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Around the Farm: November 20, 2014

Aguilar’s home run highlights the night on the farm

Around the Farm: November 20, 2014
Jesus Aguilar (Photo: lacima967fm.com)
November 21, 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 winter ball did yesterday:

Venezuelan Winter League

  • Jesus Aguilar (Photo: MiLB)Jesus Aguilar (1B, Leones del Caracas): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Though he is not putting up MVP-type numbers in Venezuela this offseason, Aguilar’s .264/.327/.473 line in 23 games is still encouraging. The 24-year-old is showing some nice pop, posting a .209 isolated power, and should see his luck on balls in play falling for hits improve in time. Almost any performance in 2014 would feel like a letdown after Aguilar posted a 1.000 OPS in Venezuela last year, but what he is doing this year is still solid.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Aguilas del Zulia): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 SO. Moncrief’s power has not come out much this offseason -- Thursday’s double pushed his isolated power up to .092 -- but the 26-year-old is still having a nice season in Venezuela (.299/.378/.391 line, .768 OPS in 26 games).

Japan Series

  • Carlos Santana (1B, MLB All-Stars): 1-for-3, 2 BB, 1 SO. Even in Japan, Santana is steady as always. While Santana does not put up insane numbers, consistent nights like this are how the 28-year-old has routinely been well-above-average at the plate, put up great on-base percentages, and been an overall plus for Cleveland throughout his time on the roster.

Dominican Winter League

  • Jose Ramirez (SS, Toros del Este): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 SB. Though nights like this have been few and far between for Ramirez, his Toros team continues to have faith in him, batting him either first or second every time he is in the lineup. That faith was rewarded here, as Ramirez had a strong night.
  • Audy Ciriaco (3B, Estrellas de Oriente): 0-for-4, 1 RBI. After a big night on Wednesday (2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and a walk), Ciriaco came back to Earth on Thursday with this 0-for-4.

Puerto Rican Winter League

  • Roberto Perez (C, Indios de Mayaguez): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SO. Hits have been a little hard to come by for Perez this offseason (.200 batting average, .311 slugging percentage), but thanks to his 12 walks through 15 games, the 25-year-old owns a .373 on-base percentage and is adding value without making contact.

Australian Baseball League

  • Ryan Battaglia (2B, Brisbane Bandits): 0-for-1, 1 BB, 1 SO. What teams do to pass time in blowouts can have limited predictive value -- like using position players as pitchers -- so what to make of Battaglia making his first career appearance at second base is up in the air. It is certainly weird to see the catcher/first baseman play at the keystone, but if the 22-year-old is able to bring that kind of flexibility to the table this upcoming season, it could help Battaglia fill holes and fit onto a roster in 2015.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at jpiasci1@gmail.com. If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

pathofkindness
November 22, 2014 - 12:33 AM EST
Wow! that is great news on Urshela. Really great. Let's hope he has a full recovery and everything is good to go for ST...
GSon
November 21, 2014 - 5:17 PM EST
Homer.. that is good news.. With an intact PCL, the stability of the knee will remain waaaay better than if surgery was required. It's still going to take four months.. but it's damn site better than six and a wobbly knee..
Homer
November 21, 2014 - 4:27 PM EST
Per Hoynes, the news is good on Urshela, that is, only a PCL sprain. He will begin rehab immediately and will be ready for spring training. No surgery necessary.
Adam
November 21, 2014 - 1:07 PM EST
I can understand Holt being more viewed as a bench player, but what makes Moncrief more than that? Holt has only been in the system since 2010, the same year Moncrief transitioned into a full time position player, yet Holt has shown much better plate discipline and on base ability to go along with his speed. There's nothing about Moncrief to suggest he'd succeed as an everyday player at any position. Maybe he has a big year in a repeat of AAA, but I would put Ramsey and Naquin well ahead of him in terms of prospect priority, and I'd say he and Holt are roughly on the same page.
Homer
November 21, 2014 - 12:30 PM EST
What is your feeling on RF? Will the Indians try to acq. a RF short-term / long term? Or... will they play it out with what they have and hope one of Moncrief, Naquin, and Ramsey. are ready to man RF everyday late 15, early 16?
Tony
November 21, 2014 - 12:15 PM EST
Naquin and Ramsey are right there with Moncrief as far as potential everyday right field solutions. Holt not so much. He's a depth outfielder and that's it. Should be up and down all year between Columbus and Cleveland filling a bench outfield role when needed. But Moncrief, Ramsey and Naquin have a chance to start in right field at some point in 2015.....who that ends up being will be interesting to find out.
pathofkindness
November 21, 2014 - 11:40 AM EST
I agree with Adam. Moncrief's ship is sailing and unless some dramatic change occurs, increasing his ability to hit doubles and homers, improving his average, and decreasing strikeouts, well, he's basically playing himself out of the picture. He needed to have a really good year last year and he had a "decent" year. He needs to have a great year this year to stay relevant. At some point potential has to translate to results, and that just isn't happening, and I'm thinking now that it's probably not going to happen...
Adam
November 21, 2014 - 11:03 AM EST
I think Moncrief's regression in 2014 has him behind guys like Ramsey, Holt, Naquin and Walters in terms of depth in the OF. I understand he's a converted pitcher, but he's been a position player for 5 years now, at some point you either put up the numbers or you don't. I expected a breakout year from Moncrief given that he was playing a great stadium to hit, but his power numbers have declined going from an ISO of .215 in 2012 to .186 in 2013 (Akron) to .160 in 2014 in the bandbox in Columbus. On top of that his plate discipline took a nose dive going from a .56 BB/K in 2013 to .29 in 2014. Diminishing power+diminishing plate discipline in a better hitters park? Not real promising.
Tony
November 21, 2014 - 8:35 AM EST
Agreed Homer. Moncrief is a guy who is a sleeper option for the Indians next season. He is a potential long term solution in RF with his power arm and bat though needs some more consistency. Perhaps with a good year in AAA and if the Indians continue to struggle in RF he gets a shot later in the year. I do think he is somewhat overlooked as he had a better season this year than many realize.
Homer
November 21, 2014 - 8:31 AM EST
Moncrief is an interesting guy, converted from Pitching, he has a power arm in RF. He could be an option in RF for the Indians in 2015. He's a bit older (26) than most prospects but as a conversion guy he's progressed pretty well. While he may never be an everyday player in the OF, Moncrief has the chance to get a cup of coffee with the big the club. I think it's a testament to Moncrief's talent / athletic ability.

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