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Around the Farm: October 30, 2014

Two leagues beginning play, Urshela’s sustained dominance highlight the night on the farm

Around the Farm: October 30, 2014
Giovanny Urshela (Photo:
October 31, 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:

Venezuelan Winter League

  • Giovanny Urshela (Photo: MiLB)Giovanny Urshela (DH, Aguilas del Zulia): 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SF. Urshela left his three-game hitless streak in the dust Thursday and, for good measure, also added his third walk in four games. Those walks are helping to assuage fears from earlier in the offseason when the third baseman did not draw one in his first 13 games.
  • Elvis Araujo (RP, Aguilas del Zulia): W (1-0), 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 SO. Araujo can leave the organization as a minor league free agent, but given his solid 2014 and nice showing to date in the VWL, it would be nice to see him return for next season.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Leones del Caracas): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SO. Not a great day for Aguilar, but not a terrible one either as Aguilar settles in with Leones del Caracas.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Aguilas del Zulia): 0-for-4, 3 SO. Swing-and-miss is just a part of Moncrief’s game at this point. Sometimes it is paired with good contact and power. Other times, like on Thursday, it just manifests itself in multiple strikeouts.

Puerto Rican Winter League

  • Roberto Perez (C, Indios de Mayaguez): 0-for-3, 3 SO. Perez does tend to strike out fairly frequently, but the 25-year-old usually pairs it with plenty of walks. Those walks will come in time, however, and Perez’s rough PRWL debut will fade into the past.

Australian Winter League

  • Ryan Battaglia (3B, Brisbane Bandits): 0-for-1. Battaglia was a defensive substitute in the eighth inning of a loss for Brisbane, playing a position he has never played before in the minor leagues (he did sub in at third base once before with Brisbane way back on December 10, 2011). Maybe this is a precursor of things to come for Battaglia, or maybe it is just a case of baseball, as always, being weird.

Arizona Fall League

  • Dylan Baker (SP, Peoria Javelinas): ND, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO. Though this outing is more middle-of-the-road than dominant, it is still a big improvement over Baker’s struggles in his last outing on October 24 (four runs, three hits, three walks in 0.1 innings).
  • Nick Maronde (RP, Peoria Javelinas): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Maronde also had a similar rough outing earlier in the season (allowing six runs without recording an out), but his last two appearances have gone smoothly with three strikeouts in two innings.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Peoria Javelinas ): 1-for-4, 1 R. Smith’s overall line of .295/.333/.426 through 15 games is decent, but before declaring the 24-year-old out of the woods just yet, his normally strong plate discipline has slipped in the AFL (14:4 SO:BB).
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Peoria Javelinas): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 E. Lindor already has three errors in 17 AFL games, which, when combined with his 16 errors in 126 games between Akron and Columbus, paints the picture of a defender who is still in the process of firming up the consistency of his well-documented skills .

Dominican Winter League

  • Gabriel Arias (RP, Tigres del Licey): 3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO. Tigres del Licey’s starter, Mitch Atkins, was chased after only recording one out, but Arias held down the fort and allowed the team to ultimately come back with a walk off single.

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

November 2, 2014 - 9:30 PM EST
I'm trying to figure out how you cherry picked these comparison numbers to make your argument look better. That slash line for Urshela is for last season and Chisenhall's are his career slash line but then you use minor league career totals for homeruns, RBIs, and extra base hits for both players? That's purposely misleading. If your going to tell the story tell the whole story.

Urshela career in minors .268/.304/.404/.708 109BB:302SO
Chisenhall career in minors .282/.351/.470/.821 158BB:298SO

The numbers don't lie and chisenhall had a total 251 PA the last two years, that's out of a total of 1905 PAs at the minor league level so that last two years argument is dismissable. The crazy part about this is I like Urshela, I just don't like unrealistic expectations and nothing about his profile screams impact bat in the near future. Maybe with some development 2 to 3 years from now but a lot can happen in 2 to 3 years good and bad.
November 2, 2014 - 7:49 AM EST
Chisenhall minor league numbers which are pumped up by his performance at ages 23 and 24:

282/351/470/821 61 Hr/309RBi's and 183 extra base hits

Urshela minor league numbers:

268/331/473/804 53 Hr's 302rbi's and 196 extra base hits.

