Scratch Wes Hodges off the list of potential September callups to the big leagues. The 23-year-old third baseman is headed to Arizona.
Hodges is one of seven Indians Minor Leaguers who will join the roster of the Arizona Fall League’s Surprise Rafters. Class A Lake County pitching coach Ruben Niebla will be a coach for the Rafters, whose season starts Oct. 7.
Here’s a look at what Hodges and the other six players have done this season for their respective Minor League clubs.
Hodges – AA Akron Aeros – 3B – Recently named to the 2008 Eastern League All-Star team, Hodges had a breakout season with the Aeros. After 127
games, he is batting .285 with 25 doubles, three triples,
91 RBIs and 16 home runs. In July, Hodges — along with the recently acquired Matt LaPorta — represented the Indians in the 2008 Futures Game.
Beau Mills – A Kinston Indians – 1B – The Tribe’s 2007 No. 1 Draft selection leads the Carolina League in RBIs with 90 and has slammed 21 homers — also good for the league’s best — along with 34 doubles. He is batting .293 and his 58 extra-base hits ranks second in the CL and his 141 hits ranks third.
Josh Rodriguez – AA Akron Aeros – SS – The 23-year-old is batting .248 with 70 runs, 21 doubles, 10 triples — good for second in the Eastern League — seven home runs and 49 RBIs.
Chuck Lofgren – AA Akron Aeros – LHP – The 22-year-old lefty has bounced between the ‘pen and starting rotation in a full season at Double-A. He is 2-5 with a 5.25 ERA in 26 appearances (14 starts). He has struck out 71 while walking 47 batters.
Tony Sipp – AA Akron Aeros – LHP – The 25-year-old has gone 0-3 with a 4.58 ERA out of the bullpen in limited action this season. Sipp, who underwent Tommy John surgery last season, has thrown just 17 2/3 innings since returning to action.
Erik Stiller – AA Akron Aeros – RHP – The 24-year-old is 6-5 with a 4.36 ERA in 32 appearances, all out of the bullpen. In 53 2/3 innings, Stiller has struck out 52 while walking 21 and has a 1.25 WHIP.
Neil Wagner – AA Akron Aeros – RHP – The 24-year-old spent most of his 2008 season with the K-Tribe, but was recently promoted to Double-A. He is 0-1 with 5.06ERA in five appearances for Akron. With Kinston, Wagner went 3-6 with a 4.50 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 21 walks.
Carlos Santana didn’t even need a full season in the California League to earn its highest honor, as he was named the Cal League’s MVP on Monday.
Before the Indians acquired him in a deal that sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers, Santana batted .323 with 34 doubles, four
triples, 14 home runs and collected 96 RBIs for the Inland Empire 66ers. The
22-year-old switch-hitter hit
.411 with runners in scoring position and .500 with the bases loaded. He
reached base safely in 91 of his 99 games and had more walks (69) than strikeouts
Santana still leads the league in on-base percentage (.431)
and is in the top five in slugging percentage (.563) and runs scored (88). He could still win the league’s batting title as well because Lancaster’s Daniel Nava, who currently leads the league with a .337 batting average, is
on the disabled list and would not qualify if the season ended today.
Since he arrived at Class A Kinston, Santana has not let up, batting .333 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 24 games.
– Andrew Gribble