By the time this week is over, the minor-league system will have another batch of prospects to track, as the 2015 MLB Draft begins this Monday (June 8). Here's how the minor-league clubs are doing:
Current team records (as of Sunday night):
Columbus Clippers: 29-28 (individual 2015 stats)
Akron RubberDucks: 26-29 (individual 2015 stats)
Lynchburg Hillcats: 27-29 (individual 2015 stats)
Lake County: 28-28 (individual 2015 stats)
DSL 3-4 (individual 2015 stats)
Angling for Position Players
With the news that Jose Ramirez will be sent to AAA, the first thing you'd think about was that Francisco Lindor would be coming up to make his MLB debut. It may not be that simple, though, as the Indians could move Mike Aviles, who has been hitting the ball well, to starting shortstop, and promote Zach Walters to serve as the utility infielder. That move would keep a 40-man roster spot open (Walters is already on the 40-man, unlike Lindor). The Indians do seem adamant to let keep Lindor in Columbus until he is ready for the majors.
Jerry Sands, he of the home run last weekend in Seattle, has cleared waivers and accepted his outright assigment, so he'll be returning to Columbus in the next day or so.
One of the players who has fascinated me over the past couple years in Yandy Diaz, who is now in Akron. Diaz escaped from Cuba a couple years ago, and made his professional debut last year. The 23-year-old has shown a very disciplined approach at the plate, with more walks (31) than strikeouts (26) at AA. He hasn't hit for much power, particularly home run power, but that power may come as he gets more professional at-bats.
First baseman Nellie Rodriguez had an outstanding week, hitting .583/.643/1.333 with a double, triple, and a grand slam. Bradley Zimmer continues to impress with the power, collecting another three extra-base hits this past week.
Lake County (A-)
The star of the past month was also the star of the past week: Claudio Bautista, who got a taste of full-season ball two years ago, is having success in his second go-round in Lake County. He hit .421/.476/.737 in the last week, and that included three doubles and a home run.
State of the Rotation
The big story of the week was Cody Anderson's AAA debut. After a poor 2014 season, the 24-year-old dominated AA before getting his first taste of AAA. And in his Columbus debut, Cody was outstanding, allowing one run in seven innings of work. He's vaulted himself up the depth chart.
Ryan Merritt had his best start of the season on June 3, when he threw 7.2 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk. The 23-year-old left-hander hasn't struck out many (5.4 SO/9), but when he's been on, he's been dominant.
Mitch Brown's struggles continued this past week; he walked 6 in a 4.1 inning start on June 2. Brown's ERA is now 6.16, with home runs (5 in 49.2 IP) and walks (5.3/9) a huge concern
Lake County (A-)
Justus Sheffield scattered 7 hits in 6 innings, allowing just 1 run in a start this past Friday (June 5). Sean Brady struck out 7 in five shutout innings last Wednesday (June 3).
Minor league players of the week (as voted by LGT)
Week 1 (Apr 9-19): Bradley Zimmer (72% of the vote)
Week 2 (Apr 20-26): Dace Kime (33%)
Week 3 (Apr 27-May 3): Tyler Naquin (76%)
Week 4 (May 4-10): Shaun Marcum (45%)
Week 5 (May 11-17): Francisco Lindor (51%)
Week 6 (May 18-24): Bradley Zimmer (42%)
Week 7 (May 25-31): Cody Anderson (36%)
2015 prospect write-ups: Bradley Zimmer, Michael Clevinger, Bobby Bradley/Yu-Cheng Chang/Francisco Mejia/Justus Sheffield, Giovanni Soto