Around the Farm: May 24, 2012
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.
Giovanni Soto (SP, Akron): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 2 HR.
This was one of Soto’s best outings of the season, and arguably as good as his 7.0 inning 1-run outing I saw firsthand back on May 2nd. He had his best strike percentage of the season last night as he threw 89 pitches and threw 62 of them for strikes, good for a 70% strike percentage which is very good for Double-A and well above his 61.1% season average for strikes. In a lot of ways he is viewed like Rafael Perez was back when he was a prospect in the organization from 2001-2006 where the Indians are starting him but believe when he gets to the big leagues he will be a quality left-handed reliever. There is still always the possibility to start in the big leagues, and he will continue to start in the minors in order to foster his development, but he is viewed by many as a reliever at the big league level.
Kyle Bellows (3B, Akron): 3-for-4, R.
A “boring” night for Bellows as he simply had three singles, which is a quiet night compared to some of the thunderous performances he has put up of late. In his last 8 games he is 12-for-27 with 3 HR and 10 RBI and has raised his batting average 50 points from .204 to .254 and raised his OPS by 145 points from .612 to .757. The hot bat will eventually cool off, but it would be nice if the rest of the way he can maintain a .250+ batting average, maintain his nice BB-K rate (19 BB, 24 K, 130 AB), and show enough discipline and power to keep his OPS somewhere north of .750. The defense is there, it is just developing some form of consistency with the bat.
Adam Miller (SP, Trenton): 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
It is good to see former Tribe prospect and #1 prospect Adam Miller continuing to chase his dream, especially after the tough stretch from 2008 through 2010 where he barely pitched and could not stay healthy. The dominating stuff is no longer what it once was, a byproduct of the rare finger injury, but he is still out there pitching and has been able to remain healthy since coming back last season. The Indians had limited him to relief work last season to monitor his workload and it was thought that would be all his finger could handle going forward, but the Yankees have sent him down to Double-A and inserted him into the rotation to see if anything becomes of the move. I wish nothing but the best for Adam and hope he someday gets that Major League opportunity, even if it is one game (I wish it would have been with the Indians).
- Jason Donald (CF, Columbus): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 K. Donald has now made his last two starts in center field and it looks like the Indians are still considering as a possible outfield option in the big leagues.
- Matt LaPorta (1B, Columbus): 2-for-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB. This is an important road trip for LaPorta as he needs to show he can hit away from Huntington Park. With his good game he is now hitting a solid .278/.371/.389 in 15 away games, but is hitting a blistering .360/.446/.837 at home.
- Jared Goedert (RF, Columbus): 1-for-3, R, HR, 3 RBI. I know LaPorta is off to an incredible start this season, but the year Goedert is having so far may simply be more impressive. In 40 combined games with Akron and Columbus he is now hitting .387/.461/.620 and has a nice 22-21 walk to strikeout ratio.
- Andy LaRoche (DH, Columbus): 2-for-4. It is going to be interesting how LaRoche fits into the lineup on a regular basis the coming weeks. He really has no starting position on the team, which is something he may realize and choose to opt out of his contract and declare free agency on June 1.
- Eric Berger (SP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 9 H, 10 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR. I go and say all kinds of nice things about Berger on Wednesday in my stock report and this is how he responds? This outing is a stat killer as it is going to takes weeks and even months of good outings to get his numbers back down to respectable levels.
- Matt Langwell (RP, Columbus): 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. This was Langwell’s first rough outing in five appearances with Columbus. One thing to note is all of his rates have remained the same since leaving Akron for Columbus except for his K-rate which has dropped in half (small sample size be damned).
- Tim Fedroff (CF, Akron): 2-for-3, BB. Fedroff has been consistent all season and his approach has been rock solid (25-27 BB to K ratio). With Goedert out of Akron, it would appear the next everyday outfielder in line for a call up to Columbus is Fedroff.
- Davis Stoneburner (2B, Akron): 3-for-3, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB. A perfect day at the plate for Stoneburner as he reached base all four times he was up to bat. This was only the third time in 24 games he has had more than one hit in a game.
- Adam Abraham (DH, Akron): 0-for-5, K. Abraham has been scuffling a little bit of late at the plate as he is just 4-for-20 in his last 5 games, but has still has a nice 23-21 walk to strikeout ratio on the season.
- Nick Weglarz (LF, Akron): 1-for-4, R, 3 K. In two games back with Akron since being DFAed, Weglarz is now 1-for-7 with 4 strikeouts. The patience and power skills seem to have completely evaporated, and it is tough to see for a likeable prospect that once had people giddy about his potential.
- Roberto Perez (C, Akron): 0-for-0. Perez was hit by a pitch in the third inning and was immediately removed from the game. No word yet on how serious he is hurt or if it was precautionary.
- Toru Murata (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 0 K. Murata has been hard to figure out this season. After a nice showing with High-A Kinston last year, he has been awful this season. I don’t know if it is the jump to Double-A or if he simply has lost interest, but either way, if he keeps this up he won’t be around long.
- Todd Hankins (3B, Lake County): 0-for-5, 4 K. Ouch. Hankins probably can’t wait to get back to the field today and play so he can get the bad taste of this game out of his system. Maybe he just needs a new venue as in 2 games against West Michigan he has struck out in 6 of his 9 at bats.
- Luigi Rodriguez (CF, Lake County): 2-for-5, R, K, SB. May has not been kind to L-Rod, but he is starting to heat up a little, just in time for the start of June.
- Jordan Casas (LF, Lake County): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI. Casas may just be an organizational player that fills in where needed, but you would be hardpressed to find a guy with better character and who shows up to the ballpark every day with a bigger smile on his face.
- Jerrud Sabourin (1B, Lake County): 3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI. Sabourin has done a nice job filling in at first base this year at Lake County, a position the Indians have very few options at in the lower levels of their system right now. He is playing solid defense and has a solid approach (16 BB, 24 K, 147 AB).
- Elvis Araujo (SP, Lake County): 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR. A bend but don’t break outing for Araujo, and arguably his worst outing of the season. He has only allowed more than two runs in a start one other time back on April 12th, but in that outing he struck out 7 and walked no one.
- Grant Sides (RP, Lake County): 2.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K. Sides has 2.1 inning 2-run debut on April 14th, Sides has now gone 13 consecutive outings covering 19.0 innings without allowing a single run. During that span has also allowed just 6 hits, 5 walks and has 21 strikeouts. If I were him I’d start getting a headstart on the packing for Carolina now.
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.
Would like to see a few hitters down in "A" ball start lighting it up. Aguilar, Lindor, Myles and a few others have had a few short runs. Want to see someone really extend one of their runs, and excite all the readers.
P.S. Tony, still holding out hope for Wegs. Stranger things have happened.
LaPorta really does need to hit better on the road to show that his production is only possible in a hitters' band box. Impressed that his splits against LHPs has improved so much and is now better than his production against RHPs.