Cleveland Indians minor league report, July: Columbus Clippers, Triple-A
While the Cleveland Indians struggled through the month of July, there were some positive takeaways for the organization. It was a similar story in July for the Columbus Clippers. While the team puttered along to a 9-16record, almost matching that of their major league counterpart, there were bright spots to take away from the month.
Perhaps the best sign was the strong performance from No. 5 prospect Gabriel Arias. The 21-year old middle infielder is making the case to be called up before the end of the season and July played a large role in that. Playing in 26 games, Arias was able to slash an impressive .310/.361/.520 for the Clippers with seven doubles, a triple and four home runs while tallying 11 RBI.
The question for Arias will be finding a spot for him in the field. While his bat is MLB-ready, there’s still some work to be done with his glove. Not to mention the position the Tribe need someone at, being second base, isn’t exactly where he has the most experience. Arias has been playing a lot of shortstop and third with his last appearance at second being on July 23. Even after moving Cesar Hernandez, there doesn’t seem to be a rush to get Arias time at second or big league experience.
Another player that has been swinging the lumber well is the recent addition behind the plate, veteran catcher Wilson Ramos. Ramos joined the club on July 6 and wasted little time showing his talent.
Over 16 games, Ramos is slashing .317/.328/.517 with three doubles and three home runs while logging nine RBI. What’s even more promising is he has struck out just six times. For a team that is desperate for offensive production behind the dish, Ramos could be a great September addition when rosters expand, if not before. He has a career .994 fielding percentage, so there isn’t much to lose defensively either.