Around the Farm: June 28, 2012
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.
Dorsyss Paulino (SS, AZL Indians): 4-for-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K.
If you have been reading Minor Happenings all season or read my report on Paulino in my 2012 book (ranked as #1 Latin prospect), you would already know the Indians and people throughout the league think he is a special player. So his performance to date hardly comes as a surprise. This is a guy that broke the Indians’ bonus record for a Latin player last season, and so far is showing it was money well spent/invested. He was ineligible for my 2012 overall Top 100 ranking because he had not yet played stateside before this season, but you better believe he will be in there next year, and VERY high. He’s young, has tons of upside, has mad skills with the bat, and has the ability to stick at shortstop. There is a long way to go on him and Francisco Lindor as both are still long projections, but if things continue to go as they have it could serve as an interesting debate in one to two years who is #1 in the system.
Jerrud Sabourin (1B, Lake County): 1-for-4, R, HR, 4 RBI.
Talk about coming through in the clutch. With two outs and two on in the bottom of the 9th inning last night, and Lake County trailing 7-6, Sabourin stayed back on a pitch well and drove it the opposite way over the left-center field wall for a walkoff, game-winning 3-run home run. Those are the kind of hits that players dream of, especially a guy like Sabourin that does not hit many home runs, and it could not happen to a better guy. As an undrafted free agent he will always have a lot to prove and will always be on the proverbial roster “bubble” so to speak, but what he has done this season at Lake County has been impressive as both a steady offensive performer (.282, 2 HR, 35 RBI, .724 OPS) and leader defensively for a very young infield.
Jairo Kelly (SS, Mahoning Valley): 3-for-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI.
Lindor and Paulino get a lot of the talk as two of the best shortstops in the Indians system and around baseball, but Kelly is a pretty good one too. He was a high profile Latin American signing a few years ago and was off to a solid start in Arizona last season before a hand injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. He is off to a slow start for Mahoning Valley as he was just 4-for-34 at the plate before last night, so hopefully this game gets him going offensively. He is a good defender and has a lot of upside still at 19-years of age, but he has to show something this season or risk falling behind several other middle infield prospects in the system, which when you look at it, the Indians have a lot of middle infield upside talent in the lower levels.
- Ezequiel Carrera (CF, Columbus): 2-for-4, 3 R, BB, 4 SB. Now this is what we want to see out of Carrera, a guy that gets on base in 3 of his 5 plate appearances and then wreaks havoc on the basepaths with 4 stolen bases. More please.
- Matt LaPorta (1B, Columbus): 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI. LaPorta continues to perform in Columbus, and at this point it appears he is only in Columbus for one of two reasons: he is in Acta’s doghouse or the Indians are trying to keep any trade value he may have up so they can deal him.
- Russ Canzler (DH, Columbus): 1-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K. Memo to the Indians: Please call a guy up while he is swinging a hot stick. Don’t wait for him to cool off before calling him up. He is hitting .300 with 6 HR, 25 RBI and .944 OPS in June. They could use that.
- Eric Berger (RP, Columbus): 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Berger was sensational in setting down all 10 batters that he faced. He has had a very good year to date, and may have put himself back on the radar as a potential relief option for the Indians down the road.
- Cody Allen (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 HR. Allen made one mistake allowing the solo homer, but other than that he was his normal good self. He’s now made 20 appearances at the Triple-A level and has a 2.81 ERA, .204 BAA, and 8-29 BB/K ratio in 25.2 innings. That’s pretty good.
- Thomas Neal (RF, Akron): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI. Neal has gotten a lot of pub for his surge in June where he is hitting .316 with a 1.028 OPS in 22 games, but he also hit .301 in May though the power stroke was just not there. He’s having a nice season in Akron hitting .300 with an .836 OPS in 61 games.
- Jordan Henry (CF, Akron): 2-for-3, R, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, SB. Henry did it all by playing good defense, getting on base four times, and even stole a base. He is starting to settle in and in his last 4 games is 8-for-16 at the plate.
- Adam Abraham (1B, Akron): 2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI. After an awful start to the month of June, Abraham has bounced back in a big way of late as he is hitting .395/.415/.631 in his last 10 games.
- Brett Brach (SP, Akron): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 3 K. He does not miss a lot of bats and does not have very good stuff, but all Brett Brach does is compete every time out and give his team a chance to win. The walks were kind of high in this one, but fortunately the Seawolves did not make him pay.
- Kyle Landis (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Landis celebrated his All Star nomination in grand fashion with yet another strong performance out of the bullpen. He has had a few hiccups where he has given up some runs, but overall he has done a very nice job pitching out of the bullpen for Akron this year.
- Tyler Cannon (C, Carolina): 0-for-3, K. Cannon has done a solid job catching in a much more expanded role at least to start the second half. He’s played more than Jake Lowery, and it appears the Indians are giving Lowery a break in order to help kickstart his season.
- Anthony Gallas (LF, Carolina): 1-for-3, 2B. Gallas continues to be rock solid in the Mudcats lineup and a stat stuffer. After a poor May (.147 AVG, .459 OPS), he has really had a nice June (.324 AVG, .962 OPS).
