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Around the Farm: May 16, 2012

Around the Farm: May 16, 2012
May 17, 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.
 
Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County Captains: 2-for-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K:
 
Well, Lindor has now had three days in a row here at ATF, and I try really…really hard to include as many different players at the top of this list as I can. I have to be honest though, I absolutely love it when guys force me to place them up here day-in and day-out, and Lindor is a guy just like that. He’s an absolute menace to opposing pitchers, and he’s just too good for the Midwest League. I know, people that know scouting better than me will talk to me about development, and how he needs to get some seasoning and…blah…blah…blah. Here’s the deal…this kid can play. I know, he’s 18 and he won’t be 19 until November. I know, you don’t want to screw this kid up by rushing him. I get all of that. But there are these players that are just bigger than all of that, and Lindor is that player. While numbers are inconsequential with this kid, it’s still fun to look at them.  What has he done for Lake County lately? How about back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back two hit games. For those not willing to count, that’s five in a row, and six out of seven. During the five-game, two-hit streak, he’s gone 10-for-22, with two runs, two doubles, a triple, a homer and eight RBI…and that’s out of the two hole. Add the other multi hit game, and the oh-fer in between, and he’s gone 12-for-31, and add two runs and another RBI. So by all means, task me for saying this kid needs to head to Carolina, but you aren’t going to change my mind. I mean, we are still years from him playing in the bigs…aren’t we?
 
Luigi Rodriguez: CF, Lake County Captains: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB:
 
There really seems to be a permanent spot for these kids from Lake County. Rodriguez is bouncing out of his slump in a big way. He’s not perfect, and he certainly has his flaws, but boy, when he’s on, he’s just so good. He’s now on a modest three-game hit streak, going 4-for-10, with four runs, two doubles and three RBI. He’s walked three times, with only one walk, and had his eleventh stolen base. So, imagine if you will, that kid hitting lead-off for your Cleveland Indians in three years or sooner. Imagine this kid just pouring on runs, with better power than he has now…then. Imagine a guy with an OBP in the neighborhood of .400…a guy that just shakes things up day in and day out. Yeah, it’s fun, isn’t it? I know that he has his flaws…with 32 strike outs in 32 games, and he’s struggled against lefties, and he’s only hitting .182 on the road, but boy, when he’s on…it’s easy to picture the future, isn’t it?
 
Jared Goedert: LF, Akron aeros: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B:
 
There’s something sublime about Jared Goedert’s play this season, and it’s really interesting that the Indians haven't moved him up to Columbus at this point. This kid is just so zoned in right now. As a team in Wednesday night’s game, Akron had five hits, and Goedert had three of them. Erie Seawolves starter Jared Wesson was pitching well, and he still couldn’t stop Goedert, giving up a single and a triple to the left fielder. In his past two games, he’s a ridiculous 7-for-8, with four runs, a double, a triple, a homer and three RBI. How good has he been this season? Well, I didn’t put him at the top of ATF tonight because, well, it’s just not fair to the rest of the organizationw with regards to the spotlight that he’s dominating night after night. His ten game line is .441/.486/.824, and his season long line is .395/.476/.613. Goedert leads the Eastern league in average, OBP, slugging and OPS. He’s second in hits, total bases and walks. In other words, he's in total Double A domination. Whether or not he’s a future major leaguer or not, you have to want this kid to just make the jump right to the Indians…regardless. He’s already played 150 games at Columbus in his career, and he's only in Akron because there are better players in Columbus? Oh wait, these Columbus players are more major league ready? Total insanity, no matter which way you look at it. The guy is hitting .357 against righties, and .415 against lefties. Thus begins the discussion on how he’s not as good against lefties, as he is against righties? GIVE GOEDERT A CHANCE! Why am I starting to feel like I'm running for office...
 
