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Around the Farm: October 16, 2014

Urshela staying hot in Venezuela highlights the night on the farm

Around the Farm: October 16, 2014
Giovanny Urshela (Photo:
October 17, 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:

Arizona Fall League

  • Tony Wolters (DH, Peoria): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB. Wolters only had one hit (and no walks) before Thursday, making this performance a huge step in the right direction for the 22-year-old.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Peoria): 0-for-5. A bit of a down night for Lindor, though the shortstop is still doing pretty well during his time in the AFL (.290/.353/.452 line in seven games).

Dominican Winter League

  • Audy Ciriaco (PH-DH, Estrellas de Oriente): 0-for-1. Ciriaco entered the opening game of the DWL with his team down one run and a runner on first with one out, but the rally ended quickly when the runner was caught stealing and Ciriaco flew out to left.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (PR, Estrellas de Oriente): 0-for-0, 1 R. Rodriguez’s entrance was more successful, however, as the 22-year-old entered the game as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and was driven in by the two-run homer that put Estrellas de Oriente ahead for good.

Venezuelan Winter League

  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Aguilas del Zulia): 3-for-5, 2 RBI. Thursday saw Urshela reach base on three more singles, giving the third baseman a .407 batting average through six games. Interestingly, though, basically all Urshela is doing is hitting singles, as he only has one extra base hit (a home run) and no walks so far in Venezuela.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Aguilas del Zulia): 0-for-5, 2 SO. Moncrief has also had an interesting time in Venezuela to date, with nine hits and nine strikeouts in six games. That roughly matches his time in Triple-A this year (130 hits, 130 strikeouts in 132 games), but after launching 49 extra base hits in 132 Columbus games, Moncrief only has one in six games in the offseason.
  • Alex Monsalve (C, Bravos de Margarita): 1-for-2. Monsalve entered the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh and ended up getting two plate appearances. The 22-year-old is 3-for-7 in his limited reps this offseason.

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

User Comments

October 21, 2014 - 9:32 PM EDT
Uribe is a RHH too right? IIRC.
And Adrian Gonzalez is not getting any younger, which might open up a spot at 1B for Chisenhall to get some ABs. If the Dodgers are willing to do that deal, I would do it. Start Aviles at 3B to start the year, ride his inevitable hot streak, then once playing every day catches up to him, call up Urshela.
C L Who
October 18, 2014 - 5:02 PM EDT
Good reports from el mar Caribe. 6 games may be too small of a sample. How many games is the DWL season?

To MT88.....I've thought of Chis for Van Slyke also. Hanley Ramirez will not be re-signed by the Dodgers, but that still leaves Juan Uribe at 3rd. Uribe is also hurt a lot and I think he is signed for one more year. Chis may fit in.....especially if he can also play one of the corner OF spots.
October 18, 2014 - 11:22 AM EDT
Tony, what makes you believe his option be picked up? The only reasons that make sense to me are:
1. They want Walters to start the season in Columbus.
2. They may trade Ramirez, therefore needing Aviles.
3. They hope that Aviles plays better than the last 2 seasons and gains trade value.

I just don't see him adding value at 3+ million dollars. Quite the opposite in fact.
October 17, 2014 - 4:16 PM EDT
Sorry..Should say Baseball America
October 17, 2014 - 2:06 PM EDT
Baseball of America has ranked the Indians having the best draft class for 2014. I hope there right and we see this class lead to major league players for the Indians or are used in trades to bring other major league talent to the Indians.

October 17, 2014 - 2:04 PM EDT
The Aviles option is going to be picked up. Also, the decision on the option has to be made within three days of the conclusion of the world Series, so it is something that will be addressed before anything else is done. Also, Sellers is a DFA candidate and not an option to be on the ML roster as a bench player.
MT88 in WI
October 17, 2014 - 1:56 PM EDT
I would look to move Lonnie Chisenhall to the Dodgers for Scott Van Slyke.

