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After turning down the Pirates as an 11thround pick out of high school, Chisenhall entered the 2007 season as Baseball America's top-ranked freshman in college baseball. But he didn't last long at South Carolina. That March, he and teammate Nick Fuller stole computer and television equipment from a dorm room and $3,100 in cash from an assistant coach's locker. The Gamecocks dismissed both players from the program, and in February 2008, Chisenhall received six months of probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of burglary and larceny. By that point, he was attending Pitt (N.C.) CC. He batted .410 and struck out just eight times in 219 plate appearances that spring, establishing himself as one of the top hitters available in the 2008 draft. The Indians drafted him 29th overall and signed him for $1.1 million. They may have had more insight into his makeup than most teams, as assistant general manager John Mirabelli was a former roommate and pitching coach for Ray Tanner, Chisenhall's coach at South Carolina. A shortstop in college, Chisenhall stayed there in his first pro summer but slid over to third base in 2009. He struggled while playing through a right shoulder strain early last season at Akron, then went on the disabled list on May 12. He returned two weeks later, then hit .284/.359/.493 with 17 homers in his final 90 games. Chisenhall is one of the best pure hitters in the minors. He has a simple lefthanded swing that's easy for him to repeat and allows him to stay inside the baseball. He has good bat speed, routinely makes sweet-spot contact and can drive the ball to all fields. He's a balanced hitter with good rhythm, and his bat path creates a nice swing plane, so there aren't many holes in his stroke. Chisenhall also has solid power and projects to hit 20-25 homers per season. While it wasn't a weakness in the past, he made strides improving his strike-zone discipline in 2010. Chisenhall isn't a standout defender but scouts don't seem to have much concern about his ability to remain at third base. He's an average fielder who has the hands and footwork to handle the position. Though he's a below-average runner, his range and agility are solid. He's still refining the consistency and accuracy of his throws but has solid-average arm strength. He's also still learning some of the nuances of third base, such as improving his pre-pitch setup to be able to react to the ball better off the bat. Chisenhall will open 2011 in Triple-A Columbus, where he should be one of the International League's better hitters. He projects as an above-average regular in the majors and should take over the starting job in Cleveland by the start of 2012. The Indians entered the offseason with Jayson Nix as their best option at the hot corner, so they could summon Chisenhall before the end of 2011.
The 15th overall pick in the 2009 draft, White signed with the Indians for a slightly over-slot $2.25 million. He made his pro debut in 2010 at high Class A Kinston, near his hometown of Greenville, N.C., and quickly progressed to Double-A. White's velocity fluctuated throughout his first pro season, but he generally sat at 87-92 mph with his two-seam fastball and topped out at 95 mph. His two-seamer has plus sink and he throws it for strikes. When White gets to a two-strike count, he uses his plus splitter to put away both lefties and righties. His main point of emphasis in 2010 was his slider, which showed promise in high school and early in his college career. He'll flash a solid-average slider and is working on mechanical adjustments to stay on top of the pitch and repeat his release more consistently. He's a quality athlete. When the Indians drafted White, they thought he might be a future reliever, but the plan now is to continue to develop him as a starter. The hope is that he can become at least a No. 3 starter, and he has the potential to be more than that. He should begin 2011 in Triple-A and could push for a big league promotion in the second half.
Kipnis was named Pacific-10 Conference player of the year and signed for $575,000 as a second-round pick in 2009. He had a strong pro debut as an outfielder, then moved to second base in instructional league. He made the transition surprisingly smoothly, tearing through two levels and joining Columbus for the playoffs. Kipnis is an advanced, aggressive hitter who takes advantage of mistakes with a simple, balanced stroke. His swing can get big, but he usually stays inside the ball, employs the whole field and hangs in well against lefties. Despite his size, he generates average power with strong hands and forearms. He's an average runner with good baserunning instincts. Though he's still learning how to play second, Kipnis doesn't look like a converted outfielder. He's athletic, has good range and reads ground balls well. He has a fringy arm and lacks classic infield actions, but his feet are quick and his hands are solid. His lack of experience still shows with his double-play pivots and positioning on relays. The Indians have youngsters Luis Valbuena and Jason Donald at second base in the majors, but neither has Kipnis' offensive potential. He'll likely return to Triple-A to start 2011 but could end the season in Cleveland.
