Cleveland Indians Minor League Report: 3 players who were cold in June
While the month of June saw a handful of players in the minor leagues go on a hot streak, there was also a group that went cold in the month as well. Luckily, these players probably weren’t on the radar to be called up to Cleveland soon and none are on the current 40-man roster.
However, any struggling prospect isn’t a great sign. Hopefully, these three players can get back on track in July and continue progressing through the minors and improving in their careers. While they might not be in this season’s plan, the organization brought them in to play a role one way or another.
Kevin Herget, P, Columbus Clippers
A 30-year old right-handed starting pitcher, Kevin Herget is in his first season with the Cleveland Indians organization. Originally drafted in the 39th round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Tribe are Herget’s second club of his career. Unfortunately, he had a rough month of June and despite the bumps, it was an improvement for him this season.
In the month of June, Herget started five games for Columbus and appeared in six, totaling 27.2 innings pitched in the month, the second-most on the team. Over those six appearances, he allowed 24 runs, 18 earned, for an ERA of 5.86. His kryptonite proved to be the long ball, giving up a team-high eight home runs in June.
Like we said, that was actually a bit of an improvement for Herget this season. Most of his outings came in June with only one appearance being prior, but it wasn’t great. In his first outing, Herget went four innings, but gave up six runs. With that included, his season ERA is up at 8.53 on the year.
As he pitchers more those numbers should hopefully come down. We started to see that a bit in June. Being a veteran, he’s probably just an extra minor league arm at this point. However, the state of the starting rotation could use any decent arm, meaning if he can turn it around he might crack Cleveland’s roster.
Tyler Krieger, INF, Columbus Clippers
Playing time wasn’t exactly plentiful for Tyler Krieger in the month of June, but what little time he did get on the field didn’t go too well either. A fourth round pick by the Cleveland Indians in the 2015 MLB Draft, Krieger has been caught behind more well known prospects like, Gabriel Arias who put together an impressive month of June.
In the month of June, Krieger only saw 35 at-bats, which may have partly been because he logged just three hits in those 35 chances. Now, he did score three times, so when he reached base he was effective there, but a slash line of .086/.135/.114 isn’t great no matter how small of a sample size it might come from.
Of his three hits only one was a double and Krieger tallied just a single RBI on the month while striking out 13 times. Since he isn’t on the 40-man roster and Arias is, Krieger probably wasn’t on Cleveland’s radar this season. Regardless, seeing a prospect that was decently regarded with major league potential only a couple years ago struggle like this at the plate is a bit discouraging.
Alex Royalty, P, Akron Rubberducks
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Pitching struggles throughout the Cleveland Indians system shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise this season. The injuries that the major league club has sustained so far is just a fraction of what has been happening across all levels.
With that being said, pitchers are probably a bit out of place and over used at multiple levels. For that reason, the numbers might be inflated from what they should be.
Taking all that into consideration, we come to Alex Royalty. An eighth round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Tribe, Royalty struggled in the month of June for the Akron Rubberducks.
Over five starts he totaled just 23 innings, averaging far less than five innings a start. In that time, he gave up 19 runs, 16 earned, for an ERA of 6.26. He also tallied just 21 strikeouts, averaging less than a strikeout per inning and walked seven. To top it all off, he went 0-2 in June after picking up a single win in May.
Now, he had a stronger start in May that brings those numbers down a bit, but that still isn’t a great showing. Hopefully as he gets more experience at the Double-A level he’ll be able to settle in more.