Friday, June 08, 2007

MLB Draft---Indians

The Tribe continued its MO for high draft picks: they passed on extreme high-end talent to grab a good player, who might be ready more quickly, but more importantly, who's easy to sign. The extreme talent was Rick Porcello, a New Jersey high school RHP. Most scouts had him rated as the best righthander in the draft. He was clearly the best high school pitcher. He's 6-5 and weighs about a buck ninety. His fastball usually sits around 94-95, but he dials it up to 98 when he needs an out. He has four strong pitches, was the # 2 ranked prospect before the draft, has been compared to The Tribe's own Adam Miller, and should move very quickly through the Tigers' system. The Tigers? The got him at # 27 near the end of the first round. How the hell did that happen? I'll tell you. He's represented by Satan's disciple, Scott Boras. That means he'll get a better bonus than the $1.1 Million recommended by the Commissioner's office. Twenty-six other teams (really 25 because Tampa Bay doesn't count---they were locked on David Price of Vanderbilt, who was the best talent in the draft) passed on him because of Boras. Thanks Larry Dolan.

Now, the guy the Indians did take isn't chopped pastrami, or whatever. Beau Mills is a big boy. He's 6'3 and 220 pounds. He played 3B in college. He may have been the best power hitter in the draft. He's the son of Brad Mills, the Red Sox bench coach. So, he's been around the sport and understands it. He started out at Fresno State and hit pretty well there for his first two years. Then, he basically flunked out and transferred to Lewis-Clark State. He murdered the ball on the much smaller stage and was ridiculously better than everyone else in the NAIA. There's no question that Mills can pound a baseball.

Although he was a decent fielding 3B, he's probably destined for 1B. His arm is weak, and his range at third is only adequate. While I'm happy the Tribe got another big bat, he sounds eerily similar to Ryan Garko and Kevin Kouzmanoff and Michael Aubrey (without the big power) and Stephen Head and Nick Welgarz. All of those guys were high draft choices who could hit but were limited in the field. My point is that the Shapiro/Dolan team always takes big, one dimensional hitters rather than 5-tool athletes. It's all due to money. The hitters are easier and safer to project because they generally are what they look like. You really don't have to do much of a projection to know what you're getting. The problem is that that's all you get. If you look at Cleveland's farm system, you have to ask: Where are the middle infielders? Where are the base stealers ? Where are the athletes?

So, now the Indians have another big guy who plays 1B and hits homers. I'm not knocking having a guy who has big power, but guys you need to mix it up a little.

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