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Indians Indians Archive Around the Farm: August 22
Written by Al Ciammiachella

Al Ciammiachella

RRonny Rodriguez 773x1024onny Rodriguez, SS-CAR: 2-4, HR (18), 2 RBI, BB, R, K, CS.

Rodriguez is in the somewhat strange situation of being a 20-year old shortstop who's "blocked" by a younger and more heralded prospect in his own organization. Because Francisco Lindor is so good, I think Rodriguez gets overlooked a little, but he's a fantastic player and a potential top-100 guy this offseason in his own right. Let's run down a quick checklist of what an executive is looking for in a SS prospect: plus arm (check), plus range (check), plus power (check), switch hitter (check), young for the level (check), plus approach (well...we're getting there). There's very little that Rodriguez isn't doing for the Mudcats right now, and with his 18th HR of the season yesterday he moved into 4th place in the Carolina League in HR. When you see him come up to the plate, power hitter is the last thing that comes to mind as he's listed generously at 6', 170lbs. But he has tremendous bat speed and generates a lot of leverage with his swing, and puts on a surprising show in batting practice that carries over to game situations. Most of his power is pull power, as he doesn't hit a lot of balls out to CF, but it's still extremely impressive. He's a work in progress at the plate and needs to get better at recognizing and laying off of breaking balls out of the zone, but his 7 walks in the month of August represent his largest total in that category for any month this season, so he's clearly progressing on that front. He's getting himself into more fastball counts, and he's hitting those fastballs over the fence. In addition to the bat, he's developing into an outstanding defender with a great arm, and you can see in the picture to the right a play from last night where he went deep into the hole to make a jump-throw to 1B to take a hit away from a Potomac hitter. Like I said earlier, he's a potential top-100 guy this offseason, and without a doubt one of the top 3 players currently in the Indians organization. It's a lot of fun to watch him play on both sides of the field, and it's hard to believe that he's just 20-years old and in his first full season of professional baseball. He's just going to get better, and that's a scary thought for the Eastern League next season.

Matt Packer, SP-COL: L (0-3), 5 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 5 BB. Packer's calling card is his elite command and control, so to see him walk 5 guys in a single outing is unusual, to say the least. He issued just 33 free passes in 169 1/3 IP all of last season. Put it down to rust from the elbow injury.

Jared Goedert, 3B-COL: 2-4, HR (12), 2B, BB, 2 R. Goedert is hitting .290/.341/.477 with 12 HR and 52 RBI in 74 games for the Clippers this season. I'd love to see him finally get a shot in Cleveland, not so much because I think he'll take the American League by storm, but more because he's busted his tail for a long time and deserves a shot in the show.

Preston Guilmet, RP-AKR: 1 2/3 IP, 2 K. Interesting that Guilmet came out of the bullpen in the 7th last night, while Shawn Armstrong was held back for the 9th and the save opportunity. A sign of things to come? Either way, Guilmet is having a great season, with a 2-2 record, 21 saves and a 2.27 ERA.

Shawn Armstrong, RP-AKR: S (3), IP, ER, H, BB. See above. Armstrong has been outstanding in his own right, first as a Carolina League All-Star with the Mudcats and now with a 1.06 Eastern League ERA with the Aeros.

Chun Chen, 1B-AKR: 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, K. Chen now has 29 doubles in just 97 AA games, and is hitting an impressive .322/.412/.443 for the Aeros this season. I'm not sure why so many of last year's HR turned into 2B, but the AVG and OBP are outstanding.

 Jesus Aguilar, DH-AKR: 2-4, HR (1), 2 RBI, 2 R. Aguilar popped his first AA HR last night, with many more to come. He's 4 for his last 8 with the HR, a double and 3 RBI as he's starting to adjust to AA pitching.

Thomas Neal, RF-AKR: 2-4, HR (12), RBI, R. Neal is hitting a robust .296/.537/.519 in his last 10 games, with 2 HR and 13 BB against just 3 strikeouts.

Mike Rayl, SP-CAR: 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 3 K, 5 BB. This line was actually a lot better than it looks, as Rayl was touched up for 3 ER in a shaky first inning, but bounced back to allow just one more run the rest of the way and left the game with a lead that the bullpen would eventually relenquish. After being on the ropes early, he really did a nice job giving the club 5 1/3 quality innings.

Fabio Martinez, RP-CAR: L (0-2), 2/3 IP, ER, H, K. Martinez was actually pretty good last night. He struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a bloop double down the line that was fair by about 2 inches. He got the next hitter to groundout and looked like he was going to be able to get out of the inning unscathed, but uncorked a wild pitch to allow the runner from 3rd to score on a walk-off WP. Martinez sat comfortably between 94-87 MPH with his fastball last night, and showcased an absolutely filthy slider that had opposing hitters backing out of the box only to see the pitch get called a strike. He's an extremely promising arm that Mudcats pitching coach Scott Erickson will get to work with for the rest of this season, and will almost certinally pitch stateside in Goodyear this offseason. He's got some issues to work through, but I'm really, really excited about this kid's potential.

Tony Wolters, 2B-CAR: 3-6, 2 2B, RBI, R. Wolters 2nd double of the night was in the 10th inning with one out, and he was "thrown out" trying to stretch it into a triple. I put "thrown out" in quotations, because he beat the throw and the tag to the base, but the umpire inexplicably called him out, nearly resulting in an ejection for manager Edwin Rodriguez who came roaring out of the dugout to protest the unjustice.

Anthony Gallas, RF-CAR: 2-4, HR (8), 2B, 2 RBI, R. Gallas blasted his 8th HR of the season last night, a no-doubt line drive deep over the leftcenter field fence that was one of the hardest hit balls I've seen this year (non-Giancarlo Stanton division). 

Dwight Childs, C-CAR: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB, K. Childs also threw out one of the two runners who tried to steal on him, and did a fantastic job behind the plate with several nice stops on pitches in the dirt, saving the Mudcats at least a run.

Mason Radeke, SP-LCC: W (7-6), 5 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 6 K, BB. Radeke has thrown 5 or more innings and allowed 3 or less ER in his last 5 starts. He's now struck out an impressive 107 K in 97 IP.

Jose Ramirez, 2B-LCC: 3-5, HR (2), 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R. Ramirez continues to have an impressive season for Lake County after starting 2012 in extended spring training, and has moved his line up to .345/.399/.445. The 19-year old switch hitter has good speed and is a solid defender at 2B as well, and adds to an impressive collection of up the middle talent that the Indians are stockpiling in the system. 

Jordan Smith, RF-LCC: 3-5, 2B, 2 R, K. Smith is hitting an impressive .350/.435/.475 in his last 10 games, and now has an .810 OPS on the season.

Jake Sisco, SP-MVS: 7 IP, ER,  6 H, 4 K, 2 BB. Sisco is just 1-4 for the Scrappers in 13 starts, but has a solid 4.13 ERA. You'd like to see him miss a few more bats (40 K in 69 2/3 IP), but overall he's been solid in his short-season debut.

Dorssys Paulino, SS-MVS: 1-4, 2B, R, K. Paulino's 2nd NYPL game, and his first XBH. He's 2-7 for the Scrappers so far, and could skip over the NYPL next year entirely and open right at Lake County as an 18-year old.

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