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Around the Farm: May 12, 2012

Around the Farm: May 12, 2012
May 13, 2012
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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.
 
Tyler Holt: CF, Carolina Mudcats: 1-for-1, 3 R, 3 BB, 2 SB (8):
 
Tyler Holt is doing exactly what you should do if you are stuck at a level beneath where you should be because of supposed “depth” and major league relief in Columbus. There’s no whining and complaining. There’s no prima-donna behavior. Instead, Holt is acting like a professional, and absolutely raking this year. It’s hard to describe just how far he’s come in a year, but you know me…I’m surely going to try. Last season, Holt’s knock was his over-aggressive-ness. He struck out too much, and really brought an interesting attitude onto the field that many were questioning. This season, Holt is still the aggressive player, but in a much more “controlled” fashion. He’s not flying off the handle, and he’s much more controlled at the plate. Last season, he struck out 106 times in 115 games, while walking 76 times, and had a respectable .365 OBP. This season, he’s hitting .322, with 22 walks and 22 K’s in 31 games, a vast improvement. He made it on base tonight in all five plate appearances, and has a seven-game hit streak. He’s made it on base in 20 straight games.
 
Thomas Neal: RF, Akron Aeros: 3-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, CS (3):
 
Neal has been about as unassuming a prospect as the Indians have had this season. With the Indians starving for outfield prospects, and in particular, right-handed, power-hitting outfielders, this was Neal’s opportunity to make a push for the big leagues. That didn’t happen, and Neal found himself off the 40-man roster, and sent down to Akron from Triple A. He wasn’t horrible during the first month of the season, but he certainly wasn’t making a case for Columbus. He hit .278, with three doubles and five walks. Things have picked up a bit in May though, as Neal is not only hitting .303, with three doubles already, but he’s also got the OBP up to .410. Now, if he could only find some sort of power, perhaps he could make some noise by the end of the season. Of course, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Neal is still an under-the-radar player as we speak, but his right-handed-ness could make a difference going forward, if he can maintain the numbers, and add some power.
 
Ben Copeland: RF, Columbus Clippers: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K:
 
Copeland has only been up with the Clip-show for six games, and he’s clearly making the most of it. Now let’s get a bit real here. He wasn’t doing jack in Akron to get the call-up to begin with, as this was another one of those moves in which a non-major league prospect will get a temporary bump because of that word…’temporary.’ You don’t want to send a top guy up for a few game-stretch, as this move seemed to be. Copeland was hitting .136 with the Aeros, but is hitting .273 with the Clippers. Still, he will no doubt find his way back down in the near future.
 
  • Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: 3-for-4, 1 BB, CS (4): Last season, it seemed like Carrera owned the International League and ATF, as he was up in the primo spot with games like this all the time. This year, not so much. He’s hitting .256, with only six stolen bases. It’s almost hard to believe that he was a factor in the bigs last year.
  • Russ Canzler: 1B, Columbus: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Canzler has tapered off over the past couple of weeks, and has a ten-game line of .125/.222.250, so he’s certainly not trying to grab a spot in Cleveland any time soon. He’s nothing more than minor league fill at this point, and that’s all he’ll ever be. He’ll have his minor league streaks, but he doesn’t have anything that can be a plus at the big league level for very long.
  • Jared Goedert: LF, Akron: 2-for-4: Goedert upped his current hit streak to seven games, and has hit in eight of the last ten ballgames. He’s “only” hitting .343 over the past ten games, but has an impressive .380/.469/.519 line on the season. Please tell me that Columbus has better major league fill than this guy. Yeah, I didn’t think so.
  • Michel Hernandez: C, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 4 RBI: Hernandez hit a three-run double in the second inning that got the Aeros rolling, and drove in their fifth run in the ninth inning. This guy can surely fill in some numbers, even though he’s minor league fill.
  • Bryan Price: RP, Akron: 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Price has had some bad outings on occasion over the past three seasons, but when he’s good, he’s been very good. This season, he has a 2.53 ERA in ten appearances, has struck out 25, and walked only eight. He’s not in that top tier of arms, but he’s definitely got a major league arm.
  • Kyle Landis: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 K: Landis has been really, really good this season in Akron. How good? In ten appearances over 18 2/3 innings with the Aeros, he’s given up one earned run, and has a 0.48 ERA, while striking out 16, and walking only four. He’s in the same tier as Price.
  • Tony Wolters: 2B, Carolina: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Wolters isn’t exactly heating it up over the last ten games (.257/.316/.314), but he’s hitting a whole lot better than he started (.130 in April, vs. .265 in May).
  • Jeremie Tice: 1B, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB: There isn’t a player in the system hitting better than Tice is right now. Overall, his hitting .342 on the season, but over the past ten, he’s just exploded. He has five multi-hit games in the past ten, and has a sick line of .455/.525/.939. His flipping OPS is 1.464, with four homers and 14 RBI during that stretch.
  • Kyle Blair: SP, Carolina: W (1-0), 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR: I’m not really sure what the Indians are planning on doing with Kyle Blair, but he’s been really, really good since being moved to the pen in Lake County. He’s made two starts, sandwiching a one-inning relief appearance to get some work in, and he’s been lights out. He’s gone ten innings, giving up five hits and an earned run, while walking three walks and eight K’s. Perhaps this fourth rounder is ready to be heard.
  • Trey Haley: RP, Carolina: S (1): 2 1/3 IP, 2 BB, 2 K: I’m starting to get the impression that Haley is finally starting to meet all those expectations that you would have of a kid that can throw close to 100. He’s healthy and finding the strike zone. If he can carry this up to Double A, then he’s going to surely enter that top tier of arms in the system. In 9 1/3 IP, he’s only given up one hit and two unearned runs, while walking three and striking out seven.
  • Bryson Myles: RF, Lake County: 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 SB (10): Myles is in a free-fall at the plate, hitting only .212 in the past ten, and going 0-for-19 in his last six games. With the struggles at the plate, he’s still managed a .325 OBP over that time period. No, not great overall, but fairly interesting with the bad average. Still, I’d like to see Myles force the Indians to bump him up when Holt makes his move.
  • Todd Hankins: 2B, Lake County: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB: Hankins is a non-factor going forward as a prospect, but has been playing well over the past three, going 5-for-12, with three runs, a triple and an RBI.
  • Felix Sterling: SP, Lake County: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR: Sterling continues to pitch well for Lake County, and has six outstanding starts, one so-so, and one moderately bad start overall this year. His past three have been on the outstanding side, as he’s gone 16 2/3 innings in the past three games, giving up 13 hits, three earned runs and five walks, while striking out 14. Overall, he’s got a 2.81 ERA.

