Giovanny Urshela: Akron Aeros: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K:
Urshela just won’t go away. Don’t get me wrong, because it’s not like anyone wants him to, but he never seems to be the type of prospect that will carry over to the next league. The funny thing is that he always seems to carry over to the next league. His move to Akron is no exception. Last season, Urshela struggled with injury early, which slowed his progress offensively in the tough-on-hitters Carolina League. This year, the third baseman hasn’t wasted a second. In the eight games since May 3rd, Urshela has been a house of fire, with a slash of .448/.467/.621. He has three doubles and a triple in that stretch, and has only struck out twice. Of course, he’s only walked once during the same stretch, which has always been his big knock. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Urshela, it’s that he’s a quick learner. Will that translate to the big league level? If Lonnie Chisenhall doesn’t start hitting, he may get his chance down the road.
- Ezequiel Carrera: CF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, CS: Zeke did a little bit of everything on Sunday afternoon, including belting his first two extra-base hits since joining the Clippers on May eighth. It has to be frustrating for the fleet-footed, light-hitting outfielder, to be stuck in Triple A, but he’ll have to catch on at the start of next season, and would be a legit fourth outfielder for a team in need.
- Jeremy Hermida: DH, Columbus: 1-for-1, 1 R, 3 BB: There’s nothing like a day in which your OBP is 100% in four at bats. I’m starting to feel like I’m Hermida’s good luck charm, as he always seems to play well during my ATF nights.
- Ryan Rohlinger: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 K: Rohlinger isn’t a special player, but he’s having a special month of May, hitting .387 in his ten games so far. He has four multi-hit games in his last nine, and has really become a solid contributor to the Clippers, even though he has virtually no shot at making a move to the big leagues.
- Danny Salazar: SP, Columbus: 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 5 K: Salazar made his first Triple A start, and is a must watch starter in Columbus at this point. His velocity has been reported in the upper 90’s, and he’s averaging in the mid-90’s with his heat. The Indians have him on a leash still because of his missed season in 2011, but when they open the flood gates, he could even get better.
- Scott Barnes: RP, Columbus: BS (1), L (2-1): 2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R/ER, 1 BB: Barnes returned from his short stint with the Indians and got absolutely leveled in his first appearance. His ERA is an unimpressive 7.84 right now, but he still is an extremely valuable left-handed commodity going forward. It’s hard to figure out why Barnes, who has great stuff, can’t find the continuity on the mound.
- Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Aguilar is about as frustrating as you can get at times. The power-hitting first baseman has either been completely on, or completely off. He’s 6-for-17 over his last four games against Reading, but he’s only hit in two of the four games. He went 4-for-5 in the opener, with a homer and three RBI, followed that up with an 0-for-8 performance in the next two games, than blasted another on Sunday. He needs to gain consistency, or he’ll be mired in the minors for the foreseeable future.
- Carlos Moncrief: RF, Akron: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K: Moncrief is another guy that seems to save his best games for my ATF’s. Last Saturday, he went 3-for-5, then followed that up with a Sunday night homer. Since then, he’s gone 2-for-19, until Sunday afternoon’s ballgame. You know about his tools, but like Aguilar, if he doesn’t start becoming more consistent, we’ll be talking about him in ATF for years to come.
- Trey Haley: RP, Akron: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K: It wasn’t a light’s out performance, but Haley continues to carry a 0.00 ERA with him, and in another multi-inning showing. He’s still walking a bit too many though, and if it wasn’t for his eight K’s in his last two games, he’d have more walks than strikeouts. I wonder where his velocity is at?
- Jose Flores: Closer, Akron: W (3-0): 2 IP, 1 H, 4 K: Flores really drove me crazy in Carolina last year. He seems to win and save games using smoke and mirrors. If you watch him pitch, you can’t help but wonder how he keeps getting guys out, but he does. Over his last seven outings, he’s been really good. He’s pitched in nine innings during that stretch, giving up one hit and walking three, while striking out 11. He’s 2-0, with three saves as well. Perhaps there’s more there than meets the eye.
- Tyler Naquin: CF, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Naquin belted his third homer for the Muddies, and is still hovering at .291, which is still top 15 in the Carolina League. He’s having a solid year in his first full minor league season, but still strikes out far too much.
- Francisco Lindor: SS, Carolina: 0-for-2, 3 BB: Lindor has struggled with the bat of late, going 4-for-24 over his last seven games. Here’s where his game has gone up a notch though. He’s walked five times over the same stretch, against only one strikeout. His approach has improved dramatically, and his .407 OBP is the consummate proof.
- Ryan Battaglia: C, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Battaglia is a fill-in for catcher at this point, but had his first Carolina League multi-hit game, as well as his first extra-base hit.
- Yhoxian Medina: 3B, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K: Medina has been an interesting player of late, going 6-for-17, with two runs, a double and an RBI over his last five ballgames. So, he’s not a real prospect by any stretch, but he’s been a great fill at Carolina so far.
- Shawn Morimando: SP, Carolina: L (1-5), 4 IP, 7 H, 7 R/5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K: Morimando had a nice start to the season, but has been crushed over his last three starts, giving up 12 earned runs in 14 innings.
- Grant Sides: RP, Carolina: 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K: Sides just hasn’t had a good year. He’s given up 14 earned in 17 total innings pitched, and his outstanding 2012 season seems to be a bit of a mirage in 2013.
- Enosil Tejeda: RP, Carolina: 1 1/3 IP, 2 K: Tejeda has been one of the few bright stops for the Mudcats bullpen, and it’s not like he’s been lights out or anything. He doesn’t have put-away stuff, and he doesn’t seem to be wily enough to make it to the next level. Perhaps he’s another one of those relievers who finds a way though. There are a lot of relievers between Tejeda and relevance though.
- JD Reichenbach: RP, Carolina: 1 IP: In 2011, Reichenbach was an interesting prospect, who was making appearances as both a starter and a reliever. He didn’t have electric stuff, but seemed to have a rubber band arm, and appeared likely to be solid contributor for this system. Then came 2012. He got beat up pretty good, and lost any mojo he had heading into 2013. Perhaps he’s gaining a bit of it back with the Muddies this year. He has a 1.53 ERA in a bullpen that’s been dreadful. Perhaps there’s something here after all.
- LeVon Washington: #WashTime: CF, Lake County: 1-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K: Two Captains got on base for a total of five times. #WashTime was three of those five times. While Dorssys Paulino is struggling to hit .200, Washington is ready to punch his High A ticket, and it may be coming sooner than many think…if an opening presents itself.
- Jeremy Lucas: C, Lake County: 1-for-2, 1 BB: Lucas was the other guy to get on base, and he did it twice. Lucas is hitting .308 so far with the Captains, and while he’s not a major prospect, he has been playing some inspiring baseball, including a 3-for-4 performance during his last start.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.