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The K-Tribe Chronicle: Tyler "Havoc," welcome to the K-Tribe

The K-Tribe Chronicle: Tyler "Havoc," welcome to the K-Tribe
April 25, 2011
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(Photo: Kinston Indians)
The 2011 Kinston Indians are an enigmatic team, that's for sure. This week, they won three straight games, with 10+ hits in each game. With that said, they don't have a single player that's hitting the ball all that well. They have two players batting over .300, with only one registering enough bats to show up on the Batting Leaders for the team. They have one player with more than one home run, and three players total with at least one homer. Their team leader in RBI has eight (league leader has 18) and their team leader in runs has seven (league leader has 17).

The pitching staff overall isn't much better. The starters can boast Drew Pomeranz and Clayton Cook, who are both having solid April's, but past that, there aren't many other overall performances that stand out as being special. Still, this staff only has five players with an ERA above 4.00.

While the K-Tribe may be a true team in the sense that there really is only one absolute stand-out on this team. Don't get me wrong, there are good ballplayers, but they are either slapped with the "potential" tag, or stuck in the "what's going on" category.

Kinston has yet to find their personality, and they'll likely go through many more changes before they find it. But keep an eye on the top of this line-up, with Tyler "Havoc" Holt and Bo Greenwell. These two, and "Havoc" in particular, have the potential to really cause some problems for opposing pitchers. If they can become more consistent and stir the drink a bit more, big things could happen in Kinston.

Where We Stand after Week 2:

Overall Record: 6-10(4-3 the past week, last place in the Carolina League southern league, 6 1/2-games back)

Week 2 Games:

18 @ Wilmington, L 3-5 (WP: E. Pimentel; LP: T. House; SV: K. Chapman)
19 @ Wilmington, W 7-3 (WP: T. Turek; LP: T. Melville)
20 @ Wilmington, W 4-1 (WP: T. Sturdevant; LP: T. Sample; SV: J. Flores)
21 vs. Myrtle Beach, W 6-2 (WP: C. Cook; LP: B. Loux; SV: T. Murata)
22 vs. Myrtle Beach, L 0-10 (WP: R. Ross; LP: G. Soto)
23 vs. Myrtle Beach, L 2-11 (WP: J. Wieland; LP: T. House)
24 vs. Myrtle Beach, W 3-2 (WP: B. Brach; LP: R. Kelly; SV: P. Guilmet)

This Week's Transactions:

04/20/2011 RHP Brett Brach assigned to Kinston Indians from Akron Aeros.
04/19/2011 LHP T.J. McFarland assigned to Akron Aeros from Kinston Indians.
04/19/2011 RHP Brett Brach assigned to Akron Aeros from Kinston Indians.
04/19/2011 RHP Toru Murata assigned to Kinston Indians from Indians Extended Spring Training.

Three UP...

1. Tyler Holt can really turn things upside down from the top of the order. Holt is an energy guy, and if you head to Kinston and watch the K-Tribe play, you really get that sense from the second you see him in the batter's box, or in the outfield. But when he gets on the basepaths, bad things happen. Take into account today's game. Holt hit a solo shot to tie the game early on, but really turned the game on it's ear in the third. Roberto Perez had walked early in the inning, and stole second base. Holt then singled him to third. With second open, Holt stole second. The throw went into center, scoring Perez from third. Then, Holt stole third, and scored on a wild pitch...after Abner Abreu struck out. Three runs by Holt on a solo shot, a wild throw into center, and a wild pitch after stealing second and third. Watch out for this kid, he's a comer.

2. Justin Toole is Mr. Super Utility, and he's finally showcasing a bat to go with his defensive ability. Toole's only error came in his only game at shortstop, as he's found himself playing all the infield positions so far this season. Offensively, he's leading the club with a .361 average. While he isn't likely to develop any power any time soon (he's never hit a homerun as a pro), he definitely has the type of speed that can alter a game. He's already got four stolen bases on the season, and hasn't been caught yet. Toole could really find some use in the system if his bat continues to develop.

3. Clayton Cook probably isn't the first, second or even the third pitcher that you think about when you think of Kinston. Perhaps you should start remembering the kids name. In three starts this season, Cook is 1-1, with a 2.25 ERA. In 16 IP, he's struck out 14 and walked seven. Cook is currently rated #34 at IPI, and is showing everyone that he's not only worthy of that slot (ahead of T.J. McFarland, by the way), but perhaps deserving of a bump up. Now that he's more comfortable with his two-seamer, and more consistent with his delivery, it's likely he'll continue to improve. Combine that with a big frame, and likely more velocity to a low-mid 90's fastball, and you have the makings of another potential gun in the Tribe's arsenal.

...and Three DOWN...

Okay, before I get started here, I promise I'm not going to harp on Abner Abreu and Travis Turek. Let's just get it out of the way now. Abreu is underachieving, and Turek is a human roller coaster. Both show signs of brilliance, but are as consistent and poorly mixed pancake batter. Step up gents, or let the big guns from Lake County take your spots.

3. Well, Ron Rivas was a walking error last year, so I was really hoping he would tear it up this year. He's promptly responded by hitting a solid .129, and has disappeared off the grid. I don't know if he's hurt, or just hiding because of his play, but he's not been very good this season. This organization is too good to continue to allow an error-prone, weak stick to take up a slot on the roster. Let's hope this kid figures things out soon.

2. Joey Mahalic was multi-dimensional last season, as a starter and a reliever. This year, he's been moved to the pen permanently, and it hasn't worked out well at all. He's made three appearances, and his BEST appearance was his first, a 1.1 inning slot in which he only gave up a run. Since then, he's given up 11 earned runs in two appearance, and one this week. His ERA is a stelar 18. Perhaps Mahalic is fired up that he's not in the rotation. If that's the case, this likely isn't the way to ask to move.

1. We dealt Jhonny Peralta, and got back Giovanni Soto. I really want this kid to make the Peralta deal an absolute steal. So far, that hans't been the case. He was solid in his first start, but high A bats have seemingly caught up with him. He's given up five earned runs in his last nine innings pitched, and is clearly scuffling. Let's hope that his learning curve is high. He's only 19-years-old, so it's not like three starts do a big-time starter make.

Week 2 Awards:

Offensive player of the week: Tyler Holt

Pitcher of the week: Clayton Cook

Player of the week: Tyler Holt

Here comes week 3:

April 2011

25 vs. Salem, 6:30 PM
26 vs. Salem, 6:30 PM
27 vs. Salem, 6:30 PM
28 vs. Salem, 6:30 PM
29 @ Lynchburg, 6:05 PM
30 @ Lynchburg, 6:05 PM

May 2011

1 @ Lynchburg, 2:05 PM

The Rearviewmirror:

T.J. McFarland was moved up to Akron, which I have to believe was a move that was already lined up within the system. McFarland did his time with Kinston last year, and dominated most of the year, before struggling to finish out the season. It's easy to see that McFarland fits into the future of this club, but his stuff has to translate in the upper minors, and there are questions there. If he's hitting his spots in the bottom of the strike zone, he's an incredibly tough pitcher. There are a lot of lightning arms ahead of him however, so he really needs to continue his progression, or he could get lost in the shuffle.

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).

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