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Minor-League Update: Part IV

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Finally, some up-and-comers from the low minors:

(1) RHP Sean Smith
    AA: 24.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 14 H, 21 SO, 10 BB
    A+: 25.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 20 H, 23 SO, 6 BB

    Smith was a 2001 draft choice, and has become a bit lost in an organization with a lot of good arms.  He's moved slowly up the organizational ladder, but he's still just 22 years old.

(2) C Wyatt Toregas
     A+: 80 AB, .313/.423/.525, 17 SO, 15 BB

     With Victor Martinez entrenched behind the plate in Cleveland, catcher isn't really an organizational hole. But Toregas could be an interesting backup candidate in a couple of years.   It's only 80 at-bats, and Toregas hasn't hit like this before, but his defense is pretty good.

(3) OF Trevor Crowe
    A+: 136 AB, .301/.427/.419, 31 SO, 31 BB

    Well, it looks like Trevor has adjusted to wood bats just fine. He's also stolen 15 bases in 17 attempts, so the speed has translated to the pros. I would imagine the Indians will promote him to Akron soon, and transition him to second base in Instructional League.

(4) 3B Matt Whitney
    A+: 96 AB, .240/.339/.438, 39 SO, 13 BB

    These aren't exceptional numbers, but that Matt is finally playing with regularity is a victory in itself.

(5) LHP Scott Lewis
    A+: 32.0 IP, 0.56 ERA, 21 H, 45 SO, 5 BB

    Those are cartoonish numbers. Lewis fell in the 2004 Draft because of arm injuries, and he's been brought along very slowly (he's appeared in 8 games, starting seven of them).

(6) RHP Joe Ness
     A+: 35.0 IP, 2.31 ERA, 27 H, 39 SO, 12 BB

     Ness has been another pleasant surprise; he was a 6th round pick in the 2005 draft, so succeeding in High A this early in the process was definitely unexpected. He has a mix of three pitches, and the almost unobtainable repeatable delivery:

Ness features a fastball in the low to mid-90s, a slurvy breaking ball and a changeup.

"He projects to be that innings-eating type of starter," Farrell said. "He's strong, durable and repeats his delivery well from a mechanical standpoint. He's kind of like a Bob Milacki in that he throws the ball over the plate with three pitches and he's got some swing-and-miss ability with his fastball as well."