  • Jason Donald: SS, Columbus: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SB: Donald needs to take care of business, which is exactly what he appears to be doing. Donald is an exception defender, and if he could just become a regular in Cleveland somewhere, I firmly believe he could be a productive player. If Hannahan goes on the DL, could Donald finally get a chance to stick? With Chiz, it wouldn’t be long enough. Maybe he could play first?
  • Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI: Carrera hasn’t been all that good this season, so it was good to see a bit of production, albeit odd, from last year’s breakout outfielder for Columbus. It’s hard to remember that this kid was a factor at the big league level for much of the season. Going back to Columbus hasn’t set well with him, but he hasn’t done what it takes to force the Indians hand. So now, perhaps Carrera is recreating himself as a home run hitter in the #2 hole?
  • Matt LaPorta: LF, Columbus: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: LaPorta knocked out his eleventh home run, and while he hasn’t really done a whole lot over the past couple of weeks, he’s still producing. His hitting has evened out, as he’s hitting .326 vs. lefties, and .333 vs. righties, but he still has that disconcerting gap between his home (.388) and away (.255) at bats.
  • Andy LaRoche: DH, Columbus: 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB: LaRoche finds himself potentially in the mix at the big league level with Jack Hannahan missing some games, and Jason Donald coming down because he’s not getting enough at bats at the big league level. Enter LaRoche, who’s only hitting .247 this season, but of late, he’s found his swing. He’s 11-for-34 (.324), with five runs, four doubles and two RBI over his past ten games.  He’s got big league experience, a decent glove, and while he’s nothing but a fill-in, that’s all the Indians need while they wait for Chisenhall.
  • Russ Canzler: 1B, Columbus: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Canzler isn’t a long term major league solution, and I’m no secret fan or bandwagon guy either, but it’s good to see him touch upon the game he had last season, when he won the MVP award for the international league. No more space on Canzler, unless he comes up with several of these performance over the next month.
  • Chris Seddon: SP, Columbus: W (4-2), 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 K: Seddon isn’t a name that many folks know, and you know what, you don’t exactly have to learn it. There are several better options for the Clippers, but Seddon at least laid a claim to the bottom end of that rotation with a solid start.
  • Cody Allen: RP, Columbus: H (2), 1 2/3 IP, 2 K: Allen is still trying to figure it all out, and had two rough outings in a row, but tonight’s outing reminds us of just how good Allen is. He made 16 pitches, and 11 were strikes. Allen is dominant, and it’s just a matter of time. He’ll be at the big league level by August.
  • Frank Herrmann: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K: Herrmann struck out the side, but not without getting into a bit of trouble first. It’s funny how far he’s fallen, after being a part of the mafia for much of last season. Now, there are more than one guy in front of him.
  • Brett Brach: SP, Akron: 4 IP, 1 BB, 1 K: Brach pitched well tonight, but didn’t get the win. I didn’t listen to the game, so I’m not sure if he was hurt or was on a pitch count, but he only made 64 pitches, with 41 strikes, so there was something under the radar here. He got shelled in his first start in Akron, so it was good to see him rebound. Curious to see if there was anything more to this story.
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB: Bryson has alternated good appearances with bad appearances over the past week, and this was his good spot. Overall, Bryson is still having a solid season, just not the consistently dominant one that I was hoping for. He’s not an elite arm in the system, and there’s a small part of me that has wanted him to be just that, perhaps to justify his inclusion in the CC Sabathia-Matt LaPorta deal.
  • Preston Guilmet: RP, Akron: L (1-1), 1 H, 1 R/ER, 2 K, 1 HR: Guilmet has really had a hard time at Double A. He returned from injury on Wednesday night and gave up a home run. The book isn’t closed on Guilmet, but I’m starting to wonder if his crazy delivery will translate to the upper levels as well as it did in single A.
  • Bryan Price: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 HR: Price just can’t string together four or five good appearances together without giving up runs. If he could just find that consistency, he could make that final step to Triple A, and ultimately to the majors. Right now, he’s behind some big arms.
  • Tyler Holt: CF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Holt has been everything the Indians expected when they drafted him two years ago. There hasn’t been anyone more consistent on the Mudcats roster than Holt, who was anything but last season. I’ve said it 100 times, this kid has turned it around faster than most, and he has the intangibles of a major leaguer. Can they carry him through the next two levels? It’s hard to say, because the Indians aren’t bumping him up to the Aeros, which has to be incredibly frustrating…but impressive to see this kid not quit.
  • Tony Wolters: 2B, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K: Wolters has turned into a doubles machine, rolling out his fifth double in six games. He’s still not lighting up the offense, but the gap power has been a nice change of pace from his initial struggles in the Carolina League. He’s still only hitting .186 on the year.
  • Carlos Moncrief: RF, Carolina: 1-for-5, 1 2B, 2 K: Moncrief is really the guy you watch to see if he’s going to hit more, or strike out more. There really isn’t any in between for this kid right now. He’s an extra-base machine, with seven in the past ten games. Of course, he also has 15 strikeouts. In 33 games with the Muddies, he’s got 41 K’s. Ouch…
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: 3-for-5, 1 RBI: Aguilar has struggled for the past two weeks, so it’s nice to see the future of the Indians power-hitters conjure up a three-hit game without a strikeout. He’s still learning how to hit the baseball, and is still maintaining a .300 average, batting .312 on the season. It’s going to be ebbs and flows with this kid, but make no mistake, he’s no joke, and his learning curve is high.
  • Jake Lowery: C, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Lowery is slowly bubbling out of his slump with a solid week of play. He added another double to the tally, and is hitting a respectable .262 this year, his first in Double A. Now, can he get that elite offense back this season? Count on it.
  • Anthony Gallas: LF, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Gallas hasn’t been splashy this year, and nowhere close to where he was last season at Lake County, but he’s still playing well. He’s a fantastic underdog in the system, so it’s good to see him play well.
  • Trey Haley: RP, Carolina: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K: Keith Law was rolling through Carolina tonight, and described Haley as throwing 93-95, with big time life. This kid is absolutely on the radar in that elite status of relievers going forward now that he’s healthy. What’s been most impressive has been his location this year. Haley threw 33 pitches, with 22 strikes.
  • Alex Lavisky: C, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Lavisky is still playing better than last season, but he still has struggled. What’s different about him this season is that he breaks out of slumps in a big way. Tonight, he roped a double, with two hits. On May 11th, he belted two more doubles, and he has ten for the season. This kid has talent, and as my good friend Tony often says, you have to lengthen it out sometimes until they start to produce.
  • Zach MacPhee: LF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI: MacPhee hasn’t done much of anything this season, but he had a nice game tonight in support of some of the bigger names.
  • Shawn Morimando: SP, Lake County: W (1-0), 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K: Lake County is just loaded with starting pitching, and Morimando is another one of those guys that’s a sleeper in the system, having come out of high school last season. Listen, you’ve got Colon, Sterling, Araujo, Anderson and now, Morimando has entered the equation. Wow, you can almost smell Dillon Howard about ready to make an appearance, right? Hmmm, I wonder who gets the call-up to Carolina? No news yet, but it has to happen soon…;)
  • Francisco Valera: RP, Lake County: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 K: Valera missed the 2010 season with UCL reconstruction, and played modestly in 2011, so this is his return, and he’s struggled this season, which is expected…but these nice performances are starting to add up.

