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Around the Farm: August 14, 2012

Around the Farm: August 14, 2012
Thomas Neal
August 15, 2012
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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.

Jacob Lee: RP, NYP American League All-Stars: 1 IP, 2 K:

The Tribe’s 2012 9th round pick has been a pleasant surprise this season. He certainly does not appear as if he is intimidated in the least bit by the professional game as the right-hander has dominated at Mahoning Valley and posted a 2.10 ERA in 34 1/3 innings of work. Perhaps even more impressive have been Lee’s lofty strikeout numbers (10.5 K/9). Thus, it should be no surprise that Lee earned an all-star bid for the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, and again, the 22-year-old did not disappoint. As a college senior, Lee was a safe draft pick as he was pretty much guaranteed to sign and also was one of those high floor, low ceiling types. However, even the Indians are likely surprised by his success, especially the strikeout numbers. It could be that Lee is just facing inferior competition… or perhaps the Indians really have found a potential diamond in the rough. It’s a small sample size indeed, but he’s definitely a player to be optimistic about.

Dorssys Paulino: SS, AZL Indians: 3-for-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 K, 3 Errors:

I dunno even how to approach this line. Let’s all remind ourselves that Paulino does not turn 18 until November. Quite frankly, his play has been unbelievable so far. The Arizona League is known for its offense, so he will almost assuredly come back to Earth as he progresses through the system, but these numbers are something special. They really help shed some light on how advanced he is at the plate. Reviews of his defense have been pretty poor at best (he now has 20 errors in 37 games), but everyone knows that it’s his bat that is going to carry him through the system. With each night that passes and every monster performance, one really has to ponder: Who is the best offensive shortstop prospect in the Indians system? Francisco Lindor or Paulino?

  • Jeanmar Gomez: SP, Columbus Clippers: (L, 6-3), 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR: It took Gomez 96 pitches to make it through six innings in his ninth start since being demoted to Columbus. The right-hander was not bad, but also did not look like a guy who had just thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings. This has been the story with Gomez at Columbus this year. He seems to either pitch outstanding or just mediocre. Tuesday was a case of the latter.
  • Tim Fedroff: CF, Columbus: 0-for-4, 1 K: Fedroff has had a mighty fine year, but he has struggled at the plate as of late. In his last 10 game, the left-hander hitter has gone 7-for-42, hitting just .167.
  • Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 1-for 3, 2 R, 1 BB: It seems like forever ago that Phelps was once a coveted prospect, thought by some to even be on a similar level to current Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis. While those days are certainly long gone, the switch-hitting Phelps has really had a solid 2012 campaign and now owns a .270/.357/.444 with an OPS of .800. He seems to have all the makings of a super-utility player, but between Jason Donald and Brent Lillibridge, the Indians seem to be covered there these days.
  • Gregorio Petit: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Petit hit his eighth home run for the Clippers Tuesday; a solo shot to lead off the sixth inning.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron Aeros: 1-for-4: It might not have been the most impressive of debuts for Aguilar in his Double-A debut, but at least the big right-handed hitter was able to record one base knock.
  • Jordan Henry: RF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: Henry was one of two Aeros to record two hits Wednesday. The left-handed hitter now has an even .250 average on the season.
  • Thomas Neal: LF, Akron: 0-for-1, 3 BB: We know that Neal is currently not a major priority for the Indians, but that has not stopped the right-hander hitter from putting together a brilliant campaign with the Aeros. Neal has scuffled a bit as of late, hitting only .194 in his last 10 games, but it’s hard to argue with three walks, and his line is still impressive at .309/.393/.462.
  • Paolo Espino: SP, Akron: 5 IP, 6 H 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 8 K: Espino has been an underrated performer all season, and Tuesday was more evidence of this. The right-hander’s season ERA now sits at 2.96. Espino has also not allowed more than three runs in a contest since June 29 against Erie.
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: (W, 5-3), 2 IP, 2 K: At 24, Bryson is still somewhat old for the Eastern League, but it’s hard to ignore the right-hander’s numbers. A piece of the much-maligned C.C. Sabathia deal, Bryson now holds a 2.91 ERA this season and has struck out 11.4 batters per nine innings.
  • Preston Guilmet: Closer, Akron: (S, 20), 1 IP: It took Guilmet just 11 pitches to pitch a perfect ninth inning en route to his 20th save of the 2012 season.
  • Tyler Cannon: DH, Carolina Mudcats: 3-for-4, 1 2B: Cannon recorded three hits, including his 19th double of the season, to boost his average to .259.
  • Anthony Gallas: RF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 RBI: Gallas needed a game like this as the right-handed hitter and Cleveland native has struggled as of late, hitting just .184 in his last 10 games.
  • Justin Toole: 1B, Carolina: 2-for-4: Toole has bounced around the system this season, filling needs whenever necessary. He’s not a star, not even a prospect but his versatility has certainly been beneficial.
  • Joseph Wendle: 3B, NYP American League All-Stars: 1-for-2, 1 K: Wendle has been outstanding for Mahoning Valley this season, and his all-star selection was well deserved. The Tribe’s 2012 6th round draft has hit .323/.374/.500 for the Scrappers.
  • Charlie Valerio: C, NYP American League All-Stars: 0-for-2: Valerio was unable to muster a hit for the AL in his all-star appearance, but after posting an OPS of .827 for the Scrappers, we’ll give him a pass.
  • Luis DeJesus: SP, NYP American League All-Stars: 1 IP, 1 K: Of every Scrapper in the New York-Penn League All-Star game, perhaps DeJesus was most deserving. The right-hander has been phenomenal for the Scrappers this season as he has posted a 1.93 ERA in 10 starts and 56 innings.
  • Dylan Baker: SP, AZL Indians: 3 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K: 2012’s 5th round draft pick continues to pitch quite well in Arizona. The high strikeout totals remain, but three walks in under four innings is a tad too many.
  • Joshua Nervis: RP, AZL Indians: (W, 1-0), 3 1/3 IP, 1 H, 4 K: Nervis has been downright filthy in his 12 games with the AZL Indians. As a 38th round pick, Nervis can’t be considered too much of a prospect (you would think), and his success can probably be attributed to the fact that he is a 23-year-old playing against much younger competition. Still, the results have been outstanding as Nervis holds a 1.52 ERA and has struck out 34 batters in just 23 2/3 innings of work.
  • Tyler Booth: RF, AZL Indians: 2-for-5, 1 2B: With his two-hit performance, the 19-year-old Booth raised his average to .303 on the season.

