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Indians Indians Archive Around the Farm: April 4-7
Written by Al Ciammiachella

Al Ciammiachella

Lindor 12 700x800Baseball is back! You already knew that of course, but I’m referring to the full-season minor league affiliates throughout the organization, not just the big-league club. The Clippers, Aeros, Mudcats and Captains all opened up play last week, with Columbus going 2-2, Akron sitting at 1-3, Carolina sweeping their way to a 3-0 start and Lake County opening up by dropping 3 of their first 4. Team records are of course far less important than individual performances, so let’s kick off the inaugural 2013 issue of Around the Farm, which will highlight some of the more important and impressive performances of the prospects throughout the Indians organization from the opening series of the 2013 season.

Francisco Lindor, SS-CAR: 6-11, 3B, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 R, 2 SB, K.

It’s only fitting that the top prospect in the Indians organization is the featured player here on 2013’s initial installment of Around the Farm. After three games this year Lindor is hitting a robust .545/.583/.818 with a pair of stolen bases, an impressive Carolina League debut for the 19-year old switch-hitting shortstop. Lindor stuck around major league camp this spring for a lot longer than anyone predicted, mainly because he didn’t look at all overwhelmed at the plate or in the field at the major league level. That’s pretty remarkable for a 19-year old with one professional season under his belt. There’s no real hurry to get Lindor to Cleveland, but it’s beginning to look like he may force the issue. There’s no doubt that his glove will play, and he’s done a nice job answering lingering questions about his bat. He’s a top-10 prospect in all of baseball, and a guy who we could see in Cleveland sooner than anyone expected when he was drafted in June of 2011.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP-COL: 5 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 6 K, 3 BB. Encouraging first start for Matsuzaka, as he did a nice job missing bats with 6 Ks. The 3 walks are a little discouraging, as command and control are a big issue for the Japanese pitcher.

Cory Kluber, SP-COL: W (1-0), 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 K, BB. One of the contenders for the 5th spot in the Indians rotation, Kluber got the W in his first start of the season with the Clippers. He turns 27 on Wednesday, and will be one of the first options the Indians turn to if injury or ineffectiveness strikes one of the members of the Tribe rotation.

Joe Martinez, SP-COL: 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 K, BB. Martinez got the start for Columbus on opening day after Bauer was selected to make a spot start in Cleveland. He didn’t get the win, but the 30-year old righty scattered four baserunners over 5 2/3’s solid innings of work.

Fernando Nieve, SP-COL: L (0-1), 6 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, 7 K, 2 BB. Brandon Inge drilled a homer off of Nieve in the 1st inning of a 3-0 Clippers loss on Sunday.

Nick Hagadone, RP-COL: IP, 3 K, BB. Hagadone struck out the side in his only inning of work so far this season. The power lefty will almost certainly end up in the Indians bullpen at some point this season.

Matt Langwell, RP-COL: W (1-0), 2 2/3 IP, 2 K, 2 BB. Langwell made a pair of appearances for the Clippers, picking up the victory in the Clippers opening day win.

Scott Barnes, RP-COL: IP, ER, 2 H, BB. Tough inning for Barnes, who’s battling with Hagadone to be the first lefty called up to the Indians bullpen this year.

Matt Capps, RP-COL: 2 IP, 2 H, K, BB. The rehabbing Capps was working between 91-94 MPH with his fastball in spring training, and could contribute to the Indians bullpen at some point this season.

Gio Soto, RP-COL: IP, ER, H, K. The Indians finally decided to move Soto to the bullpen, a move I’ve been advocating for two years now. He reminds me a lot of former Indian Raffy Perez, and I think he could be a valuable lefthanded arm out of the pen.

Preston Guilmet, RP-COL: IP, R (0 ER), H. Guilmet continues his ascent up the Indians organizational ladder as the 25-year old reliever will spend the 2013 season at the AAA level.

Jeremy Hermida, OF-COL: 7-16, 2 HR (2), 2B, 3B, 6 RBI, BB, 4 R, 2 K. Formerly a top prospect with the Marlins, Hermida had a big opening series for the Clippers. He’s 29 now and no longer a prospect, but there’s a chance that he can fill a role as a 4th OF at the major league level.

Yan Gomes, C-COL: 4-12, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K. The Brazilian-born catcher came over in the Esmil Rodgers trade along with Mike Aviles. He hit .407/.467/.704 with a HR for the Indians this spring, and the slugging backstop will likely spend some time in Cleveland this season.

T.J. House, SP-AKR: 5 IP, ER, 5 H, 5 K. House was in line for a victory in his season debut, but the Aeros bullpen couldn’t hold onto the lead. More of a command and control guy than an overpowering strikeout artist, seeing him record 5 punchouts in as many innings of work is extremely encouraging.

Danny Salazar, SP-AKR: L (0-1), 5 IP, ER, 2 H, 5 K, 2 BB. Salazar was the hard-luck loser for the Aeros on opening day, allowing just one earned run on two hits with 5 strikeouts. Salazar is one of the top pitching prospects in the organization, and if he can stay healthy and effective in his first full season after Tommy John surgery it would be huge for the organization.

Cole Cook 6 513x800Cole Cook, RP-AKR: W (1-0), 4 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 K, 3 BB. Cook made two appearances out of the Akron bullpen, picking up the W in 2 1/3 innings of work yesterday. He’s a versatile guy who can start or play the swingman role out of the bullpen, and having a guy who can go multiple innings over more than one appearance a week is a valuable piece of a bullpen.

