Cleveland Indians: Top 10 Prospects

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TOP
TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Adam Miller, rhp
2. Chuck Lofgren, lhp
3. Beau Mills, 3b/1b
4. Wes Hodges, 3b
5. Aaron Laffey, lhp
6. Nick Weglarz, of
7. Jordan Brown, of
8. David Huff, lhp
9. Ben Francisco, of
10. Jensen Lewis, rhp
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for
Average
Jordan
Brown
Best Power
Hitter
Beau
Mills
Best Strike-Zone
Discipline
Jordan
Brown
Fastest
Baserunner
Jose
Constanza
Best
Athlete
Brad
Snyder
Best
Fastball
Adam
Miller
Best
Curveball
Scott
Lewis
Best
Slider
Adam
Miller
Best
Changeup
David
Huff
Best
Control
David
Huff
Best Defensive
Catcher
Wyatt
Toregas
Best Defensive
Infielder
Adam
Davis
Best Infield
Arm
Josh
Rodriguez
Best Defensive
Outfielder
Brad
Snyder
Best Outfield
Arm
Brad Snyder
PROJECTED 2011
LINEUP
Catcher Victor Martinez
First Base Ryan Garko
Second
Base
Asdrubal
Cabrera
Third
Base
Beau Mills
Shortstop Jhonny Peralta
Left
Field
Nick
Weglarz
Center
Field
Grady
Sizemore
Right
Field
Franklin
Gutierrez
Designated
Hitter
Travis
Hafner
No. 1
Starter
C.C.
Sabathia
No. 2
Starter
Fausto
Carmona
No. 3
Starter
Adam
Miller
No. 4 Starter Chuck Lofgren
No. 5
Starter
Aaron
Laffey
Closer Rafael Perez
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE
DECADE
Year Player,
Position
2007
1998 Sean
Casey, 1b
Tigers
1999 Russell
Branyan, 3b
Cardinals
2000 C.C.
Sabathia, lhp
Indians
2001 C.C.
Sabathia, lhp
Indians
2002 Corey
Smith, 3b
Newark
(Atlantic)
2003 Brandon
Phillips, ss/2b
Reds
2004 Grady
Sizemore, of
Indians
2005 Adam
Miller, rhp
Indians
2006 Adam
Miller, rhp
Indians
2007 Adam
Miller, rhp
Indians
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE
DECADE
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 C.C.
Sabathia, lhp
Indians
1999 Will
Hartley, c (2nd)
Out of
baseball
2000 Corey
Smith, 3b
Newark
(Atlantic)
2001 Dan
Denham, rhp
Athletics
2002 Jeremy
Guthrie, rhp
Orioles
2003 Michael
Aubrey, 1b
Indians
2004 Jeremy
Sowers, lhp
Indians
2005 Trevor
Crowe, of
Indians
2006 David
Huff, lhp
Indians
2007 Beau
Mills, 3b/1b
Indians
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB
HISTORY
Danys Baez,
1999
$4,500,000
Jeremy Guthrie,
2002
$3,000,000
Jeremy Sowers,
2004
$2,475,000
Michael Aubrey,
2003
$2,010,000
Dan Denham,
2001
$1,860,000
INDIANS
LINKS
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Team Page
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2007
Draft: Indians
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Draft: Indians
 
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Cleveland Indians

While their season ended
in disappointing fashion, the Indians completed their rebuilding project by
returning to the top of the American League Central. The organization had been
pointing toward that goal since Mark Shapiro took over as general manager after
the 2001 season, the last time Cleveland
had gone to the playoffs. Shapiro’s administration immediately tore down an
expensive roster and began assembling younger talent.

The
Indians won 93 games in 2005 and looked well on their way back, but a faulty
bullpen contributed to a 78-84 finish in 2006. Their young core matured last
season and showed that the step back in ’06 was the
anomaly.

What will linger in Cleveland fans’ memories, however, is how
much better it could have been. The Tribe knocked off the Yankees in the AL
Division Series, then pushed the Red Sox to seven games in the AL Championship
Series. The most frustrating part was that the Indians had Boston on the ropes with a 3-1 series lead
with a chance to clinch at Jacobs Field. But Josh Beckett turned the tide in
Game Five, starting a run of three straight wins for the Red Sox that dashed
the Indians’ hopes of their first World Series title since
1948.

“I’m disappointed obviously we weren’t able to
finish it off,” manager Eric Wedge said. “I’m proud as I could be of our
players. We fell short, but I think we learned a great deal in this
postseason.”

The good news is that the remade Indians are
equipped to go on the same kind of run they enjoyed from 1995-2001, when they
went to the playoffs six times in seven years. While a primary focus of
Shapiro’s rebuilding efforts centered around homegrown contributors such as
Fausto Carmona, Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and C.C. Sabathia, the pro
scouting department helped build the club as much, if not more, than the
amateur department.

Recognizing the talent of Grady Sizemore
while he was in Class A or Travis Hafner when he was in Triple-A paid huge
dividends. So did stealing Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mariners in a trade for
Eduardo Perez.

After graduating several players to the big
leagues, the farm system is at a crossroads. The system still has depth, but
aside from oft-injured righthander Adam Miller, no true blue-chip prospects are
waiting in the wings.

And aside from holdovers liked
Miller, no new faces outside of Double-A first baseman Jordan Brown separated
themselves from the pack in 2007. The system was wracked by injury and lack of
performance last year, as lefthander Tony Sipp had Tommy John surgery,
outfielder Brad Snyder went down with a broken thumb in July and the two top
draft picks from 2005 (outfielders Trevor Crowe and John Drennen) were
disappointments.

Double-A Akron and high Class A Kinston
were again powerhouse clubs in the minor leagues, though both teams lost in the
postseason. Kinston’s
87 victories were the third-highest total in the
minors..

The Indians had just one pick in the first three
rounds of the 2007 draft, selecting slugger Beau Mills 13th overall. Two of
their later-round picks have a lot of upside, as the club went over slot to
sign Florida high school lefthander Chris Jones (15th round) for $350,00 and
Oregon prep two-way standout Joey Mahalic (32nd round) for $123,000.

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