Minor League Notebook: Lake County Captains in review
We are rounding third and heading home with the year-end minor league notebooks on the Cleveland Indians minor league affiliates. Today, we take a look at the Low-A Lake County Captains.
Lake County finished the second half of the season at 31-39, good for sixth place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. Overall, they went 54-83 which was the worst record in the 16 team league.
The Captains finished 13th in the league in batting average (.247), 11th in runs scored (591), 4th in doubles (250), 11th in triples (34), 6th in home runs (84), 11th in total bases (1679), 6th in walks (481), 5th in strikeouts (1068), 9th in stolen bases (116) and 10th in OPS (.699).
While the offense was close to league average, the pitching was below average. They ranked 14th in ERA (4.24), 6th for most hits allowed (1205), 3rd for most home runs allowed (99), 9th for most walks allowed (457), 11th in strikeouts (983) and 11th in WHIP (1.40).
LeVon Washington (Outfielder)61 G, .348 AVG, 42 R, 20 2B, 6 3B, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 37 BB, 54 BB, 16 SB, .997 OPS
Washington had a sensational season with the bat; there is absolutely no denying that. He has proven over the last two years that he can dominate at the Low-A level - but he needs to show what he can do at a higher level next season. He played in fewer than 80 games, something he has done for all three of his full minor league seasons. He has to show he can stay healthy and that he can handle the challenge at High-A Carolina next season before the Indians completely buy into him.
Logan Vick (Outfielder)128 G, .271 AVG, 70 R, 26 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 56 RBI, 95 BB, 100 K, 26 SB, .807 OPS
Some of Vick’s overall numbers above were dragged down by his late season call up to High-A Carolina, where he hit .225 in 20 games - but the numbers are still very impressive. He played and performed to his scouting report, which is as a versatile outfielder that can play all three spots and has a very good, patient approach at the plate with a little pop and the ability to steal some bases. It remains to be seen what he becomes, but that ability to draw walks is a skill the Indians just love.
Dylan Baker (Right-handed Pitcher)27 G, 7-6, 3.63 ERA, 143.2 IP, 124 H, 68 R (58 ER), 3 HR, 62 BB, 117 K, .232 BAA
Baker had a very good first full season on the mound as he performed well overall, made all of his starts, hauled over 140 innings, kept the ball in the ballpark and got a lot of swing and miss. The Indians were encouraged by his season, as his velocity was better and more consistent than in his pro debut, and he was really strong at the end of the season. He’s solidified himself as one of the Indians best pitching prospects.
Ryan Merritt (Left-handed Pitcher)26 G, 6-9, 3.52 ERA, 135.1 IP, 149 H, 67 R (53 ER), 11 HR, 19 BB, 97 K, .282 BAA
Merritt is a thin, small framed pitcher who came on strong this season. In a lot of ways he is like a left-handed version of Josh Tomlin - he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he commands all of his pitches well. He saw an uptick in his velocity and stuff this season and has put himself in the mix as one of the Indians better starting pitching prospects.
Dorsyss Paulino (Shortstop)120 G, .246 AVG, 56 R, 28 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 46 RBI, 30 BB, 91 K, 12 SB, .646 OPS
It is hard to really consider such a performance from an 18-year in the Midwest League a disappointment, as if it were an unknown who put up those numbers we might be a lot more positive about it; however, Paulino is considered one of the Indians best prospects so more was expected. Paulino got a rude welcome to his first full season and he struggled with that. He will be better off for it as now he is more prepared for the grind the game takes on players both mentally and physically over 140 games.
Anthony Santander (Outfielder)61 G, .242 AVG, 27 R, 13 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 13 BB, 43 K, 6 SB, .672 OPS.
Like with Paulino, it is tough to get on the 18-year old Santander, especially since he came down with an injury for most of the second half of the season. But looking only at the numbers, his showing was disappointing as much more was expected. He along with Paulino should repeat at Lake County next season and it will be interesting to see what kind of growth they make from one year to the next and if they can rebound and be the prospects so many believe they can be.
Jorge Martinez (Outfielder)112 G, .191 AVG, 37 R, 20 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 25 BB, 120 K, 3 SB, .568 OPS
Martinez is a player that has always been well regarded because of his raw skills, and he made a change from third base to the outfield this past season. He showed his inexperience in the outfield and was inconsistent as a defender, but where he really struggled was at the plate. His approach is still poor and he just does not make enough consistent contact. That said, he is still young and the Indians should probably give him another opportunity next season – though they should be more limited.
Luis DeJesus (Right-handed Pitcher)27 G, 6-11, 5.97 ERA, 132.2 IP, 154 H, 100 R (88 ER), 24 HR, 46 BB, 84 K, .292 BAA
After a stellar 2012 campaign with short season Single-A Mahoning Valley where he placed in the top five of almost every pitching category in the league, DeJesus really struggled with Lake County this season. His biggest problem was avoiding the long ball as he serves up way too many homers. He was removed from the rotation late in the season, but still managed to haul over 130 innings. The ability to haul innings and be durable is valuable, though he will probably see a more limited role in 2014.
- Infielder Erik Gonzalez hit a combined .254 with 9 HR, 76 RBI and .710 OPS in 132 games with Lake County and High-A Carolina. He really made some strides at the plate and his versatility to play anywhere in the infield makes him valuable. He also impressed with his actions at shortstop and the Indians plan to primarily play him there next season – possibly as the starting shortstop for Carolina.
- Catcher Eric Haase hit .250 with 14 HR, 47 RBI and .761 OPS in 104 games. The raw power and his overall athleticism are very intriguing, although he has to show significant improvement with his knowledge of the strike zone and be more consistent as a receiver.
- Right-handed reliever Louis Head went 4-4 with a 2.48 ERA in 47 combined appearances between Lake County, Carolina and Triple-A Columbus. He split the season between Lake County and Carolina and really did not skip a beat after his call up. His ability to command the baseball, limit walks and get swing and miss with some interesting stuff has put him on the prospect map.
- Right-handed pitcher D.J. Brown went 3-4 with a 2.71 ERA in 27 appearances for Lake County. His size and stuff is of great interest to the Indians, and after he was monitored with his workload this season coming off injury he might be in line for a starting spot at Carolina next season.
- Catcher Jeremy Lucas hit .270 with 6 HR, 37 RBI and .805 OPS in 80 combined games between Lake County and Double-A Akron this season. He is still developing as a receiver and has some versatility to play first base, though what is most intriguing is his good approach where he walks (49) almost as much as he strikes out (55).