Around the Farm: September 7, 2014
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.
Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, K. Rodriguez has carried the Captains offensively in the second half of the season. After a tough first half where he hit .221 with 8 HR, 25 RBI and .694 OPS in 65 games he has stormed to hit .321 with 14 HR, 63 RBI and .962 OPS in 65 second half games. That success has carried over to the postseason where in four games he is hitting .429 (6-for-14) with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 2 walks. He’s definitely in the running for league MVP (Clint Coulter is probably the favorite), though without a doubt has been the team MVP this season and a big reason this team turned things around in the second half.
- Ivan Castillo (SS, Lake County): 0-for-4, SB. Castillo has had a rough go of it in the playoffs hitting just .158 (3-for-19) with no walks and 3 strikeouts in his four games of play. As the Captains leadoff hitter, he is a big key in the Championship Series to set the table for a team that has a very potent middle of the order.
- Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-3, R, BB, K. Frazier has carried his strong second half play (.282 AVG, .815 OPS) into the playoffs as he is hitting .438 (7-for-16) with 1 HR, 3 RBI and a walk in his four games. I have said it a few times the past month, but he really had a solid to good first full season. Sure, there are things that are concerning, but he is improving and the sky is the limit for him.
- Bradley Zimmer (RF, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 R. Boy, talk about bring on the reinforcements for the playoffs. Zimmer joined the team the final weekend of the season, hit two homers in three games, and has been on fire in the playoffs hitting .375 (6-for-16) with two extra base hits and 3 RBI. He’s pretty much proven this season that he belong at High-A Carolina to start 2015 – and might even open at Double-A Akron.
- Paul Hendrix (2B, Lake County): 0-for-3, BB, K. Hendrix is one of the few guys who has been with Lake County all season since day one. He’s emerged as a leader on the team and been a solid contributor both in the lineup and with his versatility in the field. He has continued that in the playoffs so far hitting .357 (5-for-14) with 2 doubles and 2 RBI in four games.
- Dorssys Paulino (LF, Lake County): 0-for-2, RBI, K. Paulino had a very mediocre season and made a position change from shortstop to left field, so his prospect status has fallen considerably. In three postseason games he is hitting .250 (3-for-12) with a .583 OPS.
- Richard Stock (C, Lake County): 1-for-3, BB, K. Stock only managed to play in 52 games this season and repeated at Lake County for the second season in a row. He has made the most of his opportunities this postseason going 3-for-6 with a walk in two games played.
- Grant Fink (3B, Lake County): 0-for-4, K. Fink may have been 0-for-4 on the night, but he had the biggest at bat of the night in the eighth inning. With the game tied 4-4 and with two outs and runners on first and second, he sent a routine groundball to shortstop, the shortstop threw the ball on target, but the first baseman missed the catch and allowed the winning run to score from second.
- Brian Ruiz (DH, Lake County): 1-for-3, BB, K. Ruiz has gotten some additional playing time with the thumb injury to Mike Papi. In two games he is 1-for-6 with a walk, so this clearly was his best of his two playoff appearances.
- Dace Kime (SP, Lake County): 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Kime may have saved his best outing of the season for the playoffs. He has had a few outings that were better this season in the run prevention department, but none of those previous outings matched the importance and intensity of this game. He was up to the task on the biggest of minor league stages, which is great to see. This is an outing he can build off and he may have one last outing next Monday if there is a Game 5.
- Justin Brantley (RP, Lake County): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Just another dominant outing for Brantley. He moved hitters down in the regular season appearing in 25 games with the Captains and going 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA, and in 41.1 innings allowed 31 hits, 3 homers, 15 walks and had 47 strikeouts. He’s been a big piece in the bullpen in the playoffs appearing in three of the four games and has thrown 3.2 shutout and hitless innings and allowed 2 walks and has 5 strikeouts.
- Carlos Melo (RP, Lake County): BS (1), W (1-0), 1.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K. This just puzzles me. I’m not one to snipe a minor league player as I try to be as objective and constructive as possible on any player I maybe write something that can be perceived to be a negative take on a guy, but I still don’t understand why this guy is pitching with Lake County. He’s struggled all year with his command and been very inconsistent on the mound, yet he was pitching in the 7th and 8th inning of a meaningful playoff game? And he almost singlehandedly blew it as he walked two guys and fielded a ball with two outs and airmailed a ball to first that allowed the tying runs to score.
- Trevor Frank (RP, Lake County): S (1), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Frank did what he does best: finish games. He led the Midwest League in games finished this season and once again was the final pitcher on the mound for the Captains closing out a win. He and his teammates got to celebrate on the field when he recorded the final out…..let’s hope for a future occurrence next Saturday, Sunday or Monday night in Lake County.
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Chisenhall-Perez-Ramsey-CC Lee (young relief prospect to possibly close in future?) for Beltre, who says no?
Frazier and Branyan have nothing in common that I see, even strikeouts. Frazier is 19 and is a true 5 tool plater. Branyan was not even close to 5 tool and still spent 10 years in the majors. Does not appear to be a big problem or even worth writing about.
Not sure I agree with Kime assessment but may well be right wihich is not the worse problem in the organization. There are 2-4 starting pitchers in LC which appear to have higher ceilings than Kime at this time and will fill any open slots in Carolina. Actually not too bad for the worst team in the history of baseball. -)
Pirates surely want SP and/or a SS. I'm sure they'd ask for at least JRam.
Maybe the Phillies put Byrd on the block
FAs are risky and need to be overpayed probably: Cuddyer, Morse, Cruz....Aoki should be cheaper and is the type of bounce back flyer the Indians like to sign. Might be best served with a Murphy/Holt platoon to start the season
Teams are going to want a SP from the Indians the way the rotation has developed. I'd hesitate to move any of rotation, but Zach McAllister might be a guy that gets some interest as a chip-in. He's probably bound for a spot as a long man if he can't beat out House in ST. McAllister is out of options so it seems his probable home is the BP.
The way this pitching staff has produced recently is encouraging, what looked like a weakness now looks like a force for the next several yrs.
If I were a betting man, and I am not, but in this case if I were, I would say that both Frazier and Zimmer open in Carolina with the two splitting time at CF/DH and some RF with the idea that Zimmer could move quickly to Akron after 40-60 games so both then finish the season as full time center fielders.
Good Luck Captains in the Championship series against a tough opponent in Kane County.
Kime is probably a pen arm, very disappointing season as a starter
Frazier appears t obe another Branyan, loads of power but is a human windmill at the plate