The early June swoon edition...
Columbus Clippers: Scott Barnes
Barnes, as you may recall, is the product of the Ryan Garko trade with San Francisco. Something of an under-the-radar prospect, Barnes began getting more attention after a stellar campaign in last year's AFL season. Barnes has at times struggled with control and the longball, but has always put up interesting numbers for a big (6'4") lefty. This season he was promoted to Columbus quickly following an initial debut in Akron, and while it has been something of an up and down ride, his performance over the past two weeks has been stellar. In his last three starts Barnes has pitched 17.2 innings, surrendering 13 hits, three runs, and seven walks, while striking out an impressive 26 batters. Those strikeout totals have raised Barnes to the #2 spot in the International League with a 27.1 K%. The HR and control problems are still there, but encouraging developments from Barnes.
Akron Aeros: Beau Mills
Mills, 2007 first-round pick and subsequent Top 100 BA prospect, is now in his third season at Akron and no longer a prospect. But he has been hot lately, after starting the season on the DL. Over the last 10 games Mills has hit .333/.378/.615, including three HRs. Given how disappointing the past two seasons have been for Mills, however, he would pretty much have to continue at this pace for the remainder of the season, including a promotion to Columbus along the way, to enter into any discussions about Cleveland.
Roberto Perez is just another blip on the Indians impressive catching depth radar. Heralded for his defense, which earned him a spot in last year's AFL season, Perez has been making waves lately with his bat. Over his past ten games (dating back to May 26) Perez has hit an impressive .483/.605/.655. Perez lacks power (just ten extra-base hits on the season), but has always shown well above-average plate discipline with one of the highest BB% in the Tribe's system (19.5 BB% this season). Given that his future calling card will likely be as a backup catcher, continuing to develop that ability to not get out will be an important part of his future trajectory.
Lake County Captains: Nick Bartolone
A 2010 6th round draft pick, Bartolone came out of the gate struggling in his full season debut, with a batting average south of .200 entering June. Over his past ten games, however, Bartolone is batting a more than respectable .344/.400/.438. Bartolone, described in many draft write-ups as a "baseball rat" kind of player, still has lots of questions about his potential for development. He is small (listed as 5'10", 153), lacks power, and although minor league error numbers can often be misleading, the 16 he has posted so far this season (primarily while playing SS) don't look pretty. Nevertheless, a good couple of weeks for the 20-year old.