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Around the Farm: May 6, 2012

Around the Farm: May 6, 2012
May 7, 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.
Steven Wright: SP Akron Aeros: W (3-1), 9 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K:
There comes a point when an experiment stops being an experiment, and starts becoming, in this case, a starting pitcher dominating. Wright did just that tonight, throwing a complete game, five-hit shutout. Wright isn’t the best starter in the Indians’ system, but he does currently have the best numbers. Wright has thrown the knuckleball his whole life, but didn’t start using it until the 2010 season, and then as an out pitch. Wright continued throwing the pitch last season, but began tinkering with his delivery and pitch speed, with various degrees of success. This season, Wright went back to his old delivery, and started throwing a harder knuckler, and he’s been lights out every since. Wright has discussed the pitch with several knuckleballers, including Tom Candiotti, R.A. Dickey, and Charlie Hough, and it’s clearly paying off. Wright is currently utilizing the knuckleball as his primary pitch, but is still throwing a four-seamer, a cutter, a sinker and a curveball when he needs them. How has it paid off this year? Well, he’s 3-1 in six starts, has yet to give up more than one run in an appearance, has gone 40 innings, given up only 28 hits and 16 walks, and he’s struck out 35 batters. His ERA is a wicked 1.13 overall. I’d say Steven Wright is making some noise. The big question going forward is how much do the Indians believe in the knuckler at the higher levels, because his numbers are starting to make a case for him moving to the next level.
Jared Goedert: LF, Akron Aeros: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B:
Goedert didn’t hit three triples like Jose Lopez, and didn’t hit a grand slam like Beau Mills. The fact of the matter is that Goedert probably didn’t have the best game in the minor league system today. Still, this kid has really become one to watch. Overall, he’s hitting .378 for the season, which is down from .400 just a week ago, but he’s starting to “level off” a bit. He’s hitting .385 against lefties, and .375 against righties. He has four doubles against righties, and four doubles against lefties. He has four RBI against righties, and four RBI against lefties. He has four multi-hit games in his last ten, and eight games with hits during that same span. The kid is just doing everything that you can ask, and more.  It’s frustrating to see a prospect like Goedert get stuck at Double A, when there are players in Columbus that truly don’t have a future in the bigs. I’m not committing to Goedert being a future all-star or anything, but there does seem to be a place for a right-handed hitting outfielder in Cleveland, and the kid has some power. At best, Goedert is third outfielder or a super-utility player. At worst, he’s a fourth outfielder. Either way, move the kid up, he deserves it.
Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County Captains: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, SB (11):
Lindor continues to showcase why the Indians took him as their first round pick, and why many are saying that he just might be the best player to come out of that draft. He’s 17-for-42 in his last ten games (.404), with nine runs, two doubles, two homers, five RBI, 3 walks, 7 K’s and five stolen bases. His 11 are tied for fourth in the league, and are the class of the team. This kid is only 18 years old, and he won’t be turning 19 until November. The scary thing is that he is a legit candidate to move up a level this year, if he continues to progress the way that he currently is. This is a special player, so you have to hope that the cards fall the right way for him over the next three years. I have a feeling that this kid is really going to take the sting out of losing guys like Choo and Cabrera.
  • Jose Lopez: 3B, Columbus: 4-for-5, 3 2B, 3 RBI: You see this all the time. A veteran gets sent down to the minors, and the aforementioned veteran comes out swinging. Big game for the former Indians utility player, and it does make you wonder where he slots in order of who gets called up first, should the Indians need a bat. Does Lopez get called up before LaPorta, Canzler, Mills or Crowe?
  • Matt LaPorta: DH, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 K: LaPorta was only 1-for-9 in his last three games, and hadn’t had a hit in his last two. You knew he was due for a big game, and here it is, another multi-hit ballgame. In case you are counting, that’s six multi-hit games in his last ten. Of course, his ten-game average is a solid .355, but it’s lower than his season average of .361. Tic-Toc…
  • Chad Huffman: RF, Columbus: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K: Huffman has been under the radar for two years now, but he’s had moments in which he’s played very well. He started off 2011 hotter than a firecracker, but tapered off throughout the season. This season, Huffman’s been hiding beneath the Matt LaPortas and the Cord Phelps of the Clippers. He has a five-game hit streak, and has a .298/.367/.519 line on the season so far. Huffman is minor league fill, but I can’t imagine he’ll ever find his way to Cleveland, unless it is a spot start.
  • Beau Mills: 1B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB: This episode of the Columbus 1b, DH, LF chronicles goes to one Beau Mills today, as he managed to break the Clippers game open with a grand slam in the seventh inning of Sunday’s ballgame. Mills is hitting .294, with four homers and 13 RBI. Mills is following his big 2011 season in which he regained a bit of that first round shine, with another fine season so far. Unlike LaPorta, however, Mills is raking on the road, and not in the bandbox of Huntington Park. He’s hitting .333 on the road, and only .241 at home. Not real sure what that means, and hard to gauge where the Indians management see Beau Mills a couple years from now.
  • Chris Seddon: SP, Columbus: W (3-1), 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K: Seddon is likely the low man on the Clippers’ starting rotation totem pole, as he’s been knocked around quite a bit this season. He had given up eight earned runs in his previous two starts, in only 10 2/3 innings. While today was a nice change of pace, it will be interesting to see what happens when the Indians start shuffling their rotation in Lake County, Carolina and Akron over the next month.
