Around the Farm: May 14, 2014
Rodriguez, Naquin going deep in Akron highlights the night on the farm
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.
Ronny Rodriguez (1B, Akron): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO, 1 SB, 1 HBP
As yet another reminder that you cannot ever overreact to April stats, Rodriguez is beginning to work his way out from under the weight of his .331 April OPS. Rodriguez homered again on Wednesday, his second on the season, and extended his hitting streak to six games. Additionally, Rodriguez has hits in 12 of his last 13 games as his .235 BABIP begins to naturally rise. Rodriguez did not magically become a terrible hitter overnight; he has always done at least decently -- despite being young for his level -- and cut his strikeouts every year heading into 2014, even though he was promoted in each of those years. He is coming around this season and could be approaching his breakout, though that April from hell will make it hard to see in his season stats for some time.
Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO
On his leadoff home run Wednesday, Naquin was ahead of the pitch and under it, popping it high into the sky. The center fielder hit it hard enough, however, to get it over the right-field fence for his first home run of the season. That strength and ability to hit the ball hard is what makes Naquin special at the plate, and though he is still learning to catch up to the pitching at this level, hits like this home run or his hard line drive single that got between the shortstop and third baseman are flashes of what could be. There are still adjustments to make, but Naquin is making them as he looks to master the Double-A level.
- T.J. House (SP, Columbus): ND, 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO. This was House's worst outing on the season, though overall, it is not all that bad. The left-hander is still the owner of a low 2.40 ERA and 2.74 FIP in 41.1 innings.
- Vinnie Pestano (RP, Columbus): L (1-3), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO. Pestano had not allowed a run in four straight outings following a blow up on April 29, but he was tagged Wednesday. The right-hander has 20 strikeouts in 12.1 innings in Columbus.
- Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB. This is Urshela's first extra base hit since Friday as the third baseman finally cooled a bit after coming out of the gate red hot. The 22-year-old has still posted a .891 OPS in his first 12 Triple-A games.
- Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Moncrief continued his slow crawl back up on offense Wednesday as he pushed his OPS to .603. However, the 34:8 SO:BB in Moncrief's 35 games is concerning, especially considering how much of the right fielder's 2013 breakout hinged on evening those numbers out.
- Elliot Johnson (SS, Columbus): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 E. Johnson has played four positions in four games since being sent down, logging time at second base, designated hitter, center field, and shortstop for the Clippers.
- Justin Sellers (LF, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 BB. Sellers is doing his best Elliot Johnson impersonation of late as the 28-year-old has played second base, shortstop, third base, and lately, left field this season.
- Gabriel Arias (SP, Akron): W (5-2), 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR. Arias set out to pitch to contact Wednesday and succeed with that approach. The 24-year-old has been solid in his first year in the organization with a 3.65 ERA and 3.85 FIP in 37.0 innings.
- Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Akron): S (4), 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO. After missing all of 2013 with a shoulder injury, Sturdevant looks to be all the way back with a 1.59 ERA and 16:5 SO:BB in 17.0 innings. Plus, the right-hander is showing confidence in his shoulder and not holding back when he pitches.
- Joe Wendle (2B, Akron): 2-for-3, 1 BB. Wendle continued to see his offense come along as he extended his hit streak to 10 games and raised his OPS to .768.
- Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): Lindor's hit streak is only to eight games, but the shortstop owns a higher .819 OPS as the top prospect continues to impress in 2014.
- Alex Lavisky (C, Akron): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Lavisky has not played much, but when is playing, he is showing off his power. The catcher has three home runs in 13 games this season.
- D.J. Brown (SP, Carolina): L (2-3), 6.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 HBP, 1 BK. Like Arias, Brown also pitched to contact Wednesday, though the right-hander had worse results. Despite the less than stellar night, Brown still owns a 3.38 ERA and 24:5 SO:BB in 37.1 innings this season.
- Grant Sides (RP, Carolina): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO. Another scoreless outing gives Sides six in a row and nine out of 10 on the season. To go with that run suppression, the right-hander has a 12:4 SO:BB in 15.0 innings.
- Todd Hankins (LF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Hankins had five hits in three games before going up to Columbus for a few days. After returning to Columbus, he has home runs on back-to-back nights and three consecutive two-hit games.