The younger brother of Cardinals 2003 third-round pick Stu Pomeranz, Drew almost signed with the Rangers out of high school as a 12th-rounder in 2007. He set the career strikeout record at Mississippi and was the 2010 Southeastern Conference pitcher of the year despite having to deal with a mild pectoral strain in May. He recovered to become the first college pitcher drafted in 2010, going No. 5 overall and signing for $2.65 million at the Aug. 16 deadline. Pomeranz has two plus pitches in his fastball and curveball. His fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 95 mph. It has good life and the deception in his delivery makes it tough to track the ball out of his hand. His breaking ball is even more devastating, a knucklecurve with hard 12-to-6 action. Pomeranz dominated college lineups when he threw his curve for strikes, though he still must to corral his control after walking 4.4 batters per nine innings as a junior. He has flashed a solidaverage changeup at times and will need to use it more as a pro. Pomeranz could follow the path of 2009 firstrounder Alex White, debuting in high Class A with the chance for a quick promotion to Double-A. He could be in Cleveland by 2012, profiling as a frontline starter if he improves his changeup, control and command.
After devoting part of 2008 to the Olympics and part of 2009 to the World Baseball Classic, Weglarz committed the entire 2010 season to the Indians. He reached Triple-A in late May, but in July a sprained right thumb ended his season. Weglarz is a very patient hitter with outstanding pitch recognition. He's still learning to be aggressive against pitches in the zone in order to better tap into his above-average raw power. There's some effort to his swing but he doesn't chase pitches out of the zone. Weglarz's bat will have to carry him, as his defense in left field is adequate at best. He's a well below-average runner with a fringy arm and substandard range. Staying healthy has been a problem for Weglarz, who missed time with a broken hand (2006) and a stress fracture in his left shin (2009). Weglarz has the potential to slot into the middle of the order and produce a high OBP with power, though he'll have to work on his defense to make sure he doesn't give back too many runs in the field. He'll report to major league spring training but will likely end up starting the year in Columbus, though he should make his big league debut at some point in 2011.
The Phillies drafted Knapp in the second round in 2008, then sent him to the Indians with three other prospects to acquire Cliff Lee in 2009. While the other players in the deal--Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson--already have reached Cleveland, Knapp offers the greatest upside. He also comes with considerable risk, as he had arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies in his shoulder after the 2009 season and missed much of 2010. When healthy, Knapp has a knockout fastball that can sit in the mid-90s and reach 98. If his curveball is working, he's extremely difficult to hit. His curve can be a swing-and-miss pitch, though at times he overthrows it and doesn't stay on top of it. His changeup needs further development as well. Though Knapp has made strides with his mechanics since high school, he still is learning to repeat his delivery and keep his massive frame back over the rubber. He has effort in his high threequarters delivery. Knapp probably will start 2011 in high Class A, with the Indians monitoring his innings to try to keep him healthy. If he proves to be more durable, Knapp could pitch in the front of a big league rotation. If not, his power repertoire could make him a closer.
One of the fastest runners and best athletes in the 2009 high school draft class, Washington went 30th overall to the Rays. He didn't sign and failed to qualify academically at Florida, ending up at Chipola (Fla.) JC. Many scouts still didn't know what to make of Washington, but the Indians drafted him 55th overall and gave him $1.2 million. Washington has everything he needs to hit for a high average. He sees the ball well, recognizes spin and has a good idea of the strike zone. He has quick hands and good bat speed, routinely barreling balls. He could hit 15-20 homers per season once he's physically mature, though some scouts question his power. The Indians consider Washington a 70 runner on the 20-80 scale, but he seems to have lost a step since 2009 and his game speed seems slower than his stopwatch times. While he has the raw speed to play center field, he needs to improve his reads and has a well below-average arm. The Indians went after athletes in the 2010 draft, none with more upside than Washington. He has drawn Carl Crawford comparisons and might have the highest ceiling of anyone in the organization, though he's far from reaching it. He could spend his first full season at low Class A Lake County.
