Around the Farm: May 19, 2013
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.
Jose Ramirez: SS, Akron Aeros: 4-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, SB:
Offensively, Jose Ramirez has really struggled this year, and have left a few questioning whether or not the Indians should have had him skip Carolina. There have been signs of late that Ramirez has begun to figure things out. Over the past four games, Ramirez has gone 8-for-18, with two runs scored and a triple. He’s also stolen three bases during that stretch, and five over his past seven games, and now has the Eastern League lead with 17 overall. It’s far too early to worry about Ramirez going forward, especially after a game like he had on Sunday afternoon. It’s a big step to go from Low A to Double A, so the next month will likely be one of a lot of growth.
LeVon Washington: LF, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 SB:
#Washtime has been struggling a bit of late, but the Indians’ prospect continues to showcase why the Rays and Indians drafted him so high in back-to-back season. Washington is explosive, and he proved it again on Sunday afternoon with his two hits, and his three stolen bases. The youngster is finally starting to figure out what it takes to excel at the professional level, and if he can continue to progress this year, he immediately becomes a top five-to-ten prospect. When he’s on, you can really see a bit of Kenny Lofton in him. I’m in no way saying that Washington is going to be Lofton, but I certainly see that explosiveness in him. If the 21-year-old stays healthy, he may have just reclaimed his top-prospect status.
Logan Vick: CF, Lake County: 3-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, SB:
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Logan Vick. As anyone here at IBI can tell you, I’ve been a big fan of Vick’s since they drafted him since they drafted him in the 11th round of last year’s draft. When the Indians drafted Vick, I had him as a poor man’s Tyler Naquin. He’s got good speed, a really nice arm, and he has the type of contact swing that could translate to okay power. What I really liked about Vick is that he provided a professional bat to go along with all that upside. In other words, he doesn’t strike out a whole lot, and he can draw a walk. Vick has been struggling, of late, going 1-for-23 over his past seven ballgames, but clearly brought the A-Game for my ATF. Now, say it with me: Let’s. Go. Vick!
- Ezequiel Carrera: RF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 SB: It’s good to be writing about Zeke again. Say what you want about him, but he’s a good Triple A player. Not everyone can be major league material, although he could catch on as a fourth somewhere. He’s 4-for-9, with three runs, two triples and three RBI over the last two days.
- Cord Phelps: LF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI: Phelps now has a six-game hit streak in which he’s gone 9-for-28, with five runs, four doubles, three homers and six RBI. It’s good to see him coming around after returning from Cleveland, where he struggled.
- Juan Diaz: SS, Columbus: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K: I love Diaz, but like Zeke, he’s a Triple A guy, and nothing more. Right now, he’s barely that, as his three hits only got his average up to .219.
- Matt Lawson: 2B, Columbus: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Lawson came into Sunday’s game in a free fall, going 1-for-his-last-16, before his extra-base hit barrage.
- Jeremy Hermida: DH, Columbus: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K: Hermida’s only hitting .243 on the year, but that’s extremely misleading. This kid just knows how to get on base. His slash is a crazy .243/.415/.456, for an .871 OPS. He has 40 K’s in 40 games, but he also has 39 walks as wall.
- Trevor Bauer: SP, Columbus: W (2-0), 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 1 HR: Not an especially good night for Bauer, who struggled finding the strike zone. He threw 101 pitches, with only 55 of them strikes. He was lucky to have a lot of run support tonight.
- Giovanni Soto: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 2 BB, 2 K: Soto returned to game action on May 15th, and has gone two total innings, giving up four walks, while striking out two. He’s clearly not found his control yet, but should improve as he pitches in some more games. He’s an interesting lefty going forward, as they are clearly grooming him to be another Rafael Perez. We’ll see if he has that kind of stuff.
- Fernando Nieve: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K: Nieve has given up only three earned runs and seven walks in his 28 1/3 IP this year in Columbus. He’s not a top arm in the system, but his 32 K’s over that same stretch lets you know that he could be a decent alternative should the Indians need an extra arm.
- Tyler Holt: CF, Akron: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Tyler Holt must be turning himself into a power hitter. Okay, I’m just kidding, but Holt’s been struggling a bit of late, so it was good to see a bit of power from the scrappy centerfielder. Don’t expect much of it from Holt, but hopefully it will spur him on a bit as we close in on summer.
- Carlos Moncrief: RF, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Moncrief cracked a homerun, continuing a string of good play on the weekends. He’ll have to be a bit better than that though, as he’s struggled this season offensively.
