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.
Jerrud Sabourin (1B, Carolina Mudcats): 4-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB. Anyone who knows me, knows that one of my flaws is I love a good underdog story. Well, let’s be honest, there is arguably no bigger underdog in the entire Indians system than the undrafted Sabourin. Sabourin still has a long road ahead of him if he ever even hopes to get a cup of coffee in the Major Leagues, but he’s doing all the right things so far as he’s hit .313/.393/.411 in 58 games with the Mudcats this season. He’s also shown great discipline as he’s walked 29 times while also only striking out 29 times. He is a 23-year-old playing at the High-A level, but he’s proven to be an overachiever. Now let’s just hope that he continues to overachieve all the way to Cleveland.
Cord Phelps (2B, Columbus Clippers): 2-for-4, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K. Call me crazy, but I still believe Phelps can be a successful utility man in the Major Leagues. He got off to an atrocious start this year in Triple-A (.167 average on May 3), but he has since rectified the situation and boasts a .275/.340/.468 line in 58 games. He’s scuffled in previous callups and has been unable to put up consistent at-bats, but he also has never really been called up at a time when he was really swinging the bat well. Phelps is doing just that now as he has gone 9-for-21 in his last five games. There may not necessarily be an opportune time to call him up, but if he continues to hit like this, let’s hope the Indians can find a way to bring him into the fold. Otherwise, he might as well look at this season like it’s an audition for other clubs.
Ronny Rodriguez (2B, Akron Aeros): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Ladies and gentlemen, Ronny Rodriguez has arrived. To be blunt, it’s simply remarkable to see the type of progress that Rodriguez has made since his early season struggles. On just May 18, which was just over a month ago, Rodriguez was hitting a mere .218. However, the right-handed hitting infielder has gone on a tear since then, and his average now sits at .293. Rodriguez is never going to be a perfect player, especially because of his unwillingness to take a walk, but with each day and performance that passes, it seems easy to conclude that Rodriguez will one day make the Major Leagues. His ceiling as Major Leaguer may still be undecided, but he’s definitely well on his way.
- Juan Diaz (SS, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K. Diaz has struggled offensively this year, but he did launch his fifth home run Saturday. Regardless, his average still sits at .213 in 60 games.
- Tim Fedroff (CF, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K. Like Phelps, Fedroff is another player who continues to pull himself out of an early-season slump. He recorded a hit in a fifth straight game Saturday and his average now sits at .270.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka (SP, Columbus): (W, 1-3), 5.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K. This was arguably Matsuzaka’s best start with the Clippers this year as he earned his first win and allowed just one run while pitching into the sixth inning. Unfortunately for Matsuzaka, it may ultimately end up being a moot point as it seems unlikely that he’ll be pitching for the Indians anytime soon.
- Jose Ramirez (SS, Akron): 2-for-6, 1 R, 1 3B. Ramirez recorded two hits in a ballgame for the second straight night, and he also managed to notch his fourth triple of the 2013 season. However, after Saturday’s performance, his average still sits at .254, which leaves a bit to be desired but is certainly understandable considering Ramirez age and experience.
- Jesus Aguilar (1B, Akron): 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB. It would not be a Jesus Aguilar night at the plate if he were unable to record an RBI. With Saturday’s double, Aguilar drove in his 57th RBI of the season, and his average now sits at .264.
- Carlos Moncrief (RF, Akron): 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB. Moncrief stayed hot on Saturday and recorded his 13thdouble while also drawing his 30th and 31st walks of the season.
- Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI. Urshela has been cold as of late as he had gone just 5-for-23 in his last five games entering Saturday’s contest. He did manage to hit his second triple of the season and drove in two runs though, so perhaps that could help him break out of his slump.
- Toru Murata (SP, Akron): 7 IP, 5 H, 2 K. Murata may be nothing more than organizational depth, but he’s really been effective in his last four starts as he’s allowed a total of just four earned runs in 25 innings of work. Unfortunately, his strong effort would end up being a moot point after Rob Bryson allowed five earned runs in extra innings.
