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Around the Farm: September 2

Around the Farm: September 2
September 3, 2011
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Matt LaPorta
(photo: Columbus
Clippers)
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.

Francisco Lindor: DH, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, SB (1):

Lindor played in his first full game of the season, and responded with his first multi-hit game of the season, as well as his first stolen base. In his four games of his professional career, Lindor has hit in three of them. According to Tony Lastoria, Lindor will likely be the starting shortstop at Lake County next year, with Wolters possibly moving to second. While a lot can happen over the winter months, that seems like a pretty solid middle infield of the future for the Tribe.  Keep this in mind: Lindor and Wolters are a combined 37-years-old. For those counting at home, that's three years younger than Jim Thome. 
 
Matt LaPorta: 1B, Columbus: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K:
I'm not sure what surprised me more, that Matt LaPorta was finally sent down to the minors, or that in his debut with the Clippers, he actually hit a two-run homer. In sending down LaPorta during the final month of a playoff run, the Indians are perhaps succumbing to the fact that right-handed first baseman is dangerously near becoming the poster child for the term "monumental bust"  While it's true that he's only 26-years old and still has time to prove himself as a power hitter in the bigs, being sent down at a time when the Indians needed him the most certainly isn't a pat on the back from Tribe Management. As far back as June, we were talking about how LaPorta couldn't even lace up Ryan Garko's cleats (check the comments of Tony's piece), and the Indians have finally temporarily pulled the plug on the centerpiece of the CC Sabathia deal in Milwaukee. Well, at least the Clippers can use him during their playoffs I guess. Maybe he can right the ship, but I'm certainly not holding my breath.
  • Luis Valbuena: SS, Columbus: 3-4, 1 K, SB (6): You can say what you want about Luis Valbuena, but he's just killing International League pitching this year. In the nine games since he's returned from a short stint in Cleveland, the shortstop is 13-for-36, with five runs scored. Ir's unfortunate that he hasn't yet translated into a major league player.
  • Argenis Reyes: 2B, Columbus: 1-1, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB: Reyes has never really been a factor, or at least much of one, when it came to prospect ratings, but the wily minor league veteran has done nothing but hit the ball for the Indians over the past two years. Last season, he hit .340 for the Clippers after a trade brought him over from the Red Sox. This year, he's hit .315 since the Indians signed him away from the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am Independent League. The Tribe has been cleaning up with these minor league, free-agent signings this year.
  • Zach McAllister: SP, Columbus: W (12-3), 7 IP, 11 H, 2 R/ER, 7 K: McAllister has reclaimed the groove that he seemed to lose in late July with back-to-back solid starts. He's 4-0 in his last four starts, and should remain in the picture for an end-of-the-rotation slot in the coming years.
  • Chen Lee: RP, Columbus: S (1), 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 2 K: Lee wasn't perfect last night, but did manage to save the bullpen and get a save in the process. The righty has been solid since a four-run implosion on August 20th, only giving up one run in the six innings he's pitched since.
  • Jordan Henry: CF, Akron: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI: Henry has really scuffled at Double A Akron, but has shown signs of returning to form in the past week. He's had three two-hit games in his last six, but has to find a way to hit righties a bit better than his .236 average. He's hitting a solid .297 against left-handers.
  • Karexon Sanchez: 2B, Akron: 2-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 BB: While Sanchez is only htting .218, these are the types of games that he became known for last year in Kinston. He's a hot-or-cold type player, but when he's on, he's very...very good. It was good to see him batting second for the Aeros, instead of at the bottom of the lineup.
  • Chun Chen: C, Akron: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Chen is closing out his season with a strong offensive push. He's currently on a six-game hit streak, with two homers and a double in his last four games.
  • John Drennen: LF, Akron: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K: Drennen had his third multi-hit game out of his past four, and including a homer in last night's game. He's hitting .300 over his past ten games, with a .417 OBP.
  • Donnie Webb: RF, Akron: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B: Webb broke out of a 2-for-30 slump with a big game last night. Don't expect much more of this from the light-hitting utility player.
  • Bryan Price: SP, Akron: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 K: Price got the unconventional start last night thanks to injuries and call-ups, and did a nice job. He continued a nice stretch in which he's only given up one earned run over his past eight appearances and fifteen innings. He's not a stud prospect by any stretch, but he certainly could be a factor from Columbus next season.
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: W (2-0), 2 IP, 2 BB, 2 K: Bryson has been a workhorse of late, pitchingin three games over the past four nights. This is a good sign that the Indians believe that Bryson is healthy. He's certainly earned the appearances. Over his past four games, Bryson has pitched in 6 1/3 innings, giving up only three hits and three walks, while striking out seven.
  • Bryce Stowell: RP, Akron: 2 IP, 1 H, 4 K: Bryson and Stowell really are the cream of the crop in Akron right now.  Stowell has regained his stature from an impressive 2010 season, and has really shown that he can dominate when he's in the game. He's gone 6 1/3 innings over his last three outings, giving up three hits and two walks, while striking out seven.
  • Kinston Indians offense: 3-29, 3 BB, 9 K: The Kinston Indians' offense managed a mammoth three hits and three walks in their last official home game at Historic Grainger Stadium last night. They were blown out 10-0. Not good for a club that is fighting for their playoff lives. They are currently in a virtual tie with Winston-Salem.
  • LeVon Washington: LF, Lake County: 2-4, 1 K: Washington had his second two-hit game in three nights, and had two of the four total hits for the Captains.
  • Jordan Cooper: SP, Lake County: L (2-9), 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K: Cooper has lost four straight starts, but didn't deserve this one.
  • Bryson Myles: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Myles continues to terrorize New York/Penn pitching with his second straight two-hit, two run ballgame. The only difference between last night's game, and the one before...was a triple instead of a double. There's no tapering off for the Scrappers' right fielder.
  • Jordan Smith: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Smith has been in a free fall offensively since starting the year off hitting around .350. He's only 6-for-39 in his last ten games.
Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI. Also, his latest book the 2011 Cleveland Indians Top 100 Prospects & More is available for purchase for $20.95 to customers in the US (shipping and handling extra). Use discount code 2Z6F362B to receive 40% off the book through the site store!

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 jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

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