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Around the Farm: September 10, 2014

Zimmer's all-around game highlights the night on the farm

Around the Farm: September 10, 2014
Mitch Brown (Photo: IBI)
September 11, 2014
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Bradley Zimmer (RF, Lake County): 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 SB, 1 HBP

Bradley Zimmer (Photo: MiLB)The Lake County Captains fell to the Kane County Cougars 4-3 in Game #1 of the Midwest League finals Wednesday night, though Zimmer did everything in his power to avoid that result. The 2014 first round pick reached base every time he went to the plate Wednesday and stole two bases, improving his playoff performance to 8-for-18 with two doubles, a triple, two walks, and two steals in five games. This hot streak comes on the heels of Zimmer's strong three-game regular season callup to Lake County (3-for-11 with a double, two home runs, two walks, and a steal) and an .865 OPS with 11 steals in 45 games with Mahoning Valley. Whether the 21-year-old starts 2015 in Carolina (where he would likely split time in center field with Clint Frazier), begins the season with some time in Lake County (considering he has only played eight games at the Low-A level), or makes the jump all the way to Akron is still to be decided, but Zimmer is clearly putting together some strong performances in his first exposure to professional baseball.

  • Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): L (1-1), 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 1 WP, 2 E. Brown has been one of the hottest pitchers in the system, but the right-hander did not have it in this game. Before Wednesday, the last time Brown allowed more than one earned run in a start was July 13.
  • Caleb Hamrick (RP, Lake County): 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO. Hamrick's shutdown outing kept Lake County within striking distance, however, and is a nice sight to see as the right-hander looks to put things together for a bounce back in 2015.
  • Robbie Aviles (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1 WP. The bullpen version of Aviles continues to find decent success with his trademark extreme pitch-to-contact approach, which gave the Captains a couple more chances to pull this one out.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI. The anchor of the Captains' lineup was not off-the-charts in this game, but he did contribute positively to the team's efforts.
  • Claudio Bautista (2B, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SO.  The same goes for Bautista, who was ice-cold in the playoffs before this solid night on Wednesday.
  • Paul Hendrix (3B, Lake County): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 E. Hendrix reached twice, but his second-inning fielding error allowed the fourth (and ultimately deciding) run to score for Kane County.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 0-for-5, 3 SO. Frazier had been a key cog in the Captains' playoff run heading into Wednesday, but the recently-turned 20-year-old simply had a bad game in the series opener.

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

September 12, 2014 - 6:28 AM EDT
With all the Rule V eligible players I guess that is the silver lining of having the AA pitchers have so-so seasons, they are less likely to be picked up if exposed. Trading Murphy, not picking up Aviles' option, dumping Raburn and Shuck will open up a few 40 man roster spots along with Giambi's retirement.
September 11, 2014 - 9:18 PM EDT
It would have to be someone really special like Stanton to trade one of Salazar or Bauer. Kluber and Carrasco would be off limits period. Pitching win championships and Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar, and Bauer are looking like they could be the best starting 4 in the league. They have the potential to be dominant and have displayed that this season. They've impressed me, especially for their age. Anyway, a package of Salazar or Bauer with Lindor and a couple other pieces should be a very competitive offer. Maybe you could keep Lindor and offer them Gonzalez and Frazier. I'd rather keep Gonzalez, but what do I know. This is the best this system has looked since the 90's. It is obvious that they are on the cusp of being serious contenders. I'm excited about this team's future.
September 11, 2014 - 4:21 PM EDT
A couple of thing about the cubs..

1. Javier Baez doesn't recognize pitches out of the pitcher's hand. He has more swing and miss than just about any other "highly" rated prospect that you'll ever see. His glove is mediocre to substandard and is probably better suited as a LF/DH more than any other position. He would NOT be nearly the player cubs fans have idolized during his ascent through the Cubs minor league system.

2. The Cubs do have some interesting talent that is coming close but are not yet or will not be Rule V eligible that might be of interest include Don Vogelbach and Dillon Maples. They'll be relevant to Rule V consideration after the 2015 season.. Otherwise.. not really much to get excited about with the Flubs..

Houston does have a lot of talent.. much of which is now playing at the ML level.. Teams are loath to let talent get away via Rule V and it perhaps the least valuable source of talent for major league clubs going. TBH..eliminating it wouldn't hurt anyone's feeling and it would end some of the moronic rosterbation moves that clubs have been forced to make while attempting to retain marginally better than AAA talent.
September 11, 2014 - 2:03 PM EDT
As ive said before. Zimmer was in mv way too long.

Gomes still 7????????? Helloooo Tito!