  • Cody Allen: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K: I know I’ve been on this bandbox nearly every time Cody Allen takes the mound this season, but I just can’t help myself. He’s just too good. Allen made his third appearance with Columbus, going 5 1/3 innings. During that stretch, he’s given up six hits and one run, while striking out six. Overall this season, he’s gone 17 total innings, giving up nine hits and two runs, while striking out 24. Allen hasn’t walked a batter yet, is hitting the mid-90’s, and is everything that the Indians thought they were getting and more. This kid is ready now, but I’m sure the Indians will take their time with him, but make no mistakes, he’s ready when they need him.
  • Jeremy Accardo: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 2 K: Accardo is just one of those major league arms that takes up space, and fills in when there’s an injury at the big league level. Still, you need these types of players to pitch well so they are ready, and Accardo made his second straight solid appearance.
  • Tim Fedroff: CF, Akron: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B: Here comes Fedroff again. If you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it 100 times with this kid. He’s had back-to-back two-hit games now, and seems on the precipice of another run. He’s hitting .311 on the season, with a .427 OBP. I know he’s only a fourth outfielder, but boy can he hit minor league pitching. I just wish these kids would translate into major league ballplayers.
  • Adam Abraham: 1B, Akron: 1-for-3, 1R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Abraham now has a modest four-game hit streak, and the human double machine has five doubles during that stretch. Love this kid’s intangibles, as I’ve mentioned before…again, and again.
  • Roberto Perez: C, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Perez is your typical defensive catcher, who will occasionally throw out a game like this one. I can’t take Lou Marson at this point, but do like Perez. With Jake Lowery and Alex Monsalve waiting in the wings, I don’t see Perez every making a serious push for the bigs, but you’ll see his name here now and then.
  • Tony Wolters: 2B, Carolina: Game 1: 2-for-3, CS: Wolters hit in game one gave him a modest three-game hit streak. Well that certainly isn’t something to scream about, you certainly COULD say that he’s taken a step in the right direction. In the three-game span, he’s hitting 5-for-11, with two runs scored. His two hits today were two of only five total hits for the Mudcats in game 1.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: Game 1: 1-for-3: Aguilar didn’t do anything special in today’s game, but the hit upped the hitter’s streak to seven games, which is a tie for the team lead, with Jake Lowery and Tyler Holt, who both had seven-game hit streaks this season. I’d have to say that Aguilar isn’t the type of hitter you’d correlate to having a prolonged hit streak, so he’s clearly taking steps.
  • Michael Goodnight: SP, Carolina: Game 1: L (1-2), 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 K: Goodnight had perhaps his best start of the season today, and of course, the offense failed to show up for him. He had given up three runs in a short, three-inning start an April 29, so it was good to see him rebound. Overall, he’s still 1-2, with a 5.06 ERA on the season.
  • Shawn Armstrong: RP, Carolina: Game 1: 2 IP, 3 K: Armstrong continued his Carolina League domination. He’s now made seven appearances with the Mudcats, going 16 1/3 innings, giving up no runs on only seven hits and seven walks, while striking out 20. He’s only pitched less than two innings once, and is becoming another one of those big arms you have to keep an eye out for, moving forward.
  • Tony Wolters: 2B, Carolina: Game 2: 1-for-5, 2 K: Okay, baby steps, right. Wolters had three hits today in both games of the doubleheader, and now has a four-game hit streak. His average is creeping towards the Mendoza line, which is low, but a couple of weeks ago, seemed unreachable. He still has a long ways to go, but you can start to see his offensive progress.
  • Carlos Moncrief: RF, Carolina: Game 2: 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 3B, 1 K: Moncrief is absolutely feeling it at the plate, he’s really, really bad. There’s no real middle ground yet for the fleet footed outfielder. Over the past three games, he’s gone 5-for-12, with five runs, a double, and two triples. Prior to that, he had gone 4-for-26 in his previous seven games.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: Game 2: 1-for-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB: Aguilar upped his hit streak to a team season high eight games, but even more impressive was the fact that he didn’t strike out at all today. Again, he’s still striking out a bunch (10 in his last 10 games), but you can clearly see that he has stretches in which he’s seeing the ball much better. He’s always going to have a high K count. The question is, will he be able to take walks?
  • Jake Lowery: C, Carolina: Game 2: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 2 K: Lowery is really struggling right now, and has gone 5-for-38 in his last ten games, dropping his average to .265. He had a similar drop off in production last season at Mahoning Valley, but many attributed it to his first professional season. It will be curious to see if he can get back on track.
  • Carolina rotation and bullpen: Game 2: 10 IP, 5 H, 2 R/0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K: The starter, Brett Brach pitched very well, but only went three innings, making me think something happened. Past that, Kyle Petter (1 inn), Trey Haley (1 inn), Kyle Blair (1 inn), Jose Flores (2 inn) and Dale Dickerson (2 inn) provided shutout baseball. Haley continued his 0 earned run streak, while Kyle Blair was moved to the bullpen for some reason. Overall, a nice outing for the entire staff.
  • Robel Garcia: 2B, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 K: Garcia has struggled for most of the season, but has been playing fairly well over the past ten-game stretch. He’s hitting .270 during that time, with a double, four runs, two homers and six RBI. Garcia is a prospect, but not clear where he stands in the depth of that lower level, middle-infield help.
  • Alex Monsalve: DH, Lake County: 3-for-4, 1R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB: This is the Monsalve that the Indians want to see more consistently. He’s a giant, and still figuring out how to play offense. He has big games sandwiched by slumps, but is getting better every day. He’s hitting .273 over the last ten games, and .252 for the season so far. We are seeing a big more power though, as he’s already got three homers and 16 RBI. Last year on the season in Lake County, he only had five homers and 44 RBI.
  • Cole Cook: RP, Lake County: W (1-1), 3 IP, 2 H, 1 K: Cook has pitched well in his last four outings, going 8 total innings, giving up eight hits and one walk, while striking out five batters. He’s lowered his ERA to 4.82 during that time period, showing just how bad he was pitching prior.

