Around the Farm: June 24
What a HUGE night for Tribe prospects. It's not often writing this piece takes an hour-and-a-half, but today, it did. The funny thing is, I coulda added a few more to this massive list. It's a good day to be a Tribe fan...well...other than watching Carlos Santana at first base, that is.
Lonnie Chisenhall: 3B, Columbus: 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI:
In case you hadn't noticed, Lonnie Chisenhall is back from the DL. He must have lack-of-attention issues, because he's doing everything he can to put a spotlight on himself. Today, he smashed a first inning grand slam, and followed with a third-inning RBI single to essentially put the game away himself. "Chis" was mired in a massive slump going prior to the DL-sting, going 2-27, with only 2 runs, and no extra-base hits or RBI. In his three games since returning, he's gone 7-13, with four runs, a triple, two homers and 13 RBI. That's right, I said thirteen RBI. Let's average that out over the rest of the season, shall we? The point being here that the Tribe's number one prospect is now playing like the Tribe's number one prospect. While everyone knows that it's likely too soon for the Indians to call him up at this point, It certainly should be an interesting watch over the next few weeks should Chisenhall continue to ride the hot streak that he's currently on. While Jason Donald is certainly a more seasoned ballplayer, Chisenhall doesn't need much work on his glove, and his offense is clearly ready.
Adam Abraham: 3B, Kinston: 3-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K:
Abraham came up with some ninth inning heroics for the K-Tribe last night with a two-run blast to break open a 2-2 game. Abraham has quietly put up some solid numbers for Kinston this season, with 11 homers and 39 RBI so far this season. While his average is a less-than-stellar .248, his OBP is a respectable .358. If his stick becomes more consistent, he'll slide up the prospect rankings quickly. Still, the Indians have to be happy with his power development. He hit 5 homers in 2008, six in 2009, 13 last season, and will certainly blow past that this season. This former 13th rounder is one to watch in the future.
Jake Lowery: C, Mahoning Valley: 3-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI:
It's extremely clear that Jake Lowery is going to be a HUGE bat in this system. He's done nothing but mash the ball in his first full week as a professional ballplayer. I know it's early yet in Lowery's career as a pro, but there's nothing in his collegiate past that doesn't back up a future as a big-time power hitter. Since joining the Scrappers, Lowery has a .313/.389/.594 line, with five runs, three doubles, two homers and eight RBI. He's struck out four times, and balanced that out with four walks. Those are extremely balanced numbers, and another big add for the Tribe at catcher. With Lowery at Mahoning Valley, Alex Monsalve at Lake County and Chun Chen in Akron, the depth is back at catcher for the Indians. Sandy Alomar Jr. has to be licking his chops.
- Jason Donald: SS, Columbus: 2-3, 2 R, SB (3): While I'm busy clamoring for Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall to get the call up (months before it will likely happen), Jason Donald is quietly going about his business. Donald has hit in four of his five games since returning to the Clippers, going 6-13, with five runs, a double and an RBI. Not flashy, but with his MLB experience, likely enough to get him called up the next time the Indians come searching for an infielder.
- Jason Kipnis: 2B, Columbus: 1-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K: It doesn't matter if Kipnis is hitting the ball, he still finds a way to fill the stat-lines. He's scored runs in five straight games, while only going 3-15. Still, he walked eight times in those five games, and had an OBP of .490.
- Luis Valbuena: LF, Columbus: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI: Valbuena has been carrying a heavy bat this season, as he belted a third-inning, three run homer. For those counting at home, Valbuena has nine homers on the season, while Chisenhall has seven. Valbuena has played 11 games in left field for the Clippers, so he could be an option for the Tribe once they put Choo on the DL, but they would have to move Brantley to right. I'm not sure they'd do that.
- David Huff: SP, Columbus: 6 2/3 IP, 9 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, W (7-2): This was Huff's worst start since June 3rd, yet he still got the win because of run support.
- Chen-Chang Lee: RP, Columbus: 1 1/3 IP, 2 K: Welcome to Columbus Mr. Lee.
- Zach Putnam: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 3 K: Putnam was rocked in his last two outing, but after taking a week off, returned to form, striking out the side in perfect fashion.
- Beau Mills: 1B, Akron: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K: Mills continues to sign his name up to ATF with another multi-hit perforance, bringing his averague up to .299. His ten-game line is .317/.512/.829, and he's had three two-hit games in his last four. Is this a welcome back to Tony's top 50? I don't know, but if he continues this production, he may just find his way back.