- Jeremy Lucas (C, Carolina): 2-for-5, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Lucas has really stood out this season as the catcher added another extra base hit to the total Wednesday night. In addition to his .377 on-base percentage in 33 games, Lucas also owns a .192 isolated power and 20:19 SO:BB.
- Logan Vick (CF, Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 SO. Vick has seen the extra base hits come after failing to get one until April 24, but the outfielder is still seeing his .222 BABIP work its way back up. Even with the low BABIP, Vick owns a .325 on-base percentage in 2014.
- Erik Gonzalez (SS, Carolina): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Gonzalez continued to rack up hits Wednesday as the shortstop has 11 in his last five games. The 22-year-old has a .344 on-base percentage on the season, some of which is aided by his .375 BABIP.
- Adam Plutko (SP, Lake County): L (2-1), 4.0 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 WP. Following his best outing as a professional, Plutko came back down to Earth with his worst. The right-hander still has a 51:10 SO:BB in 39.1 innings this season.
- Alexis Paredes (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO. Unlike Plutko, Paredes followed his worst outing of the season with one of his better ones. The walk gives Paredes 10 to go with 16 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.
- Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 E. After reaching base three times, Rodriguez's on-base percentage is up to .340. He is still striking out quite a bit, but a 39:23 SO:BB in 37 games is not all that bad for the slugging first baseman.
- Paul Hendrix (2B, Lake County): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SO. Another two hits stretched Hendrix's on-base streak to 21 games. The infielder has seen his OPS rise to 1.014 during the streak.
- Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 SB. Frazier has hits in 12 of his last 14 games, and while the power has not quite come yet (.136 isolated power), it should be there before too long.
- Brian Ruiz (LF, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 SO. Wednesday's double was Ruiz's fifth extra base hit in 27 games as the normally light-hitting outfielder raised his OPS to .620 with the strong day.
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Wendle is back. I began to worry that he would fade out in AA, but he seems legit, improving at every level he's been so far.
Naquin = Matt Joyce. Less power, little more speed, probably better defense, but he's a MLB platoon OF. He will be Murphy's successor in 2016
It's probably because of his speed upside (30+ SB the past two seasons), but I haven't given up on Hankins yet. If he ever gets his BA to around .250 and OBP to .340-.350, OPS to around .700, then he's a legit speed/9th hitter or MIF backup. I still think he can make it. In many ways he reminds me of R.Perez. One of those longshot guys that have a shot
If you view Naquin as a 2nd round type talent, it's hard to be disappointed with what he's done so far in the minors or how he projects as a big leaguer. If you expect him to be a 1st round type talent I think you're going to be disappointed--but either way, it's not his fault we took him there, he's just playing his game.
Tony, the Cleveland PD reported that Lovegrove signed for less than his slot amount and Baker signed for about 35K less than his allotment...so whatever money we saved on Naquin basically went to Brown and McClure. Not a real good allotment of resources IMO.
Is Todd Hankins and Paul Hendrx legit prospects?
The other problem I have with that 2012 draft is that when you take an underslot guy early, you're supposed to use that money on tougher signs later. Whatever money we saved on Naquin went to a combination of Mitch Brown and D'Vone McClure. They've both been horrible thus far.
I think the 2012 draft was an example of the Indians trying to get too cute with their spending, rather than just taking the best player available and doing whatever you can to get them signed.
I would take that for Naquin. I don't think anyone thought he would be an all star but doesn't mean he can't be a good productive player and help this team going forward.
Clarity can be seen from the answer to this question: Would you want to spend $ 3 MM on a prospect that promises to be a Front of the Rotation/Superstart Starring pitcher or would you prefer to spend $ 1 MM three times on three good to very prospects who project well below that FOR guy.. That is the crux of the comments.. Not that Naquin isn't a very good prospect, he is.. He'll never be Michael Wacha.. and, perhaps, never be Lucas Giolito.. but he might be the next Dr Smooth.. or, Desmond Jennings?..or we'll see..
Indians farm system is coming along nicely and look forward to a massive influx of talent with five out of the top 100 players coming onboard in June too.
Look like all the starters that got of to a good start have had there worse outing this week.
It looks like Sturdevant is healthy and is having good results. Hopefully Columbus is not to far on the horizon for him.
Naquin still has some proving to do and I won't tell you otherwise like the SO's but to say his play isn't encouraging is being blind and unfair, IMHO