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Around the Farm: June 6, 2012

Around the Farm: June 6, 2012
June 7, 2012
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Around the Farm was originated here at Indians Prospect Insider, and 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.

Roberto Perez: C, Akron Aeros: 3-for-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI:

I don’t know that Perez has made it to the top of ATF in a long while. He may very well be the best defensive catcher in the system, including the big league club, but to say he’s offensively challenged may be an understatement. On Wednesday night, Perez had his first three-hit game of 2012, as well as his first multi-RBI game. His first double gave the Aeros a 3-2 lead in the second inning, then bookended it with a two-run double in the eight to give the Aeros their final tally of six runs in a 6-4 win. It’s always fun doing this job and seeing guys like Perez have a game like this. It’s icing really, and you’ll likely see Perez in a big league uniform at some point, behind a starter like Santana. This isn’t the start of some offensive juggernaut, but it’s good to see he has games like this in him.

Tony Wolters: 2B, Carolina Mudcats: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 BB:

Wolters just keeps coming on. After starting the season off with a much documented slump that had many (including me) questioning his promotion to Carolina without a stop at Lake County, He rebounded with a big May. He began sputtering a bit offensively as June got closer, and went through a stretch at the end of May and the beginning of June in which he went 2-for-24, but has apparently put that behind him. Over his last two games, Wolters is back, going 5-for-9, with a run, a double, a triple, three RBI and a walk. His overall average is at .231, which is nothing to scream about, but is 100 points over what it was at on April 31. Welcome back Mr. Wolters.

  • Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Phelps is only hitting .111 over his past ten games, dropping his overall average to a rather pedestrian .256. He has gone 3-for-7 in his last two games, with two runs and back-to-back games with doubles.
  • Jared Goedert: DH, Columbus: 1-for-4, 1 K: Goedert followed up his perfect four-hit, nine RBI game with a solo single. Columbus followed suit, scoring only one-run, after scoring 21 on Monday.
  • Chad Huffman: RF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Huffman was the only Clipper with a run and an RBI when he blasted his fifth homer on the season in the ninth inning. He’s hitting .271 overall, and is hitting .324 over the past ten games. Huffman, a righthanded hitter, is lacing righthanded hitters to the tune of .337 on the year, and strangely enough, only hitting .116 against lefties.
  • Beau Mills: 1B, Columbus: 1-for-4: If Mills built up any capital with the Tribe front office after last season’s big year, he has lost it all after dropping off the map this year. He started off the season playing well in may, hitting .297, with three homers and eight RBI. His power continued in May, with four more dingers, but nothing else followed suit. He hit .156 in May, and is hitting only .111 in June (.088 over the past ten).
  • Eric Berger: SP, Columbus: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HR: Berger has been solid in his last two starts with the Clippers, going 11 2/3 innings, giving up only nine hits and three earned runs, while walking four, and striking out an impressive 14 batters. You don’t really hear his name mentioned much as a potential move to Cleveland, but guys like Berger often find themselves in the equation because of their ability to pitch in different situations. He’s started in all eleven appearances this year, but only started twice last season, in 42 appearances.
  • Frank Herrmann: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K: Herrmann has been outstanding over his last three appearances, going 4 1/3 and giving up two hits and three runs (none earned), while walking two and striking out six. He’s really dropped off the radar for the Indians, but could provide some relief depth in September.
  • Chun-Hsiu Chen: 1B, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 K: Chen has been playing well offensively all season, with the exception of home-run power. He has 17 doubles and a triple, but has only hit one home run. Since moving to the full season leagues, Chen has never hit less than 12 homers, and while I don’t think anyone projected him as a 30 homer guy, I certainly don’t think he was projected as a one-homer guy either, especially with the move from catcher to first.
  • Adam Abraham: DH, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 2B: Abraham has been scuffling a bit of late getting on base, but has managed  to scrap his way to five runs, three doubles, a homer and eight RBI over his past ten games, while only hitting .225, with a .238 average. He’s hitting .295 on the season with runners on base.
  • Nick Weglarz: LF, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 K: The Weglarz watch continues. Okay, I’m probably the only one watching, but there’s a big part of me that wants the big outfielder to just figure things out again, and become that power hitter that many predicted for him many years ago. It hasn’t panned out, because of injury and overall struggle, but he does throw out a game or two like this every month, which gives hope that he could come out of the tailspin, even after being dropped from the 40-man and DFA’ed. He’s only hitting .242 over his past ten games, but does have a .350 OBP.
  • Jose De La Torre: RP, Akron: W (3-0), 2 2/3, 1 BB, 5 K: De La Torre was absolutely dominating on Wednesday night. He came into the game in the fifth inning with the bases loaded, and one out, with the Aeros up by one. He struck out the first batter, and got out of the inning with a pop-out. He would go on to strike out four more batters over his next two innings of work, and garner the win in relief of Brett Brach. De La Torre has been more than interesting of late, now going eight straight appearances without giving up a run. Over that stretch, he’s gone 12 2/3 innings, giving up only five hits and four walks, while striking out sixteen. He’s struck out 13 batters in his last 7 2/3. Could De La Torre be the next big reliever in a system full of them?
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: H (3), 1 IP, 2 BB, 2 K: A decent outing for Bryson, but the two walks are frustrating. He can’t locate the strike zone, and has walked fifteen batters in his last ten games, while striking out fifteen. Bryson is another one of those guys you root for as a piece of that Sabathia deal, but he’s not been able to put it together after early injuries set him back.
  • Preston Guillmet: Closer, Akron: S (7), 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K: Guilmet gave up his first run in five appearances, as he had been looking more like the guy that dominated the Eastern League.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: 0-for-5, 1 K: Aguilar has had a beautiful season so far, and really is the best offensive player on the team, as he’s been healthy throughout, while fellow first baseman/DH Jeremie Tice has struggled to stay in the lineup at times. Still, Aguilar has had a couple of instances so far on the young season where he’s slumped, and he’s in a bit of one now, having gone 0-for-10 over his past three games. It’s nothing big, and if this season’s trend continues, he’ll be out of it soon enough.
  • Carlos Moncrief: RF, Carolina: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Moncrief can be frustrating to watch over the span of a season, because he’ll flash this incredible five-tool talent. He has eight stolen bases this year, seven homers, 11 doubles and three triples. He’s driven in 28 runs, and scored 34. He’s also struck out 66 times in 52 games. If he can figure out THAT part of his game, Moncrief can become a dependable major league because of his vast amount of talent. Over his past ten, he has a .310/.444/.586 line. You see what I mean?
  • Will Roberts: SP, Carolina: W (3-2), 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 5 K: These are the kinds of starts that you want to see from last year’s fifth round pick. It’s interesting to watch just how inconsistent he’s been since joining the Mudcats this year, as he’s literally alternated between starts with two runs or less, with starts with three runs or more. He’s struggled a bit with walks (13 in his previous four games), so it was good to see a solid outing in which control wasn’t an issue.
  • Kyle Petter: RP, Carolina: H (2), 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K: Petter has a run of five games without giving up a run, has only given up three hits and four walks, while striking out 10 over 9 2/3 innings. After struggling in his first month with the team, Petter is re-emerging in that level just below the elite arms.
  • Jose Flores: Closer, Carolina: S (9), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Flores continues to have a season I don’t think anyone saw coming. He had a stretch of three bad ballgames at the end of May, but it has been the only dent in the armor so far this season. He’s rebounded with three shutout appearances, in which he’s gotten two more saves. His nine saves are second in the Carolina League.
  • Luigi Rodriguez: CF, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Rodriguez had the only extra base hit for the Captains in their 5-2 loss on Wednesday night. Rodriguez  has been struggling of late. While he’s hitting .271 on the season, he only hit .222 in May, and is hitting .167 in June.
  • Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 K: Lindor is following the same pattern as Rodriguez after starting off the season scorching hot. He only hit .258 in May, and is hitting .100 in June thusfar. With that said, Lindor reportedly had one of the best defensive plays of the season for the Captains, when he made a diving stop off a hard grounder in the second inning, then threw out the runner from the outfield. The kid is special.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB: I’m officially starting the Jerrud Sabourin fan club. The Captains’ first baseman has been scorching hot of late, and has a ten game line of .368/.442/.447 over the past ten games, with six runs, three doubles, five RBI and five walks. He even threw a stolen base in there to showcase his five-tool speed. Okay, too much?
  • Bryson Myles: LF, Lake County: 0-for-1, 1 BB: Myles played in his first game since May 19th, and was pulled from the start in the top of the fifth inning. I’m not sure what happened, but it came after an error in the field in the bottom of the fourth inning. I’m not sure if he was pulled because of the error, or if the error was because of the injury, or if the error was followed up with an injury, but he got pulled. It could be nothing, or it could be another domino injury in what’s become a frustrating season for Myles.

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.

User Comments

Tommy
June 7, 2012 - 11:05 PM EDT
Phil, regarding Wolters' bat speed -- it's not so much of an adjustment, its that the Indians paid Wolters at least twice what he is worth and he's just simply not that good. The Dustin Pedroia comparisons are way off base -- his upside is more like Jamey Carroll. He slaps at the ball; Pedroia actually took hard cuts and drove the ball.

Also, Wolters has been slapping singles...I'd hardly call that "raking".
Tony
June 7, 2012 - 2:52 PM EDT
Yes, that has been a concern of mine really since I have seen him since Mahoning Valley last year. His bat speed is noticeably slower than I expected....I don't know if it is a byproduct of the hamate procedure, but I agree completely.
Phil
June 7, 2012 - 8:04 AM EDT
Hey Tony, Keith Law was at one of the Carolina games this week and he made the comment that Wolters bat looked very slow, even on a ball he hit hard down the line for a double, he was very late one. Is this a concern or possibly a result of him still adjusting to the jump to High-A?

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