Wolters had an accomplished amateur career, winning MVP honors at the 2009 Aflac All-American Game as a Southern California high school standout. He lasted 87 picks in the 2010 draft, then turned down a San Diego commitment to sign in August for $1.35 million, the highest bonus of any third-round pick. Wolters has an intriguing combination of athleticism and feel for the game. He's an instinctive player on both sides of the ball, showing a polished approach at the plate with the patience to work counts. He has an unusual hitting style, using a wide stance and holding his hands low before launching an uppercut swing, at times releasing his top hand too quickly. He has the offensive upside to hit at the top of the order, spraying liners to all fields with the potential for 10-15 homers per season. A fringe-average runner, Wolters has the tools to play up the middle. Though he's fluid in the field and has quick hands and a strong arm, some scouts believe his range might be better suited for second. Ticketed to open 2011 in low Class A, Wolters is advanced for a high school player but still years away from Cleveland. The Indians have no plans to move him off shortstop and believe he can remain there in the long run.
The co-MVP of the Alaskan Baseball League in 2008, Gardner transferred from Ohlone (Calif.) JC to UC Santa Barbara for his junior season. He signed quickly for $363,000 as a third-round pick in 2009, but a ribcage injury prevented him from making his pro debut until 2010. Though he's not quite as tall, Gardner draws some comparisons to Justin Masterson, Cleveland's No. 2 starter. Both are loose, long-levered righthanders who attack hitters with quality sinkers from a low three-quarters arm slot. Gardner's sinker sits at 89-92 mph and touches 94, allowing him to post a 3.1 groundout/airout ratio last season. He leans heavily on his two-seamer, which has so much life that he has problems locating it at times. Though he can dominate a lineup with his fastball, Gardner needs to improve his secondary pitches. His low arm slot makes it tough to maintain a consistent slider, which is average at its best. He needs a better changeup to combat lefthanders. Gardner has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter if he can develop a reliable slider and changeup. If not, his ability to get groundout would have value out of the bullpen. He should open 2011 in Double-A.
Hagadone flashed electric stuff for the Red Sox but missed almost the entire 2008 season after Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2009, then went to Cleveland in the midseason trade for Victor Martinez. Hagadone missed two weeks in 2010 with a shoulder strain and moved to the bullpen in late July, a move the Indians had planned prior to the season to manage his workload. Hagadone's fastball touched 98 mph in 2009, but his stuff wasn't quite as nasty last season. His fastball sat in the low 90s and topped out at 96. His slider is inconsistent but can be a putaway pitch. He also shows some feel for a changeup but operated from behind in the count so frequently in 2010 that he didn't use it often. Hagadone struggled to repeat his mechanics and averaged 6.6 walks per nine innings. While he's a good athlete, his arm action and the effort in his delivery concern some scouts. He went as many as five innings in just three of his starts, so he still has to prove his durability. The Indians added Hagadone to the 40-man roster and still plan to send him back to the rotation in 2011, possibly in Double-A. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him quickly transitioned to the bullpen, a role many scouts believe best suits him.
One of the top high school pitchers in the 2007 draft, Blair dropped to the Dodgers in the fifth round because of signability questions and opted instead to attend San Diego. After two solid college seasons, he earned West Coast Conference pitcher of the year honors as a junior last spring. The Indians drafted him in the fourth round and signed him for an above-slot $580,000 bonus. Blair attacks hitters with a low-90s fastball that reaches 95 mph and bores in on righthanders. He has made strides with his mechanics and doesn't overthrow as much as he used to, but he still needs to do a better job of locating his fastball. He throws a slider that isn't a power pitch but can give him a second above-average offering, while also mixing in an overhand curve and a firm changeup. He's a good athlete with a strong frame who has improved his conditioning since missing six weeks in 2009 with shoulder inflammation. He's also a free thinker who traveled the world as a teenager, climbing Mount Kiliminjaro on an African safari and building houses with Habitat For Humanity in Honduras. Blair didn't pitch after signing, so he'll make his pro debut with one of Cleveland's Class A affiliates in 2011. If everything comes together, he has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter.
