Around the Farm: October 20, 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.
Venezuela Winter League
Giovanny Urshela (3B, Aguilas del Zulia): 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI. It is getting to the point with Urshela that you areexcited for each day to come so that you can see what kind of damage he can do out in Venezuela. He is off to an amazing start this offseason recording multi-hit games in an amazing seven of his 10 games played. He is now hitting .435 with 14 RBI in 10 games. While he has no shot to make the Indians opening day roster, he’s doing everything in his power to convince the Indians that he is ready to make an impact in Cleveland very early next season.
Dominican Winter League
Tyler Naquin (CF, Gigantes del Cibao): 0-for-3. This was just Naquin’s second appearance in the DWL after his offseason debut on Saturday night. He is 1-for-8 so far in his two games and has no walks and 2 strikeouts. He is expected to play a lot in the Dominican which will be great for him from an experience perspective and at the same time allow him to make up a good amount of the last two months of the season he missed due to injury.
Manny Ramirez (DH, Aguilas Cibaenas): 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K. Yes, it is THAT Manny Ramirez. The 42-year old is still playing and hanging around, and is 1-for-7 in his two games. I am sure that with him playing in winter ball that reports will surface at some point that he wants to try and make another comeback attempt in Major League Baseball.
Rafael Perez (RP, Gigantes del Cibao): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Yes, to keep with the former Indians theme, this is THAT Rafael Perez. He is still only 32-years old and had a solid showing in limited time this season in the minors, and could be a depth option that teams look to sign this offseason to a non-guaranteed non-roster deal.
Arizona Fall League
Francisco Lindor (SS, Peoria Javelinas): 3-for-4, R, 2B, SB. Word of Lindor’s demise appear to have been premature as he busted out of a five game 2-for-22 slump with a three hit effort on Monday. He is now hitting a solid .300/.349/.450/.799 with a 5:2 strikeout to walk ratio, but most importantly the reports out of Arizona have been very positive on him.
Jordan Smith (RF, Peoria Javelinas): 0-for-3, R, BB, K, SB. Smith has hits in seven of the 10 games he has played, but he has yet to string together a few good games in a row and go on a multi-hit tear over a few games. He is hitting a cool .238/.289/.357/.646 in 10 games, and probably most concerning is the 11:3 strikeout to walk ratio – a ratio very similar to his problems during the regular season at Double-A Akron.
Grant Sides (RP, Peoria Javelinas): 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K. Sides was stretched out and pitched in multiple innings for the second time this offseason and had the longest out of his AFL season. He’s impressed in his limited time not allowing a run in five appearances with 6.1 shutout innings and allowed just 1 hit, 3 walks and has 7 strikeouts.
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As has been pointed out a million times by Tony, zero service time players do not make the opening day roster in this organization. I can't remember the last time it happened. Urshela could homer in literally every at-bat during spring training and he would still open the season in Columbus for 2-3 weeks to gain the extra year of team control, unless Chisenhall, Walters, Aviles, and Raburn all got hurt.
As for the Chiz vs. Urshela #s comparison, at AA as 21 year olds:
at AAA as 22 year olds:
Chisenhall (66G) .267/.353/.431
Urshela (104G) .276/.331/.473
So, Chis showed better on base skills, while Urshela showed more pop. But Chisenhall's success was sustained throughout his minor league career, while this was Urshela's first truly productive minor league season. He'll need to build on it and continue to show growth in his on base skills before he's an option.
I'm in agreement that Urshela will end up helping this team in 2015. It just won't be until June or so.
As I asked on another page I would like to compare Urshela numbers at Columbus to Chisenhall numbers at Columbus when he was 22.