- Jesus Aguilar (1B, Carolina): 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, K. Aguilar has been a model of consistency all season as he has never had a month where he had less than a .286 AVG and .805 OPS. He has also made strides both defensively and at the plate with his discipline.
- Giovanny Urshela (3B, Carolina): 2-for-4, R. One of the hottest hitters in the Indians system the past two weeks has been Urshela as he has 6 multi-hit games in his last 10 games, and over that stretch he is hitting .432 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 1.245 OPS. The streak has pushed his season average up to .270 and OPS over the .700 mark at .701.
- Mike Rayl (SP, Carolina): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K. After a solid start to the season, Rayl had really struggled coming into last night’s game as he had allowed at least four runs in 6 of his last 8 outings, so hopefully this is a sign he is getting back on track.
- Clayton Cook (RP, Carolina): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 K. Cook made his first appearances since April 17th as he had been shut down with arm soreness. It is good to see him back; now it is about building him back up so he can start. Interestingly, the Indians are having him build himself back up in Carolina rather than Arizona.
- Leonardo Castillo (3B, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, K, 2 E. Castillo is off to a solid start in the second half of the season hitting .280 with a .708 OPS in 6 games. The numbers themselves are not great, but for a young player like him they are key to boosting his confidence.
- Luigi Rodriguez (CF, Lake County): 2-for-5, R, RBI. Rodriguez got off to a good start in the first half of the season hitting .349 with a .944 OPS in April, and he is off to a good start again in the second half hitting .429 with a 1.077 OPS.
- Elvis Araujo (SP, Lake County): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 6 K. Araujo had a sloppy game on the mound both with his pitching but also his own defense as he made an errant pickoff throw. His performance this season has been up and down and he needs to show more consistency.
- Louis Head (RP, Lake County): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. What a brilliant debut at Lake County for Head as he was promoted from Mahoning Valley just before the game. He did not miss a lot of bats, but he threw strikes and continues to show a powerful fastball that reaches the mid-90s.
- Tyler Naquin (CF, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-4, BB, E. Naquin is starting to settle in and play every day. Initially the Indians built him back up since he had been shut down for a few weeks since the end of Texas A&M’s season, but he has now played in three of the last four games.
- Charlie Valerio (1B, Mahoning Valley): 3-for-4, 2B, RBI. Valerio has looked very comfortable in the box in the early going putting some good swings on the ball as even his outs have been loud. He is a big, strong catcher that can also play first base, and is an interesting sleeper prospect to monitor.
- Jeremy Lucas (C, Mahoning Valley): 4-for-4, R, 2B, RBI. Lucas was just 1-for-10 at the plate in his first three pro games, so a night like last night is certainly welcomed and was hopefully his first of many good nights to come.
- Geoffrey Davenport (SP, Mahoning Valley): 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Davenport has been touched up for 10 runs in 12.2 innings over his first 3 starts, but right now it is more about getting him innings and getting that feel back on the mound since he missed so much time due to Tommy John surgery.
- Enosil Tejeda (RP, Mahoning Valley): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Tejeda is an interesting relief prospect, but his return to Mahoning Valley for a second straight season after a promising campaign last season (2.91 ERA, 34.0 IP, 15 BB, 57 K) is curious. It also shows some of the national pundits putting him in their preseason top 20-30 was based more on stats rather than actual looks.
- Tyler Booth (CF, AZL Indians): 3-for-5, R, 3B, 4 RBI. Booth is off to a solid pro start as this is already his second 3-hit game as a pro in just 5 games. He came in viewed as a hacker – meaning he lacks patience and goes up to the plate swinging – and he has proven that so far with no walks and 5 strikeouts and lots of aggressiveness early in the count.
- Eric Haase (C, AZL Indians): 3-for-5, 3 R, K. The Indians have a lot of high upside youth playing in Arizona, and a lot of them are playing well. Haase is one of them as he now has 3 multi-hit games in his first 5 games and has 4 extra base hits.
- Ryan Battaglia (1B, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, R, 2B, 4 RBI, BB, K. Battaglia was just 2-for-20 in his first 5 games, so this was a much needed good game. He shows a lot of power when he is able to make contact, but the problem continues to be making consistent contact (10 K, 24 AB).
- Josh McAdams-Schubert (RF, AZL Indians): 0-for-1, 3 R, 2 BB, K. McAdams showed that even when you don’t get a hit you can still have an effect on the game as he reached base a few times via the walk and scored 3 times. He has 4 walks and 4 hits in his fist 4 pro games….nice start.
- Luis Lugo (SP, AZL Indians): 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. Not as good of an outing as his first start or what he did in extended spring training, but he is young as he just turned 18 years old in March and shows an ability to put the ball on the plate and get some strikeouts.
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The Cunningham issue is really simple. The Indians built themselves a box when they signed Sizemore, which I understand was largely Acta's decision since he was adamantly opposed to Brantley starting in CF. How times have changed! Brantley is far better offensively and defensively than Sizemore has been in years and the Indians have nobody other than Cunningham to back up CF. In order to have someone who will not embarrass the Indians in CF, you probably have to consider Fedroff, a LH batter, or dip into Akron for Neal. Neither is probably as good defensively as Cunningham and it is just speculative that they would be better offensively. I am not getting on Acta's case since he has been pretty decent as manager but he is not the sacred cow that the media, including IPI, seems to feel.