Around the Farm: November 10, 2014
Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
Arizona Fall League
Francisco Lindor (SS, Peoria Javelinas): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB. Lindor kicks off the final week of the AFL season with a huge night going yard not once but twice. He now has three homers this fall and nine extra base hits overall good for a .170 isolated power. Overall, he is having a solid though unspectacular showing hitting .266 with a .766 OPS in 23 games, and has maintained a solid approach with a 12:8 strikeout to walk ratio.
Tony Wolters (C, Peoria Javelinas): 2-for-5, RBI, 2 K. I know it may not look like much, but Wolters has been rather steady with the bat the past few weeks. In his last eight games he is hitting .300 (9-for-30) with a 4:5 strikeout to walk ratio.
Grant Sides (RP, Peoria Javelinas): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Sides once again bobbed and weaved taking some damage by allowing some baserunners and threw only half of his 18 pitches for strikes, but he found a way out of it without allowing a run. This was a nice back outing after a tough outing last Thursday when he allowed two runs in an inning of work – the first runs he allowed all fall.
Dominican Winter League
Jose Ramirez (SS, Toros del Este): 3-for-6, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, K. Boy, did Ramirez need this kind of game in the worst way. He’s still only hitting .176 through 12 games, but he has a modest three-game hitting streak going. He also has maintained a solid approach even with the early struggles as he has a nice 5:5 strikeout to walk ratio and four of his nine hits have gone for extra bases.
Puerto Rico Winter League
Alexis Pantoja (SS, Senadores de San Juan): 0-for-1. Pantoja entered the game in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement and ended up getting an at bat in the bottom of the inning. With the game out of hand at 10-1, his manager felt it was a good opportunity to get the very green Pantoja some playing time. His time as a regular will come in a year or so, but for now he is in Puerto Rico to sit and learn and be on call as a potential late-inning replacement option.
J.C. Ramirez (RP, Gigantes de Carolina): BS (1), L (0-1), 0.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB. Wow, that’s about as epic a blown save as a player can have. Given a 5-2 lead to protect, Ramirez proceeded to not record a single out as all seven hitters he faced reached base. Perhaps his Carolina team will rethink his role as closer going forward.
Venezuela Winter League
Giovanny Urshela (3B, Aguilas del Zulia): 2-for-4, 2B. Urshela returned to the lineup after a brief three game absence and responded with a multi-hit effort. He now has a 7-game hitting streak going and continues to play well in Venezuela hitting .394 (37-for-94) in 23 games. Even with the high batting average, one concern is that he’s been very lucky with some groundballs finding holes and that only 4 of his 37 hits have gone for extra bases as he has a rather poor .085 isolated power percentage.
Carlos Moncrief (RF, Aguilas del Zulia): 0-for-3. The rare off night for Moncrief who has put together a rather strong winter showing in Venezuela to date. He is hitting .318 with 1 HR, 9 RBI and .817 OPS in 19 games. Something of note is that in 13 at bats against lefties he is hitting .154 with a .368 OPS and in 53 at bats against righties he is hitting .358 with a .923 OPS. The sample size is small, but it is something to monitor.
Australian Baseball League
Ryan Battaglia (C-3B, Brisbane Bandits): 1-for-4, R, K. Battaglia is getting regular playing time while also moving around the diamond a little. He has not done a lot with the bat, though has single hit games in three straight.
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Anyway, moving on....
But I agree with you Shaver in that Urshela is an exceptional defender. His ML future looks bright. But it is also important to note some of the caveats along the way. While he brings a lot of upside, there is some downside to him which is why the industry is not as high on him as Indians fans are. For now, Chisenhall is a nice stop gap at third until Urshela can come in and hopefully prove himself and take the job for good at some point later in the 2015 season.
Lets look at the league numbers...
2nd in BA: at .394: Giovanny Urshela
7th in OPS at .896: Giovanny Urshela
4th in OBP at .417: Giovanny Urshela
1st in Hits with 37: Giovanny Urshela
6th in RBI with 19: Giovanny Urshela
Sounds like a lot of "luck" and of real concern...that he might be deserving of the MVP of that league.