Around the Farm: August 24, 2012

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.

Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County Captains: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB:

Wow. In Thursday’s Around the Farm, my IPI colleague Jim Pete made a prediction that he believes power would come around for Smith. Now, one game is hardly enough to validate that prediction, but it is a very nice starting point. Smith launched his 7th and 8th home run Friday. But what makes the shots even more impressive is the circumstances that they came under. With the Captains trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Smith hit a two-run shot to give Lake County the lead. For an encore, Smith then hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. It still may be difficult to label the young left-handed hitter a future star or even legitimate prospect, but he could be on his way. He has now hit .315 to go along with eight home runs and 73 RBI in 107 games. His future could very well be a bright one.

Jacob Lee: SP, Mahoning Valley Scrappers: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K:

Lee was not as good as we’ve seen him this year, but he was still very good Friday and got himself out of plenty of jams. The Indians’ 2012 9th round pick has been outstanding for the Scrappers. On Friday, he only went three innings, which was likely to protect his innings count as he had pitched a lot for Arkansas State this year. At this point, it seems as if he has totally overwhelmed the competition in the New York-Penn League. He’s averaging over 10 strikeouts per nine innings, and his ERA sits at 2.23. It’s a shame the minor league season is coming to a close because he certainly would be a candidate for a much-deserved promotion.

