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Around the Farm: May 11, 2014

Around the Farm: May 11, 2014
Josh Martin (Photo: IBI)
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Note, Low-A Lake County had a scheduled off day on Sunday.

Josh Martin (RP, CAR): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Martin was near perfect again in relief as he struggled a little with the walks and doubled his season total in the process. He is having some kind of year so far with a 1.50 ERA and in 18.0 innings has allowed just 5 hits, 4 walks and has 20 strikeouts. His performance has been eye-catching, now it will be interesting to see if he keeps it up and how his stuff develops. His stuff is rather ordinary and does not standout, but when you perform like this and have the size and intangibles he has, people will take notice.

Ryan Merritt (SP, CAR): 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K. Merritt moves to 5-0 on the season with a 1.43 ERA in seven starts. Opposing batters are hitting just .198 off him and he has a nice 7-34 walk to strikeout ratio. This is the kind of performance early in the season you want to see out of one of the organization’s top pitching prospects. If this performance carries over into mid-June then he could easily be a mid-season promotion to Double-A Akron over the Carolina League All Star break. If you are not yet on the Ryan Merritt bandwagon, it is time to jump on board. He doesn’t project to be a dominating frontend Major League starter, but he could be a nice middle to backend guy.

  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 0-for-2, 2 K. As Lee Corso often says on College Gameday, “Not so fast my friend.” Aguilar has really been under strong consideration for a call to Cleveland, but those plans have been delayed a little by his performance of late (.205 BAA, .582 OPS in May) and now he has what is believed to be a minor bruise suffered in a collision during Sunday’s game which forced him out of the game as a precaution. Hopefully he doesn’t miss much time, if any at all.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus): 0-for-3, K, BB. Urshela will never be a high on-base percentage guy because he just does not walk a lot, but what is really encouraging is his improved power this season (.304 ISO) compared to his career .117 ISO entering the season. He’s finally figured out things at the plate to find pitches he can drive, now the question is whether he can maintain it.
  • Elliot Johnson (2B, Columbus): 1-for-3, R. Johnson cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Columbus where he made his season debut with them on Sunday. To get him on the roster the Indians released righty Brett Brach.
  • Luke Carlin (C, Columbus): 2-for-3, 2 2B. A nice game for the veteran Carlin who played in only his fourth game of the season. He is a long time minor leaguer who has really crafted a nice pro career – even if he has had little time in the big leagues.
  • Kyle Davies (SP, Columbus): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K. Davies made his second straight strong start with Columbus after being promoted earlier last week. He’s proven to be durable and healthy so far this season (7 GS, 2.74 ERA, 42.2 IP) and is using this season as a year-long audition for a possible big league opportunity with someone next season.
  • Austin Adams (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Adams has really pitched better than his ERA suggests thanks to a much improved walk rate in the early going. He’s doing a very good job of not only throwing strikes, but keeping them down in the zone.
  • Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 2-for-5, R, K, 2 A. Yes, you read that right. Naquin had two assists in the game cutting down a runner at home not once, but twice. And don’t look now but his batting average is up to .286 and all of his numbers are solid-to-good across the board except for his strikeout rate.
  • Joe Wendle (2B, Akron): 1-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI. Wendle looks like he is finding more consistency with his at bats and is starting to heat up. He now has an 8-game hitting streak (.367 AVG) and 14 of his 29 hits have gone for extra bases.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (3B, Akron): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K. It has not been a pretty start for Rodriguez as he is hitting just .189 with a .483 OPS in 24 games. He has yet to homer, but he is hitting .282 with a .711 OPS over his last 10 games.
  • Will Roberts (SP, Akron): 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 4K. This outing exemplifies what we have kind of come to expect from Roberts. Some nights he will flash his potential to be a backend ML starter, while other nights he is hit hard and struggles. It all boils down to his consistency and whether or not he finds it.
  • Toru Murata (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 3H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 0 K. With the release of Brach it leaves Murata as one of the few versatile arms the Indians can move back and forth between Triple-A Columbus and Double-A Akron.
  • Adam Miller (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. This was Miller’s 2014 debut and it was a nice one as he threw two scoreless innings. His days as a top prospect are well behind him and he has a very minimal shot of sticking with the Indians, but he’s a guy to get behind and root for to somehow find a way to make it. What a story it would be if it were with the Indians.
  • Erik Gonzalez (SS, CAR): 2-for-5, 2 R, 3B, K. After a bit of a rough patch it looks like Gonzalez is slowly coming out of it. This was his second straight multi-hit game and he now has hits in five of his last six games (9-for-28, .321 AVG) which is much better than the six games before that when he was hitless in five of the six and was 2-for-21 at the plate.
  • Anthony Gallas (LF, CAR): 3-for-4, 2B, BB, K. This is starting to get fun with Gallas as you almost find yourself now checking the box score specifically to see what he is doing each night. From a performance perspective, he’s been awesome at Carolina hitting .343 with 5 HR, 14 RBI and .963 OPS in 31 games. Hopefully he has more people besides me rooting for his success to continue!
  • Jerrud Sabourin (1B, CAR): 2-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K. Sabourin has been locked in hitting .383 with a .955 OPS in 12 games since a step down to High-A Carolina from Double-A Akron. Once the Indians move Bryan LaHair back up to Triple-A Columbus (or release him) then Sabourin should go back to Akron.
  • Elvis Araujo (RP, CAR): 0.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 0 K. Araujo came on in the ninth and just didn’t have it as he allowed five of the six batters he faced to reach base to make a 7-2 game into a 7-5 nail-biter with runners on first and second when he departed.
  • Rob Nixon (RP, CAR): 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Nixon promptly came into the game and earned his first save of the season with a well-timed double play ball to end the threat and game. Now THAT was a legit “save”. Nixon is really pitching well at Carolina and setting himself up for a potential late season call to Double-A Akron.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

May 13, 2014 - 10:56 AM EDT
"but it would be a great moment considering all this kid has been through"

Crazy to think about but this 'kid' is gonna be 30 years old this year...

