Around the Farm: April 28, 2017

Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Scoreboard

Highlights

Francisco Mejia (Akron, C): 3-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K. Another day, another impressive game at the plate for Francisco Mejia as he racked up his sixth multi-hit effort, and his first of the three-hit variety, in 16 games thus far. His home run on Friday was also the first of his Double-A career. While his .355 average may not be sustainable, it’s not far out of the realm of possibility when you look at the .342 mark he put together in 102 games last year.

Connor Marabell (Lynchburg, RF): 2-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K. Marabell appears to be heating up slightly at the plate with his second multi-hit game in his last five contests. He also finally recorded his first extra-base hit of the season with a double along with his second and third RBI’s, marking his first game with multiple RBI’s. The 23-year-old outfielder had a breakout season out of nowhere in 2016 batting .298 with seven homers and 69 RBI’s in 130 games between Lake County and Lynchburg to go along with 45 doubles, five triples and 12 stolen bases.

Mike Papi (Akron, RF): 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K. Papi is still trying to lock into some kind of extended groove, as has been the case for most of his minor league career. However, he got it going on Friday night against Bowie going 2-for-3 with his second home run of the season and his seventh RBI. His strongest asset remains in tact, though, which is his patience and strike zone recognition as he keeps his strikeout-to-walk ratio even at 14 apiece.

The Rest

  • Bobby Bradley (Akron, 1B): 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K. Bradley had his best game since his five-RBI explosion at Reading over a week ago as he mashed his fourth homer, as part of back-to-back long balls in the ninth inning to help seal Akron’s 6-1 victory over Bowie.
  • Ka’ai Tom (Lynchburg, LF): 1-2, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB. Tom is starting figure things out in the Carolina League as he is now batting .385 with four doubles and seven RBI’s. In that span, the 22-year-old also has seven walks versus just four strikeouts to go along with five stolen bases.
  • Yu-Cheng Chang (Akron, SS): 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K. Chang maintained his team lead in home runs for Akron as he slugged his fifth in 19 games. At the same time, he also increased his strikeout streak to 16 straight games as he now has 26 on the young season against just five walks.
  • Emannuel Tapia (Lake County, 1B): 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E. The Captains’ ninth-inning rally came up just short on Friday as Tapia and Todd Isaacs went back-to-back to make it 7-3 West Michigan, who would go on to win by that score. Tapia’s blast was his fourth as he has gone deep in consecutive games.
  • Cameron Hill (Akron, RP): 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K, W (1-1). Hill came in cold in the first after Akron starter Luis Lugo departed with a left forearm contusion before he could record an out. The right-hander stepped up and delivered, though, pitching four shutout innings and earning his first win of the season.
  • Jorma Rodriguez (Lake County, 3B): 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K. Up until their rally in the ninth, Jorma Rodriguez had provided the only scoring for Lake County on Friday with a solo shot in the third. It was the Venezuelan native’s first homer of the season and just his fourth RBI as he has struggled in the early going batting just .194 in 18 games.
  • Todd Isaacs (Lake County, LF): 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K. Isaacs followed up Tapia’s solo blast with one of his own in the ninth inning off Whitecaps reliever Trent Szkutnik for his fourth home run of the season as well as his second consecutive game with a long ball.
  • Cole Sulser (Akron, RP): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K, S (1). After some shaky outings early on in the season, Sulser has settled in nicely in his last three appearances pitching shutout ball while allowing only a hit and striking out three over 4.1 innings as he earned his first save of the season on Friday in Bowie.
  • Juan De La Cruz (Hillcats, C): 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K. De La Cruz made a decent first impression with his new team in Lynchburg by going 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. The 23-year-old had played with the Hillcats previously in 2015 and 2016 going 6-fo-49 (.123) with one double and nine RBI’s over 23 games.
  • Ben Krauth (Lake County, RP): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Five games and 12.1 innings into his 2017 season and Krauth has yet to be charged with an earned run as the left-hander fired three more scoreless innings in the Captains’ 7-3 loss. Along with having an ERA of zero, the 23-year-old has only allowed four hits and seven walks to go along with 14 punchouts.
  • Mitch Brown (Akron, RP): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB. 1 K. Brown’s adjustment process to the bullpen is still ongoing, but he has now run his scoreless streak to three appearances allowing just two hits in 3.1 innings. He’s still walking a fair amount of batters, though as his ratio over that three-game span sits at four apiece giving him seven free passes versus just five strikeouts on the year so far.
  • Sam Haggerty (Lynchburg, SS): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB. Haggerty only had one hit on Friday, but he made the most of it lacing a double and stealing his seventh base of the season while only getting caught once. The 22-year-old infielder is off to an impressive start this season batting .298 with five doubles, five triples, four RBI’s and 14 runs scored in 16 games.
  • Paul Hendrix (Lynchburg, RP): 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. In his second appearance of the year since transitioning to the mound full time, Hendrix rebounded nicely from his first game where he served up five runs on three hits before he could record an out. Against Myrtle Beach, the right-hander pitched an inning allowing one unearned run on one hit while striking out a batter.

Jake Dungan is the Managing Editor for IBI and a podcast host on the Smoke Signals Network. Email him at jdungan@indiansbaseballinsider.com or follow him on Twitter @JakeDBaseball.

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