Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Recapping April in the Indians' farm system

Happy May Evaluation Day. Let's recap April in the Indians' farm system.

Columbus (14-12)

Offensive MVP: Outfielder Jeremy Hermida clubbed 18 homers and batted .296 for the Marlins in 2007.  Six years later, he's a solid Triple-A bat. Hermida ended the month with  a team-high four homers and batted .256. With Matt LaPorta trying to recover from a hip injury and Yan Gomes bouncing between Columbus and Cleveland, Hermida ended the month as the Clippers' top threat. Hermida is a low-cost insurance plan who isn't ticketed for Cleveland unless Indians outfielders spend more time roaming the Cleveland Clinic hallways than the Progressive Field outfield.

Top pitcher:  Carlos Carrasco started the month by plunking Kevin Youkilis following a batting-practice pitch he threw to Robinson Cano. Since his demotion to Columbus, Carrasco has 17 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings. He has a suspension awaiting when he returns to the big leagues, but his stuff appears sharp, a sign he has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.

Akron (11-14)

Offensive MVP: Who knows what position Chun-Hsiu Chen projects to play in the big leagues? But the 24-year-old native of Taiwan hit .351 with nine extra-base hits in 22 games. Nineteen of his 22 appearances have come as the Aeros' starting designated hitter.

Top pitcher:  T.J. House didn't last beyond the sixth inning, but he went 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 22 1/3 inning. The 23-year-old House was recently promoted to Columbus, where he allowed five hits and two runs in six innings in his first Triple-A start.

Carolina (10-15)

Offensive MVP: Francisco Lindor (.341) and Tyler Naquin (.319) are performing like first-round draft picks, but second baseman Joe Wendle hit .426 and struck out just nine times in 14 games before going on the disabled list with a left orbital fracture.

Top pitcher: Eight innings. Three hits. No runs. One walk. Eight strikeouts. Jordan Cooper's best April outing was his final one. And his other three outings were solid, thus the tidy 2.19 ERA.

Lake County (8-17)

Offensive MVP: The Captains had a forgettable month, but 2012 11th-round draft pick Logan Vick hit .303 and posted as many walks (12) as strikeouts (12) in 23 games. Vick, who played at Baylor, might not last the entire season in Lake County.

Top pitcher: Young starters Mitch Brown (9.22 ERA), Luis DeJesus (6.75) and Dylan Baker (4.95) experienced developmental pains. Jake Sisco, a 2011 third-round draft pick, didn't struggle. He ended the month with a 2.18 ERA.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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