Tribe could then cut Rayburn, give Urshela a shot at 3rd and retain. Aviles to be a support/ safety net at 3rd and across the infield.
October 17, 2014 - 1:34 PM EDT
I think we should be seriously looking at trading Chisenhall. He's horrible defensively and after a BABIP-fueled first half he was one of our worst hitters in the second half. His season numbers are respectable, he's young, and he's cheap so another team might buy into him, but I think the time to sell on him is now.
October 17, 2014 - 1:09 PM EDT
I think the decision on Aviles is tied to whether Raburn comes back or not. Holt and Sellers reasonably replicate what Raburn (excluding his career year in 2013) and Aviles provide, but the flexibility to have Aviles fill in at nearly every defensive position is probably needed if Raburn is the RH power-ish bat off the bench in 2015.
October 17, 2014 - 11:42 AM EDT
*Raburn for a Punto type*
October 17, 2014 - 11:41 AM EDT
Minicozzi is a Giants farmhand who is close to 30, never played pro, and ended up walking onto an Indy league field and hitting some balls when a major league scout was there to watch someone else. He was impressed and told Mark he should go to a Giants tryout, which he did, and ended up being the leading hitter in Spring Training and got a minor league contract. It's one of those "goosebump" stories like Travis Ishikawa last night. Ishi was released by the Pirates, looking for a job out of baseball, talked into giving it one more try by Brian Sabean and sent to Fresno and now he's going to play in the World Series!
October 17, 2014 - 11:39 AM EDT

The simple answer is when the budget is tight, "NO." I think they should pickup his option and try to trade him for a useful RP or solid prospect.

Aviles has real value and for big mkt clubs (Yanks, Dodgers, Giants) he's reasonably priced. For the Indians a guy like Justin Sellers seems more reasonable. Maybe the Tribe could pickup a guy like Nick Punto (example only) on the cheap. Or even a trade like Raburn for Punto.
October 17, 2014 - 10:17 AM EDT
everyday that goes by I think Urshela is cementing himself in the conversation of being the everyday 3B at some point next year. I think the Indians will explore improving the position but from what's out there that I can see it won't be much... Lonnie definitely has the stick and I think he became adequate as the season wore on. I think Urshela will quickly become the option if the Indians don't find what they want, for the price they want to upgrade outside organization

Dolan needs to give approval fora 90 M payroll and if he did that then I would decline the option on Aviles, then have 20 M to spend. I understand why ppl what to keep Aviles and I do as well but do we need a 3.5 utility infielder??

Indians don't need to make splash moves but solid moves because they have the farm system, depth to beat anyone with improved defense and offense. Also, Indians need to get some AAA starting pitching along with developing their own. This needs to be a big year in which we see some strong development out of o the stating pitching on the farm. Also, draft more to keep the influx coming
October 17, 2014 - 9:58 AM EDT
It's nice to see Urshela hitting 3rd in every game so far. That's a pretty solid vote of confidence for the just-turned 23-yr old.
October 17, 2014 - 9:19 AM EDT

Six games.. all wins.. 27 AB's 11 hits one homer, the rest "only" singles.. 4 K's and no walks.. Wouldn't it be a fair comment to say that the "Ligas de Beisbol Caribbean" are filled with a lot of guys that swing at a lot of pitches. That is.. they don't walk a lot? The entire Aguilas team has 18 walks.. five, or nearly a third of the team total by a guy named Minicozi (clearly not a name with Latin construction?)..

What will make a difference with both Moncrief and Urshela during this winter will be their ability to play everyday.. hit the hell out of the ball (Moncrief is actually hitting with a slightly higher average than Urshela in the very limited sample size).. and remain healthy..

Both of these guys steady improved pitch recognition at the plate while generating flashes of power.. Urshela as a 22 year old in AAA.. Both will be considered for a spot on the Indians 2015 opening day roster..


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