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Around the Farm: May 31, 2011

Around the Farm: May 31, 2011
June 1, 2011
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Lavisky (photo: Lake County)

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.

Alex Lavisky: C, Lake County: 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 K:

There was a small part of me that just wanted to ignore this, like I would jinx Lavisky or something.  But, you can't ignore a potential break out performance for a local kid who has been struggling all season.  Lavisky broke open a tie game in the sixth inning with a three-run blast that gave the Captains a 6-3 lead.  He then added a two-run shot in the eight inning to put the game out of reach.  Lavisky, hitting all of .210 this season, has clearly struggled enough at the plate to worry some that he was a stretch in the top ten.  It's games like this that remind everyone that if he can put it all together, he can be a special player.

Giovanni Soto: SP, Kinston: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 10 K:

Soto continues to baffle Carolina League pitching, and I can't quite figure out how this kid can roll out double-digit strikeouts like this.  When you watch a kid like Pomeranz, the ball is electric off his hand, but Soto is something different. The kid is tall, but when he turns sideways, you barely see him, he's so thin. He is extremely efficient, and throws a ton of strikes, which is odd for any minor league pitcher, but can be especially scary for a kid that barely touches 90. He knows how to pitch, and they've been saying this about Soto from the start. He pounds the lower half of the zone, and varies speeds like a veteran. While you can teach it to pitchers, he clearly has an instinct that goes beyond anything a pitching coach can show him. Keep him on your radar. While I don't see the Tribe moving him up quickly through the system, he may end up moving by default. He has an incredibly easy delivery that he can replicate. This will likely keep him of the DL, and as long as he's dominating (as he's done at all levels), there's no reason to think he can't be a solid, maybe even spectacular big leaguer. Still, the jump to Double A is a big one, so it will be interesting to see how his stuff translates.

Zach McAllister: SP, Columbus: 8 IP, 6 H, 4 R/3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, L (7-1):

You would be hard-pressed to say that McAllister isn't the best starting pitcher in the Tribe's minor league system.  With Drew Pomeranz disappearing for two weeks because the Indians are 'monitoring his innings,' and with Alex White out because of the Tribe propensity to allow their pitchers to mountain climb (bad joke, I know), McAllister has stepped into a huge void in a system that isn't quite as full as it was a month ago.  When you see a pitcher taking a complete game loss with a solid line like McAllister's tonight, you know that you have a workhorse.  The Clippers were two hit, and McAllister made a couple of mistakes.  Past that, this was as good a start as any of his wins.

  • Paul Phillips-C, Columbus: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B: Columbus was two-hit tonight, and Phillips got one of them, and scored the only Clippers run on the night.  Any time you can drop the name of a 34-year old on a minor league report, it's a good night.
  • Luis Valbuena-SS, Columbus: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1K: Here's Columbus' second hit, which drove Phillips in.  Slow night on the offensive side of things for the Clips against a Durham Bulls team that seems out to prove a point.
  • Jordan Henry-CF, Akron: 3-5, SB (17): It's good to see Henry rolling out a solid game from the lead-off position.  Henry's been ice cold of late, as this is his first multi-hit game since May 21.  While Henry lacks the pop that you want to see in an outfielder, his OBP is always fairly impressive.  His current .370 would be the worst of his career should the season end today.
  • Tim Fedroff-LF, Akron: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K: Not a big night for Fedroff, but he has hit in three in a row, and in 23 of his last 24 games.  I know the system is full, but he needs to bump someone out of that outfield in Columbus.
  • Beau Mills-1B, Akron: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Mills hit his first homer of the 2011 season tonight, for Akron's only two runs of the game.
  • T.J. McFarland-SP, Akron: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 3 K, 2 HR, L (1-4): McFarland clearly isn't the pitcher he was for most of last season.  He began struggling in late July, and has yet to find the magic that led him to be one of the top pitchers in the Carolina League.
  • C.C. Lee-RP, Akron: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R/0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K: Lee hasn't given up a run in 12 of his 17 outings.
  • Adam Abraham-DH, Kinston: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Abraham drove in the only run of the game, with his third double in the last two games.
  • Jose Flores-RP, Kinston: 1 2/3, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K, W (2-3):  This is Flores' third straight solid outing in a row, and it got him a much deserved win, although Soto may have something to say about that.
  • Preston Guilmet-Closer, Kinston: 1 1/3, 2 K, S (12): Yawn, another save for Mr. Perfect.  He goes 1 1/3 perfect innings, and saves his 12th save out of 12 attempts.  In 18 games and 20 innings, he's only given up two runs in one appearance.  His 12 saves are tops in the league.
  • LeVon Washington-CF, Lake County: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB (5): Washington has struggled early on, but he has moments like tonight in which he shows off that impressive speed.
  • Carlos Moncrief-RF, Lake County: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K: Moncrief hadn't had a hit in four games.
  • Alex Monsalve-DH, Lake County: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Monsalve has three multi-hit games in his last five.
  • Jesus Aguilar-1B, Lake County: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Aguilar has had many solid games like this, but he hasn't been able to string them together yet.
  • Ronny Rodriguez-SS, Lake County: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Rodriguez had been hitless in his previous three games before tonight two-hit performance.
  • Anthony Gallas-LF, Lake County: 0-4, 1 R, 1 K: Gallas saw his 14-game hit streak come to in end, ironically enough, in a game in which Lake County had 13 hits total, in one of their better offensive games in recent weeks.
  • Cole Cook-SP, Lake County: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R/2 ER, 4 K, W (2-5): Cook followed in the footsteps of all the other starters from the Tribe, to Columbus, to Akron, to Kinston, in putting out a solid outing and getting the win.

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.

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