I was planning a nice little treat for you all on Around the Farm today. I was in Woodbridge, VA yesterday, all ready to see top prospect Drew Pomeranz pitch for Kinston against the Potomac Nationals. And I was going to use this space to rundown his entire start in glorious scouting detail, complete with pitch speeds, pictures, and video. The Indians ruined my little plan by skipping Drew’s turn in the rotation for Kinston. The decision was not injury related, and they’re likely just trying to manage his innings. So my best laid plans were wasted, and here we are with our standard look around the Indians farm system from yesterday. As always, the positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s games.
Cord Phelps, DH-COL: 3-4, 2 2B, RBI
Phelps has now hit in 8 straight games, and is batting .387 with 2 HR, 3 2B and 9 RBI over that span. His season line is .311/.418/.530 with 7/29. The 7 HR are one off his career high of 8, set last year between Akron and Columbus. He has a 1.002 OPS in the month of May. I can keep throwing numbers at you if you want, but the main bullet point here is that this kid is good, and he’s only getting better. He’s an average defender at 2B, and can also play 3B and even SS in a pinch. I’m running out of ways to say that I want to see Phelps on the MLB roster sooner rather than later, but the point remains the same. He’s an upgrade over Adam Everett right now, and would probably be an upgrade over Orlando Cabrera at the plate and in the field, just not in the clubhouse.
Kelvin De La Cruz, SP-AKR: W (3-3), 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 6 K, 2 BB.
De La Cruz has really turned himself into a strikeout pitcher this year. He’s struck out more batters than IP in all of his starts except one; back on April 12 when he threw 5 innings and struck out exactly 5. On the season, he has 56 K in 40 2/3 IP. He really does look like a lefthanded Fausto Carmona on the hill, both in terms of physical appearance and stuff. If he can just cut down on the walks (28 on the year), the 22-year old could be a top-100 pitching prospect in all of baseball.
Carlos Moncrief, RF-LCC: 2-4, HR (5), 2B, 2 RBI, BB, R.
Moncrief is an intriguing prospect who is up to a .262/.365/.496 line after a slow start to the season. He’s back in the leadoff spot for the Captains despite the arrival of LeVon Washington and has a nice combination of power (5 HR) and speed (7 SB in 10 attempts). A converted pitcher, he also has one of the best OF arms in the system, something that is sorely lacking at the major league level with the exception of The S.S. Choo. Moncrief has a lot of upside, but also a lot of uncertainty. He’s 22 years old, and should be in Kinston at some point in the near future. The Carolina League will be a tough test for him at the plate, but he has all of the tools to be a plus defensive RF on a major league roster someday.
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