2011 MLB Draft: Cleveland Indians Review
This class won't be cheap to sign, but it has a good mixture of upside and polish and looks solid to me.
1) Francisco Lindor, SS, Florida HS: Excellent defense, good speed, should hit for average and has a chance for a touch of power eventually. Fine choice.
2) Dillon Howard, RHP, Arkansas HS: First-round talent fell to the second due to expected bonus demands and strong Arkansas commitment. Impressive sinker and both his curve and change are highly promising. Won't be cheap, but if they sign him he is the equivalent of another first round pick.
3) Jake Sisco, RHP, Merced Junior College: Excellent junior college pitcher, 90-95 MPH fastball, curve, slider and changeup are all potentially above average, good body, good feel for pitching. Could be a giant bargain if he doesn't get kidnapped by wormhole aliens.
4) Jake Lowery, C, James Madison: Left-handed power and a strong arm stand out; another solid value pick.
5) Will Roberts, RHP, Virginia: Excellent performance this spring for a top program, works with slightly above average stuff. Possible fourth starter or reliever.
6) Bryson Myles, OF, Stephen F. Austin State: Kirby Puckett-style body, hit .411/.484/.581 with 53 steals this year. Scouts say his swing has holes, but his performance was superb.
7) Eric Haase, C, Michigan HS: Cold-weather high school catcher was late-riser up draft boards; some scouts consider him a huge sleeper who could have gone as high as the second round if he was a bit more polished. Strong Ohio State commitment.
8) Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Arizona HS: Slightly above average velocity, throws strikes, curve and changeup are promising. Big price tag to pass up Southern Cal but could be worth it.
9) Jordan Smith, 3B, St. Cloud State University: Left-handed power dominated small-college competition, has sleeper potential but strikes me as a slight overdraft.
10) Jeff Johnson, RHP, Cal Poly: Can hit 95, strong splitter, could be a fine closer. Would have gone six rounds higher if not for a sore arm this spring.
OTHERS OF NOTE: 2B Zach MacPhee (13th round, Arizona State) lacks plus tools but is a baseball rat with strong skills. LHP Dillion Peters (20th round, Indiana HS) has third round talent but a strong commitment to the University of Texas. He gives them another option should Howard prove difficult to sign. RHP Cody Allen (23rd round, High Point) has an average fastball, a good curve, and a fine performance record, plus he went to college at the same place as my wife's friend Heather. LHP Michael Roth (31st round, South Carolina) has very mediocre velocity but seems to thrive on a big stage.
SUMMARY: I like this class. Aside from Lindor and Howard at the top, Sisco, Lowery, Roberts, and Miles are all great values in their spots, while Haase and Tarpley provide high school upside. This will be an expensive class to sign but it should be worth it.