This week we head east to Eastlake, Ohio to check in on the Indians closest affiliate, the Low-A Lake County Captains. The roster is full of interesting prospects, and with a month to go they are making a push for the playoffs.
Just the Facts
Lake County (18-20, 41-64) sits in sixth place in the second half standings of the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. They are 6.5 games out of first place, but are only 3.5 games out of a wildcard spot. They lost their last game and have won only four of their last ten.
Lake County has been an average unit offensively this season, as they currently rank 12th out of 16 teams in team batting average (.249), 13th in runs (458), 4th in doubles (197), 8th in triples (30), 6th in home runs (63), 10th in total bases (1303), 7th in walks (365), 6th in strikeouts (817), 10th in stolen bases (93), and 8th in OPS (.703).
On the pitching front, Lake County has had some inconsistency as they rank 13th in ERA (4.24), 6th for most hits allowed (927), 3rd for most home runs allowed (75), 12th for most walks allowed (339), 10th in strikeouts (745), and 11th in WHIP (1.40).
Stock has had a solid season, hitting .302 with 4 HR, 14 RBI and .783 OPS in 36 games, and has some versatility where he can catch and play first base. While he is hitting over .300, he will need to significantly improve his approach (6 walks, 34 strikeouts) against better pitching. That said, he is an interesting catching/corner utility prospect to watch going forward.
Lucas has had a fine season, hitting .289 with 4 HR, 28 RBI, and .830 OPS in 56 games (five of them with Double-A Akron). He is showing growth as a defender and has some upside offensively. He has a solid approach (32 walks, 41 strikeouts) with some discipline, and there is untapped power. He could develop into a Major League backup at catcher.
Paulino has disappointed this season, hitting just .234 with 4 HR, 33 RBI and .624 OPS in 93 games. However, he is only 18-years old and is the youngest player in the league – a league where the average age is about 21. Even with his struggles, his upside as a hitter is significant and the Indians and scouts around the league are still confident he will blossom as he matures.
Luis DeJesus (Right-handed pitcher): 3.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R/ER, 3 HR, 2 BB, 5 K
Jake Sisco (Right-handed pitcher): 2.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K
Total: 7.0 IP, 22 H, 21 R (19 ER), 4 HR, 4 BB, 8 K
Needless to say, it was not a good week for the Lake County starting pitching staff. DeJesus has allowed an astonishing 21 home runs this season (4-11, 6.85 ERA) and is on his way out as a starting pitcher and Sisco (4-8, 4.45 ERA) has underwhelmed again this season. Baker, on the other hand, has been solid this year (6-6, 4.08 ERA) and this was more of a hiccup for him.
– Outfielder Logan Vick continues to have a very solid season with the bat hitting .278 with 3 HR, 40 RBI, and .801 OPS in 97 games. He has shown solid leadoff skills with 23 stolen bases and a very nice 73-77 walk to strikeout ratio, and he has some versatility. He is a good third or fourth outfielder prospect.
– Right-hander DJ Brown has made a marvelous return from shoulder surgery and had a very good season this year going 1-2 with a 2.51 ERA in 21 appearances, and in 43.0 innings has allowed 35 hits, 15 walks and has 47 strikeouts. His ability to get strikeouts is intriguing and he has good size and stuff, so I would expect the Indians give him an opportunity to pitch in the rotation next season.
– Left-hander Kyle Crockett is moving fast, and could be on a Cody Allen timeline for the Indians where he makes it to Cleveland by this time next season. In 11 combined appearances between Lake County and Mahoning Valley he is 0-0 with a 0.68 ERA, and in 13.1 innings has allowed 7 hits, 3 walks and has 22 strikeouts. He is polished, commands the ball well, and dominates lefties, and could help fill a need in the pen in Cleveland very soon.
– Outfielder LeVon Washington missed about two months due to injury, but since returning to Lake County he has picked up right where he left off with a hot bat. In four games since his return he is 8-for-17 at the plate, and overall is hitting .405 with 4 HR, 23 RBI, 11 stolen bases and 1.169 OPS in 36 games between Lake County and Arizona this season.