Jram at 2d once Lindor arrives. Not even debateable.
Matt F. Packer
September 11, 2014 - 1:34 PM EDT
Zimmer has an odd head structure. The sides of his head are very parallel to each other. He looks like Frankenstein
September 11, 2014 - 12:21 PM EDT

I've heard the Astros are concerned about losing some players this offseason. I think they will try to pkg some players / prospects and make a big splash. I haven't heard much on the Cubs, but I think they are still a season or two away.
September 11, 2014 - 11:35 AM EDT

Thanks for info on the Rule 5 draft eligible regarding the Indians. My main question related to the Cubs and Astros. Is some of there top talent is exposed to the rule 5 this year or are we still a year away in which that happens.
September 11, 2014 - 11:24 AM EDT
Homer, I can see something like that happening where the Indians trade one of Bauer, Salazar or Carrasco in a deal to lock down a position of need. It would hurt the starting rotation, but in doing so they would need to be absolutely certain they can sign a FA that is worthy of filling that hole in the rotation.

Hiram, Chang is not as good as Lindor from a prospect perspective.....but he's still pretty good. He's definitely in the Top 10 this year. No doubt. Going to be a very loaded, crowded top 10-20 this year. Some guys in the 25 range would normally be 10-17.
September 11, 2014 - 11:22 AM EDT
*Danny Salazar*
September 11, 2014 - 11:12 AM EDT
Random thought...

What about the Tribe working out Trevor Bauer or Carlos Salazar for Javier Baez to play 3b or RF. It would meet a need for both clubs and provide yrs of control.
September 11, 2014 - 11:07 AM EDT

The Indians will have several players that will need protected from the rule 5 draft. IMO, it seems likely the Tribe loses one or two happens every yr it seems. I've posted an extensive list in the last mth. If I have time I might post that on the boards as a point of reference and discussion. Off the top of my head...
Gio Urshela
Joe Colon
Tony Wolters
Will Roberts
Shawn Armstrong
Elvis Arajuo
Gio Soto
Enosil Tejada
Jake Lowery
Alex Monsalve
Jordan Smith
Bryson Myles
Ryan Merritt
September 11, 2014 - 11:00 AM EDT
So sad to see the MLB season coming to an end. Already looking forward to AFL, Instruc Leagues, GM Meetings, Winter Meetings, etc. Going to be on this site alot to read about all the things I didn't during the Summer.

I keep hearing about this Yu Cheng Chang. How's his fielding because I hear the ball jumps off his bat. Sounds like he could be a better prospect than Lindor at the same stage. For him to be already top 10 with this team is saying alot

Indians need to win both games today and then sweep the Tigers or at least 2/3... #RollTribe
September 11, 2014 - 10:34 AM EDT
Wow - trading guys like Frazier at this early stage of their careers seems wildly risky for me. He has a high ceiling and I doubt a trade value that is compensorate with the upside.
September 11, 2014 - 10:31 AM EDT
I have off the wall question. The Cubs and Astros have been bad teams and had led them to acquire high level talent through draft picks and international signings. There no way the can protect all there talent by putting them on there 40 man roster. The question is this the year some of there talent will be exposed to the Rule 5 draft or are we still 1 -2 years away in which this becomes reality?
September 11, 2014 - 10:07 AM EDT

I like the idea of trading with the Pirates.. but I don't think Josh Harrison is going to be blocked. The Pirates like Pedro Alvarez, however, he's never developed the kind of consistency they thought he could or should have. Alvarez's season may be over from a foot injury.. His Pirate career may be over based on his salary situation.. It's unclear, but he may have one more year remaining. IDK.. At any rate, Josh Harrison has stepped up in so many ways, He's so versatile.. and brings an energy to that club that is infectious.. I doubt the Pirates would consider letting him go. They would appear to be more ready to let Alvarez walk. That said, the Pirates remain a good trade partner based on their needs and the Indians surpluses. I'd love to see the Indians steal away one or more of their pitching prospects.. Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon are their two best and both are on the precipice of becoming ML relevant. With the pending loss of Francisco Liriano, neither one of these two guys are possible. But, Nick Kingham and Luis Heredia may be.. and they aint chopped meat.. It's pretty certain that Frazier would not be of interest to the Pirates.. but the need for a middle infielder like E-Gonz could be highly interesting to them..indeed
September 11, 2014 - 10:07 AM EDT
The Captains just didn't have it for this game. It seemed they did almost everything that could be done to ensure the 1 run loss. It brought flashbacks to the first-half of the season watching them play in the wind and rain, commiting errors and missing plays that could have been made. HOWEVER, Zimmer and Hamerick put up excellent performances. The fact that they managed to keep the game close against the dominant Cougars with a much better record, pitching arguably their best pitcher, says that the Captains are capable of dualing with this team and should make for a good championship series. Captains have lots of solid pitching left and are capable of putting up great offense! Looking forward to them bringing home the league title!
September 11, 2014 - 10:04 AM EDT
Btw, Twainese RHSP Jen Ho Tseng, 19, pitched for Kane County, he signed for $1.625M with the Cubs last summer. Tseng went 5 innings gave up 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 BB, and had 8 K's. Tseng posted a 2.40 era, 105 IP, 76 hits, 15 BB and 86 K's for the Cougars. This was his first season in pro ball, starting at the A- ball level. That's impressive - the only way to cut it. I raved about him last summer, as a unique opportunity to add 1st round talent in the IFA period. The Indians were never linked to him, but have had a fairly good presence in the Pacific Rim. It's hard to complain when they did sign SS / 3b Yu Cheng Chang for (only) $500K. Chang, 18, should be a top 10 prospect for the Indians next season.
September 11, 2014 - 9:53 AM EDT
Instructs roster is posting today on the site. I have it all set to go. It's not live yet but you can get an advanced view here:

