Around the Farm: July 15, 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

Triston McKenzie (Lynchburg, SP): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K, W (8-2). After seeing is stat line from Saturday, one would never guess that McKenzie had an 11-day layoff from his last start to travel to Miami for the Futures Game as the right-hander made easy work of the Wilmington Blue Rocks allowing only two runs on three hits over seven innings while fanning nine to earn his eighth win of the season. With those nine punchouts, the Brooklyn native continues to add to his new career-high as he now has 124 in 96.2 innings.

Luis Oviedo (AZL Indians, RP): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 11 K. While he was summoned after the damage was already done, Oviedo maintained the 5-4 deficit and gave the AZL Tribe a chance to come back and win it for the final five innings pitching near-perfect ball allowing only one hit and striking out a career-high 11 batters, marking the first time he has recorded double-digit strikeouts in a game. It was also the Venezuelan native’s first scoreless outing of the 2017 campaign as he had previously allowed 13 runs on 20 hits in 15 combined innings over the span of four rookie league appearances (three starts).

Martin Cervenka (Lynchburg, C: 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 K. Much like his veteran counterpart Adam Moore in Columbus on Friday, Cervenka came just a home run shy of the cycle going 3-for-5 while driving three. With his run scored, the Czech native accounted for four of the Hillcats’ seven runs in their win over Wilmington. Over his last four games, Cervenka has gone 9-for-19 (.473) with two doubles, a triple and five RBI’s as he has recorded a hit in each and racked up multiple hits in three of those contests.

Juan Hillman (Lake County, SP): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, W (5-4). Hillman’s 2017 campaign has really been a tale of two seasons as he came out of the Midwest League All-Star break looking like a different pitcher. Prior to the break, the left-hander had gone 3-3 with a 6.44 ERA in 12 starts where he had posted a 1.55 WHIP and averaged under five innings per outing. In six outings since the break, however, Hillman has gone 3-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 0.92 WHIP while averaging over six innings per start.

