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Around the Farm: May 9, 2012

Around the Farm: May 9, 2012
May 10, 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.
 
Nick Weglarz: LF, Akron Aeros: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI:
 
There was a day when I actually thought that I’d be reading lines like this about Weglarz this very season, with Weglarz wearing the blue and red of the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be, as injuries derailed what was once a promising career. The 25-year-old has struggled out of the gate in 2012, as he entered today’s game hitting under .200. He’s had a game or two in which he’s looked like he may be creeping out of his slump, but he’s never been able to string much of anything together. Then came Wednesday night’s game against the Erie Seawolves. Weglarz stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning, with two on and the Aeros down 7-0. He promptly blasted a three-run homer, cutting the lead to 7-3. Weglarz then led off the eighth inning with another home run, cutting the Seawolves’ lead to 7-5. While the Aeros would lose the game, fans around the Indians’ universe will once again be enticed by one Nick Weglarz. It’s hard to pass by his name, especially with that LF sitting next to it, and not wonder if this is the game when he turns things around. Of course, it’s more likely that this isn’t the beginning of a trend, but instead, a glimpse into what could have been had Weglarz stayed healthy.
 
Luigi Rodriguez: CF, Lake County Captains: 3-for-5, 1 R, SB (9), CS (3):
 
Rodriguez was stuck in a mini-slump over the past seven games, going 2-for-28, with four runs. He had more hits on Wednesday night than during the entire slump. It’s easy to forget that the bulk of the top prospects in Lake County are 20 or less, and Rodriguez is no exception, as these slumps shouldn’t be a surprise as the youngsters continue to learn the ins-and-outs of playing the game. Rodriguez is still having a stellar season so far, hitting .295, with 21 runs and 33 hits in only 27 games. He also has four doubles, three triples, two homers and 13 RBI, with nine stolen bases. Of course, it’s clear that coming home was what was the slump-buster for Rodriguez, after a six-game road trip. So far this season, Rodriguez is hitting a scintillating .457 at home at Classic Park, while royally struggling on the road, to the tune of .182. This has to be a big piece in the Indians considerations as far as moving him down to High A Carolina in the future. He’ll have to improve his overall performance in tougher ballparks, as well as against lefties, before they seriously consider a move to Zebulon.
  • Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Columbus had all of two hits tonight, and Phelps had both. After really cooling down after a torrid start, Phelps is rebounding nicely with a current four-game hit streak, including back-to-back two hit games.
  • Eric Berger: SP, Columbus: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR: Berger made his first start for Columbus, and looked pretty good doing it. Unfortunately, the Columbus offense just disappear.
  • Hector Ambriz: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K: Ambriz has looked fairly good over his last four games, going 7 1/3, giving up three hits, one earned run and three walks, while striking out 10.
  • Tim Fedroff: CF, Akron: 2-for-5: Fedroff is the little engine that could, and has now racked up a fairly typical run for him, with four multi-hit games in his last four starts. During that stretch, he’s gone 9-for-18, with two runs, two doubles, and a stolen base. Overall, he’s hitting .333 on the season, and .353 over the past ten games. You do have to wonder what the Indians are planning to do with all these outfielders that have the same tools (Fedroff, Crowe, Holt).
  • Adam Abraham: 1B, Akron: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB: Dear Matt LaPorta, here’s what I’d like you to do. Take a couple of days off, and drive up to Akron. While you’re there, watch Adam Abraham for a couple of days. Spend some time with him during his preparation, and watch his approach at the plate. Perhaps you could learn something from a guy that doesn’t have your talent, but gets everything he can out of every at bat. Abraham has scored ten runs and hit five doubles in his past ten games.
  • Thomas Neal: RF, Akron: 2-for-3: Neal has to hate life right now. He has absolutely nowhere to go after the Indians traded for him, then took him off the 40-man, then shipped him to Double A Akron. Of course. Having only five extra base hits in 22 games probably isn’t helping his cause either.
  • Giovanni Soto: SP, Akron: L (3-1), 7 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K: Soto wasn’t at the top of his game tonight, but he started off rolling through the first three innings, before giving up three runs in the fourth, and a fourth run in the fifth. He’ll have a game or two like this every couple of weeks when he runs into a tough umpire, or misses his locations, but he rarely struggles in back-to-back games.
  • Loek Van Mil: RP, Akron: 7’1”, tallest pitcher in the history of time, 1 IP, 2 K: Van Mil, who will become the tallest major leaguer in the history of the game when the Indians eventually call him up this year had a nice debut for the Aeros. He made 13 pitches in his ninth inning, striking out two batters for a perfect outing. Bill Veeck would be envious, but this kid isn’t a carny. At least I don’t think he is.
  • Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 2-for-5, 1 K: Lindor followed Tuesday’s two-hit game with another two hit game, making that three-out-of-four (6-for-19), and six-out-of-ten (15-for-43). His line during that time is .349/.378/.558, and his overall average is .307. He’s killing lefties at .394, but needs to start improving against righties, although .279 is respectable. Like Rodriguez, he’s hitting better in Columbus, than on the road (.400-.244).
  • Jordan Smith: DH, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Smith has a very quiet seven game hit streak, and now has two, two-hit games in a row. This kid can hit, as proved last season, and seems to be finding his groove now, after an early slump.
  • Joseph Colon: SP, Lake County: W (3-3), 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K: Colon went eight innings on Wednesday night, making it the longest start of any Captains’ starter so far this season. Colon induced 15 ground-ball outs, and lowered his ERA to 3.32 on the season.
  • Jeff Johnson: Closer, Lake County: S (3), 1 IP, 1 K: Johnson has had some rough games this year, but has really straightened things out over the past seven. He’s gone 9 1/3 IP, giving up four hits and two earned runs, while walking four and striking out 14.

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

Tony
May 10, 2012 - 1:48 PM EDT
Not speaking for Jim....I'm not a big believer on some guys just hitting better at certain ballparks, particularly in the minor leagues. I think at this point for Lindor and LRod it is merely coincidence. Yes, some players over time are more comfortable playing at certain ballparks, but that takes some time to draw that out.
Rich
May 10, 2012 - 8:39 AM EDT
Hey JP, seeing as how both Lindor and LRod are hitting much better at home, is it the ballpark or just the home cooking?

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