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Around the Farm: October 16, 2013

Around the Farm: October 16, 2013
October 17, 2013
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Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of the daily performances by Indians prospects. 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 and the Caribbean Leagues.  The positions listed below are where the player was playing in the game.

Arizona Fall League:

Jake Lowery (Peoria Javelinas, C): 1-for-3. In his second appearance of the fall, Lowery went 1-3 with a single. He’s now 2-6 this offseason playing at most twice a week as a taxi-squad player. Defensively, Lowery gave up three stolen bases in four attempts.

Tyler Naquin (Surprise Saguaros, CF): 1-for-4, R, 2 K. Naquin led off the game with a single against Giants’ top pitching prospect Kyle Crick, but was silent afterward. As was a common theme for Indians farmhands on the night, Naquin finished 1-4 (two strikeouts) with Surprise’s only run scored on the night. After striking out in over 22% of his at-bats in Carolina and 25% in Akron last season, the two strikeouts are something that we don’t want to see.

Joe Wendle (Surprise Saguaros, 2B): 1-for-4, K. Batting behind Naquin, Wendle followed with a single of his own in the first off of Crick. That would be his only highlight of the night as he also finished 1-4. Following up a big season at Carolina, Wendle hasn’t gotten off to a good start in Arizona as he is hitting .154 in the early going.

Tony Wolters (Surprise Saguaros, C): 1-for-4, K, PB. Wolters slid back behind the plate defensively in this game. He allowed his second passed ball, but also threw out a would-be base stealer. Like Naquin and Wendle he went 1-4 on the night and raised his batting average to a mere .143 thus far.

Shawn Armstrong (Surprise Saguaros, RP): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Armstrong pitched a scoreless inning in the fifth for Surprise. He struck out one, walked one, and allowed a hit in his inning of work. It’s his third inning of work this fall, and even though it wasn’t particularly sharp, it was his best outing yet.

Venezuela Winter League:

Jesus Aguilar (Leones del Caracas 1B): 2-for-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, K. Aguilar tallied his sixth straight multi-hit game in a row and hit his second home run of the offseason. Aguilar continues to dominate in Venezuela, leading the league in batting average and runs scored. It is this kind of showing that gives promise to the Indians search for a middle of the order right-handed bat for the big league team where maybe that guy is already in the organization.

Ezequiel Carrera (Navegantes del Magallanes CF): 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI. Carrera isn’t long for the Indians organization, but he did manage his first home run of the offseason. Overall, it was just a 1-4 night for Carrera and for the first time since the Venezuela league opened, he failed to draw a walk.

User Comments

October 19, 2013 - 3:46 AM EDT
Hermie, I agree that he has over-performed his supposed weaknesses of not having power and not being a CF. However, he was also supposed to have the rare ability to hit .325+ in the major leagues, despite the lack of power. That "strength" is a distant memory.
October 18, 2013 - 9:48 PM EDT
i hate to beat a dead horse however i remember when naquin was drafted the word was he didnt have the wide shoulders to get larger. Look at willie mays and hank aaron and frank robinson they all had tremerndous wrist strength and got their homerun power with the powerful wrists the game is the same today 60 yrs later. naquin should spend the winter working on having the strongest wrists in the entire system. it would give him more homers and allow him to check his swing easier due to tremendous strength in his wrists. He has to know he is under a micro scope versus wacha and if he has pride in not being maligned maybe that is an area he can work on. his shoulders arent likely to grow so find power source elsewhere
October 18, 2013 - 11:32 AM EDT
Perhaps it's just me but I'd move Naquin up as a prospect as opposed to down. Big knocks on him were that he had no HR potential and that he couldn't handle CF. Not saying 9 HRs in 448 at-bats is something to get excited about but think even at his age was impressive given the expectations there. And he looked just fine in CF to me the few times I saw him down there this year. Not gonna win any gold gloves but think he's doing well proving that he can handle the position and doesn't have to move to RF. Bat clearly plays better in CF so if he can manage to stick there as he moves up the ladder, helps him and the Indians a lot. Strikeouts are definitely alarming though. Huge year for him coming he does at AA I think will tell us a lot.

