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Around the Farm: April 8, 2013

Around the Farm: April 8, 2013
April 9, 2013
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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.

Toru Murata: SP, Akron: W (1-0), 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 9K:

Murata will likely never end up as a top prospect, but he certainly knows how to pitch. In 2011, Murata went 3-2 with a 2.36 ERA as a starter and a reliever. In 2012, he went 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA as both a starter and a reliever. In 2013, he went seven strong innings in his first start, and just dominated. It will be interesting to see what he does if he remains in a rotation all year. Perhaps his numbers can make him an interesting watch, if nothing else. He doesn’t have a big arm, but sometimes there’s more to a big league pitcher than fastballs.

Joe Wendle: 2B, Carolina: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB:

Wendle makes back-to-back appearances at the top of ATF, and it’s because of that whipping stick he’s been carrying around for the Mudcats. In the past two games, he’s gone 5-for-7, with four runs, a double, a homer and four RBI. Not a bad couple of nights. Wendle honed his skills in the PSAC at Division 2 West Chester University. He really is an under-the-radar sorta player in this system at this point, but if he can continue to hit, you could see a bounce in status. It’s only the first week, but he definitely has skills. We’ll see if he can continue in what is usually a tough pitcher’s league.

  • Tim Fedroff: CF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 2 R: Timmy Fedroff is the forgotten guy in this organization. His cap may be as a fourth outfielder, as he can clearly hit. I don’t see where he gets a chance in this organization with the outfield the way that it’s considered, so perhaps Fedroff can make himself enticing to another team as part of a deal at some point.
  • Juan Diaz: SS, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K: Diaz is certainly not the top shortstop prospect in THIS system, but I like him better than many here at IBI. No, he’s not going to be a major league star, but I definitely think he could be a serviceable starter or utility player going forward. If only he could develop some pop.
  • Nick Hagadone: RP, Columbus: W (1-0), 1 1/3, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K: This wasn’t an easy opportunity for Hagadone. He walked his first batter after coming in for the struggling David Huff, but got out of the inning with a strikeout.  In the following inning, he gave up back-to-back, one-out singles and then two stolen bases. After a two-out walk, the bases were loaded. He got out of the inning on a fly out.
  • Quincy Latimore: LF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: Latimore, a Raleigh native, is an under-the-radar prospect that the Indians acquired for Jeanmar Gomez back in January.  The former fourth rounder has now hit safely in the last three games, and has two-hit performances in his last two.
  • Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K: How good is the Akron line-up? Ronny Rodriguez, who hit 19 homers for Carolina last year is hitting eighth in the Aeros order. He has hits in three of four games, and this is his first multi-hit game of the season.
  • Shawn Armstrong: RP, Akron Aeros: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER: Armstrong was hurt by a lead-off double, but he settled down and pitched fairly well after that, allowing a run after a ground out, a sacrifice fly and another ground out.
  • Francisco Lindor: SS, Carolina: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SB: He can field, he can hit, and he can clearly steal bases. This kid is going to have a special season. He has five stolen bases on the year so far.
  • Tyler Naquin: CF, Carolina: 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 K: Naquin ha two multi-hit games in his first four in the Carolina League, and has four runs as well. If he stays healthy this year, and there’s no reason to think he won’t, he’ll be a top four prospect to start 2014.
  • Bryson Myles: LF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI: When he’s been healthy, he’s been a top prospect. He now has a three-game hit streak, with two hits in two of those three games. I can’t wait until I lead without having to say, “if he stays healthy.”
  • Owen Dew: RP, Carolina: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Dew made his second appearance since missing the 2012 season, giving up his first hit but going two innings without giving up much else. Dew isn’t a major prospect in the system, but good to see his return going so well.
  • Dorssys Paulino: SS, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 K: There will be a lot of eyes on Paulino this year as a top five prospect in the system. He had his second two-hit game out of his last three, but they’ve all been singles. He’s also struck out seven times in his first five games, while walking only once.
  • Eric Haase: DH, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Haase rolled out his second straight two-hit ballgame that raised his average over .316. Haase is a solid prospect, and may very well be the best catching prospect in the system.
  • Dylan Baker: SP, Lake County: 5 IP, 3 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K: Baker made his Lake County debut on Monday night and managed to strike out seven batters with his overpower fastball, while only walking on batter, and giving up only three hits. Baker was perfect through four innings, but trouble erupted in the fifth inning. He gave up a lead-off double and a one-out walk. He then hit a batter with two-outs to load the bases, and gave up a single and a double that gave Great Lakes their four earned runs off of Baker.
  • Joe Sever: 2B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Sever had a solid start to his career as an advanced bat in a young league. He’s not a top prospect and likely never will be, but there is some interesting offensive potential moving forward, at least as minor league supplement.