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

User Comments

May 8, 2012 - 12:32 AM EDT
You haven't been on Cody Allen's bandbox. A bandbox is an old-fashioned hat box. You've been on his band wagon.
May 7, 2012 - 7:05 PM EDT
Thanks for the correction guys...busy day yesterday, so my edit of my own piece ironically took a hit.

Det...I'm not basing the statement on Lindor off of my own observations. Clearly I have an Indians' bias. I'm talking about a piece I read at the end of April I read at one of the scouting sites talking about all the picks, and how there's a consensus brewing that with all the intangibles involved, that Lindor may prove to be the best pick of a rather deep draft. It may have even said best position player...but I can't recall. I may have it bookmarked to link on my desktop, if I do, I'll post it.

Clearly ANY prediction with regards to who is the best major league project is hyperbole at this point, but it's fun as hell to talk about...

but the one quote I can remember from the article, ironically enough, is that the author said, "the hyperbole is justified," when discussing his make-up and intangibles, to go along with the physical tools...
May 7, 2012 - 6:33 PM EDT
I'm really excited about Lindor's season to date, and what it means ulitimately about his long-term potential. However, imo, it's hyperbole to suggest he is the best prospect to come out of the great 2011 draft.

Without diminishing the prospect status of the other players drafted above Lindor (Cole, Hultzen, Bauer, Rendon, Starling, Bradley), 19 yr old Dylan Bundy is having a season that is hard to fathom. He's given up 1 hit and 2 BB in 17 innings, with 25 K at Class A Delmarva.
May 7, 2012 - 11:50 AM EDT
Thanks guys!
May 7, 2012 - 8:31 AM EDT
Yep, typo is corrected. Armstrong is off to a hell of a start. Very good to see. In fact, a lot of guys from last year's draft are off to impressive starts. Much better starts than the 2010 Draft had last year.
May 7, 2012 - 7:37 AM EDT
Teresa.. he meant to say seven hits.. it was an oversight... The praise for his pitching is certainly deserved...
May 7, 2012 - 7:06 AM EDT
Armstrong has had 0 runs! This article says 7 runs?

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