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Around the Farm: August 22, 2012

Around the Farm: August 22, 2012
August 23, 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.

Danny Salazar: SP, Akron Aeros: W (3-0), 5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 4 K:

Salazar nearly hit the 100 pitch barrier last night, as the Indians have completely taken the bubble-wrap off of their starter. He has been outstanding after a sluggish first start in Akron. Over his past three appearances, Salazar has gone 17 1/3 innings, giving up only 13 hits, three runs (two earned) and five walks, while striking out 14. He may be the one starter from Akron up that has the potential to be more than just a middling starter. The key will be his health, and the Indians have actually handled him appropriately. Next season will be a big one for the 22-year old, as he likely starts in Akron, looking for a quick promotion to Columbus. While I doubt the Indians rush him to Cleveland, if he puts together another season like this one, they may not have a choice.

Chun-Hsiu Chen: 1B, Akron Aeros: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B:

Chen has been hot since returning after missing a week of baseball, going 8-for-24, with four runs, two doubles, a homer and three RBI during the stretch. While his two doubles gave him 29 on the season, which is eighth in the league (impressive, considering he’s played about 30 less games than all the players above him), he hasn’t hit one since August 3rd, and only has three since July 8th because of injury issues. Chen has showcased gap power this season, but has lost his home run swing, and can now be considered a legitimate injury risk after missing over a month in two straight seasons. There’s potential there, but his days as a top prospect are long gone, especially at the first base position.

  • Russ Canzler: DH, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 K: Canzler’s bat has been heating up a bit over the past couple of weeks. Wednesday night’s two-hit game extended a four-game hit streak, and he now has hits in eight of his last nine games. At the end of the day though, Canzler is simply a power-hitting minor leaguer. He has his hot streaks, and has moderate worth as a back-up option at the major league level.
  • Jared Goedert: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB: On July 29th, Jared Goedert was hitting .326, and in the midst of one of the hottest stretches of baseball in the Indians system this year. Since then, he’s hitting .153 over those last 16 ballgames, which is the second worse stretch in the league, and he’s seen his average plummet to .290.
  • Matt Packer: SP, Columbus, L (0-3), 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 5 BB, 2 K: Packer’s been okay, since returning to Columbus. In his four starts, he’s been hit hard twice, and been pretty good the other two times, but nothing spectacular. His ERA is 5.34, and he’s getting hit hard, with 31 hits in his 22 1/3 innings. He’s also walked 10 against only 14 K’s, so there’s really nothing to scream about after his hot start from the rookie league through Akron.
  • Tyler Sturdevant: RP, Columbus: 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HR: It looked like Sturdevant had gotten on track with six straight appearances without giving up a run before Wednesday’s implosion. His Triple A ERA is sitting at 5.87.
  • Loek Van Mil: RP, Columbus: 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB: Perhaps reality is setting in for Van Mil since his promotion to the Clippers. After a lockdown first appearance, he’s given up three runs in his two subsequent appearances, giving up three runs in 2 2/3 innings. Of course, it’s only three games, so it’s not like a trend has been set. You would like to see a better K/BB ratio of 1/3 though.
  • Bryan Price: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K: After the performance of the other pitchers, Price looked like a future Cy Young award winner. Unfortunately, in his ten games at Triple A, Price has hardly been stellar, giving up 13 earned over 15 innings pitched. His mop-up duty last night “lowered” his ERA to 7.80 in Columbus.
  • Thomas Neal: LF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Neal continued his fantastic Double A season with his 12th homer of the season. He had been slumping a bit with a stick over the past four games, going 0-for-6, but had managed four walks during that stretch, to keep his OBP over .400 on the season.
  • Jesus Aguilar: DH, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Steve Orbanek looked into his crystal ball with his ATF last night and predicted that Aguilar’s first home run was on tap soon. Sure enough, the struggling power hitter racked it up the very next day. He’s now 4-for-8 in his last two games, with three runs, a double, a homer, three RBI and on K. Things are heating up indeed.
  • Ryan Rohlinger: 3B, Akron: 4-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI: Rohlinger has to be sweating a bit with a couple of middle infielders getting looks at a potential playoff call-up in Carolina. If this is his response, he’ll likely buy himself some more time in Akron…but probably not.
  • Davis Stoneburner: 2B, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 2B: Stoneburner, hitting .196, is another kid sweating a bit as the Aeros head towards the playoffs.
  • Preston Guilmet: RP, Akron: 1 2/3 IP, 2 K: Guilmet continued another rock-solid stretch of seven games without giving up much of anything: four hits, 0 runs, 1 BB and 5 K’s. Interestingly enough though, Guilmet was the eighth inning guy, and not the ninth inning guy.
  • Shawn Armstrong: RP, Akron: S (3), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB: Armstrong got the save, and his ERA is a stellar 1.06, but there are warning signs here. He’s walked 12 batters in 17 innings pitched, and while the other numbers are solid, he just puts too many runners on base. He has to correct this to make the next steps in the system.
  • Tony Wolters: 2B, Carolina: 3-for-6, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI: Wolters has really been struggling of late, going 4-for-26 over his eight games heading into Wednesday night’s ballgame. Like his season though, he isn’t down for long. Perhaps this is a sign of a strong finish to an outstanding year at High A.
  • Anthony Gallas: RF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Gallas had all but disappeared offensively over the past month or so, hitting .173 in August. He was 7-for-35 over his previous nine games.
  • Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Rodriguez belted his 18th homer of the season, and should be saying a long goodbye to the South before the year’s out. I can only imagine how many home runs he would have hit had the walk from the gaps to center in Carolina not been 20 feet high. I’ve personally seen three balls off the wall that would hae been homers, and I’ve not made every ball game this year. His monster power season should have been bigger. This kid is a top five prospect, and is spearheading a Carolina movement towards the big show.
  • Alex Monsalve: DH, Carolina: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB: While Monsalve has struggled so far in his month at High A, he’ll get a full season to prove himself next year, as a 21-year-old. Monsalve has a boatload of potential, and while he’s not a top 20 prospect now, if he starts filling into that potential, he could really be a major sleeper pick in the future.
  • Kyle Blair: RP, Carolina: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K: Blair pitched his first solid game in what seems like forever. It hasn’t been, but his stats are peppered with HUGE implosions, so it’s actually interesting to see these shutout appearances in the middle of it all. Is it a short memory?...or just luck? Hard to say at this point.
  • Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI: Ramirez was clearly fired up after getting hit (not beaned…right Kenneth…;) ) in the leg a couple of nights ago, then following that up with an 0-fer, which is rarity this season. So, Ramirez promptly blasted his second homer of the year, and had another three hits. Ho-hum…another day at the office.
  • Jordan Smith: DH, Lake County: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 K: This team has some crazy offense right now, and while Ramirez is leading the team in hitting, it’s hard to imagine that anyone has a better bat than Smith. He’s not a 30-homer guy, because if he was, he’d be the #1 prospect in the system. As it stands, the 6’4” outfielder brings an advanced bat that is going to translate at every level. If the power comes, he has star potential…and I just think it will. I can’t wait to solidify that assessment next year, right here in Carolina.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB: The Sabour-tooth Tiger brigade chalked up two more tally-marks last night, as Sabourin continued his break-out season. Seriously, was he on anyone’s radar heading into this season? Just a great story overall in the Indians’ system.
  • Mason Radeke: SP, Lake County: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K: Radeke has been solid over his past six starts, going 32 innings and giving up only 21 hits and 12 runs, while walking only eight, with 36 K’s. It’s not break-out stuff, but boy, it’s really good stuf, isn’t it.
  • Joshua Nervis: RP, Lake County: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K: Nervis made his first appearance in Lake County, and was simply outstanding, giving four innings of dominating baseball, following up a 13 game stint in the Arizona Rookie League, in which he gave up only four runs, 14 hits and eight walks in 23 2/3 innings, while striking out 34. Hmmmm…..
  • Charlie Valerio: DH, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 2 2B, 1 K: Valerio continued his hot season with the only multiple-hit effort on a Scrappers’ team that just can’t buy a hit right now. They had six altogether, and barely have 10 over their past three ballgames.
  • Jake Sisco: SP, Mahoning Valley: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K: Sisco has put together two outings in a row that should have people buzzing a bit, as the top ten prospect solidified his standing as a top five pitcher in the system. He’s gone fourteen total innings in the two games, giving up ten hits, three earned runs, a homer and two walks, while striking out six total.

