The AL Central went 5-0 against the NL West tonight, which is amazing considering that the games were played in NL parks.
Tonight’s game was giftwrapped by Khalil Greene; no doubt about it. But you have to at least mention Cliff Lee’s start, probably the best of his young career. He struck out 9 and walked two in his seven innings of work. The bullpen was excellent, and Wickman saved the game in his usual fashion. And, like usual, the Indians couldn’t put down a bunt when they needed one. This time, the culprit was Coco Crisp, who amazingly enough, got a bunt single earlier in the game. In situations where the bunt is absolutely called for, a guy like Coco has to put the ball on the ground.
Earlier in the day, the MLB Draft was held. For those who are unfamiliar with the process, the baseball draft is the complete opposite of the NFL’s hype-fest. Actually, this year the rules were changed so that teams have about 15-20 seconds to make their picks (obviously to increase fan interest). And the clubs make their picks via a conference line. The Indians had two extra picks in the first three rounds thanks to Omar Vizquel, and they mostly picked bats in the early going. Here’s a quick overview of the picks, but if you want more details, head over to Cleveland Indians Report.
OF Trevor Crowe: He’s a polished switch-hitter with good on-base skills. Isn’t that big, so maybe there’s a chance he could move to the infield. Looks like a leadoff hitter to me, although it should be interesting to see how his plate discipline holds up in professional baseball. Like Michael Aubrey two years ago, Crowe was probably college baseball’s best hitter when drafted. His ceiling is fairly low, but he should move quickly through the system.
OF John Drennen: A high school player with a good offensive game. He’s probably going to be a left-fielder as a pro, so you’re looking for power as he develops. A plus is his plate discipline, which combined with his power potential could make for an easier adjustment to professional baseball.
1B/LHP Stephen Head: The Indians drafted the Mississipi product as a first baseman, and unlike other players who get stuck at first base, Head is a good defender. His profile looks to me like Ben Broussard with a bit more power.
1B Nick Weglarz: This guy is huge; at 17 years old he’s listed at 6’3″ 205; who knows how big he’ll eventually get? Weglarz probably has the most “projectability” out of the first group of draftees, but at the same time his development into a major-league hitter might take some time. He’s a cold-weather kid (actually he’s from Canada), so that also may contribute to a slow move up the organizational ladder.
RHP Jensen Lewis: Jeremy Sowers’ teammate a year ago, Jensen is a right-handed finesse pitcher. He tops out in the low 90s, but has a good feel for his pitches, and can add or subtract from his pitches as needed. A low-ceiling pick, Lewis is probably a 4-5 starter at best in the majors, but the chances of flameout is pretty low.
Among the first five picks, I’d say Weglarz has the highest ceiling and Crowe is the closest to the majors. This draft was a pretty “safe” one for Scouting Director John Mirabelli; there isn’t the impact talent there was from the 2003 haul, although I like the overall picks compared to last year’s draft. But, we’ll have to wait 3-4 years to really know how this draft went.