I like Naquin more than Smith from the few times I saw them. But did come away impressed by Smith. Little disappointed with this bat though loved his K/BB ratio. At the start of the season, had you given me Naquin and Smith's batting lines from Carolina this year and said who would put up which numbers, I'd had them switched. Thought Smith would be showing more pop at this stage and Naquin more plate discipline.
October 18, 2013 - 10:34 AM EDT
Yeah, the Naquin pick might be one the Indians get blasted on for some time because of Wacha's success. Naquin has a tough road ahead to win over the fan base. I like the DeJesus comp. I see him as that kind of guy, someone who might end up a platoon hitting left-handed hitter that is strong defensively and has a plus arm with some aggressivness on the bases and solid bat-to-ball. Of course we want more. Naquin has really turned into a heck of an outfielder though, arguably the second best defensive outfielder behind Tyler Holt.
October 18, 2013 - 10:27 AM EDT
I watched Naquin all year in Carolina...there are a couple of players that are just as good as he is that aren't nearly as heralded because they weren't first round picks. I'm not sure if that means you should put Naquin down...or upgrade those other guys...

Probably a little bit of both...

but for my money...if you line up Naquin and Jordan Smith...then actually watch them play...Naquin's not the guy that will stand out to you.

He has a better arm, but Smith is a better outfielder.

That's just my opinion...of course...but my rankings will be downgrading Naquin a bit this year...
October 18, 2013 - 10:24 AM EDT
anonomous was me roger if i am gonna rant i at least want the readers to know who is doing the ranting
October 18, 2013 - 8:53 AM EDT
I still think Naquin has a chance to become a David DeJesus type of player. Not a star but solid regular.

That said...definitely doesn't look like the best pick...
October 18, 2013 - 8:46 AM EDT
matthew the first truths of life is death and taxes.
The third one is you get what you pay for.
thanks front office i sure hope matthew and I are wrong about naquin. tYLER should be eating his wheaties and lifting a lot of weight and make me wrong.
October 18, 2013 - 8:28 AM EDT
That Naquin pick was terrible. Wacha was available and seemed like the obvious pick (I'm not saying this in hindsight, I was saying this during the draft, as were about a hundred other people).

Naquin has virtually no chance to become an above-average regular, and never did. At this point, it looks like a less than 50-50 shot he even becomes an everyday player. Most likely a 4th OF or a Trevor Crowe guy. Granted, Naquin signed for $1.75M and Wacha for $2.8M, which likely had a lot to do with it. I understand that strategy, but that means we're counting on Mitch Brown, D'Vone McClure, and Dylan Baker to make up the difference. At this point, none look likely to be major leaguers.

Meanwhile, Wacha looks like a top 25 starter in all of MLB.
October 18, 2013 - 12:18 AM EDT
not to rain on the aquilar love fest, however i see tyler played in the arizona fall league, while his teammate at texas A & M,
michael wacha is pitching game 6 of the NLCS, as the cardinals try to get a ticket to the fall classic. Tyler's teammate
at TX A & M we scouted tyler and certainly scouted wacha.
Nice job Front Office sorry but you blew it and it is obvious at it can be. He better be a whole helluva lot better than he has shown in his yr and a half in our scintellating offensive farm system. Teams that make those kinds of mistakes seldom play many playoff games. My advise to Mr. Naquin is get your shit together you will see and hear a great deal about mr wacha my advise be better than you have looked in season and a half you have played. Hit the weights if you are gonna give us 100+ K's you better have a lot of home runs to balance it out. and tony you may feel i am picking on the F/O for the wacha oversight but naquin looks like guy who isnt gonna be better than average player if that good.
October 17, 2013 - 2:37 PM EDT
At this point, Aguilar appears to be a lock to be rostered this offseason. As for his defense, he is okay over there. He's not John Olerud over there, but he's not John Kruk either.
October 17, 2013 - 2:36 PM EDT
Tony, Do you believe that the Indians will add him to 40 man roster or will no MLB team pick him in the Rule 5 draft?

Also would like to know is how good is his defense at 1B? You mentioned caring a player just to DH is a waste of roster space.

October 17, 2013 - 12:46 PM EDT
Aguilar certainly has things lining up for him since he is playing well and the Indians have a need for a right-handed, cheap power bat. I don't see him making the big league team to start the season and he should open at Columbus, but like Gomes, he will be one of the first reinforcements that call upon. I could see him coming up around the All Star break next season.....I don't expect a major impact but I think he could prove to be a solid contributor for years.
October 17, 2013 - 12:20 PM EDT
Josh- is that your name or is that what you do? (stole that from Ford Fairlane) I am intriqued w Aguilar from reading the IBI, but I want to see him play - hopefully in AZ in March before crystallizing the impression. The first week I saw Gomes in AZ, I knew.......
October 17, 2013 - 9:49 AM EDT
Be ready for it. Aguilar will have a Yan Gomes type impact on the tribe next year. He will be called up a few weeks after the season starts and stay in the bigs till the end of game 7 of the world series when he will get the walk off single. Mark it down. You heard it here first.

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