Frazier Promotion Headlines Week’s Minor League Wrap Up
Todd Paquette | On 19, Apr 2014
It was an up and down week throughout the Indians minor league system, but the biggest “up,” may have been the promotion of outfielder Clint Frazier to the Lake County Captains. Frazier made his debut Thursday evening. Frazier was the Cleveland Indians 2013 first round draft pick and the fifth pick overall. Frazier was the 2013 National Gatorade High School Player of the Year.
Before Frazier made his debut Thursday evening, the Tribe’s minor league affiliates had lots of action this past week.
The Triple-A Columbus Clippers began the week with a 1-5 record sitting in last place in the International West Division. Columbus was on the road for all eight games between April 10th and 17th. During this period the Clippers went 4-2 with two games at Indianapolis postponed due to inclement weather. The Clippers started the week losing two out of three games to the Louisville Bats. Columbus went on to win three straight road games versus the Indianapolis Indians and the Toledo Mud Hens. The Clippers have moved out of last place and currently sport a 5-7 record. At 23-years old and standing at 6’3 250 lbs. Jesus Aguilar is certainly an imposing figure. Aguilar imposed his will in his first 10 games of the season being named the Cleveland Indians minor league player of the week during this time. Aguilar hit .417 with four doubles, three home runs and eight runs batted in.
The hitting star of the week was second baseman Jose Ramirez. Ramirez hit .308 with eight hits, one double, one home run, six runs batted in and three stolen bases.
The pitching star of the week was starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd. Cloyd made one start and threw eight shutout innings, giving up just four hits, no earned runs, walking none while striking out seven and got the win.
Columbus starts the week with three home games against the (4-10) Toledo Mud Hens, Friday through Sunday. The Clippers end the week with three more home games against the (8-6) Gwinnett Braves Tuesday through Thursday.
While the Clippers seem to be building some momentum, the Double-A Akron RubberDucks continue to play up and down baseball. Akron began the week with a 3-3 record, in third place in the Eastern League Western Division. Akron’s first seven games were at home, starting with three game series against the Bowie Baysox followed by a three game set versus the Trenton Thunder. Akron split their first series against Bowie going 2-2. In the next series against Trenton the RubberDucks lost the opening game then had the second game postponed due to inclement weather on Tuesday. Wednesday, Akron and Trenton played a double header making up the game cancelled from the day before. Akron split the double header winning the first game while dropping the second. Starting a three game road series at Bowie on Thursday, the RubberDucks took the opener winning 3-2. Akron finished had a 4-4 record this week and currently hold a 7-7 mark. Akron is still in third place in their division. Akron had a couple of rehabbing big leaguers from the Indians join them during the week in outfielder Michael Bourn and designated hitter Jason Giambi. Bourn played in three games going 2 for 13 for a .154 average with one stolen base. Giambi played in three games as well and went 0 for 8 with two walks.
The hitting stars of the week were outfielder Bryson Myles and third baseman Giovanny Urshela. Myles hit .476 with 10 hits, three doubles, one triple, one home run and three runs batted in. Urshela hit .360 with nine hits, two doubles, one home run and six runs batted in.
The pitching star of the week was starting pitcher Joseph Colon. Colon made two starts, pitched 12 innings, giving up nine hits, two earned runs, walking five while striking out eight.
This week Akron starts with two games at Bowie on Friday and Saturday. Sunday through Wednesday Akron starts a four game road series at the (8-6) Trenton Thunder. Akron comes back home on Thursday for a three game home set against the (4-8) Altoona Curve.
Down in the Carolina League, the High-A Carolina Mudcats began the week with a 4-2 record in second place in the Southern Division. Carolina’s first five games of the week were on the road starting with one game Thursday at the Frederick Keys. Next up was a four game road set at the Potomac Nationals. The team finished the week with three home games versus the Salem Red Sox. Thursday Carolina beat Frederick by a count of 4-3 to start off the week. In the next series on the road against Potomac the Mudcats dropped three of the four games played. Carolina came back home to host the Salem Red Sox for three games. The first game scheduled on Tuesday was rained out. The game was made up as a double header on Wednesday, where Carolina swept both games. On Thursday the team went into extra innings tied at 2-2 before eventually losing 10-2, giving up 8 runs in the top of the 10th inning. Carolina finished the week with a 4-4 record in the 8 games played. The team is currently tied for first place with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans with a 8-6 record in the division. On Thursday the Indians 20th ranked prospect by MLB.com, outfielder Luigi Rodriguez joined the team. Rodriguez was in Arizona rehabbing a hamstring strain he suffered during spring training.
The hitting stars of the week were shortstop Erik Gonzalez and outfielder Anthony Gallas. Gonzalez hit .419 with 13 hits, five runs, three doubles, one triple, four runs batted in and three stolen bases. Gonzalez is also riding a 10-game hitting streak. Gallas hit .387 with 12 hits, seven runs, five doubles, three home runs and four runs batted in.
The pitching star of the week was starting pitcher Ryan Merritt. Merritt made two starts earning the win in one. Merritt pitched 11.1 innings, giving up seven hits, one earned run, walked five and struck out 12.
Carolina starts with four games at home vs (6-8) Frederick Thursday through Sunday. The Mudcats finish the week with a three game road series Tuesday through Thursday against the (7-7) Wilmington Blue Rocks. Wilmington is the High-A affiliate for the Kansas City Royals and are loaded in talent. Some prospects to watch out for are number three ranked prospect shortstop Raul Aldaberto Mondesi, left-handed pitcher Sean Manea (5th ranked), right-handed pitcher Miguel Almonte (6th ranked), third baseman Hunter Dozier (7th ranked) and outfielder Bubba Starling (8th ranked).
The Low-A Lake County Captains went 4-1 in their first five games to start the season. However, the Captains ship has then sunk. The team proceeded to lose their next eight games in a row. The streak was broken Thursday night with a 6-3 win over the Burlington Bees at home. Lake County had four straight road games between last Thursday and Sunday losing all four. On Thursday they dropped the first game to the Clinton Lumberjacks and then proceeded to lose all three in the series at the Kane County Cougars.
The Captains returned home to start a three game set against the Peoria Chiefs. Lake County dropped the first game of the series on Monday and then had Tuesday’s game postponed because of snow. A double header was scheduled for Wednesday and the team lost both games by the same score, 4-0. The Burlington Bees came into town Thursday and so did a 19-year old red-headed teenager named Clint Frazier. Frazier made his 2014 debut going 1 for 5, scoring a run and had a RBI as well as the team ended its losing streak, winning 6-3 and are now 5-9 on the year. Last year Frazier played 44 games in the Arizona Rookie League hitting .297, with 32 runs scored, 11 doubles, five triples, five homeruns and 28 runs batted in. Captains fans should be excited as Frazier is a five-tool prospect with elite bat speed that produces a ton of power. Frazier has been compared to Mike Trout by some scouts. Indians fans can only wish.
The hitting star of the week was first baseman Nellie Rodriguez. Rodriguez hit .364 with eight hits, two runs, one double, two home runs, four runs batted in and seven walks. The pitching star of the week was right-handed pitcher Robbie Aviles. The team’s pitching really struggled this week but Aviles was a bright spot. Aviles made one appearance and pitched four innings, giving up four hits, one earned run, walked none and struck out one.
Lake County starts with two games at home versus (7-6) the Burlington Bees Friday and Saturday. The Captains start a four game road series with the 3-10, Lansing Lugnuts on Sunday. On Thursday the 25th the Captains start a three game road series vs the 7-7 South Bend Silver Hawks.
Photo: Lianna Holub/DTTWLN photographer