I don't see Chisenhall having better minor league numbers than Urshela. Urshela has been very consistent and hit between 270 and 280 the last three years which I project he will eventually do in the majors.

Urshela is significantly better defensively and hits right handed. He fits the Indians needs much better than Chisenhall and will be a much better major league player.
November 2, 2014 - 1:07 AM EDT
Lol really Gregg, he would be a top five 3b in the MLB with those stats. Move over Panda, Urshela's coming haha. But seriously, you can't just copy and paste his stats from AA/AAA last year and assume he would have no dropoff facing infinitely better pitching on a nightly basis.

Chisenhall had a much better minor league track record, where he was consistently young for his level (that's for Jim), and it still took him years to adjust and become the hitter we expected. And that's if you even consider last year the type of year we were expecting when Chisenhall was coming up (which it wasn't). The Chiz had a much better prospect profile than Urshela and plate discipline, and it still took time. Hell look at Moustakas in KC, he was the uber prospect everyone was foaming at the mouth to see and his slash line was .212/.271/.361. That's why I'd prefer proven over growing pains considering our window is right now. Urshela can be eased into the mix if he deserves it, make him beat the door down because they don't care how old you are in the big leagues.
November 1, 2014 - 11:31 PM EDT
Outstanding defense, 15-20 hr;s. 80 rbi's. 260-280 BA.
Jim Piascik
November 1, 2014 - 8:29 AM EDT
Urshela's always been young for his level, though. With that in mind, those lower level seasons where Urshela was holding his own are more impressive than just the raw stats would indicate.
November 1, 2014 - 1:21 AM EDT
What exactly is Urshela's projected performance Gregg? I was as excited as anybody to see him continue to develop and have a good season but the record shows that he has been in the system six years and has had one good season and another decent season (2012). Otherwise, he's been largely unimpressive with the bat besides his strikeout rate. He needs to continue to work on his approach and prove that last year was foreal before I consider him a legit major league option.

We're far to close to serious contention to rely on a marginal prospect to play a major role.
October 31, 2014 - 9:34 PM EDT
I think a right handed hitting RF is the most improtant needed for the Indians. If by some miracle Swisher could play RF the Indians could sign Butler to DH and move Murphy.

With Urshela in the farm system and just about ready I wouldn't be making a trade for a marginal improvement at 3rd.( marginal in comparing what the acuired players brings to Urshela projected performance)
October 31, 2014 - 3:07 PM EDT
"The way I see it - teams acq. talent to acquire more talent. Meaning they sign, trade, trade for talent when / where they need it / want it. That's why teams have a farm system to develop talent they bring in - ultimately to field a contending championship caliber club."

Boom. Exactly Homer.

October 31, 2014 - 12:35 PM EDT
Art, what would you consider a marginal upgrade? Uribe / Headley? Beltre, Frazier, Donaldson?

As much as I like Urshela, he's a 23 yo prospect. I'm an Urshela fan, but I'm not so sure its a waste if it's a long term (3-4yrs) qlty fix. I think he could be .260-270 20-25dbls and 15-20hrs type guy with GG caliber D, but nothing is certain...he's still a raw 23 yo prospect that has improved (as he -ideally- should).

As for moving prospects to get another piece. I'm a big farm system guy, I think the Tribe needs to be more aggressive getting pieces in the IFA period and push their spending limits to the point of max cash penalty for draft pks. But prospects are prospects - most will never pan out.

The way I see it - teams acq. talent to acquire more talent. Meaning they sign, trade, trade for talent when / where they need it / want it. That's why teams have a farm system to develop talent they bring in - ultimately to field a contending championship caliber club.

When the talent is not in house, they have to be willing to go out and get it. This team is very close to being a WS contender. I think they could be as close to two/three moves this offseason. They need a RH bat or two preferably RF/3b and more SP depth. They have intentionally built their depth in the MIF and OF to fill these need(s). Giving themselves options.

October 31, 2014 - 11:23 AM EDT
I still say keep an eye on Urshela, before making any rash moves to decimate the minors in search of a marginal improvement at 3rd base.

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