CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Tribe prospects getting extra work in AFL

Tribe prospects getting extra work in AFL

Tribe prospects getting extra work in AFL
PHOENIX -- T.J. House isn't one of the bigger names in the Indians' organization.

Drafted in the 16th round out of high school in 2008 because of signability concerns, the southpaw has consistently flown under the radar among starting pitchers in the Cleveland farm system.

But if you ask House, that's just fine by him.

"There's nothing I can do but to perform," he said. "If I do that, fans, the organization and everyone else will have no choice but to notice it. I don't pay attention to prospect rankings because if I do my job, that's all that matters."

Now coming off his best regular season as a professional, the 23-year-old was selected as one of eight Indians prospects to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.

In stints with Class A-Advanced Carolina and Double-A Akron this year, House put up a 10-5 record with a 3.56 ERA to go along with 116 strikeouts in 149 1/3 innings.

"I knew about three weeks before the season ended that I was coming here. I was excited because we had a good season in Akron and I wanted to keep it going," House said. "It's an honor, no matter what the reason is, to be asked to come here is great. It's basically to see if you're ready to handle this type of competition."

Through two starts in Arizona so far, it appears as if House was ready indeed.

The lefty has tossed eight innings and has only allowed one run on three hits while punching out eight batters.

"I was rusty at first, but the first start was a good stepping stone," he said. "The second one I felt really comfortable, I had a great catcher and I had good command with the pitches being called. It got my feet wet and I feel like I'm really on top of things."

While in Arizona, House hopes to develop his changeup more, a pitch he wants to use more often next season to go along with his fastball that has plenty of life when coming out of his 3/4 arm angle.

"Throwing my changeup for a strike in certain situations will be important," House said. "That goes along with reading swings and adjusting in between at-bats, those are all things I can get better at."

Even with his stellar year to date, House believes he can still prove more to the Indians with a good showing in the Fall League, against more quality opposition than he is used to.

"It's the best of the best here, the competition is elevated to a new height," he said. "I want to show I can pitch to this level, I have the ability to compete. And more than the ability, I can keep my mentality, that's the biggest thing, to be mentally sharp."

Indians hitters in the Fall League
Signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, Ronny Rodriguez has many raw tools that make him the Indians' No. 5 prospect on their Top 20 Prospects list.

Unfortunately for the 20-year-old shortstop, Cleveland has an abundance of highly regarded middle infield prospects, including its top three overall (Francisco Lindor, Dorssys Paulino and Tony Wolters).

The plethora of talent has the Indians wanting to see more of Rodriguez in the Fall League before the organization determines his future. In 126 games in Carolina this season, Rodriguez hit .264/.300/.452 with 19 home runs. He also cut down his strikeout ratio from one every 4.5 at-bats to one every 5.2 at-bats.

In his first 23 at-bats in Arizona, Rodriguez has five hits, three runs and two stolen bases.

The youngest player on the Scottsdale roster, Alex Monsalve heads to the Fall League to learn a new pitching staff and get more at-bats against quality arms.

Ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the Indians' organization, the 20-year-old hit .256 with 21 doubles and 42 RBIs between stints at Class A Lake County and Carolina this season.

So far in Arizona, the catcher has just three hits in 19 at-bats.

Originally drafted out of Florida State in the 10th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Tyler Holt boasts gap power and above-average speed that projects him as a top of the order player.

In 136 games this season between Carolina and Akron, the center fielder finished with a .340 on-base percentage as well as 15 doubles, nine triples, 34 RBIs and 29 stolen bases in 41 attempts.

Converted from a pitcher to an outfielder in 2010, Carlos Moncrief gets his shot in the Fall League because a broken hamate bone ended his regular season in August. Before being hurt, the 21-year-old batted .249/.339/.465 with 23 doubles and 17 steals in Carolina.

Still rehabbing, Moncrief has only played in one game so far in Arizona, picking up two hits in four at-bats.

Indians pitchers in the Fall League
Matt Packer was well on his way through the Indians' system before suffering a sprained rotator cuff in Spring Training this year that derailed his progress.

The injury sidelined the southpaw until July. From there, Packer still had to shake off the rust and he finished his regular season with a 4-5 record and 3.70 ERA. His campaign included six starts at Triple-A Columbus, where he struggled, allowing 21 earned runs in 34 1/3 innings.

The Fall League gives the 25-year-old a chance to make up for lost time while still facing high caliber competition. In his first six innings with Scottsdale, Packer has allowed two runs while striking out four.

Like Packer, Trey Haley is in Arizona to pick up extra innings from a short 2012 season. The right-handed bullpen arm tossed just 38 2/3 innings this year, but dominated when he was on the mound, boasting a 2.33 ERA and striking out 49 batters.

His fastball reaches in the upper 90's and his curveball is a good pitch to keep hitters off balance. In five innings in the Fall League so far, the 22-year-old has allowed two runs, but only on one hit.

Originally drafted in the 18th round in 2011 out of Eastern Carolina, Shawn Armstrong continues to be a pleasant surprise in the Indians organization.

The right-handed reliever appeared in 45 games in 2012 between Lake County, Carolina and Akron, amassing 78 strikeouts and a miniscule 1.60 ERA.

In 4 2/3 innings with Scottsdale thus far, Armstrong has kept up his torrid pace, allowing just a hit in his time on the mound.

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}