Steve can be reached via email at orbaneks@gmail.com.

User Comments

Tony
August 15, 2012 - 2:48 PM EDT
Way, way too early to worry about Paulino defensively. He's an inexperienced 17-year old learning to play the in actual game action for the first time. There's a lot to take on. He has the athleticism, range, plus arm and quickness to remain at shortstop. There is improvement to be made with his fielding, but I would not put a lot of stock into his 20 errors at this time. As a point of reference, Lindor has 15 errors on the season and is a great defensive shortstop prospect. Now, of course, those have come over more games, but errors are not a great way to determine fielding prowess, especially in the lower levels of the minors.
MFAN
August 15, 2012 - 2:16 PM EDT
Regardless of which position he plays, he has to learn to field a ball. He is absolutely terrible in the infield.
Andy
August 15, 2012 - 11:47 AM EDT
How do Paulino's bat and arm profile for a corner OF? I understand he has plus power for a middle infielder, just wondering if a move to LF would be better than 3B since it seems most of his errors are of the fielding variety.
Tony
August 15, 2012 - 9:29 AM EDT
It's not even much of a debate. Paulino IS a much better offensive player than Lindor. But by the same token, Lindor IS a much better defensive player than Paulino. It will be interesting to see what happens with Paulino as he matures and grows into his body, but he definitely looks to be a guy that could shift to third base or even second base down the road. I think he will get at least another full season at shortstop though.
detdawg
August 15, 2012 - 9:09 AM EDT
Agree that there is a legitimate question as to who is the better offensive player, Lindor or Paulino. But, I think there is also a question as to whether Paulino is a future SS, or might be a better fit at 3B. There is no such question as it pertains to Lindor.
Shadow
August 15, 2012 - 8:57 AM EDT
My deepest apologies!!!! I just thought someone should show him some 'love'.!!!
Tony
August 15, 2012 - 8:50 AM EDT
No conspiracy (as far as I know lol). I didn't write the Aeros report, and I didn't do this ATF either. He got his just do in the game recap from last night.
Shadow
August 15, 2012 - 6:41 AM EDT
Tony, is there a conspiracy against Lawson, first you knock him a little in your weekly report on the Aeros and then you don't even give him credit for what he did last night. He accounted for all the Aeros offense going 2 for 2 with a run scored and an RBI in a 2-1 win. I know he is not considered a prospect but I guess a .336 average and an OBP of over .400 doesn't mean much to the Indians organization these days.

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