The Indians didn't have to go far to scout Lavisky, who went to high school five miles from Progressive Field. He won a 2010 Ohio Division I championship at St. Edward High (Lakewood, Ohio), where his teammates included Pirates second-round pick Stetson Allie and Tommy Mirabelli, whose father John is Cleveland's vice president of scouting operations. Some teams considered Lavisky a sandwich-round talent, but his seven-figure asking price allowed him to slide to the Indians in the eighth round. He signed for $1 million and has the potential to be a solid all-around catcher. Handling Allie's high-90s (and sometimes erratic) fastballs in high school prepared Lavisky well for pro ball. He's athletic and a good receiver. He has a solid-average, accurate arm, though his release can get long. Lavisky's best offensive tool is his above-average raw power. He's strong and has quick wrists, but he's not a pure hitter. His swing can get long and can create timing problems, leading to strikeouts. Like most catchers, he's a below-average runner. Lavisky draws great reviews for his leadership and intangibles behind the plate, showing advanced maturity for his age. He should open 2011 at Lake County, 25 miles from his hometown.
The Indians had a few interesting Latin American teenagers on their Rookie-level Arizona League team in 2010, including shortstop Jorge Martinez and Alex Monsalve, with Sterling having the most upside. He already sits in the low 90s with his fastball and runs it up to 94 mph. Though he already has a strong lower half and his body is relatively filled out for his age, he still has some projection in his frame and could add another tick or two to his fastball. His No. 2 pitch is a slider that has short, tight break and could be at least an average pitch. Sterling is primarily a fastball/slider pitcher at this point, because he hasn't had to use his changeup much in games yet. He's still refining his control but it's solid for a teenager. Sterling has a durable frame and projects as a starter, though he's far from reaching his potential as a mid-rotation arm. He could go to short-season Mahoning Valley and has a chance to pitch in low Class A this year.
In the 2008 draft, the Indians went well over slot to sign a pair of high school pitchers. Though Trey Haley went in the second round and got $1.25 million, compared to the 16th round and $750,000 for House, the latter has performed better and become the better prospect. Though he doesn't have a true plus pitch, House has been solid across the board and extremely durable, making 26 starts in each of his first two pro seasons. A good athlete, he has a solid delivery that he's able to repeat and throws strikes from a three-quarters arm slot. His fastball isn't overpowering, operating at 87-91 mph and touching 93, but he succeeds with it when he locates it where he wants. At times, though, he'll leave it up in the strike zone. His best pitch is his changeup, which took a step forward in 2010. It's now the best in the system and could become a plus offering, generating swings and misses at times. House threw a slurvy breaking ball in high school that has turned into a slider, but it's still a below-average pitch that lacks consistency. He doesn't project as a future star, but his stuff, feel for pitching and durability could make him a solid back-of-the-rotation starter. He should make the jump this year to Double-A, where at 21 he would be one of the Eastern League's youngest pitchers.
Rondon has emerged as one of the Indians' most promising Latin American pitching prospects, but his development took a step backwards in 2010. He posted an 8.53 ERA in seven Triple-A starts, the last of which came on May 12, when he went on the disabled list with a right elbow injury. After attempting to rehab his elbow, he eventually had Tommy John surgery after the season, which likely will cost him all of 2011. When healthy, Rondon pitched off a lively low-90s fastball that peaked at 96 mph. He had yet to develop another offering that would qualify as an out pitch. His second-best weapon was his changeup, an average pitch at times. His slider was fringy and inconsistent. Rondon is a good athlete who repeats his delivery and fields his position well. Missing nearly two full seasons hurts, because he needs more time to refine his secondary pitches. He'll be 24 when he returns to the mound in 2012.
Henry's older brother Justin is a Triple-A second baseman in the Tigers system, and the two were college teammates at Mississippi. More athletic than his brother, Jordan has a game built around plus-plus speed and outstanding strike zone awareness. He gets on base at a high clip because he hits for average and doesn't chase many pitches out of the strike zone. He enhances his quickness with good baserunning instincts, and he has stolen 51 bases in 58 tries in two pro seasons. He became better at doing the little things like bunting this season. Despite his 6-foot-3 frame, Henry has a contact-oriented swing with little leverage and power that grades as a 20 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He has just 28 extra-base hits in 186 pro games, many of which can be attributed to his speed. More advanced pitchers may pick him apart unless he gets stronger and learns to pull the ball with more authority. Henry is a fine defender in center field, playing shallow while able to go get balls hit over his head. He has an average, accurate arm. With the Indians' outfield depth, Henry could start 2011 back in Double-A, where he batted .300 in the second half last season.
