Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
Mike Clevinger (Columbus, SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 8 K, W (2-0). The Clippers finally got their first home win of 2017, thanks in part to their ace Mike Clevinger, who continued to put up zeroes on Sunday running his scoreless inning streak to 15. In three starts for Columbus so far, the right-hander has allowed just one run on nine hits while walking just five and fanning 25 in 19 innings. With veteran starter Josh Tomlin currently struggling for the Tribe, Clevinger's return to Cleveland could be sooner rather than later. In 17 games (15 starts) for the Indians last year, the 26-year-old went 3-3 with a 5.26 ERA.
Erik Gonzalez (Columbus, SS): 3-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 RBI. While Columbus got lights-out pitching from Mike Clevinger and their bullpen on Sunday, their offense also kicked into gear playing eight runs in their shutout of Louisville to end their first homestand on a high note. Shortstop Erik Gonzalez helped lead the way for the Clippers at the plate racking up three hits, including a home run and a double, and driving in a pair of runs. The 25-year-old has also now recorded a hit in eight of his last 10 games batting .282 with all three of his homers and all five or his RBI's thus far.
- Willi Castro (Lynchburg, SS): 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI. Willi Castro's slow start to 2017 got a bit of a boost on Sunday as the young shortstop put together his first multi-hit effort of the season hitting his first home run as a Hillcat as well as driving in and scoring his first runs at the High-A level. The Puerto Rican native also increased his batting average 56 points from .077 to .133 on Sunday.
- Erik Kratz (Columbus, C): 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K. Kratz continued his torrid start to the campaign with yet another multi-hit performance, his third of the young season in Columbus. He has also hit his second home run in as many games already marking the most he's had in a season since his 2015 minor league campaign where he clubbed seven in 51 games.
- Jason Kipnis (Columbus, 2B): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K. The rehabbing Tribe second baseman finally got to see some results to go with his physical progress as he logged two hits, including his first extra-base knock since the start of his minor league stint. The former All-Star also played seven innings at second base before being lifted for a defensive replacement in the 8th.
- Anthony Miller (Lynchburg, 1B): 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K. All of the sudden, Anthony Miller is swinging a red-hot bat for the Hillcats as he posted his third straight two-hit game and also the third consecutive in which he's driven in a run. Over the last three days, the 22-year-old's batting average has shot up from .154 to .320.
- Chris Colabello (Columbus, 1B): 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K. After being the lone source of offense for Columbus on Saturday, Chris Colabello was still an active participant in scoring runs, but was also not the only one as his RBI and run scored were just two of the Clippers' eight runs against Louisville.
- Bradley Zimmer (Columbus, RF): 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K. Zimmer kept his current hit streak alive with a pair of knocks on Sunday as he has now recorded a hit in five straight games. So far this season, the top Tribe prospect is batting .286 with a homer and five RBI's in 11 games for Columbus.
- Jodd Carter (Lynchburg, LF): 2-4, 2 R, 1 SB. Thanks to another two-hit performance on Sunday, Carter now has six hits in his last four games for the Hillcats, raising his average over 100 points to .250. His second stolen base also matches his total from 2016 in his stops between Mahoning Valley, Lake County and Lynchburg.
- Matt Esparza (Lynchburg, SP): 7 IP, 8 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, W (1-2). Sunday was easily Esparza's best start of the year from an innings-pitched and runs-allowed standpoint as the right-hander recorded a high (and low) with seven innings and only two earned runs allowed as he earned his first win of the year.
- Ka'ai Tom (Lynchburg, RF): 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 H, 1 K. Tom still may be trying to get back in the groove of things after missing a significant portion of last season due to injury, but Sunday was a step in the right direction as the 22-year-old drove in his third run of the season and also put together his third multi-hit effort.
- Giovanny Urshela (Columbus, 3B): 1-4, 1 RBI. The RBI's were spread out pretty evenly throughout the Clippers lineup on Sunday as Urshela was one of six hitters in the starting nine to drive in a run. With his RBI, the 25-year-old third baseman is now batting .281 with a double and seven batted in in nine games for Columbus.
- Ronny Rodriguez (Columbus, DH): 1-3, 1 RBI, 2 K. Ronny Rodriguez's role in the organization has been up for debate over the last few seasons. During spring training, he was one of the guys in the mix for the utility role in Cleveland. Now so far in nine games for Columbus, the Dominican infielder is batting just .225 with a homer and four RBI's, as he drove in his fourth on Sunday.