  • Tim Fedroff: LF, Columbus Clippers: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB: Another strong performance from Fedroff. Yet, it probably means very little because the front office decided to recall Matt LaPorta, who has not even been hitting well in Columbus as of late. Hard to say what more Fedroff can do to warrant a promotion.
  • Jared Goedert: DH, Columbus: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Goedert remains hot and hits his second home run in three days. Like Fedroff, a Goedert call-up is long overdue. The right-handed hitter has now hit 18 home runs between Akron and Columbus this year and driven in 72 runs.
  • Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K: Phelps continues to be hot, hitting .390 in his last 10 games. He could be another potential September promotion for the Indians.
  • Jeanmar Gomez: SP, Columbus: (L, 6-5), 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 3 K: What went wrong here? It seems like it was just yesterday that Gomez was one of the brightest, young arms in the Tribe’s system. This now marks three straight starts with Columbus that Gomez has allowed four or more earned runs. Not good.
  • Scott Barnes: RP, Columbus: 2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 6 K: Barnes gave up a decent amount of hits and runs in his performance, but the high strikeout totals are intriguing. With his deceptive delivery, it’s evident that hitters struggle to see his stuff at times. Given the status of pitching for the big league club, it will be interesting to see how Barnes performs once he is again stretched out as a starter.
  • Frank Herrmann: RP, Columbus: 1 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K: Herrmann may not take demotions well. On the same day the Tribe sent him back to Columbus, the right-hander was hit pretty hard out there. His ERA with the Clippers now stands at 5.07.
  • Thomas Neal: RF, Akron Aeros: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K: On a day when the Indians made some noise with a few promotions within their system, Neal, perhaps the player most deserving of a promotion, remained an Aero. Though with the playoffs ahead, it makes sense and Neal remained hot as ever by collecting two hits Friday to raise his average to .312.
  • Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: The Aeros scored just one run Friday, and it came off the bat of Aguilar. After initially struggling since his promotion to Akron, Aguilar has now hit two home runs in his last three games. The big first baseman also saved the Aeros from being shutout as his solo shot came with two outs in the ninth inning. In 10 games, Aguilar also now has eight RBI.
  • Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 K: Bryson got into some trouble as he did allow two hits in the inning, but he also recorded two strikeouts. Bryson has been very consistent this season with a 2.79 ERA overall and a 3.12 ERA in his last 10 outings.
  • Chun-Hsiu Chen: DH, Akron: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K: You know you’re having a pretty good season when you can have an 0-fer, but your average still sits at .319. Without a true position, Chen’s Major League future is still very much a question mark, but given his performance this year, he should be on pace to start next season at Columbus, which should give us all a better idea of whether he has a Major League future.
  • Will Roberts: SP, Carolina Mudcats: (L, 4-9), 4 IP, 11 H, 8 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K: Roberts has been so up-and-down this season. He seems to follow every good start with a poor performance. After allowing just one run in six innings his last start, Roberts got rocked for 11 hits and eight runs Friday to put his season ERA at 5.91.
  • Jeff Johnson: RP, Carolina: 3 IP, 1 H, 2 K: For as bad as Roberts Friday, Johnson was the exact opposite as the right-hander pitched outstanding. His season ERA now sits at 3.21.
  • Tyler Cannon: DH, Carolina: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 K: Cannon provided all of the Mudcats’ offense Friday as the right-handed hitter drove in both the team’s runs to bring his season total to 26.
  • Justin Toole: 1B, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: The right-handed hitting Toole notched two hits Friday, including a double, which was one of just two Mudcat extra-base hits.
  • Tony Wolters: SS, Carolina: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K: After really surging for awhile, Wolters has started to cool down. The young shortstop has hit just .200 in his last 10 games.
  • Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 1-for-3, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K: Games like this really go to show why Lindor is such a top prospect. He consistently got on base all night and drew two more walks to bring his total to 59 against just 70 strikeouts. At just 18 years of age, that kind of plate discipline is very impressive.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-4: Mr. Consistency collected two more hits Friday and his average sits at .305. Much like Smith, Sabourin is definitely a candidate to start next season at Carolina.
  • Enosil Tejada: RP, Lake County: (W, 3-1), 1 IP: Another appearance. Another perfect performance from Tejada. Since allowing three runs in his first appearance with the Captains, Tejada has now gone 14 straight appearances without allowing a run.
  • Joe Sever: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K: Sever did a little bit of everything Friday. It was a much needed performance too as the right-handed hitter is batting just .225 in his last 10 games. His season average is still strong at .283.
  • Richard Stock: C, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-5, 1 K: Stock’s been outstanding for the Scrappers, batting .295. If only he could improve his plate discipline a bit more as the left-hander hitter has walked just twice and struck out 15 times in 17 games.
  • Hunter Jones: LF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, SB: Jones collected two hits Friday and even made some noise on the base paths, stealing his second base of the year.
  • Geoffrey Davenport: RP, Mahoning Valley: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K: The left-handed Davenport has now allowed just two earned runs in his last 11 1/3 innings pitched. Hard to say what the former 43rd round pick is as a prospect, but as a lefty, he’ll certainly get opportunities to move up the system.
  • Dillon Howard: SP, AZL Indians: (L, 1-7), 2 1/3 IP, 8 H, 9 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K: This is a hard stat line to digest. So much promise surrounded the Indians’ 2011 2nd round pick going into the season, yet he has sadly been a colossal disappointment. His ERA now sits at 7.38. He’s young, so there’s still plenty of time for the right-hander to recover his prospect shine, but there’s no doubt that it has dimmed quite a bit.
  • Nelson Rodriguez: 1B, AZL Indians: 2-for-3, 2 BB: I love this kind of game from the big hulking Rodriguez. We all know about his power potential, but the fact that he recorded two singles hopefully shows that he is not always trying to swing for the fences. Plus, the two walks hopefully indicate that he’s willing to take a free pass if he doesn’t find a pitch to his liking. The 18-year old has now walked 24 times as opposed to 37 strikeouts this season with the AZL Indians, which is not too bad considering his age.
  • Jairo Kelly: 2B, AZL Indians: 2-for-5, 2 K: Kelly really struggled in his time with the Scrappers this season. Though it’s a limited sample size, in his three games with the AZL Indians, the switch-hitter has gone 3-for-10.
  • Juan Herrera: SS, AZL Indians: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: The 19-year-old Herrera put together a nearly flawless performance at the plate Friday and collected his ninth double.

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