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Around The Farm: June 5, 2013

Urshela's power, Rodriguez's adjustments highlight the night on the farm

Around The Farm: June 5, 2013
Ronny Rodriguez (Photo: Lianna Holub)
June 6, 2013
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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. 

Ronny Rodriguez (SS, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 E

Rodriguez may not have had the best night in Akron Wednesday (that honor belongs to the man in the next section down), but he does have the best revelation. Some fun with numbers:

Before May 13, 2012 in Carolina: .599 OPS

After May 13, 2012 in Carolina: .802 OPS

Before May 14, 2013 in Akron: .552 OPS

After May 14, 2013 in Akron: .863 OPS

For the past three weeks, Rodriguez has been a lot better, though that could just be small sample size noise. In order to read anything into it, Rodriguez must have made some sort of adjustment. Watching him Wednesday night, I thought his swing mechanics looked completely different, and after the game, Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez confirmed that R. Rodriguez changed his swing three weeks ago without me prompting him on the timing of the change in the stats. Rodriguez is bending his legs more after being too straight up and seems to have cut down on the pre-pitch motion in his swing. The change is showing good results and the shortstop is looking like he belongs in Double-A.

Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron): 4-for-5, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Back to a more normal Around The Farm experience, Urshela simply dominated Wednesday night. The third baseman flashed the power that -- paired with his major league-caliber defense -- could turn him into a Top 10 prospect. Urshela is swinging at better pitches, something that allows him to truly drive the ball. A problem entering this season for Urshela is that his hand-eye coordination is so good that he can make contact with pitches out of the zone, though he cannot make good contact on those pitches. When Urshela is being more selective, good things happen. He could still use a few more walks to boost his on-base percentage (only six in 50 games), but Urshela looks the part right now at the plate. He is in the midst of making the jump to Double-A and appears to be making it successfully.

  • Joe Martinez (SP, Columbus): L (1-5), 6.0 IP, 12 H, 9 R (7 ER), 0 BB, 4 SO, 2 HR. Martinez already entered the year as a fringy starter and watching his ERA balloon up to 6.95 after this outing will not help things.
  • Bryan Price (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HBP. Price's first experiences at Triple-A this year were not so good, so it is nice to see some shutout innings here.
  • Chris Jakubauskas (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. Jakubauskas has two scoreless appearances since joining the Clippers, which is exactly how you go about impressing your new bosses.
  • Columbus Offense: 4-for-31, 4 R, 0 XBH, 6 BB, 5 SO. With no extra base hits and limited damage, Columbus' entire offense disappointed Wednesday. Things like this happen though; watch them score 12 runs on Thursday.
  • Matt Packer (SP, Akron): W (3-5), 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR. The high number of hits is concerning, but most of those hits came on relatively harmless groundballs. Packer's ERA now stands at 3.22 and his FIP at 3.68.
  • Chen-Chang Lee (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. The comeback train keeps rolling for Lee. Hopefully it will arrive in Cleveland at some point in the near future.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Akron): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Power and speed; this is what Moncrief is capable of. The right fielder continues to improve as he currently sits at a decent .265/.342/.410 line.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Carolina): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B. This is a taste of the power Jim Pete has been waiting on, as Smith launched his 11th double of the season. Unfortunately, we are all waiting on a little more home run power (only one in 57 games this year) from the outfielder.
  • Zach MacPhee (3B, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 E. This season has not been particularly kind to MacPhee (.242/.311/.368 in 30 games), but things went well enough Wednesday. The infielder is playing decently, though his bat could definitely use more of this pop.
  • Paddy Matera (SS, Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 SO. Matera made his organizational debut (he was signed due to shifting forced by Asdrubal Cabrera's injury) and was solid. This is still Francisco Lindor's spot, though (as if it needed to be said).
  • Nick Pasquale (SP, Carolina): L (0-3), 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP. Pasquale had been pitching well since a rough introduction to the Carolina League, but Wednesday did not go as well. He did record 10 groundouts to one fly out, though, which is a good approach.
  • Francisco Jimenez (RP, Carolina): 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO. The strikeouts may not be there for Jimenez (19 in 32.2 innings), but he got the job done Wednesday, keeping the game close as the Mudcats tried to rally.
  • Ryan Merritt (SP, Lake County): L (3-5), 6.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 4 SO, 3 HR. Home runs did Merritt in Wednesday, as allowing three in one game makes it hard to win. The left-hander has still impressed in 2013, though, as his 3.50 ERA and 3.39 FIP show.
  • Felix Sterling (RP, Lake County): 1.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO. This makes three straight scoreless appearances for Sterling. That may not sound like much, but with Sterling's performance in 2013, it is progress.
  • Yhoxian Medina (2B, Lake County): 2-for-3, 1 2B. Medina may have gone unranked in IBI's Top 100, but the infielder sure looks like he can handle Low-A pitching (8-for-20, 4 doubles since being sent down from Carolina).
  • Logan Vick (CF, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Vick continues to handle the Midwest League pretty well, as he owns a solid .269/.376/.400 line in his first 50 games.
  • Erik Gonzalez (3B, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO, 1 E. Gonzalez could use a little more on-base in his game (.316 OBP) and some more consistent defense (11 errors in 2013), but things could also be worse. He is playing regularly, not something that was a guarantee heading into this season.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at jpiasci1@gmail.com. If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

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