May Prospects Rundown: Indianapolis Indians
In the month of April the Indianapolis Indians saw Pedro Alvarez and Brad Lincoln struggling, while Steve Pearce and Neil Walker had breakout months. Walker and Pearce were both promoted to the majors in the month of May, and tons of speculation exists on whether Alvarez and Lincoln will be up in the opening weeks of June. The Indians also saw a turnaround in their bullpen, with two surprise candidates standing out, and their disappointment section pretty much sums up the problems the Pirates are having at the major league level.
Brad Lincoln - Lincoln was dominant in the month of May, a big turnaround from his month of April. Lincoln made five starts, pitching 34 innings and putting up a 2.38 ERA. The impressive part is that Lincoln had a 31:4 K/BB ratio. Lincoln seems like he’s ready, and there’s a chance he could end up in the major league rotation very soon.
Jose Tabata - Tabata actually saw a decline from the month of April. His average went up ten points to .318, but his OPS dropped almost 40 points, falling in the .763 range. That’s mostly due to a lack of power. Tabata stole 11 bases, and had a .361 OBP, but I wouldn’t call him the answer to the Pirates’ leadoff spot until he puts up an OPS consistently in the .800 or better range, all while drawing more walks, which is something that fell off at the end of May.
Justin Thomas - Thomas was lights out in the month of May. In 12 appearances, Thomas posted a 0.60 ERA, and a 12:2 K/BB ratio in 15 innings of work. Thomas held batters to a .104 BAA, and his only run came on a solo homer. If he keeps this up, he could end up in the major league bullpen by the end of the year.
Vinnie Chulk - Chulk bombed in April, then missed time with a visit to the disabled list. He returned in May, and has been lights out ever since. Chulk made ten appearances in May for Indianapolis, with a 0.71 ERA in 12.2 innings, plus a 14:2 K/BB ratio.
Kevin Hart - Kevin Hart didn’t pitch at all in the month of May, instead going down to a rotator cuff injury.
Donald Veal - Veal struggled in the month of May, with a 5.27 ERA in 27.1 innings. He also saw his control issues return, allowing 14 walks in that span, after allowing nine walks in 22.1 innings in the month of April. Veal is now injured, with no word on the severity of the injury.