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Around the Farm: November 10, 2014

Around the Farm: November 10, 2014
Francisco Lindor (Photo: MiLB.com)
November 11, 2014
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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.

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
November 13, 2014 - 8:48 AM EST
And you two share the exact same computer.;)

Anyway, moving on....
Collins
November 13, 2014 - 8:25 AM EST
Tony doing some IT digging huh? LOL. Yes Shaver and I work at the same building. We just happen to be of like mind on Urshela. Tony, I did go back and see you had him rated #1 for 2014 Indians minor leagues so I will back off a little. My belief is that Urshela at 3b, Lindor at ss, and figuring out what to do with Ramirez are key to our future success. My personal belief is he should be the 2b and Kipnis should go to RF...but time will tell. I believe Ramirez glove, range, speed and the fact that I believe he will be at worst a .280 hitter in the majors lead me to that belief.
Ryan
November 12, 2014 - 7:20 PM EST
@Walter considering Wolters is supposedly improving by leaps and bounds defensively, I really think Perez should be traded this year or next year and let Wolters take over the back-up duties, as a SH and also being able to play the field, he would be Francona's dream player. There are so many teams (Dodgers and Rays to name two) that are in legitimate need for a starting catcher with any semblance of offensive ability to go with good defense that I think we could get something decent in return or even have him be the second piece of a package for a star player.
Mike
November 12, 2014 - 2:24 PM EST
I, for one, continue to fervently hope we can trade the Bourn contract (hopefully at the meetings this week) and pick up another pitcher in the process. Then (maybe over the winter or even sometime next season) we can get opportunistic and find ourselves a RH hitter.
Tony
November 12, 2014 - 10:24 AM EST
Urshela is the long term solution. He just has to prove it when he gets the opportunity sometime next season. Gonzalez is a shortstop. If he doesn't play shortstop, then he probably could be a starter at most other positions or be a utility guy.....but the focus for now is shortstop. Chang will likely end up at third base full time, but he's three or four years away from even being a possibility in Cleveland.
Walter
November 12, 2014 - 10:15 AM EST
Will Urshela become the the long term solution at 3B? Or is there a chance the Indians develop Gonzalez or Chang for that position.
Tony
November 12, 2014 - 10:06 AM EST
I believe Urshela can at least do that too. But not at the start of the season. Just can't start the season with a flat out rookie, especially when you have a capable option to use in the short term. Urshela is going to struggle in his initial transition, and it's often better to have that transition occur a month or so into the season and not at the outset. Most teams follow that same line of thinking with rookies. Also, of course, teams also manage the service clock....by waiting to bring Urshela up until early May the Indians get at least one more year of roster control. Sort of the same thing they are doing with Lindor-Ramirez. Lindor is a superior shortstop, but Ramirez is a nice stop gap to allow the Indians to manage Lindor's clock and also how he transitions into the league.
yncqzb
November 12, 2014 - 9:53 AM EST
You are a savvy IT guy. We simply work together and our first stop on the internet is IBI just about every morning. I will acquiesce to the "stop gap" assignment. Chiz fell apart last year when he took over the 3rd base duties and hit .220 and I fully believe that Urshela can at least do that.
Tony
November 12, 2014 - 9:42 AM EST
Shaver and Collins also share the same computer (IP addresses are logged for those who make comments). Just in case people didn't know.;)

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.
Shaver
November 12, 2014 - 9:16 AM EST
Beg to differ with you Tony. Shaver and Collins just share the same belief, brilliant minds. Urshela is a leap ahead of Chiz especially when you consider the rate of groundballs our pitchers induce. His glove makes the difference. Its time for you to jump on the Urshela bandwagon and cut bait on that chump Chiz.
Tony
November 12, 2014 - 8:36 AM EST
And for the record, the two people who posted their comments Shaver and Collins are the same person.
Tony
November 12, 2014 - 8:35 AM EST
Who is bashing Urshela? If anything, IBI has shown nothing but love for him. At the same time, we have to point out areas of concern because in the end those areas are what will determine his fate in the big leagues. Urshela has exceptional bat to ball ability but he really tends to expand the zone which results in a lot of weak contact and outs. He got better at being more patient and driving balls this year and the results went up. He needs to continue that. He will be highly rated by IBI in our prospect rankings, probably higher than any other site or publication (Baseball America didn't even rank him in the top 10). So I guess we will bash away.:)
Tony
November 12, 2014 - 8:31 AM EST
That's the thing Collins. A lot of those numbers are driven by his high singles rate. He doesn't walk so his OBP is almost entirely made up from his success of hits.....and the OPS is largely driven from the high hit rate as well and not power. It's just something to note. We get all caught up in how good or bad a guy is playing, but there is always something else going on which is noteworthy. I for one hope Urshela continues to hit at this rate, but it simply is not sustainable with that rate of groundballs. I wish winter ball had BABIP numbers so we could really tell.
Shaver
November 12, 2014 - 8:28 AM EST
Brilliant Collins!! I, for one, am a little tired of the bashing of Urshela on this site, It seems like every compliment is balanced with a quick slap in the kids face. Seems like IBI has a vested stake in his Super 2 status.
COLLINS
November 12, 2014 - 8:20 AM EST
"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."

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.
shy
November 11, 2014 - 12:33 PM EST
Lindor looks bigger in the headline picture, perhaps Eddie Perez is teaching him how to eat as well as fatten up his swing. Wouldn't be concerned about Urshela's high percentage seeing eye singles. That's what good batters do while waiting for stuff they can drive.
Matthew
November 11, 2014 - 12:21 PM EST
Damn. Big night from the Indians' "Infield of the future." 7-14, 3 HR, 2 2B, BB, K
Walter
November 11, 2014 - 9:31 AM EST
I think we will see a better bat from Wolters this season since he is getting comfortable at the catching position.

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