By Sean Tuttle
The Columbus Clippers (AAA) finished the season in second place in the Western Division of the International League with an overall record of 75-69. They finished 13 games behind first place Indianapolis, and four games out of the Wild Card spot. Infielder, Cord Phelps, has been named to the IL Postseason All-Star Team. The Clippers finished 75-69 on the season, marking the third straight season the Clippers have finished with a record above the .500 mark. Columbus finished second in the IL in attendance for the 2012 season, averaging 8,732 fans a game. Infielders Matt LaPorta and Russ Canzler were named to the mid- season All-Star team. Columbus had four players named the IL Batter of the Week in 2012 (LaPorta, Canzler, Carrera, Phelps) and one player named IL Pitcher of the Week (Gomez). The Clippers hit six grand slam home runs (Beau Mills, Jared Goedert, Russ Canzler, Ryan Rohlinger, Luke Carlin, Juan Diaz).
Captains Use Strong Relief Performance From Pasquale to Take Game One; Captains 5, Hot Rods 4
By Mike Brandyberry
In a tale of two different contest wrapped into one nine-inning game, the Lake County Captains were able to win both. They’ll only be credited with one win in the standings, but they were able to take the first game of the best-of-three series by a score of 5-4 over the Bowling Green Hot Rods–Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
After the game began full of fireworks for the first four and one-half innings, the contest turned to a pitchers’ duel featuring Jake Partridge in relief for Bowling Green and Nick Pasquale for Lake County. Pasquale worked five quality innings in relief.
“In my mind, player of the game,” Captains Manager Dave Wallace said in regards to Pasquale’s effort. “The way he stepped up and battled through those last couple innings when he didn’t have much left in the tank was huge. It sets up our bullpen nice for tomorrow night and the rest of the series. I thought he did a great job.”
The Indians announced right-handed pitcher, Jordan Cooper, as this week’s Minor League Player of the Week.
The 23-year old, Carolina Mudcat, is a native of Berryton, Kansas, and was originally drafted in the 2008 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox in the 17th round. Instead of signing with the Red Sox out of Shawnee Heights High School, Cooper decided to attend Wichita State University. Two years later, in the 2010 amateur draft, he was selected by the Tribe in the ninth round.
In 2010, Cooper saw action in 14 games where he started 13 and went 5-5 with a 4.94 ERA. In 62 innings of work, he allowed 79 hits, gave up 39 runs of which 34 were earned, forfeited nine home runs, allowed 18 walks while striking out 41 batters with Mahoning Valley.
By Sean Tuttle
Arizona League Indians infielder, Dorssys Paulino, has been named the Indians Minor League Player of the Week, August 13-19. In addition to this honor, he was promoted to Short-Season Class-A Mahoning Valley of the New York-Penn League.
The Bani, Dominican Republic native was signed as a Non-Drafted Free Agent by the Indians on July 2, 2011 as a 16-year old out of La Academia. Dorssys doesn’t turn 18 years old until November 21st. He was ranked the 7th best prospect in the Indians system by Baseball Prospectus entering the 2012 season.
Paulino, 17, hit .560 (14-25) for the week with three doubles, a triple, three home runs, and nine RBI’s while posting a 1.713 OPS. On August 13th against the Diamondbacks rookie club, Paulino tied a season high by going 4-for-5 with two runs, a double, three RBI’s and followed that with a three-hit game the next night with two home runs and a season-high five RBI’s.
By Sean Tuttle
The Cleveland Indians announced Carolina infielder, Giovanny Urshela, as the club’s Minor League Player of the Week, August 6-13. In addition to this honor, yesterday he was named the Carolina League Hitter of the Week. Urshela, hit .483 (14-29) with five doubles, three home runs, and six RBI’s throughout the week. On August 7th at Salem, Urshela went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and three RBI’s in Carolina’s 6-2 win and followed that up with a three hit game the next night with two more doubles, a home run, and an RBI.
For the 2012 season he is batting .279 (102-366) with 44 runs scored, 26 doubles, 10 home runs, and 52 RBI’s while posting a .744 OPS (.312 on-base pct., .432 slugging pct.). He is batting .400 (20-50) in the month of August, raising his season average from .259 to the current .279 mark.
The 20-year old righty out of Cartagena, Colombia was signed as a Non-Drafted Free Agent on July 2, 2008. In 2011, Urshela ranked fourth in the Midwest League in at-bats (505). In 2010, posted a career high .290 batting average in 58 games with Mahoning Valley.
By Sean Tuttle
The Cleveland Indians announced Luis DeJesus as their Minor League Player of the Week Tuesday afternoon. DeJesus was also named the New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week.
The 20-year old righty from Diboll, Texas was drafted by the Tribe in the 11th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft out of Angelina College.
In 13 appearances with the Arizona League Indians, DeJesus went 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 46 innings of work. He gave up 41 hits, allowed 20 runs with 17 earned and walked 11 batters, while striking out 45 and hitting one.
This season he has split time between Lake County and Mahoning Valley. In four games with Lake County, DeJesus is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 12 innings of work. He has finished two games and has one save. DeJesus gave up 15 hits, allowed 11 runs with 10 of them being earned. He walked six, struck out 12, and gave up two home runs.
By Sean Tuttle
Ezequiel Carrera, the Guiria, Venezuela native was acquired on June 27, 2010 from the Seattle Mariners along with infielder, Juan Diaz, in exchange for infielder, Russell Branyan, and cash. He originally was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent on April 4th, 2005 before being traded to the Mariners prior to the 2009 season. In 2011, Carrera made his Major League debut on May 20 and collected a game-winning, 8th-inning RBI bunt single in his first ever plate appearance versus Cincinnati.