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

Jim
May 17, 2012 - 7:41 PM EDT
The Goedert News is good news in my opinion...just looking at it this way...

1. Something has to be done with LaPorta. I'm not of the ilk that he needs to be kept around. My thing with him is that he needs to be given a shot at a point now, or soon, and then you live and die with it. If he shows something, he's an Indians. If he doesn't, bye-bye...

2. Goedert should be in Columbus, period. Sure, he's nothing more than a fringe guy, but at the same time, he does ride these perpetual streaks, and I feel like a guy that's seeing the baseball as well as he is right now could certainly translate into the major league level now and again....especially as a right-handed hitter.

As per the staff in Carolina, Michael Goodnight and Rayl are solid prospects, but I don't think you are looking at top-end guys there...maybe their ceiling is a #3, and that would be if everything comes together. Jimenez may not even be a starter as he moves up, and even if he is...just don't see it long term.

Really, the three guys in Carolina to watch are Salazar, Clayton Cook when he's healthy, and Kyle Blair...will Roberts is interesting as well...

Good arms, but I think there are better ones coming to get them...
Norm
May 17, 2012 - 6:21 PM EDT
Looks like Goedert might make it back to AAA soon which is nice. I know that will make a lot of readers here happy. I still don't see much other than fringe but he has earned this.

Whether it is Howard, Sisco or Aviles, I believe you need to consider the possibility of replacing three starting pitchers In Carolina this season. Considering factors like age and readiness for A+, my vote would be for Anderson first to move. A good problem to have but some decent pitchers in Carolina will be sacrificed with the talent still in Akron. Part of the game.
Steve
May 17, 2012 - 9:18 AM EDT
Goedert is stuck and needs to keep hitting to showcase his talent tother organizations as he will be a minor league free agent in the offseason.

One fun thing to track is how many "hot" and "cold" streaks LaPorta has in Cbus. One of the things the team will be looking at is the ability for LaPorta to self correct when things go bad before they consume him and he starts to, as we've heard before, start feeling for the ball with his swing instead of looking to drive the ball with his swing.

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