Minor League Report: Lake County Captains
MAY 01, 2014 11:50a ET
It was a rough month of April for the Cleveland Indians' low-A affiliate the Lake County Captains, but baseball is unique where with the flip of a calendar, a team's fortunes can change. Hopefully May not only brings flowers, but some wins, hits and a better overall showing from the Captains.
Just the Facts
Lake County is 7-19 and in last place, 9.5 games out of first, in the Midwest League's Eastern Division. After a nice 4-1 start, they are 3-18 since and had two eight-game losing streaks in the process.
The bats have been ice cold as Lake County ranks dead last out of 16 teams in the league in hitting (.220), last in runs scored (79), 12th in doubles (38), 2nd in home runs (16), 11th in total bases (281), 3rd in walks (108), 1st in strikeouts (271), last in stolen bases (11) and 14th in OPS (.655).
The pitching has been a little better, but not by much as they ranked 14th in ERA (4.53), 6th for most hits allowed (211), 14th for most home runs allowed (8), 9th for most walks allowed (84), 4th in strikeouts (205) and 9th in WHIP (1.36).
Eric Haase, Catcher
19 G, .217 AVG, 14 R, 5 2B, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 12 BB, 22 K, 1 SB, .849 OPS
Haase was disappointed to repeat at Lake County this season after a strong showing last season when he hit .250 with 14 HR, 47 RBI and .761 OPS. While the batting average is very low, he's hit the ball for some loud outs and shown considerably more power this season. The strikeouts are up (the walks too) so developing his approach will continue to be a key focus for him.
Jordan Milbrath, Right-handed pitcher
5 G, 1-1, 1.52 ERA, 23.2 IP, 13 H, 5 R (4 ER), 0 HR, 8 BB, 23 K
Milbrath has been one of the hottest pitchers in the entire organization. His showing may be a surprise to many fans, but not to the Indians or yours truly as they raved about him at the end of Instructional League last season. What will be interesting to see is how he holds up over the course of the full season and how he makes adjustments.
Robbie Aviles, Right-handed pitcher
5 G, 0-1, 1.02 ERA, 17.2 IP, 17 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 HR, 0 BB, 14 K
Aviles has been impressive in the early going. While he has not started a game, he has been a piggyback starter who has come into the game in the fifth or sixth inning in relief and gotten his work in. He has yet to allow a home run or a walk, a sign that delivery adjustments he made late last season and into the offseason look to be taking hold.
Dace Kime, Right-handed pitcher
5 GS, 0-4, 9.95 ERA, 19.0 IP, 34 H, 26 R (21 ER), 2 HR, 8 BB, 14 K
Kime may have the ugliest pitching line in the system to date. The league is hitting .378 off of him though some of his issues are the result of a poor defense behind him as the Lake County infield has made numerous errors and missed lots of other plays that could have been made. When you are a groundball pitcher like Kime (2.07 GO/AO), you are often times at the mercy of your defense.
Josh McAdams, Outfielder
15 G, .146 AVG, 3 R, 0 2B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 22 K, 2 SB, .353 OPS
McAdams has zero extra base hits and has 22 strikeouts in 48 official at bats, which is almost a strikeout every other at bat. He's a great guy and works extremely hard, but he just does not look ready for the Low-A level. I would imagine a trip to extended spring training in the near future so he can work on his approach and find a way to tap into his raw power, which has yet to show itself as a pro.
Dorssys Paulino, Shortstop
23 G, .221 AVG, 8 R, 6 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 7 BB, 28 K, 1 SB, .580 OPS
Perhaps the most disappointing performance in the entire system to date. Paulino came into last season with a lot of hype as a good hitting prospect and struggled at Lake County, but the showing was shrugged off because he was very young for the league. Now that he is repeating at Lake County and the struggles have continued, his prospect status is in serious question.
- Right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko is 1-0 with a 4.43 ERA and in 22.1 innings has allowed 21 hits, no homers, 10 walks and has 31 strikeouts. He's actually pitched better than his numbers suggest and has mostly been hurt by an uncharacteristic lack of command.
- Left-handed pitcher Luis Lugo has really struggled in his first full season. In five starts, he is now 0-4 with a 6.00 ERA, and in 21.0 innings has allowed 20 hits, 2 home runs, 9 walks and has 23 strikeouts. He's one of the Indians better pitching prospects, but he is showing his youth and inexperience to date and still trying to find consistency with his outings.
- Outfielder Clint Frazier was activated two weeks ago and has been slow out of the gates. In 13 games, he is hitting .224 with no homers, 3 RBI and .666 OPS. He has eight walks, which is nice, but has also struck out 13 times in 49 at bats and has just three extra base hits.
- First baseman Nellie Rodriguez got off to a good start but has really fizzled at the plate over the past few weeks. Over his last 10 games, he is hitting .105 (4-for-38) and is now hitting .225 with 4 HR, 9 RBI and .749 OPS in 24 games overall.
- Outfielder Anthony Santander is still limited to designated hitter only duties because of an ongoing shoulder issue. He really got off to a horrid start, but over his last six games is hitting .435 with a .652 slugging percentage -- though is still only hitting .188 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and .549 OPS in 21 games this season.