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

Phil
August 24, 2012 - 5:24 AM EDT
According to Baseball Prospectus, Ronny Rodriguez never played an organized baseball game until last year. If true, who knows how high his potential truly is.....
Kenneth
August 23, 2012 - 3:06 PM EDT
Thome types don't come along very often. I guess I'd settle for Sean Casey.
Tony
August 23, 2012 - 2:50 PM EDT
Sisco has been low 90s, but I will see him on Monday and get a more up to date reading on his velocity. As for Jordan Smith, I don't see that kind of power like Thome had. Just built completely differently and doesn't have the bat speed and strength Thome had as well. Smith may be more of a Sean Casey type than he is a Thome type.
Kenneth
August 23, 2012 - 12:26 PM EDT
Thanks for the shout-out, Jim.

I agree that Jordan Smith probably is not a 30-homer guy, but in 1992, Jim Thome hit 3 home runs in 187 plate appearances, not that much better than Smith's 6 home runs in 459 plate appearances exactly 20 years later. It's true that Thome was playing AA-AAA at age 21, whereas Smith is in low A. Still, . . .
Richard
August 23, 2012 - 10:15 AM EDT
Congrats to Jesus on his 1st AA HR. Hope he is part of the winter development program so he gets on the fast track.
Matt
August 23, 2012 - 9:58 AM EDT
Jim,

Excellent job as always. Sisco pitched well last night but I am a little concerned about his low strikeout total. Have you heard any reports on his velocity?
Thanks,
Matt

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