Around the Farm: April 30, 2014
Rain puts the focus on Aviles, Haase, and the rest of the Lake County Captains
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.
Note that Columbus and Carolina were off last night while Akron was rained out.
Robbie Aviles (RP, Lake County): 4.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
Coming into 2014, the book on Aviles was that the right-hander could limit his walks but never struck out many batters (4.1 SO/9, 3.1 BB/9 in 117.1 career innings). So far this season, Aviles is ratcheting up his game to the next level. Though a 7.1 SO/9 in 17.2 innings is pretty average on the surface, when paired with no walks, it makes for a potent combination. Now that it looks like Aviles is fully healthy following Tommy John surgery in July 2010, he is putting up some eye-catching statistics. Aviles' career-high in innings is 69.0 -- set last season -- so hopefully the right-hander is back on the mound for good and able to blow past that mark in 2014.
Luis Lugo (SP, Lake County): L (0-4), 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
The interesting thing about prospect rankings is the projection that factors into those far away from the majors. Lugo, for example, is a very projectable left-hander who is four promotions away from Cleveland. What matters most for Lugo's 2014 is seeing the left-hander grow as a pitcher, get stronger, and develop his pitches, mechanics, etc. It would be better if Lugo's 6.00 ERA was a little lower -- and he could stand to get more groundballs and improve upon his 0.62 GO/AO -- but raw results in Low-A hardly matter for the left-hander's future. Plus, given Lugo's 3.53 FIP, the left-hander is pitching better than it seems and will likely see his ERA improve over the course of the season.
Eric Haase (C, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO
Following a successful 2013 campaign in Lake County (.250/.322/.439 line in 104 games), it was assumed Haase was going to find his way to Carolina to start 2014. Well, the calendar is turning to May and Haase is still in Lake County, sporting a .217 batting average. Of course, we all know there is more to life than batting average, and Haase also has a .341 on-base percentage (better than in 2013), a .507 slugging percentage (also better than in 2013), and a .238 BABIP (bound to regress to the mean, improving Haase's already impressive offense). Knowing that -- except for some bad BABIP -- Haase is cleaning up offensively, the key for him remains improving defensively, a critical part to remaining a catcher as his career progresses. Haase is still roughly at an age-appropriate level, and assuming he gets a shot in Carolina in the near-future -- his development will still be right on schedule.
- Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 2-for-4, 1 3B. Though Frazier hit a triple Wednesday, his .327 slugging percentage and .103 isolated power are not what everyone expected out of the power-hitting prospect. A .297 BABIP is not holding down Frazier's offense, and though he has eight walks in 13 games, the outfielder also has 13 strikeouts.
- Dorssys Paulino (SS, Lake County): 0-for-4, 3 SO. Now up to 28 strikeouts in 23 games with a .580 OPS, Paulino is still looking to find his form in Lake County. Though, no matter how hard it is to remember as he struggles, Paulino is still a full 2.5 years younger than the average Midwest League hitter. Time is still on Paulino's side, despite the struggles.
- Grant Fink (1B, Lake County): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 SO. On a night where Lake County struck out 15 times, Fink added two to the pile. Though Fink owns a solid .757 OPS, his 35 strikeouts in 23 games is a looming problem for the 23-year-old.
- Anthony Santander (DH, Lake County): Since April 19, Santander has more than doubled his OPS, bringing it up 275 points in a week and a half. With a .269 BABIP and a shoulder that is continuing to heal, Santander should continue to see his offense bounce back as the season rolls on.
- Paul Hendrix (3B, Lake County): 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 SO. Hendrix continues to support his high .393 on-base percentage with two more walks, though the infielder does have 14 strikeouts in 15 games.
- Claudio Bautista (2B, Lake County): 0-for-4, 1 SO. Not a strong night for Bautista, but the second baseman's .254 BABIP gives some hope that the 20-year-old will see better nights on offense going forward.
- Josh McAdams (RF, Lake County): 0-for-3, 3 SO. Since McAdams' go-ahead single in the 12th inning of Sunday's game, the outfielder has struck out in seven straight plate appearances. With 22 strikeouts and no extra base hits in 15 games, the 20-year-old might need some time in Arizona to reset his 2014 season.
- Brian Ruiz (LF, Lake County): 0-for-3, 2 SO. Ruiz was a little hotter earlier in the season, but the outfielder's .220/.292/.271 line and a 24:5 SO:BB in 19 games is a continuation of the issues the Cleveland native has had at the plate throughout his professional career.
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Frazier, Paulino and Santander are 3 guys that I see really picking it up as the weather warms. Think they are real good young talents. Having said that, though Paulino is still young, he has been in the system a few years now, and has to start showing some of that ability. Move him off SS and let him concentrate on hitting. That's where his value will be !!!