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Around the Farm: May 4, 2012

Around the Farm: May 4, 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.

Note: Only three games were played last night as Triple-A Columbus was rained out.

Ronny Rodriguez (SS, Carolina): 4-for-4, 3 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI.

This was a must needed game for Rodriguez as he came into last night’s game mired in a bad 12-game slump that saw him go just 3-for-41 at the plate. The performance to date is of little surprise as he was expected to struggle in the early going out in the Carolina League, but last night he showed that even when he is struggling he has the swing and ability to have a big night at any time. He has incredible bat speed and a nice swing, it is just finding a way to harness his plate discipline and get him to be a much more consistent player.

Francisco Lindor (SS, Lake County): 1-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB.

Lindor is having a sensational showing with the bat so far this season and has exceeded everyone’s expectations so far. He is hitting .316 with a .845 OPS, has a solid 10-16 walk to strikeout ratio, and has 10 stolen bases, all from an 18-year old. With his performance to date, one has to wonder if he could potentially soon be promoted to High-A Carolina to give him another opportunity and challenge him a little more.

  • Juan Diaz (SS, Akron): 2-for-4, R, HR, RBI. Diaz hit his first long ball of the year, but he is still only hitting .228 and has 20 strikeouts in 79 at bats.
  • Jared Goedert (3B, Akron): 2-for-4, R. Goedert got some time at his old comfortable position of third base since Kyle Bellows got the night off. He has now had 2 hits or more in 12 of his 23 games this season.
  • Chun Chen (DH, Akron): 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K. Chen is hitting .301 this season and the approach is there, but he has yet to show much power this season. Also, there is a lot of concern with his 25 strikeouts in 93 at bats.
  • Davis Stoneburner (2B, Akron): 2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, K. Even after a two-hit night, Stoneburner is still only hitting .122 in the young season. I am not sure I understand why the Indians made this minor trade.
  • Eric Berger (SP, Akron): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, HR. Berger was solid last night and has done a nice job this season filling a rotation spot at Akron on such short notice. When the Aeros rotation gets healthier these news few weeks, he is expected to move back to the bullpen.
  • Bryan Price (RP, Akron): 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K. This was easily the worst outing of the season for Price. Coming into the game he had allowed three runs in 14.2 innings, but last night he doubled his runs scored against him in just 2.1 innings.
  • Justin Toole (2B, Carolina): 2-for-4, 3 RBI. One of the better games by Toole in his career with the Indians. The scrappy role player has been getting a chance to play more of late because of injuries to players in the starting infield.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 3 R, 2B, BB. Moncrief was a table-setter on Thursday night as he reached base via a hit or walk in three of his five plate appearances and scored three runs. He is still only hitting .213 with 25 strikeouts in 80 innings.
  • Will Roberts (SP, Carolina): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR. This was a nice High-A debut for Roberts as after a shaky first inning where he allowed two runs, he really settled in and did not allow a run the rest of the way. He supposedly was at 94-96 MPH last night with his fastball, which is a BIG surprise if true.
  • Jordan Smith (DH, Lake County): 1-for-4, 3B. Smith is a good athlete for his size (6’4”, 205 pounds), but somehow, someway in his first 16 games he now has 4 triples.
  • Leonardo Castillo (3B, Lake County): 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI. Castillo cranked out his second homer of the season, and both have come in the last three games. He is slowly starting to put some things together and is 9-for-34 in his last 9 games.
  • Joseph Colon (SP, Lake County): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Wow, this is clearly Colon’s best outing as an Indian. He may be organizational depth, but don’t tell him that, especially after a start like this one.
  • Francisco Valera (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Valera is coming back this season after essentially missing the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons because of arm surgery. He has since come back and is having a solid season at Lake County and is 1-2 with a 3.06 RERA.

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.

User Comments

Tony
May 5, 2012 - 9:50 PM EDT
Civ, can't say for sure yet, but I believe Howard is joining Lake County soon. Maybe this week.

