Around the Farm: November 21, 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.
Note, the news was good on Friday for Indians third base prospect Giovanny Urshela. After reports surfaced out of Venezuela earlier in the week that he had torn the PCL in his left knee, Indians doctors evaluated him and reviewed an MRI on Friday and determined he only had a PCL sprain and that no surgery would be required. He is expected to start the season on time. At least at this juncture the Indians and Urshela look like they dodged a major bullet.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN GAMES
Francisco Lindor (Puerto Rico, starting SS) - 0-2, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E - Lindor had a rough night both at the plate and in the field in Veracruz as his Puerto Rican side lost the Bronze Medal Game to the Dominican Republic 8-1. Lindor finished the tournament going 2-for-13, with 4 R,1 RBI, and 3 BB playing in all five games (three group games, a semifinal, and Friday night's Bronze Medal Game). This performance is likely the result of an exhausted player (has been playing since March) running out of fuel and hitting the proverbial wall. Hopefully, he isn't planning to play any more winter ball as this could turn into an extended version of Jesus Aguilar's late offseason struggles last winter.
AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)
Ryan Battaglia (Brisbane Bandits, RF/3B) - 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K, Caught Stealing 1 time - Battaglia has a second strong night at the plate in his last three ballgames and overcomes a rough start to Round 4 of the ABL season in Thursday night's series opener.
DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)
Audy Ciriaco (Estrellas Orientales, 3B) - 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB - Not an impressive line at first glance but in reality a solid night for Ciriaco, showing the type of talent that led the Indians to bring him back as a depth option.
VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)
Carlos Moncrief (Aguilas del Zulia, RF) - 0-3, 1 BB - Moncrief has struggled as of late (posting only a .226/.273/.290 slash line in his last 10 games, including Friday night) and needs to avoid having nights like this too often.
I barely rated Lindor above Zimmer. I really like Zimmer, who I think could become a Jay Bruce type RF for the Tribe. As for trading Lindor, I'm open to it. I've seen too many cant miss prospects flop or fail to meet excessive expectations. I think Lindor will develop into an MLB AS caliber SS, but I suspect he's not the premier player (MVP candidate) some ppl make him out to be.
As for trading for Seager and SVS...hmm...interesting idea, I think I'd make it. In fact I would take either of the Seager brothers. I think SVS is a very real possibility for the Tribe. Maybe they can flip CC Lee or Austin Adams for him.
Since I mentioned him, I think Jay Bruce is an intriguing option if the Tribe would pony up to get him. Obviously, he's a LH hitter, so adding a guy like Emilio Bonaficio would be a necessity. That is, a RH bat or SH that could fill in various roles. What would it take to get Bruce? The Reds have four SP that are set to be FA at the end of the yr so I would imagine they'll request one of Bauer or Salazar plus a big league ready prospect or two.y
The thought of trading the Indians # 1 prospect.. is okay with me (I don't rate FL as the number 1).. The return has to be someone that will be able to come in and FILL a role as the same or better level than FL does (Lindor is projected to start the 2015 season at SS for Columbus, get about 300+ AB's and only be promoted if an emergent situation arises such as an injury)..The trade that I could see. would be.. Corey Seager/SVS from LAD for Lindor/Walters.. something like that..
I'm not giving Lindor a pass here, I think he has underwhelmed somewhat, but, then again, he's a player I'm convinced will be a qlty major leaguer. As for Erik Gonzalez, he's a bit young for dbl AA, but was impressive there. He's a guy some people are convinced is a boom/bust prospect. I think he will be a qlty major league player, but not at the level of Lindor.
As I think about it, I would hate to see them move any of the three... JRam, Lindor, and Gonzalez, but with Kipnis and Walters tying up 2b, then Chisenhall and Urshela at third, maybe the best scenario is to trade one of the three, but for what? Obviously, a bat or SP.
If the Indians could get Taylor or Springer for Lindor, I would make that deal. They have qlty players at SS, but they lack that star qlty player / bat in the system that Springer or Taylor would bring.
Perhaps, the Tribe ends up trading JRam / Gonzalez for a young SP like Noah Syndergaard or maybe more realistically, Rafael Montero.
The next few weeks will be a good opportunity to work on upper body and wrist strength.