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Around the Farm: June 13, 2011

Around the Farm: June 13, 2011
June 14, 2011
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T.J. House
(photo: Kinston Indians)

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.

T.J. House: SP, Kinston: 7 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 6 K, W (4-6):

House was absolutely unhittable tonight.  He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, before Salem went against all that is right in baseball and allowed a bunt-hit to start the inning.  Seriously...a bunt hit in the middle of a no-hitter?  House pitched a complete game, one-hit shutout in his best start of the night. Regardless, I love it when a player makes me eat my own words.  House had pitched like utter garbage to start the season, but through it all, the talent was undeniably there.  House has an electric arm, but still is learning how to pitch.  While I'm not ready to say that the bit lefty is ready to dominate for the rest of his career, his last three starts have shown off his promise.  During that time, House has gone 21 total innings, giving up nine hits and four runs.  He's walked nine, and struck out 10.  He still struggles with control, and that will have to be fixed before he can excel in this organization, but if he continues to improve at this trajectory, it shouldn't take long for the puzzle pieces to fit.

Luis Valbuena: SS, Columbus: 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K:

I actually can't believe that I'm going to say this, but if the Cleveland Indians want a bounce in their offense, Luis Valbuena needs to get a look. He is simply on fire. While his 19-game in the can two nights ago, his late May/June offensive onslaught is not. Tonight, Valbuena added two homers and seven RBI to an already impressive list of offensive numbers. In his last ten games, Valbuena's line reads .428/.475/.588, with 10 runs, four doubles, three homers and 14 RBI. He's walked five times, and struck out only four times. While Valbuena seems to have burned some bridges with fans, and perhaps a bit with management over the past couple of years, it certainly hasn't stopped him from working on his game, and in particular, his offense. While Cord Phelps was the guy everyone was calling for, Valbuena has been quietly outperforming in over the last several weeks, and playing in a similar manner as the uber-utility Phelps. He's played second (1 game), third (8 games), short (30 games) and left field (10 games). In 148 chances overall, Valbuena has made only five errors for a .966 fielding percentage. Not too shabby for a guy that plays everywhere, and is hitting the ball a ton.

David Huff: SP, Columbus: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 10 K, 1 HR, W (5-2):

Do you think Huff wants back in the bigs?  After four straight bad starts, Huff has regained his major league form, going seven innings in two straight games.  His ERA over those two starts is a stellar 1.29, giving up only nine hits, two walks and striking out 13.  Huff had gotten lost in the shuffle with Jeanmar Gomez and Zach McAllister heading the rotation, but with his recent outings, he's got to be on the radar should the Indians need to call up a starter.  When Huff pitches like this, the depth of the organization really starts gaining legs.

  • Zeke Carrera: CF, Columbus: 2-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB (22): Carrera has been scuffling a bit, but he continues to put up numbers like tonight, with a triple, a stolen base and two walks.
  • Chad Huffman: RF, Columbus: 1-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB: Huffman has been hitting the ball well of late, and has the average up to .274.  Huffman is currently on a seven game hit streak, and has a line of .343/.425/.629 over his past ten games.
  • Casey Frawley: SS, Columbus: Game 1: 2-3, 1 R, 1 K: While Frawley hits with the consistency of poorly cooked oatmeal, he does have nights where things click.  Still, he's batting .218, and until he stops reminding us all of Mendoza, he won't be taken seriously.  That's too bad, because he does have some decent pop for a SS.
  • Abner Abreu: CF, Kinston: Game 2: 1-3, 2 SB (14): Listen, Abner Abreu used to be my favorite prospect in the system.  Sky seemed to be his limit.  No, he's not lived up to the promise, but it keeps looking like this kid is really starting to warm up.  What I love about this game is that he was trying to create the type of havoc that can steal games.  He didn't strike out either, which helps.
  • Anthony Gallas: RF, Kinston: Game 2: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Holy COW, Anthony Gallas has been promoted!  What does he do in his first game with Kinston?  He ropes a double, and drives in their only one.  Welcome to the Kinston offense.  This kid could be a game-changer for the K-Tribe. Now I wonder who the Indians are going to move with Gallas coming up?
  • Clayton Cook: SP, Kinston: Game 2: 6 2/3, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, L (6-4): Cook didn't catch any breaks, as the K-Tribe offense reverted back to their old selves.  This is Cook's fourth straight solid start, as he lowered his overall ERA to 3.12. 

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).

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.

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