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Indians Indians Archive Around the Farm: May 14
Written by Al Ciammiachella

Al Ciammiachella

Lindor 12 700x800Going around the farm today, we take a look at the top prospect in the organization in Francisco Lindor, as well as the best mustache in the organization in Eric Berger. I'll tell you what Matt LaPorta's 10th HR of the season means, as well as the fastest player in the system, a catcher-turned-1B, a super-utilityman and more.

Francisco Lindor, SS-LCC: 2-4, HR (5), 5 RBI, R.

I mean...this kid just keeps getting better. In 32 games for the Captains, Lindor is now hitting .312/.358/.475 with 4 HR, 5 2B, 3 3B, 17 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Just to give you a little perspective on those numbers, the 4 HR ties him for 11th in the Midwest League, his .833 OPS is 12th, he's 6th in AVG and tied for 8th in steals. All this despite not being old enough to buy a beer until November...November 2014, that is. This is Lindor's first real taste of professional baseball, and he's not only not overwhelmed, he's excelling. I'm running out of good things to say about this kid, and we haven't even talked about his defense yet. His glove is actually his best tool, grading out at a future 70 at SS, which basically means he's projected to be a gold glove shortstop someday in the show. There are maybe two other shortstops in all of minor league baseball that can say that. When the Indians drafted Lindor, I advised patience, suggesting he'd probably be a level at a time guy which would still project him to the big league roster as a 22 or 23-year old. If anything, Lindor is actually accelerating his timeline, as he's shown that the low-A Midwest League isn't challenging him enough. The Indians farm system is not in a good state right now, but they do have one elite prospect that will no doubt be a top-20 guy in all of baseball next offseason, if not top-10. Do yourself a favor; if you live in the Cleveland area, get out and see this kid while you can. Sooner or later, he's going to get bumped up to high-A Carolina.

Eric Berger, SP-COL: W (1-1), 6 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 5 H, 4 K, BB. The owner of minor league baseball's best mustache is now 1-1 in his 2 starts with the Clippers. He's allowed 3 earned runs, struck out 10 and walked 4 in 12 innings of work with the AAA club. 

Chris Ray, RP-COL: S (6), IP, 2 K. Accardo got the call up to the Indians, but Ray has been serving as the Clippers closer this year. He's now thrown 17 1/3 innings for Columbus, allowing 4 earned runs while striking out 15 and walking 7.

Matt LaPorta, LF-COL: 1-4, HR (10), 3 RBI, R, K. That's LaPorta's 10th HR, but his 1st one away from the friendly confines of Huntington Park. He's cooled off after his hot start, hitting just .229/.308/.429 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in his last 10 games. Tribe fans, if you're hoping Matt LaPorta comes riding in from the South to suddenly be a middle of the order presence from the right side of the plate, I've got bad news for you, 'cause it ain't happening. He's mashed in AAA before, he'll mash in AAA again. None of that means that he's "figured it out" and will suddenly be able to hit major league pitching. 

Justin Toole, 2B-COL: 1-3, R. Called back up to the Clippers all the way from the Mudcats when Jose Lopez was recalled to the Indians, Toole is not an elite prospect, but always answers the bell no matter what the organization asks of him. AAA, high A, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS...I half expect him to work out of the Clippers bullpen at some point. 

Giovanni Soto, SP-AKR: L (3-2), 4 1/3 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 8 H, 3 K, 4 BB. Soto has hit his first rough patch this season, dropping his last two starts and allowing 8 ER in 9 1/3 innings of work for the Aeros. Overall, he's still 3-2 with a 4.46 ERA in 36 1/3 innings pitched. He's struck out 34 K and walked 11, and will legally be allowed to buy himself a beer on May 18.  

Kyle Landis, RP-AKR: 2 2/3 IP, ER, H, 2 K, BB. Landis stranded both of the runners he inherited from Soto, but ended up giving up one of his own. In 21 1/3 AA innings, he's allowed just 2 earned runs on 10 hits while striking out 18 and walking just 5.

Adam Abraham, DH-AKR: 1-3, HR (3), RBI, BB, R, K, CS. Abraham is never a guy who is going to jump out at you and scream PROSPECT, but he's quietly putting together a really solid season for AA Akron. In 27 games, he's hitting .271/.411/.494 (.905 OPS) with 3 HR, 8 2B and 10 RBI. His outstanding OBP is built on the back of his 20 walks against just 12 strikeouts. Abraham is a 25-year old in AA so he has to rake to be considered a prospect, but that's exactly what he's doing so far in 2012.

Tim Fedroff, CF-AKR: 1-4, 3B, RBI.  Another 25-year old in AA, Fedroff can flat-out hit. Fedroff's career minor league average is .294, and he's up to .339 this year for Akron. He doesn't have a ton of power and he's not a burner, so he's painted with the "tweener" brush as a guy who can't quite hit enough for a corner but also can't handle CF defensively, but at worst he's a versatile, useful 4th OF.

Chun Chen, 1B-AKR: 1-4, 2B. Chen now has a modest 5-game hitting streah, in which he's gone 8-20 with 3 2B. The one-time catcher is hitting .300/.373/.417 overall in his 32 games with the Aeros, and that career-low SLG needs to come up if he's going to be a first baseman long-term.

Joseph Colon, SP-LCC: W (4-3), 8 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 4 K. Colon was going for a rare complete game shutout, but gave up 3 runs in the 9th and was lifted for a reliever to close out the game. Minor leaguers almost never make it to the 9th inning before hitting their pitch counts, so Colon's feat is even rarer than you'd think.

Luigi Rodriguez, CF-LCC: 1-2, RBI, 2 BB, R. Rodriguez is probably the fastest player in the Indians organization right now, and he's an exciting player to watch. He's been struggling of late, with just a .179/.289/.179 line in his last 10 games, but has still managed to swipe three bases in that timeframe to give him 10 on the season. He's still learning to play CF, but the converted 2B has all the tools to succeed out there, it's just a matter of refining them. 

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