- Juan Diaz: SS, Akron: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Diaz hit a two-run, game-winning homer in the seventh inning of last night's ballgame. Diaz has to be making the Tribe brass happy this year. He hasn't had a flashy season, but he's slowly begun to figure out Double A pitching. He hit his fifth homer of the season, and raised his average to .263. The 22-year-old has been on a tear of late, with four multi-hit games in his past six. During that time, he's gone 10-23, with six runs, two homers and five RBI.
- T.J. McFarland: SP, Akron: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 5 K: McFarland finally put up some numbers to be proud of. His previous five starts were bad-to-horrible, so it's nice to see one of last year's top pitching prospects finally figure it out, if only for a game.
- Matt Langwell: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Langwell had given up five earned runs in his previous three games, but he returned to form last night.
- Cory Burns: Closer, Akron: 1 IP, 2 K, S (19): Burns had his tenth straight game without giving up an earned run (9 1/3 innings), and his 19 saves leads the Eastern League, and the Tribe organization.
- Jeromie Tice: 1B, Kinston: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Tice continued a solid season with a two-hit performance.
- Tyler Cannon: DH, Kinston: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 K: Cannon clearly is becoming the best hitter on this club. He's had hits in five of his last six games, and has a current four-game hitting streak. His ten-game line is .333/.417/.667.
- Chris Jones: RP, Kinston: 2 1/3, 4 K, W (4-0): Jones was one of the best relievers in Kinston in 2010, but scuffled out of the gate in 2011. He's rebounded nicely, and with Tyler Sturdevant out, likely becomes one of the team's top set-up men. He's gotten wins in his last three appearances (7 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K).
- LeVon Washington: CF, Lake County: 2-6, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K: Washington has had an interesting start to his pro career. While he's struggled overall, he has games in which you can see the talent that made him a top pick.
- Alex Monsalve: C, Lake County: 4-5, 1 RBI, SB (4): It's always nice to see big games from a catcher, and it's interesting to note the stolen base in a four hit performance. Monsalve has a five-game hitting streak, and has exploded in his last two games. He's gone 7-12, with two runs, a double and two RBI.
- Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Lake County: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI: I don't think that it's too much of a stretch to say that Aguilar is the best power-hitting prospect (for now) in the lower minors of the Indians. He hit his 12th homer of the season, to go along with his 16th double. I'll be curious to see where Tony places him next season in his rankings if he should continue this break-out season.
- Jordan Casas: LF, Lake County: 3-5, 2 R, 1 RBI: Casas had a big night, to continue a strong start to his Lake County career. He's currently batting .407 in his first full week with the club.
- Ronnie Rodriguez: SS, Lake County: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B: While Rodriguez is only hitting .224 for the season, he has shown some promise this season with big games such as this. Now, he'll have to start stringing them together to get noticed.
- Joey Mahalic: RP, Lake County: 2 IP, 1 BB, 4 K: I've spent a year-and-a-half bashing Mahalic's inconsistency at Kinston, so it's nice to see him with an outstanding appearance at Lake County. Of course, more of these, and he'll be back in Kinston.
- Alex Lavisky: DH, Mahoning Valley: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B: Lavisky has youth going for him, but right now, he's getting left behind with regards to the catcher position. His had double tonight out of the DH-role, but his average is back below the Mendoza line. Of course, he's only 20-years-old, but he better start showing something soon, or the term "bust" is going to start being whispered.
- Bryson Myles: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 2 R, SB (3): I'm telling you, watch this kid. He's going to turn into something special in this organization. He can hit, and has really good speed. I just can't get the Kirby Puckett comparisons out of my head.
- Aaron Siliga: LF, Mahoning Valley: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB: Here's another kid to watch, especially after games like this. Siliga is all of 18-years-old (see that Alex Lavisky), but the promise of big things to come is absolutely there. He was a 17th round pick in 2010, and played in rookie ball that season. This year, he's started in left for the Scrappers, and has made the most of it. He's not a big kid, but the power is clearly there. Boy, this system is starting to really load up.
- Kirk Wetmore: SP, Mahoning Valley: 5 IP, 2 H, 8 K, W (2-0): Hello Mr. Wetmore. After struggling with the Scrappers in 2010, he's done nothing of the sort in 2011. The eight K's is interesting, to say the least.
- Enosil Tejada: RP, Mahoning Valley: 3 IP, 1 BB, 4 K: Tejada had a huge night with three-near-perfect innings. One walk ruined perfection.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.