Jay Westcott/News & Advance

Around the Farm: May 31, 2017 - Esparza throws gem in debut, Marabell provides power for Lynchburg

Matt Esparza threw a beautiful game in his debut with Akron, while Connor Marabell provided the winning power in the ninth for Lynchburg. All the details come from IBI's Nick Roth, with other performances of note as he takes you Around The Farm...

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.


Columbus 0 1 0 Richmond 2 5 1 Lake County 0 6 0
Scranton/WB 6 10 0 Akron 4 8 0 Lansing 7 12 0
5/25 makeup R H E R H E
Columbus 3 6 1 Lynchburg 8 11 2
Scranton/WB 4 7 1 Potomac 7 9 2

The Lead:

Matt Esparza (SP, Akron) 8.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 10 SO. Esparza twirled a gem to pick up the win in his double A debut. Esparza was in control all night as he cruised through eight dominant innings in his first start with Akron. Esparza was a strike throwing machine as he did not allow a walk by tossing 63 of 96 pitches for strikes. This allowed him to work ahead in the count and as a result it kept traffic off the base paths. Esparza’s previous nine starts all came with Lynchburg. The big righty was impressive in those contest as he was promoted to Akron with a 3-3 record and a 3.26 ERA. Esparza is still young as he was drafted in the 14th round in 2015, but if he continues to pitch like this he will continue to rapidly rise through the Indians farm system. 

Connor Marabell (RF, Lynchburg) 2-5, R, HR, 4 RBI. Marabell had a big two-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning of Lynchburg’s 8-7 win. Marabell’s shot was the big blow that put the HillCats ahead for good. Marabell is not normally known for his power, but he couldn’t have picked a better time to put it on display. Marabell is red hot at the plate as he was batting .375 in his last ten games prior to this outing. The former 25th round pick has put together a solid season as he is now batting .262. 

The Field:

Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus) G1: 0-3, 2 SO. G2: 2-3, R, SO. Urshela picked up a pair of singles in the second game of the Clippers doubleheader to get him back on track. Urshela was hitless in his last two games after seeing his seven game hitting streak come to an end. 

Adam Moore (C, Columbus) 2-3, R, HR, 3 RBI. Although the Clippers would come up short in game two, Moore did hit a two run homer in the last inning to make it much closer game than expected. This was the veteran backstop’s third home run in 101 at-bats this season.

Mike Papi (RF, Columbus) G1: 0-2, BB. G2: 2-3, R, SO. Papi struggled in the first game of the twin bill, but returned to form in the second by knocking a pair of hits. Papi is batting .289 this season with most of his time coming in Akron, and he is now 5-16 in 5 games with Columbus. 

Erik Kratz (C, Columbus) G1: 1-2, 2B. Kratz had the Clippers only hit in the first game of the doubleheader. Kratz has struggled with the bat lately as he is now batting .103 over his last ten games. 

Michael Peoples (SP, Columbus) 6.0 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, SO. Peoples was roughed up as he was hit all over the yard in game one. Peoples actually did a good job of throwing strikes (63-93), but it did not matter as he could not keep the ball off the bats. Peoples will need to pitch better as he now has allowed 6 earned runs in 3 of his last 4 games.

Jeff Johnson (RP, Columbus) 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 SO. Johnson was sharp out of the Clipper bullpen during game 2. Johnson worked quickly and efficiently throwing 18 of 23 pitches for strikes, and he faced just one batter over the minimum. 

Tyler Olson (RP, Columbus) 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 SO. The Clippers used five relievers in a bullpen game during game two, and Olson was only one of two who did not allow a run. Olson has been on a good run of late as he has a 2.76 ERA in his last 16.1 innings pitched. 

Yu-Cheng Chang (SS, Akron) 2-4, R, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SO. Chang picked up half of Akron’s RBIs in their 4-2 victory. Chang now has back to back games with multiple hits and multiple RBIs, but is batting just .206 for the season. 

Francisco Mejia (C, Akron) 2-5, R, SO. Mejia continues to stay hot at the dish as he now has 17 hits in his last 10 games. The top prospect continues to rake as he now has a .327 average with 3 home runs and 13 RBIs.

Joe Sever (3B, Akron) 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, BB. Batting out of the 9-hole, Sever drove in the other half of the ‘Ducks runs. Sever has been a streaky hitter this season, but may be on the start of another good run as he is now on a three game hitting streak.

Mitch Brown (RP, Akron) 1.0 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, SV. Brown was not sharp at all as he allowed a run, but was still able to convert the save. This was Brown’s first run he allowed after twelve scoreless innings. 

Willi Castro (SS, Lynchburg) 2-5, R, 2B, RBI. Castro has now hit safely in six of his last seven games. Castro has been much better offensively lately as he is hitting .300 in last ten.

Andrew Calica (CF, Lynchburg) 1-4, R, HR, RBI, BB. Calica launched a solo home run during the eighth inning with two outs. This was just Calica’s second home run in 157 at-bats.

Yonathan Mendoza (3B, Lynchburg) 2-4, R. Mendoza was one of five HillCat batters to have a multi-hit game in their 11 hit outburst. Mendoza is now batting .273 over 143 at-bats with Lynchburg.

Jodd Carter (LF, Lynchburg) 2-4, R, 2 SO. Carter snapped out of his recent funk with a pair of singles. Carter also struck out twice as strikeouts have been an issue for him. He now has 62 strikeouts in 153 at-bats.

Daniel Salters (C, Lynchburg) 2-4, RBI. Salters got in on the hit parade that resulted in an 8-7 win for Lynchburg. Salters had just four hits in his previous ten games before Wednesday. 

Shane Bieber (SP, Lynchburg) 7.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO. Bieber did not have his best stuff Wednesday, but was able to keep Lynchburg in the game long enough for them to come back and win. Bieber now has five starts in each Lake County and Lynchburg. His season record stands at 2-3 with a 3.25 ERA. 

Jose Vicente (1B, Lake County) 1-2, BB. Vicente was only one of two Captain batters to reach base safely more than once in a game where Lake County was shutout. Vicente has yet to breakout as he is hitting just .219 in 12 games. 

Miguel Eladio (SS, Lake County) 2-3. Eladio was the lone Captain to record multiple hits in a game where Lake County could not get anything going offensively. Eladio now has back to back games with multiple hits. 

Tanner Tully (SP, Lake County) 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 9 SO. Tully was hit hard as he surrendered three home runs in his start Wednesday afternoon. Tully had nine punch-outs and he did a good job of throwing strikes (62-89), but ultimately it would not matter as he was roughed up the Lansing hitters. 

Dalbert Siri (RP, Lake County) 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 SO. Siri was a bright spot in an ugly 7-0 loss by Lake County. Siri cruised through his stint of relief as he did not allow a baserunner, and he now has only allowed one run in last 10.1 games.

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