- Francisco Lindor (SS, Carolina): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B. With a three-hit night, Lindor moved his average back above the .300 mark (.305), and he also recorded his fifth triple of the season. This also marked the sixth straight game that the switch-hitting shortstop was able to record a hit.
- Joey Wendle (2B, Carolina): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Wendle recorded his sixth home run of the 2013 season, and he continues to impress so far. Let’s all hope that he continues to develop and cement himself as the player that we hoped Cord Phelps would develop into.
- Tyler Naquin (CF, Carolina): 1-for-5, 1 R, 2 K. Naquin was only able to muster one hit, but it’s still respectable, especially considering that he had gone 8-for-13 in his previous three games.
- Jordan Smith (RF, Carolina): 0-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 K. Smith’s mini hot streak came to an end after he had gone 7-for-11 across a three-game span before Saturday’s contest. Smith was still able to drive in his 25th RBI despite the hitless night.
- Erik Gonzalez (3B, Lake County Captains): 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Gonzalez continued his recent hot streak at the plate on Saturday. He’s now gone 7-for-17 with three walks in his last four games played.
- Anthony Santander (RF, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI. Santander homered for the second time in as many nights for Lake County, and he now has four on the season. However, his strong start seems to be a thing of the past as his line now sits at .241/.308/.386 in 40 games.
- Eric Haase (C, Lake County): 1-for-4, 3 K. Aside from Gonzalez and Santander, Haase was the only other Captain to record a hit on Saturday.
- Dorssys Paulino (SS, Lake County): 0-for-4, 1 R. Paulino had been hot as of late as he entered Saturday’s contest after going for 7-for-13 in his last 13 games. Unfortunately Paulino, like the rest of the Lake County offense, struggled mightily and was unable to record a hit.
- Tyler Booth (CF, Mahoning Valley Scrappers): 1-for-3, 1 K. Booth recorded his first hit of the season on Saturday, and he’s now gone 1-for-19 (.053) in five games.
- Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-4, 1 K. Rodriguez has not been overly impressive since being demoted from Lake County to Mahoning Valley, but the one positive is that he has recorded a hit in four of the six games he’s played. Also, let’s remind ourselves to temper expectations as he is only 19 years old.
- Martin Cervenka (C, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-4, 1 K. Like Rodriguez, Cervenka started the 2013 season with Lake County before being reassigned to Mahoning Valley. He recorded his third hit in four games on Saturday.
- Juan Romero (RF, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K. Romero’s solo shot was basically the only offense that the Scrappers could muster on Saturday as it accounted for the team’s only run. Romero has been impressive in his last three games played as he’s gone 4-for-12 with three RBI across that span.
- Luis Lugo (SP, Mahoning Valley): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R/0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The left-hander continued his impressive start to the season as he allowed no earned runs across five innings of work. For the season, Lugo has now allowed just one earned run in 10 innings.
- Ordomar Valdez (2B, AZL Indians): 1-for-3, 1 2B. There unfortunately was not much of anything too exciting for the AZL Indians in the early going on Saturday as Valdez’s double marked one of just four hits that the entire team was able to record for the evening. Of course, the excitement level in the game would change come the ninth inning…
- Francisco Mejia (C, AZL Indians): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI. Mejia’s double proved to be the best kind that a player can have as it came at the absolute perfect time. The AZL Indians entered the bottom of the ninth inning down 3-0 and had only one hit on the evening. However, the team managed to rally, and Mejia’s double was the exclamation point on the rally as it was a bases-clearing walk-off double, which clinched a 4-3 win for the Indians.
- Juan Santana (SP, AZL Indians): 5 IP, 1 H, 2 R/ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 3 K. Aside from the team’s ninth inning comeback, Santana did have a nice starting performance for the Indians as he allowed only one hit across five innings. The unfortunate thing is that the one hit he allowed happened to be a two-run home run.