Neal Minor League Player of the Week and Minor League Roundup
By Sean Tuttle
Thomas Neal was named the Eastern League Player of the Week and Indians Minor League Player of the Week for June 25 – July 1st during which time he batted .500 AVG., 14-28, with six doubles, three Home runs, and 10 RBI’s.
The Inglewood, California native was first drafted in the 36th round of the 2005 Amateur draft by the San Francisco Giants out of Poway High School. In 2011, Neal was acquired by the Tribe in a trade for infielder Orlando Cabrera.
Upon joining the Indians in 2011, Neal was optioned to Triple-A Columbus where he appeared in 10 games. In 38 appearances at the plate, he had nine hits for a .250 average, one RBI, walked once, struck out seven times, and was hit by a pitch once.
Neal has spent the entire 2012 season in Double-A Akron. He has appeared in 66 games of the 85 and is batting .309 average. He has 72 hits, produced 31 RBI’s, and accounted for 44 runs. He has 17 doubles, one triple, and six home runs. Neal has stolen four bases while getting caught six times. He has drawn 22 walks while striking out 46 times. He has also been hit by pitchers seven times this season.
It appears that Neal is finally finding his grove within the Indians organization. If he maintains this production, he will most likely get a chance to redeem himself in Columbus come September. The 24 year old, pre-2010 #96 prospect, has a long difficult road ahead of him before he sees the green grass of Progressive Field.
Minor League Roundup
As of July 3rd, the Columbus Clippers (AAA) are 43-43 overall and currently sit in second place 12 games out of first. Right-handed pitcher, Cody Allen’s save on July 2nd was his first save of the season and the first of his career. Left-handed pitcher, Chris Seddon, has thrown at least 6.0 innings in 11 straight starts following the 7.2 innings of work on July 2nd. Seddon is 5-4 with a 3.33 ERA over that span (73.0IP/27ER). Outfielder, Tim Fedroff, has hit safely in eight of his last nine games (.378 AVG., 14-37, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI) and has raised his average from .250 to the current .323 mark over that span. Infielder, Russ Canzler, has hit safely in seven of his last eight games (.300 AVG., 9-30, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI).
The Akron Aeros (AA) are 50-35 overall and currently sit in first place by five and a half games. Right-handed pitcher Steven Wright, Right-handed pitcher Kyle Landis, Outfielder Thomas Neal, and Infielder Chun Chen will represent the Aeros in the Eastern League All-Star game on July 11th in Reading, PA. Neal was named the Eastern League Player of the Week and the Indians Minor League Player of the Week for June 25 – July 1st (.500 AVG., 14-28, 6 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI). Outfielder, Jeremie Tice, is 11-for-31 (.355 AVG.) in his first eight games since being promoted to Akron from Carolina on June 22nd with three doubles, a home run and nine RBI’s. The Aeros are first in the Eastern League with a team ERA of 3.16 (725.1IP/ 255ER) in 83 games. Wright ranks second in the league in ERA (2.25), tied for first in shutouts with one and fifth in strikeouts with 81.
The Carolina Mudcats (A) are 41-43 overall; 9-5 in the second half and currently sit in second place two games out of first. They finished the first half of the season 32-38 in fourth place and 12.5 games out of first. Infielder, Jesus Aguilar, was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game on July 8th. Aguilar’s six RBI’s were a season high and tied his career high. His two homer game was the third multi-home run game this season. Outfielder, Anthony Gallas, has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games (.406 AVG., 26-64, 9 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI), including eight straight (.448 AVG,13-29, 7 2B, 3B, 4 RBI).
The Lake County Captains (A) are 38-44 overall; 7-6 in the second half and are currently tied for second place two games out of first. They finished the first half of the season 31-38 in sixth place and 16 games out of first. They are currently on a two game winning streak. Infielder, Francisco Lindor, was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game on July 8th. Outfielder, Jordan Smith, has hit safely in seven of his last eight games (.375 AVG., 12-32, 3 2B, 5 RBI). Infielder, Jerrud Sabourin, has hit safely in six of his last seven games (.346 AVG., 9-26, 2B, HR, 5 RBI).
As of July 2nd, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A) are 8-7 overall and are currently tied for second place two games out of first. They are currently on a five game winning streak. Mahoning Valley defeated the Williamsport Crosscutters 12-6 yesterday. Infielder, Joseph Wendle, went 3- for -4 with one walk, one double, two runs scored, and two RBI’s. Infielder, Evan Frazar, finished 3-for-5 with one run scored and three RBI’s. Right-handed pitcher, Robbie Aviles, (0-1, 5.93) started for Mahoning Valley and allowed five runs on six hits in 4.2 innings. Right-handed pitcher, Josh Martin, (1-1, 2.61) allowed one run on two hits and two walks in 2.1 innings of relief, earning his first win of the season for the Scrappers. Right-handed pitcher, Louis Head, recorded his first save of the season.
As of July 2nd, the Arizona League Indians (Rookie) are 3-7 overall and are currently tied for second place; five and a half games out of first.
Placed Matt Packer (Akron) on minor league rehabilitation assignment in Arizona
Released Andy LaRoche from Columbus
Placed Toru Murata on 7 Day DL in Columbus with a right groin strain.
Activated Jeremie Tice from Temporarily Inactive List in Akron
Transferred Ryan Rohlinger from Akron to Columbus
Transferred Felix Sterling from Mahoning To Lake County
Transferred Louis Head from Lake County to Mahoning
Placed Kyle Bellows on 7 Day DL in Akron with a Left Wrist Sprain
Placed Bryce Stowell on 7 Day DL in Akron with a Left Oblique Strain
Photo: Akron Aeros