The Indianapolis Indians are enjoying a hot start to the 2012 season, as they possess the best record in the International League at 47-30 (.610 winning percentage). They are 8-2 in their last ten games, and lead the IL West division by 9.5 games. The Columbus Clippers, who are the Cleveland Indians’ AAA team, are in second place with a record of 38-40. The Indians are just 20-20 on the road this season, but have been phenomenal at home in 2012; they are 27-10 at Victory Field.
- Jordy Mercer: .303 average, 3 HR, 22 RBI in 47 games
- Jose Morales: .295 average, 0 HR, 19 RBI in 35 games
- Jeff Clement: .292 average, 8 HR, 32 RBI in 62 games
- Yamaico Navarro: .268 average, 2 HR, 12 RBI in 20 games
- Starling Marte: .264 average, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 70 games
Jordy Mercer – After a few weeks in Pittsburgh that featured limited playing time, Mercer returned to Indy on Sunday. In his first game back with the Indians on Monday night, he went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Mercer will get the chance to play everyday in Indianapolis instead of sitting the bench for the Pirates. Hopefully he will continue to improve in triple-A ball, and we could see him later this season in Pittsburgh, especially when the roster expands in September. Mercer turns 26 on August 27th.
Starling Marte - After a great season for double-A Altoona in which he won the Eastern League batting title, Marte hasn’t produced quite as much in Indy. He’s hitting .264/.326/.439 so far in 2012. On Monday night, he went 2 for 4 with a double, triple, and 3 RBI. At the earliest, we could see Marte make his debut a month or two down the road, but he still needs some more time at triple-A. Like Mercer, there’s a strong possibility that he’s in Pittsburgh when the roster expands. Marte turns 24 on October 9th.
Rudy Owens – Along with Jeff Locke and Justin Wilson, Owens is part of the trio of southpaw prospects in Indianapolis. Rudy is 6-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 90.2 innings pitched. In 14 games, he’s struck out 62 while walking 14. Owens was named the Pirates’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and 2010. He was selected by the Pirates in the 28th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Chandler-Gilbert Community College.He turns 25 on December 18th.
Jeff Locke – Locke appeared in four September games for Pittsburgh last season, but went 0-3 with a 6.48 ERA. He finished second among all Pittsburgh Pirates farmhands with 139 strikeouts in 2011. Locke was called up on May 20th but didn’t appear in any games. The 6’1″, 180 lbs. left-hander is 5-4 with a 3.27 ERA this year for Indianapolis. He has struck out 72 while walking 18 in his 14 starts thus far. Locke was acquired by the Pirates along with pitcher Charlie Morton and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for outfielder Nate McLouth on June 3, 2009. He will turn 25 on November 20th.
Justin Wilson – Wilson threw 7.1 scoreless innings on April 29th and led Indy to a combined no-hitter with the help of Jose Diaz and Doug Slaten. Wilson is 5-4 with a 3.46 ERA in 2012. In 15 games, he has struck out 81 while walking 39 walks. His 39 walks are the most of any Indy pitcher; Locke’s 18 are the second-most. Wilson was selected by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Fresno State, where he won the College World Series. He was named the International League Pitcher of the Week on June 18th. Wilson will turn 25 on August 18th.