2011 AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL DRAFT SLEEPERS
Here is a look at some sleepers from the 2011 draft. Qualifications: I'm not writing about anyone drafted earlier than the sixth round. That's arbitrary but I'm trying to look for players who didn't get a lot of hype but who can surprise us. I'm also trying to avoid players who got massive above-slot bonuses; they aren't really sleepers.
We did the 2011 American League East Draft Sleepers earlier today, so we'll continue to work our way through the divisions with the Central.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: I already mentioned catcher Kevan Smith a few days ago, so today I'll bring up lefty Blair Walters, drafted in the 11th round from the University of Hawaii. He went 9-0, 4.03 in the Pioneer League with a sharp 72/17 K/BB in 74 innings. He has a low-90s sinker and is tough on lefties, but was mostly a reliever in college and is still polishing his breaking ball and changeup. He could develop into a fourth starter or possibly a LOOGY.
CLEVELAND INDIANS: Bryson Myles, OF: Drafted in the sixth round out of Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. Short, stocky guy at 5-11, 230, but runs well, stole 20 bases while hitting.302/.394/.401 with 24 walks in 192 at-bats for Mahoning Valley in the New York-Penn League. Slugged .581 with the new metal bats in college, but didn't show as much power in pro ball.
DETROIT TIGERS: Tyler Collins, OF: Like Myles, Collins is a shorter player (5-11, 205), but is younger than Myles and hits left. He played well in the NY-P, hitting .313/.360/.534 with six steals and eight homers in 163 at-bats. A sixth-round pick from Howard Junior College, he draws praise for his power potential and makes contact, though he could use more patience. Like many JC talents, he hasn't gotten a lot of attention yet.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: D'Andre Toney, OF: 14th round pick from Gulf Coast Community College in Florida, hit .340/.432/.587 in the Arizona Rookie League. Good pop for a 5-10, 170 pound player, athletic, strong, runs well but raw on the bases, stole seven but was caught 11 times. He'll need development time but potential is evident and he has a higher ceiling than most 14th round picks.
MINNESOTA TWINS: Tim Shibuya, RHP: 23rd round pick from University of California-San Diego, went 8-2, 3.30 with a 70/11 K/BB in 74 innings for Elizabethton in the Appalachian League, with 70 hits and a 1.70 GO/AO. Velocity is average, but he commands his sinker well and mixes in a slider, curveball, and changeup. Named Appy League Pitcher of the Year. We need to see him at higher levels, but he fits into the Twins pitching mold perfectly.