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

Tony
May 13, 2012 - 11:48 PM EDT
I think I side more with DetDawg on this one in that Myles needs time in Lake County. He's a good prospect with raw skills that need developing, and with that in mind I have a feeling based on things I have heard that he could be in Lake County for the duration of the season. Unless, of course, he just goes off and shows things behind the scenes where he needs to be challenged at a new level. This is sort of the dilemma the Indians are in with Lindor. As he is a guy that had to absolutely go crazy to have any thought of moving to Carolina, and so far he has. His good play goes beyond the numbers as there are no superlatives to describe it. I was told by someone in the know a week back that the Indians are absolutely not moving him up no matter what....so we will see. I think some opinions on that are changing, and if Ronny Rod continues to struggle I don't think there is anything wrong with pushing him back to Lake County and moving Lindor up. At some point Lindor is likely going to lap him anyway.

Blair is very interesting....he recently completely overhauled his delivery and has a Luis Tiant style where he really rotates and shows his back and hides the ball well. Interesting change.
Phil
May 13, 2012 - 11:39 PM EDT
Nobody is going to stand in the way of Lindor being promoted, especially not Wolters and i'm a fan. Lindor is by far the best prospect in the Indians organization and arguably top infield prospect in the low minors and his development won't be spared for anyone. When he's ready, he will be in Carolina.
Jim
May 13, 2012 - 10:41 PM EDT
Yo Det...I know I liked Myles right out of the gate, but can't remember if I did his initial write up or not. I do agree that he has holes, but really feel that if you line Myles up with Rodriguez, they have a similar amount of holes. I think Myles gets the not first because he's older, but really do think their upside is similar. Myles as a five-tool guy as you mentioned, and Luigi as a lead-off guy. The difference is that Myles has far less holes in his defense. I do think they are similar in development level though.

Great description Matthew...I talk weekly to a friend of mine who has season tickets, and he describes Myles in a similar fashion...and can't get over his size in connection to the fast and aggressive style of play...
Matthew
May 13, 2012 - 4:48 PM EDT
I was at the Lake County game yesterday and came away impressed with Myles. As you can see from the stats posted in the article, he had two BBs and two SBs, and he seemed to always be moving on the bases. It seemed like close to 10 times he took off on an SB attempt only to have a foul ball, or a pop up, or some such.

And that body type is interesting. I've seen the term "linebacker" used to describe him so I was somewhat expecting it, but still, seeing it in person was impressive.
DetDawg
May 13, 2012 - 12:37 PM EDT
Of course you know how Myles was described. It was probably you who profiled him for IPI after he was drafted by the Indians.

In addition to being raw and inexperienced, Myles has missed quite a bit of time due to injuries, both in '11 and '12. He also has been consistently inconsistent both in rookie league and the Midwest League. At his best, he appears ready to be promoted. But, his best seems to last 7-10 days, then he goes into a slump, or seems to get injured.

Myles needs to smooth out his performance before he is moved to a more advanced league.

If it comes down to Luigi or Bryson, I think Luigi is more ready and capable of handling the promotion.
Jim
May 13, 2012 - 8:36 AM EDT
If Wolters were hitting .500, and the Indians felt that Lindor needed moved...Wolters would be changing positions, or switching spots...

I know what Myles was described as, and while he clearly has things he needs to work through, he's more than ready to apply his wares against Carolina League pitching.

As soon as Holt moves up...Myles will likely move up, unless they feel Luigi is more ready...
DetDawg
May 13, 2012 - 8:18 AM EDT
I think Myles needs to remain where he is for the year. When drafted, he was described as raw and inexperienced, with potentially 5-tool talent. That profile still applies and he needs to remain at Lake County to build upon his experience. Moving him to Carolina will, imo, harm his overall development. I don't think fast track works for him.

Goedert is hitting great and getting on base at a high rate, but where has his power gone?

Blair is a great story. I thought he was a failed draft choice, but the Indians move him to the BP and all of a sudden the light goes on.

I think Landis needs to be moved to Columbus and kept there.
There's nothing more for him to prove at Akron.

Wolters isn't tearing up the league, but he's proved that he belongs at Carolina, and shouldn't be demoted. That fact will probably make promoting Lindor more difficult.


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