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Around the Farm: June 24, 2012

Around the Farm: June 24, 2012
June 25, 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.

T.J. McFarland: SP, Columbus Clippers: W (2-1), CG, 9 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K:

It doesn’t get any better than this. Okay, he could have rolled out a perfect game, but seriously, when a guy pitches this good, and it’s a continuation of a season that has been this good, it’s gotta give you the warm and fuzzies. How good has this guy been? Well, he’s made five starts in Columbus, and in one of those starts, he gave up ten earned runs in 4 1/3 IP. What’s his ERA? How about 4.22. That’s how good he’s been in his other four starts, including yesterday’s gem. In those other four, he’s pitched 27 2/3 innings, giving up 19 hits and five earned runs, while walking only six and striking out 13. Combine that with his 8-2 record with a 2.69 ERA in Akron in ten starts, and you have something special brewing. The big question going forward with McFarland is if the 23-year-old has gained the stamina to finish a season. Remember, in 2010, he may have been the best pitcher from April through mid-July in the season, and he was just dominating the Carolina league, and then he just dropped off the table. Oh, he still had a good year, but he struggled mightily, and it carried into much of last year. Now he’s back, and brings an able left-handed arm to the potential rotation. My guess is it won’t be until 2013, but you never know what will happen with the Indians struggling a bit without a left-handed starter.

Chun-Hsiu Chen: DH, Akron: 4-for-5, 3 R, 3 2B, 3 RBI:

Chen makes another appearance at the top of the ATF feat, this time dolling out three doubles and garnering four hits, while raising his average nearly ten points to .327. Chen is scorching right now, going 7-for-9 in his last two games, with five runs, three doubles, a homer and four RBI. His ten-game line is .389/.421/.583, for a 1.004 OPS. What was his game OPS over his last two? How about 2.250 on Saturday, and 2.200 on Sunday. I wonder what the record is for doubles in the Eastern League, because it appears as though Chen is going to go after it.

Joseph Colon: SP, Lake County: W (6-7), 7 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K:

There are certainly much bigger names pitching for the Captains out of the starting role, but there might not be anyone better than Colon. He’s had one bad start in his past ten, and now has a 6-7 record, with a 3.17 ERA. His only bad start was his last appearance, and he bounced back with a stopper mentality tonight. With Araujo and Sterling seemingly choking, Colon may find his way past them both if this keeps it up.

  • Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI: If Carrera would have played like this from the start of the season, Aaron Cunningham would be a distant memory. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but I think it is. He’s hitting .314 over his last ten games, and .312 in June overall, after hitting .247 and .237 in April and May.
  • Jason Donald: SS, Columbus: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K:  Donald is 0-for-17 in his last four games, and 4-for-27 in his last six. It’s not like there’s a spot available for him, but even in a slump, I’d take him over many…many players wearing Indians jerseys right now. I’m not sure that’s a complement to Donald, as much as it’s a smack in the face to the Indians talent level right now.
  • Tim Fedroff: LF, Columbus: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Fedroff hit his fifth homer of the season on Sunday afternoon, which actually represents his season high. He did it on June 24th. Someone better check for cork.
  • Gregorio Petit: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: You know, I skip over Petit a lot, because he’s such a non-entity, but he seems to have multi-hits every time I pay attention, which is about once a month. In all seriousness, the guy has four multi-hit games over the past ten games, and is hitting .297 during that stretch. He’ll never dress for the Tribe, right Juan Diaz? Oh…
  • Thomas Neal: CF, Akron: 2-for-3, 3 R, 2 BB: You have to like what Neal is doing in impact positions in the line-up. He’s finally starting to look like a prospect. No, I don’t expect him to pass anyone or become something special at this point, but it’s clear he has talent. What will happen in the future is anyone’s guess with the deadline looming.
  • Nick Weglarz: LF, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, SB (2): Weglarz is now hitting .250, and has a ten-game line of .290/.425/.484. There might not be a better story than this in all of the minors, as he’s really making a case for the Indians to place him back on the 40-man roster. I mean, he’s even showcasing Vince Coleman like speed!
  • Adam Abraham: 1B, Akron: 3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI: Abraham is the streakiest player in all the land, as he continues the same trend he had last season in Kinston. He’s 6-for-9 after back-to-back three hit games, and now has a six-game hit streak in which he’s gone 11-for-22. Perhaps the Tice call-up has reawakened Abraham’s bat!
  • Jeremie Tice: RF, Akron: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K: Tice is hitting .417 since his call-up to Akron, and has at least one hit and one RBI and all three ball games.
  • Paolo Espino: SP, Akron: W (2-2), 6 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 8 K: Well, it appears as though Espino is reacquiring his taste to pitch extremely well in any situation. His eight K’s is a season high by a lot, but it’s his fourth straight solid start of the season.
  • Loek Van Mil: RP, Akron: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 3 K: I’m really starting to look forward to when this kid pitches, because he’s been dominating. He hasn’t given up a run in seven appearances over 13 1/3 innings, giving up only five hits without a walk. He’s struck out 13 during the stretch. Is his a 7’1” gem?
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K: Well, he strikes out the side, and lets three players get on, and let’s another run score. His 2.70 ERA is good, but boy does he mess with disaster.
  • Carolina Mudcats Offense: 3-for-26, three hits, 1 2B, 1 BB, 6 K: The Muddies were absolutely dominated and dismantled, getting only one batter to second during the entire game.
  • Bo Greenwell: LF, Carolina: 2-for-3, 1 2B: Remember the one guy that got to second? That was Greenwell, who may be the forgotten man in the system. He’s hitting .444 right now, and has always flirted with promotion.
  • Will Roberts: SP, Carolina: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 HR: Roberts actually pitched pretty well, but was going up against a buzzsaw in SP Tyler Wilson.
  • Shawn Armstrong: RP, Carolina: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K: Well, Armstrong has given up three runs in his last two outings over four innings. He’s human, and will need the rest of the minors to likely start to figure things out.
  • Lake County Offense: 7 stolen bases. They must have done their homework…
  • Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 B, 2 SB: Lindor didn’t have the best of nights, but was still able to step on the plate twice, and steal two bases.
  • Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Smith may be the most ready offensive player on this team, but had gone 1-for-17 over his past four games.
  • Jordan Casas: LF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 3 SB: Well, Casas is a bit forgotten in the system, having jumped between Lake County and Carolina, but could still produce a bit.
  • Juan Romero: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K: Romero seems to have a hot and cold switch, and tonight it was on hot. This was his second two-hit ballgame, and he’s batting .273, with 11 K’s.
  • Joe Sever: DH, Mahoning Valley: 3-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Sever was making his debut, and I’d say he did a pretty nice job, after the system selected him in the 21st round.
  • Louis Head: RP, Mahoning Valley: L (0-1), 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER: Head has some velocity, and it looks like he could be fairly productive, even in this setting. He’s made two appearances with six totally innings pitched, and given up five hits and one run.

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 jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

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