Putnam was a two-way player at Michigan, but scouts always considered him a better prospect as a pitcher. The Indians signed him to an above-slot $600,000 bonus in the fifth round in 2008 and he began his career as a starter, but he has been mostly a reliever since advancing to Double-A in May 2009. His stuff has played up a notch since he moved to the bullpen, with his fastball sitting in the low to mid-90s and touching 96 mph with plus sink and occasional cutting action. Putnam can keep the ball on the ground with his fastball and his plus splitter, another pitch with big sink. His splitter is his best weapon, and it became more of a swing-and-miss pitch with late tumble when he became a reliver. Putnam also throws a straight changeup and a slider, though the latter is mostly just a spinner. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot and has a herky-jerky delivery, but he's able to throw all of his pitches for strikes and attacks hitters aggressively. He's on the verge of helping the big league club and should be in Cleveland's bullpen at some point in 2011.
Another Indians over-slot signing from the 2008 draft, Stowell received a $725,000 bonus as a draft-eligible sophomore taken in the 22nd round. When he turned pro, he was a starter with a low-90s fastball that peaked at 95 mph. Moved to the bullpen in 2010, he saw his velocity skyrocket and operated in the mid-90s and touching 98 with solid life. He used his suddenly overpowering fastball to go from high Class A to Triple-A, tailing off in Columbus and coming down with an elbow strain that didn't require surgery. Stowell also throws a hard slider that lacks consistency, and he can mix in a changeup on occasion. He also missed the first six weeks of the 2009 season with biceps tendinitis, so he still has to prove he can stay healthy for a full season. He also must learn to command his fastball better. The Indians expect Stowell to be 100 percent again by spring training, and he'll likely open the season back in Triple-A. He'll be in Cleveland once he learns to harness his newfound heat.
After throwing well in big league camp, Judy began the 2010 season on the disabled list with an elbow injury before returning in mid-May and spending most of the year in Triple-A. He struggled in his first two weeks back, then was one of the most dominant relievers in the International League before finishing his year with a strong showing in the Dominican League. While Judy doesn't have the arm strength of fellow Columbus relievers Zach Putnam and Bryce Stowell, he does have good command of a low-90s fastball that reaches 94 mph. His delivery has a lot of moving parts, but it helps him hide the ball and makes his fastball seem quicker. His slider is a swing-and-miss pitch with late, two-plane break that puts hitters away. Without an adequate changeup, Judy struggles to retire lefthanders. He could break camp in the big league bullpen or return to Triple-A for additional polish at the start of 2011.
After ranking seventh in the minors in walks with 93 walks in 2009, Phelps continued to work counts but more aggressively attacked pitches last season. He batted .308/.368/.457 between Double-A and Triple-A, improved his production after he got to Columbus and continue to hit in the Arizona Fall League. Phelps doesn't have a standout tool, but he's a smart hitter with a tremendous approach and the ability to make in-game adjustments. He sets up from a deep crouch and keeps his hands in a low trigger position, but he has a smooth swing and doesn't strike out often. He's a spray hitter with a contact-oriented swing and good instincts at the plate, but he's not a threat to hit for power. A below-average runner, he's a serviceable defender with an average arm. He made eight errors in a brief trial at third base in the Arizona Fall League. Where Phelps will fit with Cleveland remains a question. The Indians' two best hitting prospects, Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis, play both of his positions. They're both likely to open 2011 in Triple-A, which is likely Phelps' destination as well. He could fill in on the big league roster before Chisenhall and Kipnis are ready.
The Indians tried to sign Lee out a Taiwanese high school, but he turned them down to go to college. The Indians continued scouting him and signed him for $400,000 in September 2008. He pitched in the Olympics in 2008 and in the World Baseball Classic in 2009. Lee has been a prolific strikeout pitcher in two pro seasons, averaging 10.3 whiffs per nine innings in his career. From a low three-quarters arm slot, he goes after hitters with a lively 92-93 mph fastball that tops out at 96. He can vary the shape of his solid slider, giving it late tilt at times and longer, slurvy break at others. With his low arm slot, he has to work to stay on top of his slider. Lee's changeup needs improvement, but that didn't stop him from limiting lefthanders to a .479 OPS in 2010. He finished the season strong, with a 0.57 ERA in the final two months, and should open this year in a crowded Columbus bullpen. He could make his big league debut in the second half of the season.
