Indians' Phelps Produces After Move To Triple-A
Catcher Carlos Santana made his way to Cleveland in early June, leaving second baseman Cord Phelps as the best position player left standing.
A third-round pick from Stanford in 2008, Phelps began the year with Double-A Akron and batted .296/.346/.397 with eight doubles, three triples and two home runs in 53 games. The 23-year-old switch-hitter moved to Triple-A Columbus and quickly settled in.
Phelps' all-around game blossomed with the Clippers, and he hit .317/.386/.506 in 66 games with 20 doubles, four triples and six home runs. He will play for USA Baseball's Pan Am Qualifying team in October.
The 15th overall pick in the 2009 draft, righthander Alex White signed too late to play last summer. He began his pro career this year at high Class A Kinston. In eight starts, he went 2-3, 2.86 with 19 walks and 41 strikeouts over 44 innings to earn a promotion to Double-A.
The 22-year old continued to flourish at Akron, going 8-7, 2.28 in 18 games (17 starts). In 107 innings with the Aeros, White issued just 27 walks while striking out 76 batters, but the Indians shut him down two weeks before the season ended to limit his innings.
Keep An Eye On:
If you're an Indians fan and you haven't heard of Joe Gardner, then you will soon. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound righthander out of UC Santa Barbara dominated two levels of the system in his pro debut after being a third-round selection in the 2009 draft.
Gardner opened the campaign at low Class A Lake County, going 1-0, 3.24 in six games with 38 strikeouts in 25 frames. Quickly moved up to Kinston, he finished the season there, going 12-6, 2.65 over 22 starts. In 122 innings, the 22-year-old racked up 104 strikeouts and limited opposing batters to a .199 average.
Gardner led all minor league starters with a ratio of 3.21 groundouts for every flyout.
• Righthander Chen Lee might have one of the top power arms in the system. The Taiwan native spent the whole season with Akron, where he went 5-4, 3.31 in 43 appearances out of the bullpen. In 71 innings with the Aeros, Lee struck out 80 batters and issued just 22 walks as opponents hit just .221 against him.
• Lake County center fielder Delvi Cid racked up 71 stolen bases in 132 games this season, besting No. 2 base thief Jose Constanza, who swiped 34 bags in 113 games for Columbus.