Definitely been a long, hard road for Miller. Agree, wouldn't mind seeing him get a shot in September if there's an open spot.
MT88 in WI
May 12, 2014 - 2:16 PM EDT
The way Francona uses the bullpen I get the feeling there wil be a number of arms pitching for Cleveland this year that are currently in Columbus or Akron.

The way certain members struggled on Sunday, I feared that the wear signs were starting to already appear...
Canadian Joe
May 12, 2014 - 12:50 PM EDT
Tony, Perez seems to be one of those catchers whose defense developed before his ability to hit. It is still early in the season, but the numbers he is putting up are pretty good. 2 more hits today, but then pulled. Hope he is not hurt. Do you think there is a chance he can get a call up at some point. Seems he has earned it this year.
May 12, 2014 - 11:55 AM EDT
Gallas seems to be recreating his 2011 season at Lake County, with a lot of doubles, high batting average and modest strikeout rate. But he was old for the league, and now has played in the Carolina League for at least part of each season since 2011, and I'd be a bit hesitant to get too much behind him at 26 years old in A ball.

But he is a local kid and there are late bloomers, so...
May 12, 2014 - 11:54 AM EDT
You know, provided the Indians have an open spot on the 40-man in September, I'd be all for bringing up Miller if for just a day and let him pitch in a game. I'm not one to hank out token ML appearances to guys, but it would be a great moment considering all this kid has been through.
May 12, 2014 - 11:52 AM EDT
What a gift from the baseball gods to see Adam Miller in the box score- and the clean result made it a double blessing. He is one of those stories. Scott Kazmir( just dominant against the Nats yesterday), Aroldis Chapman(struck out the side with the triple digit cheese in his first appearance since the skull fracture), Grady Sizemore winning games for the Red Sox. These are all Roy Hobbs stories and they seem to happen more in baseball than they do anywhere else. You go Adam Miller!!!
May 12, 2014 - 11:52 AM EDT
I like to try and mix things up and not mention that same guys every day for ATF (unless their performance that game warrants it). So putting Brown as the feature was only natural. Really impressed with his showing, though as you mentioned Tondo, he is older for the league and it is also a small sample size. That said, I think he should be on everyone's radar as an interesting pen arm worth keeping tabs on and seeing how he fares at Double-A once he gets a chance there. Really liking the pitching depth both with starters and relievers right now throughout the organization.
May 12, 2014 - 11:32 AM EDT
@Walter.. Agree with you about Adam Miller.. If nothing else, a September call up and perhaps a cameo would be nice if it wouldn't matter to the outcome of a game would be a nice "cherry on top" to his comeback.. I'm sure he'd look at it as just another step along his very unusual journey in baseball...
May 12, 2014 - 11:19 AM EDT
Very nice of you Tony to have Josh Martin highlighted. He's having a tremendous season so far. As dominant as Crockett. That 0.5 WHIP over 18 IP is impressive. He's old for the league at 24, so I'd really want to see him at Akron and see if he's legit.

Another guy who deserved to be mention is the trade return for Guilmet, INF T.Boss. He went 3-42 to start off his career in the org, then apparently got sat down and worked on and it looks like it pays off already. In May, he is now 7-16 with 5 XBH and a 5:2 BB:K. Maybe it's just a hot streak, but considering he was a 8th round pick in 2012 and the timing of this make it worth keeping an eye on
May 12, 2014 - 10:56 AM EDT
Urshela for real?
May 12, 2014 - 9:19 AM EDT
Gallas does not play first base. And the outfield is crowded in Akron with Myles, Naquin and Smith playing everyday and Holt mixing in. Just nowhere to play Gallas unless one of those guys are hurt or promoted to Columbus. Holt may actually get a chance to move up to Columbus at some point here, and when that happens perhaps Gallas moves up then. Gallas is a low priority prospect so the Indians are not going to force him onto the Akron roster like they would if say he were Clint Frazier tearing up the Carolina League.

Rodriguez has the athleticism and arm to pretty much handle any position on the diamond. There are some growing pains he is going through with learning to play third base a little more frequently, but it boils down to the same thing at third as it did at shortstop and that is he needs to show more consistency with his defense. Even still, the offense has to get a ton better. That power in his swing (along with the athleticism and arm) was what put him on the map and the power has been missing for whatever reason this season.
May 12, 2014 - 9:13 AM EDT
When the Indians do decide to move LaHair would it be more wise to give Gallas the promotion to Akron instead of Sabourin?

I hope that Adam Miller does succeed as a reliever and get a shot at the majors.

Ronny Rodriguez is start to hit probably he might have found a position to play at 3B. How has his defense at his new position?

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