- Paulo Espino: SP, Akron: L (1-1), 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR: Espino has been up and down this year, which is more or less what I expect from the career minor leaguer. He has had moments in the past in which he’s been outstanding, but he just can’t sustain it enough to become a factor at the major league level. That has to be frustrating.
- Trey Haley: RP, Akron: BS (1), 1/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 K: Ouch. Haley has a ton of promise, but this just won’t get it done. He made 17 pitches, and couldn’t find the strike zone. This won’t be the norm for the fire-thrower, but it certainly wasn’t a step in the right direction.
- Jose Flores: Closer, Akron: 1 IP, 1 H: The Aeros closer hasn’t given up a run in his last nine appearances, over his last 11 innings. Time for me to give credit where credit is due. He’s having a great year, even if I believe he can’t sustain it.
- Tyler Naquin: CF, Carolina: 0-for-5, 2 K: Naquin saw his ten game hit streak end with this oh-fer performance.
- Francisco Lindor: SS, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Lindor is having himself one heck of a season, and he continued it on Sunday with his sixteenth multi-hit ballgame of the year. He’s now hitting .331 on the year. He’s also heading to the 200 AB threshold, where he really saw his numbers start to dip last year. Is he ready to take the next step? I think so.
- Jordan Smith: RF, Carolina: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI: Smith has been struggling over the past few games, but has still managed a four-game hit streak. This was his first multi-hit game since last Monday. He does have his average up and over .270 though, and will no doubt be pushing .300 before too long with the way he’s playing.
- Tony Wolters: C, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K: Let the Wolters experiment begin. The former middle infielder started his first game at catcher for Carolina, and he promptly hit a home run.
- Cody Anderson: SP, Carolina: W (5-2), 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 K: Anderson has been the best pitcher on the team, by far. This is his third outstanding start in a row, and has gone 18 1/3 innings, giving up 14 hits, three walks and two earned runs, while striking out 21 batters. He’s really starting to come into his own.
- Enosil Tejeda: RP, Carolina: 2/3 IP, 1 H: Tejeda has been outstanding. He had four shutout appearances last week, and followed it up with a clean 2/3 of an inning in support of Anderson this week.
- Jeff Johnson: Closer, Carolina: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Johnson isn’t getting many save opportunities, but his five saves were enough to give him a tie for the league heading into Sunday’s game action.
- Richard Stock: C, Lake County: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K: Stock was the Indians 23rd round pick in 2012 out of the University of Nebraska. I’ve got to think the Indians are intrigued with his bat. He hit .295 last year in 25 games with Mahoning Valley, and is hitting .333 in his five games with the Captains.
- Anthony Santander: RF, Lake County: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K: It was a clean sweep for Captains’ outfielders today, as Santander crushed his first home run of the 2013 season. This is a kid that has some upside, and if he begins to grow into his power, this kid could be special. There are a lot of moving parts right now though.
- Michael Peoples: SP, Lake County: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K: Peoples has made two straight decent starts over the past week, and while they weren’t perfect, they were interesting. He struck out ten, against only two walks. He’s an efficient pitcher, so it will be interesting to see where this goes.
- Robbie Aviles: RP, Lake County: W (1-0): 4 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K: Aviles made his first appearance for Lake County in what may or may not have been a piggy-backish short. He was pretty good as well, although the three walks and only two K’s give a bit of pause.
- Felix Sterling: RP, Lake County: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R/1 ER, 2 K: Sterling gave up a lead-off double, then gave up a one-out run on a wild pitch. He would give up a second run after a two-out double and another error, and then eventually one more run. He’s just so erratic.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm unsure of his ceiling though. Akron will be the telltale for me...
Remember how Lofton could just flick the bat at pitches to foul them off. He would just confound pitchers who didn't want him to get on base.
I guess the long and the short of it is that #WashTime has that same sort of approach...
get on base...and than wreak havoc...
Remember this about Lofton...he was a big-time college basketball player concurrent to his minor league career, and was playing on final four teams at Arizona.
The difference between the two is the maturity piece. Lofton clearly had it in bunches, as he was playing basketball, then baseball in college...then moved the baseball to the minors...and I believe got his degree as well.
When the Indians got him...he was extremely polished off the field in many ways, to go along with his Triple A .300 average and 40 or 50 stolen bases that went along with it.
If #WashTime can get it all put together, and it appears as though is off the field stuff is starting to come together a bit, then he has that same ability and nack that Lofton did.
Not suggesting that Levon Washington is Kenny Lofton but in his case I need to remind myself how young he is.