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Around the Farm: November 13, 2014

Perez’s power highlights the night on the farm

Around the Farm: November 13, 2014
Roberto Perez (Photo:
November 14, 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.

Here is the rundown of what Cleveland players in fall and winter ball did yesterday:

Puerto Rican Winter League

  • Roberto Perez (Photo: MiLB)Roberto Perez (C, Indios de Mayaguez): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SO. A day after showing off the skill that has always made him an intriguing offensive player -- drawing four walks in one game -- Perez shows off his newfound power here. In time, we will find out how much of this power spike is fluky and a part of the ebbs and flows of baseball, but as of right now, it appears Cleveland has found yet another strong defensive catcher with real pop in his bat. The combination of Yan Gomes and Perez should lock down the catching position for Cleveland for years to come.
  • J.C. Ramirez (RP, Gigantes de Carolina): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO. After a meltdown his last time out where he allowed four hits, two walks, and four runs without recording an out, Gigantes put Ramirez on the mound in a low-pressure situation, down 3-0. The right-hander was better, though there is still room for improvement.

Venezuelan Winter League

  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Aguilas del Zulia): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 SO. Though Urshela only had one hit in this game, he made it count, showing off his power and putting Aguilas ahead for good in the sixth inning.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Leones del Caracas): 1-for-3. A solid, middle-of-the-road game for Aguilar, who owns a .761 OPS, .176 isolated power, and 11:5 SO:BB through 17 games in the VWL.
  • Carlos Moncrief (DH, Aguilas del Zulia): 0-for-2, 1 SO. Moncrief has been pretty good in Venezuela this offseason -- posting a .402 on-base percentage and .797 OPS through 21 games -- but he struggled on Thursday and was pinch-hit for in the sixth inning so Aguilas could get the platoon advantage.

Dominican Winter League

  • Anderson Polanco (RP, Leones del Escogido): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. Pitching for the first time since Halloween, Polanco was called upon in a LOOGY situation against Aneury Tavarez and delivered, striking out the Boston farmhand.

Australian Winter League

  • Ryan Battaglia (PH-1B, Brisbane Bandits): 0-for-1, 1 SO. Brisbane called upon Battaglia down three runs with runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth, but the 22-year-old could not come through and struck out swinging.

Arizona Fall League

There were no Cleveland prospects in action Thursday in the AFL, but there was some news of note, with Francisco Lindor leaving the team in order to play international ball over the winter.

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User Comments

November 14, 2014 - 5:23 PM EST
Hey Tony, IMO things seem to be setting up very well for the Indians this off season. They are in excellent position in roster management. The farm system is close to producing potential upgrades and probably will only require a tweak in the FA and trade markets. I would guess that only 2-4 players will be protected on the 40 and none selected. There are major league players at every position and solid backups. There could be excellent trade opportunities mid season. 2015 may not be the best season for the players in this organization. Although I am comfortable with our current seven starters, we can use better depth in upper organizational starters to be secure.

Some thoughts from the early posts. They will protect Wolters and he will eventually make the ML roster as a utility/catcher backup. Perez will be kept unless there is a great offer. Organizational catchers have little value but Laviskey might be the exception and I think Mejia is bitching! Wish I could get behind Aguilar but I cannot any longer. Pitch recognition, bat speed and defense are not up to ML level from what I see and he will become a AAAA but not likely in Cleveland. Don't expect the rookies to be great quickly. It will take a while for these guys to become true ML regulars just like it did Brantley and Gomes.

One last prediction. Scrabble will be traded.
November 14, 2014 - 3:22 PM EST
Great point, Gomes was considered a versatile player / backup C. I watched video of him after he was acquired and was impressed. Didn't see him becoming what he has. Perez (and Urshela) are two of the other players I really like... think could be better than expected. Don't get me wrong, I'm not pretending to be some great talent evaluator...I thought Corey Kluber was a future setup man/ closer. Good to be wrong sometimes...

I think Tony Wolters has good value, he's got the defense to play everyday as a C, has versatility to play SS / 2b. He could challenge Perez for the back up position by next yr. At that point, the Tribe should consider moving one or the other.
November 14, 2014 - 2:11 PM EST
I too think Perez can be more than he seems to be offensively and tend to lean towards Shy's opinion. I can envision a scenario where he is doing OK in the back up role then gets elevated to a starting role due to an injury to Gomes for say 4-6 weeks and really steps up and shines. At that point, concurrent with a parallel good season by Wolters and a decent stop gap in Columbus, the Tribe would have a VERY strong trade chip in Roberto AND the security/confidence that a capable replacement is at hand once Gomes returns and proves healthy. I could see this happening before the trade deadline obviously and we fill a need with a player that I too can prove to be a solid everyday guy. Hey, what was Gomes considered before he got here?
MT88 in WI
November 14, 2014 - 1:27 PM EST
Tony - if it came down to keeping one player and dealing the other this offseason (to fill a need), which player would you prefer the Tribe keeping: Roberto Perez or Tony Wolters?

I think both have value to Tribe and other teams but the presence of Gomes (& others in the minors) would suggest dealing Roberto Perez while his value is high...
November 14, 2014 - 1:22 PM EST
I think the Indians could get some interest in Perez. He's solid defensively, and could be a fringe starter for a team with a good lineup. I could see a scenario where a team needy of a catcher might offer an intriguing RF or P.
November 14, 2014 - 1:20 PM EST
Gomes and Perez should be on the Tribe roster for years. I wonder what the team could get for Wolters. Lavisky, Lowery, and even Monsalve are obviously blocked too but I don't see a lot of demand for them on the trade market.

And rhen there's Haase and über prospect Mejia breathing down those guys' necks. Tribe has some great depth.
November 14, 2014 - 1:03 PM EST
Tony, I don't think Perez's hitting skills are recognized. Fairly small sample size post Bell's Palsy but he has shown a professional approach and the ability to square up most pitches and drive them. I don't know that he will get the chance to change opinion backing up Yan Gomes because Gomes is going to play pretty much every day. Honestly, he has that Molina look- the kinda guy that just gets better over time if they get to play everyday. I think he could be major trade bait with a half season in the everyday lineup under his belt, I just can't see how this would happen unless Gomes gets hurt. Has anyone watched Urshela run out the triples? What kind of baserunning speed/instincts does he have?
November 14, 2014 - 10:22 AM EST
You can't disregard what Aguilar has done to this point & the sporadic 30 something at bats he had last season should be forgotten. He is a viable RH'd run producer that needs to be given an opportunity. I really like Perez, but he won't come close to the offensive production of Aguilar. The problem with Aguilar is the only position that he can play on the field is blocked along with the DH slot.

I would imagine that other teams have inquired about Perez's availability. The Indians are blessed to have such a capable backup and what he does for Gomes health over the course of a full season is extremely undervalued.
November 14, 2014 - 9:33 AM EST
I like Roberto Perez in the role he is in, a backup catcher who shines with his defense and manages pitchers well. The bat is rather weak but he does have a good eye and will walk and some occasional pop.
November 14, 2014 - 8:26 AM EST
Roberto Perez does intrigue me. It has been a long time since we had two catchers that both can provide something behind the plate and with the stick. He seemed to really come out of nowhere, but I will take it. Urshela seems to be driving the ball now that he is getting comfortable with the league which seems to be his modus operandi. Jesus Aguilar is of real concern to me. My fear is that he is that classic "quad A" player that can tear up AAA but not quite get it at the big league level. I am ready to see that rule 5 article Tony. We have some tough decisions to make.

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