Gabriel Mejia will be here. I can't wait to see him. I am going Oct 6-10.
September 11, 2014 - 9:51 AM EDT

I'm not going to start a rant about acquiring talent, utilizing effective means (draft and trade) that best suit the Indians...well never mind. I completely agree, the Marlins have traded their pick several times. That's the pick to target in say, a much larger trade. They have several players that I'd like to see the Indians get, off the top of my head... Stanton, Ozuna, Heaney, Dunn and of course their comp. pk.
September 11, 2014 - 9:41 AM EDT
The early MLB Rule IV draft projections are showing quite a few pitchers with "big arms" and big everything else. It's so early to mention names.. but there a few kids that could become household names as the draft approaches.. Primarily a kid named Justin Hooper.. he's a prep school kid that has it all at an early age.. There are others who will become more and more prominent as the draft approaches...

Considering the depth of pitching talent coming in the 2015 draft, getting two first round picks is good.. Getting a third via a Competitive Balance Lottery pick would have been great.. The Indians and GM Chris Antonetti would be very wise to consider making a trade with any one of the five teams ahead of them. Those teams include the Marlins, Rockies, Cardinals, Brewers, & Padres. Too bad the Indians couldn't/didn't get the Cardinals Competitive Balance Lottery pick from the Cardinals along with Jimmy Ramsey in the Justin Masterson trade, but, I guess, that would be pretty much overkill, in hindsight...
September 11, 2014 - 9:36 AM EDT

Gabriel Meijia is on the instructional league roster. It was posted somewhere - I can't remember - I think Bleacher Report is where I read it last night, under the Indians tab.
September 11, 2014 - 9:32 AM EDT
I was a Zimmer skeptic on draft night, but he's finishing strong. Maybe his ceiling is Hunter Pence?

With Ramsey, Frazier, Zimmer and Naquin the Indians have 4 CF in their top 10, with Shuck, Holt, Myers as depth. Something has to give. Frazier and Naquin should be trade chips this offseason. Same thing at SS, EGonz looks to be the odd man out, coming off a breakout season, but blocked by JRam/Lindor.

Any deal that starts with Frazier+EGonz will have the attention of other GMs. Middle of the order power bats will be more expensive than SP this offseason, so I'd try to trade for blocked players from other teams. Van Slyke or Josh Harrison are possibilities
September 11, 2014 - 9:24 AM EDT
Any word on the roster for instructional league coming up? Would the Indians bring up Gabriel Mejia who had a strong year in the DSL? Or do they bring him up state side during ST?

September 11, 2014 - 9:07 AM EDT
Zimmer also threw out a baserunner at 2b if I recall correctly.
September 11, 2014 - 9:00 AM EDT
And the Indians have another chance to get an infusion of talent next year as they have two first round picks. Should be around #15-20 depending on how they finish and their competitive balance pick they got should be at #30-37 depending on how many teams forfeit their first round pick to sign a qualified free agent.
September 11, 2014 - 8:57 AM EDT
Zimmer is looking like the real deal. He's had quite the stellar pro debut. Can't remember an Indians college hitter having this kind of debut in a long time. Between Zimmer's impressive debut out of college and Bradley's impressive debut out of high school, these are two extraordinary efforts and developments this season. And there were also several other good performances behind them as well from fellow draftees. This has the makings of one of the best Indians draft classes in some time. Fingers crossed.
September 11, 2014 - 8:52 AM EDT
Indians farm system is starting to look nice... once some of these guys get to AA and AAA expect the Farm rankings to jump up dramatically. Just think that behind Zimmer and Frazier you will have Bradley, Chang and Others. One more good draft for more pitching and this system is officially LOADED and loaded for a good while as long as they keep drafting well

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