The Rest

  • Julian Merryweather (Columbus, SP): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 K. As Merryweather continues to gradually stretch himself back out again in his second start since returning from the disabled list, he found himself locked in a dominant rhythm on Saturday as he allowed just one hit over his four innings while fanning six.
  • Conner Capel (Lake County, RF): 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. Capel’s hot hitting continued on Saturday as he racked up three hits, including his 13th homer of the season, giving him five games over his last 10 with multiple hits. In that span, the 20-year-old is now batting .342 with two homers and six RBI’s.
  • Jonathan Teaney (Mahoning Valley, RP): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K. Since allowing two runs in his professional debut back on June 23rd, Teaney has been nearly flawless coming out of the Scrappers bullpen allowing only two hits and three walks over his next 9.1 innings while fanning 18. Overall, the right-hander has 20 strikeouts and an 0.77 WHIP in 10.1 innings.
  • Michael Cooper (AZL Indians, 1B): 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB. Cooper accounted for all the scoring of the game for the AZL Indians on Saturday with one swing of the bat cranking a grand slam in the second inning for his first homer of the 17-year-old’s professional career.
  • Francisco Mejia (Akron, C): 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB. Mejia’s first hit since returning from the All-Star break and the Futures Game was a loud one as it left the yard in Erie for the RubberDucks’ only run of the game in their 15-1 drubbing. That homer marked his 10th of the year and puts the Dominican native one shy of his career high from last year of 11.
  • Sicnarf Loopstok (Lynchburg, 1B): 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB. Loopstok snapped out of his mini-slump on Saturday with a pair of hits and an RBI as he continues to pad his new career high in that category with now 44 on the year. The Aruban native’s 8th stolen base was also a big one as he stole home en route to Lynchburg’s 7-4 win over Wilmington.
  • Gregori Vasquez (Mahoning Valley, SP): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Vasquez rebounded impressively from his last start on July 9th where he allowed four runs on nine hits over just 2.2 innings by firing 5.2 shutout innings while giving up just four hits and a walk and striking out two.
  • Austen Wade (Mahoning Valley, CF): 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB. After going hitless in his last two games, Wade got back on track with two knocks and an RBI on Saturday to put his average back up to .286. Also, with his two walks, the 21-year-old now has drawn a free pass in five of his six games on the year and racked up six versus just three strikeouts on the year.
  • Gavin Collins (Lynchburg, 3B): 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K. Collins’ impressive 2017 continued on Saturday with a pair of hits, including his 10th double of the year and 28th RBI in 49 games between Lake County and Lynchburg.
  • Sam Hentges (AZL Indians, SP): 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Hentges took another step forward on the road back from Tommy John surgery pitching two shutout innings in his second rehab start for Arizona while allowing three hits and striking out four.
  • Erik Kratz (Columbus, C): 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K. With the productive campaign Kratz has had for Columbus so far, one has to wonder if the Indians or some other big league club in need of a catcher are taking notice. After his second straight two-hit game, the veteran backstop is now hitting .288 with 12 homers and 28 RBI’s over 59 games.
  • Chris Narveson (Columbus, RP): 4.2 IP, 7 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K, W (3-5). Serving as the piggyback reliever for Merryweather, Narveson came just one out shy of completing the shutout for Columbus and finishing the night with 4.2 scoreless innings allowing seven hits and a walk to earn the win since Merryweather did not qualify.
  • Oscar Gonzalez (Mahoning Valley, LF): 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 K. Gonzalez hasn’t been hitting the ball as well as he was at the start of the season, but his average still sits north of the .300 mark as the 19-year-old now has 15 RBI’s to go along with two homers and six doubles through 22 games.
  • Willi Castro (Lynchburg, SS): 2-6, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 SB. After three quiet games in the batter’s box, Castro has begun swinging the bat with authority once again going 8-for-20 (.400) with three doubles and three runs scored. Also since being caught in eight of his first 13 steal attempts, the Puerto Rican native has successfully stolen six bases without being thrown out.
  • Ryder Ryan (Lake County, RP): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 SV. Ryan put together yet another dominant performance pitching a perfect 9th inning for his sixth save. While he’s been a bit shaky on the mound of late posting a 4.85 ERA in his last 10 appearances, Friday was a reminder of just how effective he can be.
  • Andrew Calica (Lynchburg, DH): 2-5, 2 R, 2 K. Since returning from the disabled list, Calica has been on a roll at the plate slashing .391/.462/.478 over six games while hitting a pair of doubles and driving in a run over six games while also stealing two bases to give him seven on the year.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (Columbus, 2B): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Rodriguez followed up his four-hit game on Saturday with a double and RBI on Saturday as he drove in one of the Clippers’ three runs in their shutout victory over Toledo. Over his last four games, the 25-year-old has gone 8-for-15 (.533) with two homers and four RBI’s.
  • Alsis Herrera (Lake County, RP): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K. After four straight outings of allowing runs between Lake County and Akron, Herrera finally put together a scoreless appearance allowing only one hit in an inning of work to set up a save opportunity for Captains closer Ryder Ryan.
  • Ronny Dominguez (AZL Indians, LF): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K. Outside of Michael Cooper’s grand slam, Dominguez’s double was the only extra-base hit in Friday’s 5-4 loss for the AZL Indians. His impressive 2017 campaign continues, however, as the 20-year-old is now batting .311 with two homers and five RBI’s through 12 games.
  • Jodd Carter (Lynchburg, CF): 2-5, 1 K. With another pair of hits on Saturday, Carter extended his current streak to eight games as the 20-year-old has now recorded hits in 10 of his 13 games so far in July, giving him a .326/.415/.522 slash line so far this month.
  • Tre Gantt (AZL Indians, CF): 2-3, 1 BB, 1 CS. On Saturday, Gantt did about all he could do as a leadoff hitter to help spark the offense reaching base three times and trying to make an impact on the base paths. Friday marked the former Buckeye’s first multi-hit effort of his pro career. However, he is still batting below the Mendoza Line at .182 through 10 games.
  • Logan Ice (Lake County, C): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Ice drove in his first run in 10 days and just his third in the month of July as he now has 25 on the year. His double was also his third extra-base hit in 10 July games so far as the 22-year-old now has eight two-baggers on the year to mark a new career-high.
  • Nolan Jones (Mahoning Valley, 3B): 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Jones has not yet been able to put the bat on the ball consistently. However, his plate discipline has been on point, particularly of late as he now has 11 walks versus eight strikeouts in his last 10 games and 17 versus 19 on the year overall, respectively, adding up to a .393 on-base percentage.
  • Michael Martinez (Columbus, CF): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K. Martinez has been on a cold streak at the plate since returning to Columbus, but his double on Saturday extended his hit streak to five games while giving him hits in six of his last seven.
  • Greg Allen (Akron, CF): 1-5, 1 3B, 2 K. Allen logged his first hit since returning to Akron and it gave him a chance to run as he would wind up recording his first triple of 2017. Last season, the 24-year-old had racked up seven triples to go along with seven homers and 23 doubles over 129 games between Lynchburg and Akron.

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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