Indians Draft Report Card
BEST PURE HITTER:
|White didn't figure to last until the 15th pick early in the season, and he was an excellent value for the Indians there. Adams, sinkerballing RHP Joe Gardner (3) and the likes of Sarianidis and Brach make this a pitching-heavy group, and there's strength in numbers.
OF Jason Kipnis (2) used a compact swing and strong forearms to earn Pac-10 Conference player of the year honors the last spring. He batted .384 with a .709 slugging percentage, then hit .306 at short-season Mahoning Valley. He has surprising pop for his size as well. >> BEST POWER HITTER:
3B Kyle Bellows (4) got more aggressive and unlocked some of his above-average power potential in 2009, hitting 10 homers this spring for San Jose State, then adding seven more for Mahoning Valley. He's a solid athlete as well who played a lot of shortstop in college. >> FASTEST RUNNER:
OF Jordan Henry (7) has one true plus tool, as he's a well-above-average runner, and he makes it work by controlling the strike zone and having just enough power to hit for average. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
Henry's speed allows him to play a shallow, daring center field, and he goes back well on balls hit over his head.
RHP Austin Adams (5) can sit 95-97 mph times, even as a starter. RHP Alex White (1) has good sink and life on his 91-95 mph fastball when he's at his best. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH:
White came to college with a plus slider, and while he's lost the feel for it, he's gained an above-average split-finger fastball. RHP Cory Burns (8) uses a lower arm slot and gets swings and misses with his plus changeup.
ODDS AND ENDS
BEST PRO DEBUT:
Burns (3-2, 1.93, 11 SV), RHP Brett Brach (10; 5-2, 2.19), Henry (.286/.408/.335, 22 SB) and Kipnis (.306/.388/.54) helped lead Mahoning Valley to the best record in the New York-Penn League. >> BEST ATHLETE:
Adams was drafted as a shortstop in 2008 and has the tools to play there. Among position players, OF/2B Greg Folgia (40) has all-around tools, including a plus arm, and was a good high-school wrestler. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:
: The Tribe drafted and signed two Kyle Smiths. The shortstop (14) out of Cal Poly is a solid defender with no standout tools or glaring weaknesses; the righthander (20) out of Kent State has a projectable 6-foot-6, 195-pound frame. Henry's brother Justin plays in Tigers system, as does Chris Carlson, brother of 1B Ben Carlson (6). >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS:
Kipnis and White, though Adams could vault past them if he's moved to the bullpen. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK:
The Indians decided to follow RHP Nick Sarianidis (28) in the Great Lakes League this summer and came away impressed enough to sign him, as he bumped 93-94 mph with his fastball while flashing a solid slider. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY:
The Indians made runs at prep RHPs Michael Hamann (24) and Blake Hauser (25) but couldn't get either deal done. Hamann, headed to Toledo, may have more upside as a late-bloomer physically who has athleticism and promising secondary stuff.