Cleveland signed Chen out of Taiwan as an 18-year-old in September 2007. Known in his amateur days as an offensive-oriented catcher, he hit just .215/.328/.308 at Mahoning Valley in 2009. When he arrived at spring training last year, he worked with Indians coaches to remove the big leg kick in his swing, an adjustment that allowed him to see the ball earlier and maintain better balance. The change helped Chen take off as one of Cleveland biggest breakthrough prospects in 2010, and he even earned a Futures Game berth. He has a natural feel for hitting, gap power and good control of the strike zone. Though he posted a .315/.404/.521 season at two Class A stops, some scouts have concerns about his bat speed playing at higher levels. He also can become too pull-conscious at times. Chen's biggest need, however, is to improve his receiving. He had 18 passed balls in just 60 games last year, splitting his time between catcher and DH. He struggles with balls in the dirt and looks stiff behind the plate at times. He does have a solid arm and threw out 37 percent of basestealers in 2010. He's a well below-average runner. The Indians could push Chen to Double-A in 2011, though they also could send him to Kinston to focus on his defense.
Packer led NCAA Division I baseball with a 1.14 ERA as a Virginia sophomore in 2008. His ERA swelled to 4.13 in his draft year in 2009, and he lasted until the 32nd round and signed for $50,000. He turned into one of the biggest surprises in the system last year, overwhelming low Class A hitters before jumping to Double-A in August. Packer gets hitters out by pounding the strike zone and keeping the ball on the ground, posting a 2.6 groundout/airout ratio in 2010. Throwing from a three-quarters slot, he gets quality sink on an 88-91 mph fastball that tops out at 93. He has an above-average changeup with armside tail and sink. He throws both a slider and a curveball, but his breaking pitches are still works in progress. With his athleticism, he's able to repeat his delivery and throw all of his pitches for strikes. Packer likely will return to Akron to begin 2011 and ultimately profiles as a No. 4 or 5 starter.
De la Cruz ranked No. 7 on this list, Cleveland's second-best pitching prospect, after the 2008 season. He struck out 19 over 12 innings in his first two starts in 2009, but a strained elbow ligament subsequently shut him down for most of the year. He was healthy again last season but his pitches weren't as crisp as they had been in the past. His fastball sat at 87-91 mph and rarely touched 94 like it had previously. His hard curveball was a plus pitch at times but slurvy at others. De la Cruz mixes in a changeup that has its moments, but he got behind in the count so frequently last year that he didn't use it often. Many of his struggles stemmed from his inability to repeat his mechanics, which led to an average of 5.1 walks per nine innings. He throws across his body, has trouble maintaining his high three-quarters arm slot and spins off his front leg. With his first post-injury season behind him, 2011 will be a crucial year for de la Cruz, who will return to Double-A to begin the season.
The Indians scaled back their high-scale spending in Latin America since 2008, when they gave $715,000 to Venezuelan catcher Alex Monsalve and $575,000 to Dominican shortstop Jose Ozoria. Monsalve hasn't hit as hoped and Ozoria turned out to be named Wuali Bryan and three years old than expected. Cleveland released Bryan after the 2010 season. Rodriguez wasn't a big-ticket signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, and he may deliver a much better return. He offers a promising package of tools and performance. Though he lacks projectable size, he's a good athlete with plus-plus speed. Rodriguez has nice feel for hitting with an advanced idea of the strike zone for his age. His swing path is short and direct to the ball, and his quick, contact-oriented stroke helps him stay inside the ball. Though he doesn't have much power, his approach helps him get on base at a high clip. Signed as a second baseman, Rodriguez spent his first month in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League at the position before moving to center field, where his speed makes him a better fit. He went to instructional league after the season and should make his U.S. debut in 2011, likely in the Arizona League.