D-Dawg, I agree on Lindor. He is a guy who is making the Indians re-evaluate his plan. I too felt he would just play all year at lake county and just leave him there....but his performance to date and his development show he may need another challenge. If this keeps up, I see no reason why they would not push him to High-A Carolina when the first half of the season ends in mid-June. This may mean one of R-Rod or Wolters slides back to Lake County, which would be fine. I could see Lindor going to SS and R-Rod to 2B at Carolina, and then Wolters assuming full time SS duties at Lake County.
Jim
May 5, 2012 - 9:03 AM EDT
It's fairly clear that they started Wolters off in Carolina because of the logjam, and likely because of his make-up. Did they want to start him there? No. Why did they? Clearly because they didn't want to start Lindor there, as he is their precedence, as you mention.

I'm sure that the plan is/was to keep Lindor in Lake County for the full season, but I'm equally sure that within there plans, there was best-case scenario in which Lindor played to his abilities, continued to show an advanced approach, and would earn a call-up.

I don't think that there's any doubt that June 18th would be the first date in which we'd watch, if everything stays as is. Right now, here in carolina, they are really working with both Wolters and Rodriguez, and it seems to be working somewhat, but Lindor is on a different planet right now.

If Lindor DOESN'T make the move on June 18th or thereabouts, I'm sure they'll do something like they did with Jesus Aguilar last year, and move him up late in the season. It's a long time between now and late June though, and a lot could happen that we don't foresee.
DetDawg
May 5, 2012 - 8:58 AM EDT
Lindor is our top prospect. I don't see the Indians impeding his progress when his performance shows a readiness to advance, regardless of its impact on Wolters or Rodriguez.

I had been assuming that Rodriguez would always be playing for a more advanced team compared to Lindors as they advanced through the farm system, but it appears that Lindors will just overtake him. When will that occur? Possibly as early as this year, as early as the all-star break.
Jim
May 5, 2012 - 8:37 AM EDT
The catch 22 though Troy is that the bulk of the Indians top prospects are in Lake County and/or Carolina, and many of them are both middle infielders, and top fifteen prospects (Lindor, Wolters, Rodriguez). A lot of movement will be about who needs to be where...and if Lindor is raking, and Rodriguez and Wolters aren't, I could see a scenario where they make a swap, or do something to get Wolters playing shortstop exclusively...or even Rodriguez.

I don't think they'll rush Lindor by any stretch, but every report has this kid's make-up this season as exceptional..which is the key to that move. Now, Wolters has that same label, but clearly Lindor's skills are much more advanced, even at nearly two years younger...

It should be interesting, and a fantastic "problem" to have.
anonymous
May 5, 2012 - 8:34 AM EDT
Jhonny Peralta: full year at Low A at 18.
full year at Hi A at 19.
full year at AA at 20.
half year at AAA at 21, Cleveland later that year.

Actually Jhonny started each season a year younger since his birthday is in May.
troy
May 5, 2012 - 8:24 AM EDT
I would think Lindor plays most of the season at LC with the last month at Carolina.

Looking at similar pedigrees like Lindor in there timelines:

Derek Jeter : Played his first full season in the SAL at age 19 but unlike Lindor , played the year he was drafted in the GCL with a late season call up to the SAL.

Jeter's third year he split time between high A, double A and AAA.

Then his 4th year at age 21 the entire year at AAA with a late season call up to the yankees.

I hope Lindor makes it up here sooner
Jim
May 5, 2012 - 8:11 AM EDT
Det, if he continues to rake, he'll get moved up for sure...and the Midwest All-Star break is on June 19. Why is that a good date? Mahoning Valley's first game in on June 18th, and for Lindor to move up, they'll need to make some moves with regards to Wolters and/or Ronny Rodriguez at Carolina. There's no way they are going to move up...so it would have to be a situation like Alex Lavisky last year, where he started in Lake County, and moved to Mahoning at the start of the NY/Penn League season. I could definitely see a scenario where Wolters or Rodriguez is swapped for Lindor.
Jim
May 5, 2012 - 8:04 AM EDT
Civ...there's been buzz about Howard with Tribe management from the start....but yes, it could be either one, or both.
DetDawg
May 5, 2012 - 7:50 AM EDT
Tony,

I was assuming that Lindor would spend his entire season at Lake County. But, as you point out, he's exceeding expectations, which for him is hard to do. While his plate discipline could improve, that is nit picking. IMO, he will be promoted by the All-Star break.
Civ Ollilavad
May 5, 2012 - 6:25 AM EDT
Does Roberts to Carolina mean Sisco or Howard will be joiining Lake County?

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