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Around the Farm: September 12, 2012

Around the Farm: September 12, 2012
September 13, 2012
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Matt Lawson: 2B, Akron Aeros: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI:

Lawson had a big 2012 season with the Aeros. The 26-year-old hit .327 in 60 games, with 20 runs, 17 doubles, 3 triples, a homer and 23 RBI.  He hasn’t exactly been tearing it up in the playoffs, but the two hits last night gave him a respectable .273 average. I’m not sure if Lawson figures into the Indians future plans, but he certainly has given them a reason to pause this year. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a player that’s going to contend for a spot with the Indians in the near future, and if he does then there’s something really fundamentally wrong with the club. But Lawson can certainly give the team a bit of comfort knowing they have some cushion.

  • Tyler Holt: CF, Akron Aeros: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: Tyler Holt continued his playoff hot streak with another two-hit ballgame. While he isn’t leading off, he’s performing like a lead-off hitter with a .375/.444/.542 slash-line in seven games, with five runs, two doubles, and a triple. As Holt goes right now, so do the Aeros.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K: Aguilar launched his first home run of the playoffs in the first inning of Wednesday night’s ballgame, giving Danny Salazar and the Akron Aeros a 2-0 lead in their best of five series.
  • Adam Abraham: LF, Akron: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI: Abraham played a little outfield in this one, and just keeps on hitting the baseball. While he’s one of the streakiest ballplayers in the system, when he’s on…he’s on.
  • Ryan Rohlinger: 3B, Akron:  2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RB, K: Even Rohlinger is hitting the ball a ton. With his homer and double, Rohlinger is hitting .292 in the seris.
  • Danny Salazar: SP, Akron: W (1-0), 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 2 HR: Salazar is one of the hottest pitchers in the Indians’ organization, and while this wasn’t his best performance, he continues to win games. His nine strikeouts were the most he has had this season.
  • Hector Rondon: RP, Akron Aeros: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K: Rondon made his second one-inning appearance in the last four days, and it was nearly as good. Rondon has certainly looked good in his return, and gives the Indians hope that they have a potential prospect or two with upside who can make a difference in the near future.
  • Preston Guilmet: Closer, Akron Aeros: S (4), 1 K: Guilmet is just sick at this point, making his fourth appearance in the playoffs, and his second in as many days. He has a save in all four games, covering five innings. He’s been in lock down mode, giving up only two hits, while striking out five. When he’s on, there’s nobody more efficient than Guilmet. He’ll likely be the closer next year in Columbus, and while he’s not on the same level with regards to velocity as some other members of the system’s pen, he’s definitely got better numbers than most. If he does it again in Columbus, he HAS to be a factor in the Tribe’s bullpen going forward. Of course, they could always deal him for an Aaron Freakin’ Cunningham, like they did with Cory Burns.

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at

User Comments

September 13, 2012 - 9:19 PM EDT
Yes, versatility is something that teams do try to tap into for sure when a guy is not an above average defender at one position. It's one thing to try it though, and another for it to actually work. They tried it with Cord Phelps last year playing him some at 3B and SS, and it did not go well. Sure, he got experience at both positions and played there, but the comments from external talent evaluators was less than positive. And Major League standards basically means the ability to handle the position at the Major league level, with all things included (arm, range, etc).
September 13, 2012 - 10:14 AM EDT
Thank you for your comments. That is what I have been wanting to hear. As an organization do they work on trying to develop guys into more versatile defenders? And when you say "major league standards" are you talking about range, arm, versatility or all the above?
September 13, 2012 - 9:41 AM EDT
Rob, I wholeheartedly agree that more players from the minors should have been given ML opportunities this year. Guys like Goedert and Fedroff to name two players. But there is no one from the Aeros current roster who should have been given a shot in the big leagues this year....even if they were to lose 120 games. Either because the younger players there are not ready (Armstrong, Haley, etc) or the veteran guys (Rohlinger, Abraham, etc) are not Major League options. There are always those exceptions and late bloomers, yes, but those are often very few and far in between the countless duds as well, which is why, unfortunately, the fringe guys often don't get a chance. I hate it....and I wish everyone could get a realistic chance....but that's the politics of the game and the result of such limited opportunities at the ML level with such a small roster when you think about it.
September 13, 2012 - 9:34 AM EDT
I understand Tony's points and yes that applies to most big league teams. But this is a team with very little in the way of top prospects at AA and AAA, plus the worst roster in MLB. I don't even want to list the steaming piles that have gotten significant playing time for the Indians this year. Plenty of late bloomers in baseball history, should have gotten better looks at a lot of these guys. 95+ losses and still won't have a good idea of what we have. But excited to think that we will be aggressive and have Jason Bay hitting .170 for the Tribe next year. Antonettii is an assclown.
September 13, 2012 - 9:22 AM EDT
The fact we are discussing scrubs like Lawson , Neal and the rest of the career minor leaguers at both Akron and Columbus speaks volumes why this franchise is where its at today.
September 13, 2012 - 9:21 AM EDT
And I want to be clear that is not to tear Lawson down. It's just being honest and realistic with the way of thinking of teams. What I said for him applies to several other players as well. The same can be said for pitchers. There are a lot of guys in the system who put up good ERA's and numbers, but when you have 10-15 guys that do that and only 2-3 spots available to give an opportunity, the guy with the better stuff along with the performance often gets the shot. It's about separating yourself not just with stats, but with ability because the ability is what is going to translate to the big leagues (not the stats).
September 13, 2012 - 9:17 AM EDT
I'm not Jim, but the downside is he lacks versatility and is not a very good defender. When I say not a very good defender, I mean by Major League standards. If you are going to hit with no power, you have to be at least an above average defender at a few positions or be exceptional at one.....and Lawson is not. If he were a good defender, with his bat, he'd get a lot more consideration for sure. That's the fundamental difference sometimes. Ask guys like Jared Goedert and Jordan Brown who have put up good numbers in the minors....but never really got that chance and were passed over because of the issues defensively. If a guy is hitting .300 and is a run producer, teams can live with sub-par defense.....but if the guy is not a run producer, then he better be at least above average defensively.
September 13, 2012 - 9:10 AM EDT
Jim, what is the downside on Lawson? I understand Kipnis and Phelps are ahead of him and if that is the only 'downside' then I can accept that. But it looks to me like the guy has some game to him and just because he is 26 shouldn't disqualify him. There have been other 26-27 year olds that have broken into the 'bigs' and have had a good 4-5 year careers. On what do you base your belief that if he is there then "there is something fundamentally wrong with the club"?

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