The Indians, Cardinals and Padres pulled off a three-way deal at the July 31 trade deadline, with Cleveland sending Jake Westbrook to St. Louis and getting Kluber from San Diego in return. He led the Double-A Texas League with 136 strikeouts despite leaving the circuit after the trade. He racks up whiffs more with his deceptive short-arm delivery than with pure stuff. Kluber does have a solid arsenal of pitches, working mainly off his 88-92 mph fastball and average slider. He also flashes an average changeup and throws strikes. He still needs to refine his command, because he's around the strike zone almost too much and is fairly hittable. He'd durable, having made 82 starts and worked 455 innings in his three full pro seasons. Kluber doesn't have high upside, but he has good feel for pitching and could be a back-of-the-rotation starter. He'll open 2011 in the Columbus rotation after finishing last season with two starts there.
Todd signed with the Cardinals as a second-round pick in 2007, then vaulted to Triple-A as a starting pitcher by the end of his first full pro season. The Cardinals moved Todd to the bullpen in 2009 before dealing shipping him and Chris Perez to the Indians for Mark DeRosa that June. Perez has emerged as one of the game's most promising young closers, and Todd could start setting him up in the future. Todd's basic scouting report largely has remained the same since his college days at Arkansas. He attacks hitters from a three-quarters arm slot with a solid fastball/slider combination. His fastball reaches the low 90s and his slider is a plus pitch that misses bats. He doesn't have a reliable third offering, yet he still has been effective against lefthanders. He missed two weeks in August with shoulder soreness but should be 100 percent in spring training. After pitching briefly in Cleveland in each of the last two years, he'll get the opportunity to stick full-time in 2011.
Holt put up gaudy numbers at Florida State, where he hit .355/.471/.629 as a junior and walked more than he struck out in each of his three seasons. His asking price dropped him to the 10th round of the 2010, and he signed for an over-slot $500,000 before continuing his strong hitting in low Class A. While Holt's performance thus far has been outstanding, scouts debate whether his skills will translate at higher levels. He doesn't have standout physical tools, but his instincts and aggressiveness help him get the most out of his abilities. He's an extremely disciplined hitter who works counts, doesn't chase many pitches, sprays the ball to all fields and gets on base at a high rate. Though Holt hit 13 homers as a Seminoles junior after totaling eight in his first two college seasons, scouts still project his power as below average. He employs an open stance and deep crouch that don't get him into a good position to load his hands and drive the ball. Holt has plus speed that plays better than that, as he's a smart baserunner and efficient basestealer. He'll have to maintain his quickness to stay in center field, where he shows good instincts and has a fringy arm. Holt is advanced enough to begin his first full pro season in high Class A.
Bryson signed with the Brewers in 2007 for $300,000 as a draft-and-follow in the final year before Major League Baseball eliminated the rule. He pitched well in the Milwaukee system before the Brewers packaged him along with Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley and Zach Jackson to acquire C.C. Sabathia from the Indians in July 2008. Bryson made just seven more appearances that season before injuring his shoulder and requiring surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff. That type of shoulder surgery is usually the kiss of death for a pitcher, but he bounced back strong last year after missing nearly the entire 2009 season. Bryson's low-90s fastball tops out at 95 mph and is a swing-and-miss pitch with good deception. Both of his secondary pitches need work. Though he flashes an average slider at times, it has long, slow break. He has worked on his changeup, but still uses it only occasionally and it's a below-average pitch. He throws strikes but still is honing his command after losing so much time to injury. He may return to Double-A to begin 2011.
Urshela was one of Colombia's top prospects in 2008, when he signed with the Indians for $300,000. He has developed into an outstanding defensive third baseman with legitimate Gold Glove potential, making difficult plays seem routine. He has excellent defensive instincts and shows good actions, range to both sides and a plusplus arm. He's not an outstanding athlete but has good footwork and advanced feel for the position considering his age. Urshela's bat isn't quite as advanced as his glove, but he has a projectable frame and makes consistent contact. His swing does get long, however, and he would benefit from a more patient approach. The Indians hope he'll develop some home run power as he fills out, but he doesn't project as a slugger. Speed won't be a big part of his game either. Urshela will make his full-season debut in low Class A this year at age 19.
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