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Around the Farm: June 20, 2012--How do you say Naquin?

Around the Farm: June 20, 2012--How do you say Naquin?
June 21, 2012
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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.

Tyler Naquin: CF, Mahoning Valley, 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 SB

The Indians took Naquin with the first round pick, and while I wouldn’t say it was panned as a bad pick, most people were expecting something else, including me. When taking into account draft strategy, as well as potential, the Naquin pick starts making a whole lot of sense. So, here he is in his first game, rolling out three hits, as well as a double and a stolen base. One game does not make a career, or even a season, but boy, it sure was good to see this kid really light it up. Will he be something more than Trevor Crowe, Tim Fedroff or Tyler Holt? It remains to be seen, but he certainly has that offensive potential. Our very own Tony Lastoria was at the game, and described Naquin as showcasing his "full arsenal...hitting, speed and arm strength (two sick throws from center to second and third)." He has "Quick hands...gets loaded well and gets the bat through the zone." He "uses all fields, and stays on everything." Not a bad first impression from IPI's head honcho.

T.J. House: SP, Akron Aeros: W (5-2), CG, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K:

House got beat up in his last start against Reading, and many red flags went up after he gave up 13 hits and seven earned runs in 4 1/3 IP. Visions of House’s past two seasons began popping in my head, and really became curious about his next start. It’s really the best part of following the minor leagues. Could House return to his 2012 form, or would he regress back to his 2011 form? Well, hello 2012, and T.J. House is back and better than ever. His ERA with Akron is sitting at 3.12, and keep in mind that it’s there after giving up those seven earned in his last start. You take that out, and he’s gone 53 1/3 innings, giving up 13 earned runs, while striking out 35, and walking 20. He’s a top fifteen prospect right now.

  • Tim Fedroff: CF/LF, Columbus: 4-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Well, Fedroff is 7-for-9 in his last two games, with two runs, two doubles, two RBI and a walk. I suppose you could say he’s on a streak? He’s upped his average to a typical Fedroff .378. I’m just waiting for one of these kids like Fedroff to just grab the #4 outfield slot. Maybe not in 2012 as the Indians fight for a playoff spot, but certainly for 2013. Fedroff has to be looked at because of his extreme numbers at this point.
  • Jason Donald: LF/SS, Columbus: 0-for-6, 2 K: Well, Donald followed up his cycle-game with an oh-fer. You gotta love the game of baseball.
  • Matt LaPorta: DH, Columbus: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 K: Here we go again with LaPorta. This kid just keeps showing up here. I would normally say it’s not a bad thing, but the problem here is that I’m just not sure how much value the Indians see in anything he does at this point. Perhaps this is a year-long trial for LaPorta, for a shot in 2013. He’s hitting .314, with 15 homers, 35 RBI, nine doubles and 25 walks.
  • Russ Canzler: 1B, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 K: Canzler may be the hottest offensive player in the system right now, and had his fourth multi-hit game in his last six games. During that stretch, he’s gone 10-for-23, with four runs, two doubles, three homers and 12 RBI. Wow, he’s making it easy to see how he won the MVP of the IL last year. It’s about time.
  • Jared Goedert: 3B, Columbus: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Goedert continues to have these unconscious games in Columbus where he looks like a major leaguer. Unfortunately, he’s been less consistent at this level than he was at Akron. He’s hitting a respectable .270 on the season in Columbus, and has played first, third, left, right and DH. At 27, his time has to be now. You know, like LaPorta.
  • David Huff: SP, Columbus: 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R/1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K: Huff wasn’t perfect, but he certainly rebounded after getting shelled in his last start. He is coming off of three bad starts, so it was good to see him rebound. It really is interesting to see where he stands with guys like Kluber and McAllister standing out.
  • Scott Barnes: RP, Columbus: BS (1), 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB: Nothing looks good in that stat line. When you only go one inning and give up two hits and two walks, there’s nothing but trouble.
  • Cody Allen: RP, Columbus: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Allen has been absolutely lights out during his last five outings, going 6 2/3 innings, giving up only one hit and one walk, while striking out eight. It may be too early, but he just may be the next bullpen call-up. He’s just that good, and it would be a monumental move through the system, in just over a year.
  • Chris Ray: Closer, Columbus: W (1-4), 2 IP, 2 H: You know, I’m not going to apologize for saying this, because Chris Ray has been dominating. Look, I know he’s not a prospect…for crying out loud, he’s 30 years old, and has played in the majors. But, I have to wonder if there’s something more there than the Wheelers and Accardos of this world. He’s gone eight straight appearances without giving up a run, going 8 2/3 during that stretch. He’s given up only six hits and two walks, while striking out seven. He’s been outstanding.
  • Akron Offense: Game 1: 4-for-24, 2 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K: Well, there wasn’t much offense here, so thank goodness for T.J. House.
  • Akron Offense: Game 2: 5-for-26, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K: The team went 9-for-50 to the tune of .180. Not too good at all.
  • Francisco Jimenez: SP, Akron: L (0-1), 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K: Jimenez has been a solid pitcher for Carolina, and while I don’t think that this call-up is permanent, it was good to see. Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well for Jimenez.
  • Loek Van Mil: RP, Akron: 2 1/3 IP, 2 K: the Indians took a flier on Van Mil, and so far, it’s paid off. The pitcher fromHolland has given up three runs in 12 games, and has a stellar 1.29 ERA. Over the past six games, he’s gone 10 1/3 innings, giving up only four hits without a walk, while striking out eight. He could turn into a massive steal if he can replicate this over a season, and up to Triple A.
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K: Bryson rebounded from a terrible outing and struck out the side in his only inning on Wednesday night.
  • Charlie Valerio: DH, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B: Valerio had his first extra base hit of the young season with a double, and was one of three hitters with multiple hits for the scrappers.
  • Joe Wendle: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Wendle had two hits and scored the winning run in the eleventh inning.
  • Juan Romero: RF, Mahoning Valley: 0-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K: Okay, so Romero struck out four times, but it just goes to show you how quickly things can change in baseball. He hits three homers in the first two games. He strikes out four times in his third game…then walks with the bases loaded in the eleventh inning of that third game to drive in the winning run. It changes quickly, doesn’t it.
  • Luis DeJesus: SP, Mahoning Valley: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K: DeJesus was an eleventh round pick last season, and pitched very well in the Arizona League last season. He started this year off in Lake County and got beat up a bit in the relief role, but now has a more suitable starting role at Mahoning. Not a bad way to start the year.
  • Scott Peoples: RP, Mahoning Valley: BS (1), 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K: Peoples was fairly solid, but gave up a run in his first outing as a professional.  Peoples was the fourteenth rounder by the Tribe in 2012.
  • Louis Head: RP, Mahoning Valley: 3 IP, 2 H, 3 K: Talk about a dominating first professional start for the 2012 18th round pick of the Indians.  Numbers-wise, he was the best pitcher on the mound for the Tribe on Wednesday night.
  • Enosil Tejada: Closer, Mahoning Valley: W (1-0), 1 IP, 2 H, 1 K: Tejada gave up a couple of hits, but got out of the jam, and ended up getting the win.

