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Around the Farm: October 19, 2014

Around the Farm: October 19, 2014
Yhoxian Medina (Photo: Bill Mitchell)
October 20, 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.

Note, the Arizona Fall League was off and no Indians players participated in the Dominican Winter League on Sunday.

Venezuela Winter League

Yhoxian Medina (2B, Leones del Caracas): 0-for-1. Medina entered the game as a defensive replacement in the8th inning in a game that Caracas was well behind at 8-3. This was his first appearances of the winter ball season, and given his age and inexperience he will likely be limited to spot duty during the completion of the DWL season. It is fairly common for winter ball teams to give young players such as Medina a chance to get into games late early on in the winter season, though those late inning opportunities often evaporate once their teams get more into the flow of the season.

Giovanny Urshela (3B, Aguilas del Zulia): 2-for-5, R, HR, 4 RBI, K. Urshela is now hitting a red hot .390 with 2 HR, 12 RBI and .966 OPS in nine winter ball games – though one area of concern is the 0:6 walk to strikeout ratio. In any case, a lot of Indians sites are going to start to jump on the Urshela bandwagon over the offseason, though if you have been paying attention to IBI for some time you know we have loved him for a while. He won’t get a shot to win the opening day third base job in Cleveland next year, but could easily move into the role at some point early in the year.

Alex Monsalve (C, Bravos de Margarita): 0-for-1. Monsalve was a late inning defensive substitution. Like Medina above, he is getting a chance to get into a few games early on in the winter ball season. Unlike Medina, he is actually playing a little more and actually had a chance to start a game, so he may continue to get into games regular – though his playing time should remain sporadic.

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User Comments

Chuck Galeti
October 22, 2014 - 4:35 PM EDT
I suspect Urshela pranked my show a few years back when he was in A-ball
Robert
October 21, 2014 - 7:46 AM EDT
3b is a mess. Everyone agrees Kipnis is playing 2b and Lindor is staying at Columbus. If we are to improve infield defense it means a change at 3b. We then say that our best 3b prospect is not ready for the bigs. Hence, if we make a trade to improve 3b that is meaningful - JU does not seem to fit.

I do not see any value in a caretaker for 3 months. Such a player would not be the quality we need to make a run - eg Jack Hanrahan (sp?).

IMO someone currently considered a first string player will have to go - perhaps 2.

Bob
Canadian Joe
October 20, 2014 - 12:27 PM EDT
Good stuff Adam. Kind of helps me make my case. I think Urshela has a lot of upside, perhaps even all star material. I just hope he realizes it with the Tribe.
Homer
October 20, 2014 - 12:16 PM EDT
I'm in on making him force the issue. I really like Urshela, I think he could be an everyday 3b, with GG caliber defense. I expect him to develop into .260-270 hitter with 25-30 dbls and 15-20 hrs. He's not a star in the making offensively, but he will make a very good ML player, IMHO. But I think he still needs sometime (2-3 mths) at AAA.

If the Indians go else where to find an answer at third, it should be an obvious upgrade over Chisenhall and Urshela.
Head Check(ed)
October 20, 2014 - 12:05 PM EDT
Thanks for putting that together Adam. There is a lot to like with Urshela that is for sure and I did not realize he has improved that much. Still think he will need to "force" the issue before I am a complete believer, and I think that is a reasonable expectation.
Adam
October 20, 2014 - 11:53 AM EDT
I think if you look at the big picture, Urshela has realy improved his plate discipline and there's no reason to believe he'll always have a low walk rate. His BB% over the last few years:
2011 (A): 2.6%
2012 (A+): 3.4%
2013 (AA): 3.0%
2014 (AA): 6.1%
2014 (AAA): 7.0%

So as he's aged and faced better competition, his walk rate has improved and he's also dropped about a 1% from his K rate, which shows you he's not just getting deeper in count, he's actually reading pitches better. If he could maintain that 7% walk rate and continue to grow into the power he showed in 2014, that's plenty of offense considering how good his glove is.
Canadian Joe
October 20, 2014 - 11:24 AM EDT
I'm not as upset about his walk rate as some people are.He makes consistent contact and doesn't strike out a lot. He is still young (23 next month) so the walk rate could very well improve. He will also fill out some, and could see him with 60/70 xtra base hits, perhaps .275-.290 average and good RBI totals. Obviously I like him, and if Chisenhall falls short next year, could see him up in May/June.
Head Check
October 20, 2014 - 11:03 AM EDT
If Urshela could get more consistent with the power he could manage to be a decent ML with that LOW walk rate. However as someone who is going to put that ball in play or strikeout in practically every single at bat, a high batting average + great defense is an absolute requirement. Or an "average" average coupled with good/great power + great defense will be required in order for him to start on a regular basis. I am not sold on that bat yet and think he could hit into more double plays than he turns on the field. He will never walk much so his OBP will mirror his average. Sure I think he can hit around 275 in the ML but without consistent power AND his expected low OBP that leads to a not so great hitter. Lets not rush the kid. Maybe he can improve on that approach a bit though I doubt it.

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