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.

User Comments

Tony
April 9, 2013 - 6:39 PM EDT
Age is an issue only because the upside is limited. He pretty much is what he is as a player at this point. Just as Myles/Smith are body-wise and strength-wise. The difference with a guy like Smith and Sabourin, is Smith has upside because he has untapped power in his swing whereas Sabaurin does not. And I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer here as I hope Sabourin surprises us all. But someone asked about his value, and I just provided a realistic outlook. He has a chance....but it is very small compared to a lot of other guys. He will need to make good on every opportunity, cannot get hurt, and will need to continue to exceed expectations to continue to get opportunities.
Jim
April 9, 2013 - 6:31 PM EDT
Why do you consider Sbourin's age an issue. He is younger than Myles and just a few months older than Smith? He was a young graduate of Indiana University.
Andy
April 9, 2013 - 12:22 PM EDT
Got it. I assumed Valerio would get moved to 1B to accommodate Monsalve/Lavisky and Wolters if/when he's ready to catch.
Tony
April 9, 2013 - 12:03 PM EDT
Actually Andy, Valerio is a catching prospect. That's where he is being developed. The fall back for him and for versatility reasons is first base. He's not a high level prospect by any means, but is a guy on the org's radar as a catching prospect, and one they obviously like considering he is the priority catcher at High-A and skipped Low-A. As a I wrote about in my "determining value" piece, there is a lot that can be taken by guys who skip levels and play everyday.
Andy
April 9, 2013 - 11:57 AM EDT
Not to mention Carolina has Monsalve on its 7-day DL, even though he may end up switching with Lavisky at Akron. How do you see Valerio as a 1B prospect? His career ISO and OPS of .127 and .749 look a lot better coming from a catcher.

Thanks for all of the follow-up, Tony. I appreciate how much digging you have to do to get this sort of info.
Tony
April 9, 2013 - 11:44 AM EDT
If I am being brutally honest, then no, the Indians do not see Sabourin as much of a prospect. He's an organizational guy and has everything you want from a leadership and makeup perspective in such a role,but he is just filling in at first base. He can always change that opinion but it will be very hard bases on the scouting views of him and his age.

From what I understand, Washington tweaked "something". I have not been able to get clarity on that yet. Getting info on injuries in the minors can be like pulling teeth sometimes since teams try to avoid sharing in order to not diminish value of guys.
Andy
April 9, 2013 - 11:16 AM EDT
I wonder if the Indians see Sabourin as much of a prospect, and the next couple months should be telling. I would not be surprised if Lowery is the odd man out this season unless he hits the cover off the ball.

Do you know what is going on with L-Wash? He's no longer listed on the Captains roster.
shy
April 9, 2013 - 10:50 AM EDT
Good to see Dylan Baker start the season strong w 4 perf and a lot of K's. With Jiminez and Myers already sending people to the concession stand by the third inning, we need a couple live arm starters to look forward to.
Tony
April 9, 2013 - 8:07 AM EDT
Actually, I see it the other way around with Lowery. It will be interesting to see how much HE is valued. He sat the first two games of the season while Valerio was at catcher and Sabourin was at first base. Those two will be the primary players at those positions. Lowery will probably get a good amount of time at DH and then spell Valerio at catcher 2-3 times a week and maybe Sabourin once a week at first. Once Wolters is out of there, then he and Gallas will probably get a lot of time at DH.
Andy
April 9, 2013 - 8:04 AM EDT
With Lowery now getting time at 1B it'll be interesting to see how the C/1B situation plays out in Carolina. The amount of playing time guys like Sabourin and Valerio get will shed some light as to how the Indians value them, plus seeing if Lowery's bat is good enough as a non-catcher.

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