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 21, 2012 - 11:07 PM EDT
It's always good to see the fans with realistic expectations for prospects. Hell, let's start him right in Cleveland. Unbelievable
June 21, 2012 - 10:10 PM EDT
Naquin should be playing in and excelling in the Carolina League or at double Akron for me to be impressed..
June 21, 2012 - 7:34 PM EDT
Naquin is just being broken into the pro ranks, and Mahoning Valley the option the Indians chose. As I wrote today in MH, he should spend a considerable amount of time in Lake County and should not be in the Valley long.
June 21, 2012 - 5:39 PM EDT
Markn95, I wouldn't assume Naquin will be in the NYPL long. When the Indians signed his twin brother, Trevor Crowe, he played his first 12 games in Mahoning (.737 OPS), then 44 in Lake County (.652) and then three In Akron. (.200).

The following year they sent him to Lake County for three games, Kinston for 60 games (.919) and then switched him to second base at Akron.(.643).

Why move a player around like that? Same reason they picked Russ Canzler up and haven't let him sniff the majors, while Casey Kotchman hits .228, or why Jason Donald (who doesn't hit well enough to play third base) plays left or Crowe has spent most of his time in right this year. Which is the people in charge of the organization are not very good at their jobs.

A good organization would pick the correct level for Naquin (which should not be the NYPL, because he saw stronger pitching in inter-squad games) and send him there.

The Indians work more like a windup toy truck that bounces off objects and heads in a different direction. Let's bring Matt LaPorta up. We don't want to play him 50% of the time-- Oh look, someone cut a pitcher with an ERA of 8.00! Bye, Matt!

Whatever one thinks of LaPorta's skills, that can't be helpful to a player's developmen. That's why most teams don't do it to prospects they value. .
June 21, 2012 - 2:03 PM EDT
Great debut for Naquin but the org. is starting him out in Mahoning Valley? Nothing against the Scrappers but given Naquin's age and big-time college pedigree (Texas A&M), I had hoped he would at least debut in Lake County if not Carolina. Organizationally, they have him behind 18-20 yr. old guys like Lindor and Luigi Rodriguez. Maye this is a temp. move and he'll move up quickly?
June 21, 2012 - 1:57 PM EDT
If i were Naquin, I'd find it insulting that you just compared my ability to 3 non-prospect outfielders........
June 21, 2012 - 11:51 AM EDT
Welcome to ATF Tyler Naquin! Hope you drop in regularly.

I agree, I don't think it matters what LaPorta does at Columbus. He's not doing anything he hasn't done several times before.

Jason Donald played left field? Interesting...

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