Kyle Landis, RP-AKR: 2 2/3 IP, H, 3 K, BB. Landis was called on twice in the Aeros opening series this season, and picked up right where he left off in 2012.

Bryce Stowell, RP-AKR: 2/3 IP, 2 K, BB. Stowell faced three hitters, and struck out two of them. He’s moved his arm slot lower this year to both keep his shoulder healthy and add a little more movement to his fastball, and the early returns on the change are positive.

Shawn Armstrong, RP-AKR: IP, H, K. One of the top relief prospects in the system, Armstrong struck out an impressive 78 hitters in 67 2/3 innings of work last year.

Jose Flores, RP-AKR: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K. The 23-year old reliever nailed down 15 saves for the Mudcats last season, and is pitching in the backend of the Aeros bullpen this year.

Jose Ramirez, 2B-AKR: 8-16, RBI, BB, 4 R, K, CS. The Indians decided to get aggressive with Ramirez, skipping the 20-year old infielder over high-A Carolina. He responded by hitting an even .500 in his first four games at AA, with 8 singles in 16 at bats.

Jesus Aguilar, 1B-AKR: 5-16, HR (1), 2B, 7 RBI, 3 R, 3 K. After going hitless in the Aeros opener, Aguilar is 5 for his last 12 with a home run and 7 runs driven in (5 RBI yesterday).

Chun Chen, 1B-AKR: 3-10, 2B, RBI, 4 BB, 5 R, SB, 4 K. Chen struck out three times in the Aeros opener but bounced back to collect three hits in the last two games, including a double. It will be interesting to see if Chen’s power can rebound after he hit just 5 HR in 2012.

Cody Anderson, SP-CAR: 6 IP, ER, 4 H, 4 K. Anderson was a college reliever who is transitioning to the starting role. The 6’4”, 220lb righthander went 4-7 in his 23 starts last year, posting a 3.20 ERA with 72 K in 98 1/3 innings of work with the Captains.

Jacob Lee, SP-CAR: 6 IP, ER, 2 H, 7 K, BB. The Indians 9th round pick in 2012, Lee turned in a dominating effort in his first start of the season. He’s a little old for the level at 23, but could advance quickly if he keeps pitching like this.

Grant Sides, RP-CAR: W (1-0), 2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 K. Sides blew a save but managed to snake a win thanks to the Mudcat offense. He did strike out a pair in his two innings of work, and should be much better moving forward.

Owen Dew, RP-CAR: IP, 2 K, BB. Dew missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and it’s great to see him finding success back on the mound.

J.D. Reichenbach, RP-CAR: IP, 2 K. Great outing for the Elon University product who the Indians signed as an NDFA in 2010.

Tyler Naquin, CF-CAR: 4-11, HR (1), 2B, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 K. Small sample size and all, but the Indians 2012 first round draft pick sure looked impressive during the Mudcats opening series. He looks to be able to stick in CF defensively, and his bat should profile nicely at the top of a batting order.

Jerrud Sabourin, 1B-CAR: 6-10, 2B, 3 BB, 4 R, K. The former Indiana Hoosier came flying out of the gate this year after hitting .297/.369/.379 for the Captains in 2012.

Joseph Wendle, 2B-CAR: 3-11, HR (1), 4 RBI, 3 R, 3 K. Wendle went 0-4 in the Mudcats opener, then bounced back with a 3-7 performance over the final two games of the opening series.

Luis DeJesus, SP-LCC: 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 4 K, BB. DeJesus was the Captains opening day starter, and had a bit of a rocky debut. He was the Indians 11th round pick in 2011, and is an intriguing arm who still needs to add some size and strength on his frame.

Mitch Brown, SP-LCC: L (0-1), 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, K, BB. Rough Midwest League debut for the Indians 2nd round pick in last year’s draft, as Brown didn’t even make it out of the first inning in his start on Saturday.

Felix Sterling, RP-LCC: SV (1), 2 2/3 IP, ER, 3 H, 5 K. Sterling is being transitioned to the bullpen, and is handling the move well so far. He pitched a clean inning in the season opener to nail down the save, and more importantly didn’t walk anyone in his 2 2/3 innings of work.

Michael Peoples, RP-LCC: 3 IP, R (0 ER), 2 H, 5 K, BB. Outstanding Midwest League debut for Peoples, who posted a 2.28 ERA in 23 2/3 innings with the Scrappers in 2012.

Dorssys Paulino, SS-LCC: 3-16, BB, SB, 6 K. Some good things (3 hits!) some bad things (6 K) for the consensus #3 prospect in the Indians organization during his initial series with the Captains.

Luigi Rodriguez, CF-LCC: 5-16, RBI, 3 R, 5 K. It’s a bit of a surprise to see Rodriguez repeating the Midwest League, and he’s going to do his best to show the Indians that he’s ready for the next level. At some point in 2013, expect to see Rodriguez slide up to Carolina and Tyler Naquin move up to Akron.

Eric Haase, C-LCC: 4-15, 3B, RBI, BB, 3 R, CS, 3 K. A personal favorite of mine, Haase had a solid Midwest League debut for the Captains. He’s definitely a guy to keep an eye on in the system this year. 

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