily above average. Wendle does not jump out as a prospect like a Francisco Lindor, but the second baseman is putting together a solid season in his first year in Double-A. With a .268/.326/.426 line and strong 43:20 SO:BB in 69 games, Wendle is showing that his 2013 was not all about being an older, more experienced bat in the Carolina League. Though Wendle's offense has regressed some from his torrid 2013, the second baseman is still doing pretty well this season.
Jake Lowery (1B, Akron): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO
After a seven-week layoff following being hit in the eye by a pitch, Lowery is slowly starting to round back into form. The 23-year-old only owns a .561 OPS since returning, though Lowery has also shown his pop in that time as well. Lowery's four extra base hits and .167 isolated power in the 11 games since his return are much better than how he had performed prior to his injury, though all of this is dealing with small samples. It is only natural that Lowery will need some time to get all the way back, and though the hits are not falling just yet, the 23-year-old has enough walks to balance his high strikeout rate (23:14 SO:BB in 22 games). With that in mind, Lowery is a candidate to see some better results follow his solid approach in the coming months.
- Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Akron): S (7), 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO. After not allowing a run for 22.1 straight innings, spanning 15 appearances, Sturdevant has allowed one in each of his last two outings. The right-hander is still pitching well on the year, however, with a 1.45 ERA and 30:9 SO:BB in 31.0 innings.
- Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Lindor does not typically hit for a ton of power, but he does not need to all the time in order to find success. The shortstop's great approach, on-base ability, and plus defense bring Lindor plenty of value, but flashing some power like this obviously does not hurt.
- Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO. Naquin did not get a hit for the second consecutive game -- a rarity of late -- though the outfielder did get on base via a walk. The center fielder still owns a .316/.373/.438 line in 68 games this year despite his "slump" over the last two days.
- Tony Wolters (C, Akron): 0-for-3, 1 BB. Wolters' plate discipline numbers look like Wendle's (44:22 SO:BB in 60 games), but the catcher's lack of power is really hurting him. A .260/.328/.318 line from a catcher is not all bad -- and Wolters is still learning in only his second year at the position -- but the 22-year-old could use a little more pop in his bat.
- Ronny Rodriguez (3B, Akron): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 CS. Though it does not show in his season stats, Rodriguez is continuing his post-April breakout of late. Like Wolters, Rodriguez could use some more power to help his June numbers, but overall, the infielder has been much better since his terrible April (.331 OPS in April, .775 in May, .674 in June).
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I know he isn't a kid, but he just turned 24 a couple of months ago, so he is pretty much averaged age for AA ball.
His standard defensive stats aren't bad at Akron either, with only 4 errors and a fielding % of .989
Also curious about Bryan Price, haven't seen his name in an Akron boxscore in a while.
He still showing as active. Is there a nagging injury that he has?
Wendle has a tough road ahead of him. He's limited defensively and second base is really the only everyday position he profiles at. That's a big reason for the Phelps comp....a guy who has had success in the minors but his defense and lack of versatility probably limits his big league future. He's going to have to hit and hit a lot.....or at least prove that he can be reliable as an outfielder and first baseman to add some versatility. And that doesn't even get into the fact that Kipnis is blocking him for the foreseeable future.
If Rich is not interested in the guys in the minors, I would suggest to him that he just focus on stories and articles on the big league club.
As to what is to happen to players such as Wendle, we'll just have to see how things develop. I'm curious to see if he is indeed Cord Phelps, or maybe Jeff Kent. That's part of the fun to see how it plays out.
We're paying attention because we actually like baseball and we're not all assholes like you.
Kipnis is an All-Star and is currently hitting cleanup. He's not going anywhere, and Wendle doesn't appear to have the ability to play another position and his bat won't play at DH. He's blocked.