Hillcat Happenings August 3 – August 9: Top hitting prospect 3B Nolan Jones promoted to Lynchburg

Hillcat Happenings August 3 – August 9: Top hitting prospect 3B Nolan Jones promoted to Lynchburg

Indians

Hillcat Happenings August 3 – August 9: Top hitting prospect 3B Nolan Jones promoted to Lynchburg

Lynchburg (26-20) won four of seven games last week and remains in second in Carolina Northern League Division standings behind Wilmington (28-17).

The Indians 2nd ranked prospect, Nolan Jones, 20, was promoted to Lynchburg on August 2. Nolan was considered one of the premier prep hitters in the 2016 Draft. After signing for nearly twice slot value, Jones made his pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League before advancing to the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League in 2017, leading the circuit in on-base percentage (.430) and OPS (.912) while also pacing all Indians farmhands with a .317 average.

A left-handed hitter, Jones has showed plate discipline and led the NY-PL in both walks (43) and OBP as a teenager.

In seven games for the Hillcats, Jones is slashing .250/.333/.417. He’s hitting 6-for-24 with a home run and a double. However, he has struck out 10 times and walked just three times.

During his previous stop at Lake County, Jones played in 90 games and slashed .279/.393/.464 in 323 ABs. He also hit 16 home runs and 12 doubles with 97 strikeouts and 63 walks.

The Indians moved Jones off shortstop, his position as a prep, to third base upon his entering the pro ranks. His size and physicality are considered by scouts to be clean fits at the hot corner, as are his plus arm strength and average speed. However some believe his fielding will eventually land him in right field.

The Hillcats activated leading hitter shortstop Ernie Clement from the 7-day disabled list on August 9. He had been inactive since July 27.

Clement is slashing .341/.425/.413 (.837 OPS) in 31 games. He’s hitting 43-for-126 with one home run and six doubles along with 15 walks and just six strikeouts. It’s that hard-to-strikeout skill that makes Clement the Cleveland Indians 26th ranked prospect.

Clement, 22, was fourth-round selection of the Indians in 2016. It will be interesting to see if Clement might get a promotion before the season ends to Class AAA Columbus. In the meantime, Clement has already been promoted once this season after playing his first 54 games with low Class A Lake County.

The Hillcats will be back in action on Friday against the Down East Wood Ducks. Lefty Tanner Tully (3-10, 4.56) will start for Lynchburg.

Weekly transactions: LHP Kirk McCarty was assigned to Lynchburg from the Lake County Captains, 3B Tyler Friis was assigned to Lake County from Lynchburg, RF Jose Medina was assigned to Lynchburg from Lake County, RHP Luis Jimenez was assigned to Lake County from Lynchburg, and Lynchburg activated SS Ernie Clement from the 7-day disabled list on August 9; Lynchburg placed LHP Anderson Polanco on the 7-day disabled list on August 7; Jimenez was assigned to Lynchburg on August 6 from Lake County; C Gianpaul Gonzalez was assigned to the Akron RubberDucks from Lynchburg on August 5; Lynchburg placed 3B Erlin Cerda on the 7-day disabled list on Aug. 3.

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