Thought it was time to once again highlight a player or two on the farm that may be below the radar a bit. I was going to focus on Aaron Laffey, but he is starting to get his own press, as evidenced by the Sowers comp in a diary below. I would think he has moved up to the #3 position for Tribe pitching prospects behind Miller and Lofgren, and not only looks to provide starting depth for the parent club as early as next year, but also has become a prime trade chip for any deals in the meantime.
Another guy I wanted to look at is Nick Weglarz, who was drafted as a 17 yr old out of Canada in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft. Considering young Nick's size (6-3, 215) and raw power, this was a relatively rare "high-risk, high reward" type pick for Mirabelli. A wrist injury kept him out of the mix in '06, so Weglarz came into '07 with only a handful of pro at bats and was a surprise selection for the full season Lake County roster. At 19, he is still pretty young for the league.
However, big Nick has shown an uncanny ability to draw walks from the getgo, and now that he has started to hit with some regularity he is putting up Pronk-esque type numbers. He is showing the power and K's you might expect, but is also leading the entire league in walks, which is a great sign for his future development. He also seems to be getting the hang of playing the OF, so we can now officially say we have a power hitting corner OF prospect. Its just that he's still a teenager. Anyhow, Weglarz is currently tearing the cover off the ball in his first extended hot streak as a pro, and I think we'll see him on a top 10 list or two this offseason.
Stats and news links:
Speaking of youth, the GCL Indians have assembled a very young but talented group of starters in FL that look to generate a lot of competition amongst themselves while they put a hurting on the opposition. Kelvin de la Cruz, Ryan Morris, Chris Archer, Gregorio Rosario (from the JD trade) and Santo Frias have all started the season well and bear watching over the summer. The team also has 17 yr old Jason Smit playing middle infield , and he also looks like he's making a good transition to pro ball.
Last note: As expected, Beau Mills was promoted to LC to take over 1B for Matt Whitney, who is promoted to Kinston.