In 2011, Carrera appeared in 68 games with the Indians and posted a .243 (49/202) batting average. He hit eight doubles, three triples, produced 14 RBI’s and accounted for 27 runs. He drew 16 walks while striking out 35 times, stole 10 bases successfully in 15 attempts.
Carrera hit .515 (17-33) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and 13 RBI’s throughout the week, while posting a 1.407 OPS (.528 on-base pct, .879 slugging pct.). On July 25 versus Toledo, he went 5-for-5 with four runs scored and a double in Columbus’ 11-10 win. He also hit home runs in back-to-back games (July 24-25) for the first time in his career. For the 2012 season he is batting .297 (116-390) with 65 runs scored, 19 doubles, six triples, six home runs, and 42 RBI’s with 26 stolen bases while posting a .770 OPS (.347 on-base pct., .423 slugging pct.). He currently ranks tenth in the International League in batting average (.297), third in hits (116), third in stolen bases (26), second in runs scored (65), tied for fourth in triples (6) and currently has a 20-game hitting streak, which is the second longest in the International League this season.
By Sean Tuttle
The Indians named Akron Aeros starting left-handed pitcher, Giovanni Soto, as the Indians Minor League Player of the Week for July 15-22. Soto went 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA (14.0IP, 6H, 3R/2ER, 6BB, 7K) in two starts, including a nine-inning no-hitter on July 15th against Altoona in which he allowed one unearned run, three walks with six strikeouts in a 2-1 Akron win. It was just the second no-hitter in Akron Aeros franchise history and the first ever at Canal Park.
On July 20th, Soto suffered a tough loss, tossing five innings, allowing six hits, three runs (two earned), three walks with a strikeout in a 3-2 loss to Richmond. On the season he is 6-7 with a 3.72 ERA (106.1IP, 95H, 52R/44ER, 42BB, 88K) in 19 starts. Soto currently is tied for first in the Eastern League in complete games with two and shutouts with one.
Soto was acquired from the Detroit Tigers on July 29, 2010 in exchange for infielder, Jhonny Peralta. The Carolina, Puerto Rico native, was selected by Detroit in the 21st round of the 2009 June draft after originally being selected in the 46th round of the 2008 June draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2010, he led the Midwest League in shutouts with two, was tied for first in complete games with two, fourth in ERA (2.93) and was named to the Midwest League All-Star team for Class-A Lake County.
Then Indians named Jordan Smith of the Lake County Captains (A) as this week’s Indians Minor League Player of the Week. Smith has hit safely in eight of his last nine games with a .459 AVG, (17-37), two home runs, and 10 RBI’s. He has a hit in 15 of his last 17 games with a .492 AVG., (29-59), three doubles, two home runs, and 15 RBI’s.
Smith was drafted by the Indians in the ninth round of the 2011 amateur draft out of St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN. The outfielder just celebrated his 22nd birthday on July 5.
Smith began his career in Mahoning Valley last season, where he appeared in 65 games. During his time with the Scrappers, he batted .300, recorded 73 hits, accounted for 36 runs, and produced 47 RBI’s. He had 20 doubles, one triple, and stole three of four bases successfully. Smith was hit by pitchers nine times and intentionally walked once. Smith finished tied for second in the New York-Penn League in RBIs, third in on-base percentage (.403) and tied for fifth in doubles.
This season, Smith is in Lake County where he is batting .322, 95 hits, accounting for 41 runs, and 44 RBI’s in 73 games. He has hit 16 doubles, five triples, five home runs, and stolen five out of eight bases successfully. He has been hit by pitchers three times, and intentionally walked three times.
By Sean Tuttle
This week’s Indians Minor League Player of the Week is rookie infielder, Joseph Wendle. Wendle was drafted in this year’s June amateur draft in the sixth round out of West Chester University.
In his first 16 games with the Single-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Wendle is batting .356, accounting for 10 runs and producing 10 RBI’s. He has five doubles and two triples while drawing seven walks and only striking out three times. Wendle is two for three on stolen base attempts.
Wendle is originally from Lincoln University, PA. and attended Avon Grove High School before furthering his education at West Chester University.
The 6-1 ft. tall 190 lbs. infielder was a four year starter at second base, and captain of the team. He was named to Tino Martinez Watch List (DII player of the year) for the third straight year in 2011. Wendle was ranked among the top 10 prospects in DII by Baseball America and ranked among the top 10 all-time in 11 offensive categories at West Chester. He was named to the Coastal Plains League All-Star squad in the summer of 2011 where he batted .377 average and was the team MVP.
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.
By Sean Tuttle
Russ Canzler was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 30th round of the 2004 amateur draft out of Hazleton High School in Hazleton, PA. He was granted free agency in November of 2010, and signed with the Tampa Bay Rays later that month. He was later purchased by the Indians on January 31, 2012.
Canzler was named to the Northwest League postseason All-Star Team in 2005 and given the MiLB.com Short-Season Round Tripper award after leading the league in homers, RBIs and doubles. He batted .342 (38-for-111) against lefties and .237 (51-for-215) against righties in 2008.
Canzler started the 2009 season with a 15-game hitting streak at Single-A Daytona and promoted to Double-A Tennessee on May 1st. He finished second in the Southern League with 21 HRs for Tennessee in 2010 while batting .287 (102-for-355) with 66 RBIs in 112 games played at third, first, right and left fields.