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Encouraging things

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More encouraging things (I love this thread)




Mike Brantley's hitting again.


.375 avg, .444 OBP in August


.293 avg, .388 OBP since the all-star break



Continuing with the "since the all-star break" theme, he has 17 hits and 9 walks compared to 3 strikeouts. And he's stealing some bases. Sign me up for this version.

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The Tribe signs its top 3 (and their first 14, for that matter) picks from the 2010 draft.



Drew Pomeranz...


Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant's Takes:


On Drew Pomeranz: "Drew brings a power fastball 90-95 MPH with a plus late breaking swing-and-miss curveball, a changeup, and an ability to start. On the mound he is an extreme competitor as he is very mature and very focused. Nothing wavers him at all and he looks much more mature than everybody else out on the field because of that presence that he brings out on the mound. He was the SEC Pitcher of the Year, so that does have a factor for us, but at the same time he pitcher very well and was one of the top starters with Team USA this year. We scouted him out of high school, for three years at Mississippi, and with Team USA, so we have a lot of history similar to the history we had with Alex White [last year]. This winter after his performance with Team USA and in the Regionals, he was a targeted guy for us. We feel like we got a big front of the end rotation left-handed starter.”


On Pomeranz’s best attribute, biggest weakness: “He gets swings and misses with his fastball, that’s really the most impressive part [about him]. Not only is it 90-95 MPH, but it is explosive through the zone. Hitters just don’t hit it as there are a lot of swings and misses with it along with the curveball as well. The one pitch he needs to develop a little bit still is the changeup. He has a feel for it and does throw it, but it is something he needs to develop."



Levon Washington


Indians Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant's Take: “He is an athletic high upside centerfielder, and is a left-handed bat with an advanced approach to hit. He has very good natural bat speed and a very disciplined approach. He is a 7 runner on the 2-8 scale, which is a well above average runner. He is 4.0 to 4.1 down to first base which is well above major league players. He was a second baseman in high school and transitioned to center field this year in junior college, and we see him as a center fielder. With his speed and ability to cover gaps, and the ability to track down balls and go back and come in very well on balls he has a chance to be an above average centerfielder in the future. He also has power too, so [while] he has the leadoff discipline, hitting and running, he also has some ability to pull the ball out of the ballpark and drive the ball into the gaps. He is a good advanced junior college hitter. There is a lot of upside to LeVon; that’s what is exciting about him. He is a very good athlete with two things you can’t teach: above average bat speed and the ability to run. He had a slight tear to his throwing shoulder which caused him to have to DH sometimes in high school. This year the shoulder did not have any issues at all, though during the course of the season he did have some hamstring issues which caused him to miss games, but as far as the shoulder goes he has been fine. We are fine [with the makeup] and I have talked with LeVon in the winter and we have known him since high school. He is a good kid, and we are very comfortable with him.”



and Tony Wolters


Jeff Ellis: The Indians drafted a high school SS in the third round. Wolters is a guy who is a legit SS, he is one of the best prep defenders in the country and in many ways he compares very favorably to Christian Colon. Both were excellent defenders, both aren’t the quickest guys, both had above average pop, quick hands, and if you look just at athletic ability you might be a little let down. The thing with Wolters was he hit everyone as every top pitcher he faced he hit. His bat is his best skill and not only is he a good hitter, but he has a good eye and takes what a pitcher gives him. His defense is very good, rated best defender in the state of California by PGC. His arm is average, his hands are quick, and he has the natural instincts to play SS well. On top of all this Wolters is a baseball rat, he loves the game and has a great attitude towards the game. The one red flag is he was suspended this year after he had a work out with the Blue Jays, this lead to him being suspended for the end of this high school team’s season. While this was not a huge issue, it should still be noted.


The other comp you’re going to see a lot with Wolters is Dustin Pedoria, as both are undersized players who hit and played well in spite of their limitations. PGC actually picked Wolters and Kellen Sweeney as the middle infielders who will have the biggest impact in this draft. So not only do the Indians get a guy who fits what they are drafting for, but they also get there third highly though of player.


I like this pick, and love the fact he can play SS and is just a natural hitter and a kid who seems to love the game. He might cost more than slot, but he seems to be a kid who wants to sign now and play tomorrow.



Like people were saying during the draft, it seems like a pretty good mix of high-ceiling/high-floor players. Glad we got most of them signed. And obviously be sure to check out Indians Prospect Insider for write-ups on all of the picks.

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They also went above/equaled the next highest bonus paid in three of the first ten rounds. 3rd Wolters at 1.35 - avg .45, 8th Lavisky at 1.0 - avg at .2, 10th Holt at .5 - avg at .14.


Time will tell if they signed the right guys, but it's clear they're following the Pirates when it comes to acquiring talent. Not a bad model to mirror.



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Encouraging things......








CLEVELAND -- In a season geared toward the development of young players and answering questions for the future, the guy who has probably provided the highest level of comfort for the Indians is closer Chris Perez.


Thrust into the ninth-inning role when Kerry Wood was injured in Spring Training, and installed as a full-time fixture when Wood was injured again and then traded midseason, Perez has proven he can not only fill but thrive in that important lockdown role.


Entering Sunday's finale with the Royals, Perez had converted 11 of his past 12 save opportunities, including a five-out save Thursday night against the A's. He had allowed just two runs over his past 23 1/3 innings since June 28. He had also struck out 11 and allowed just two hits and a walk over his past eight innings of work.


A closer in college at the University of Miami and a closer for the Cardinals for a brief period in 2008, Perez has long wanted this full-time job, and he's making the most of it.


"This is something that is not new to him," manager Manny Acta said. "He's not a guy just being thrown into that role. That's what he's done before, so he never seemed out of place from the beginning, when he was doing it for Woody. He likes being in those situations. He's fearless. Even when he didn't have his best command the first couple weeks of the season, he didn't back down."


Perez's command was a bit rough around the edges in spring camp and at the outset of the season.


"Coming out of Spring Training," Perez said, "I was wondering if I was ever going to throw a strike again."


But Perez never went through a sustained struggle on the mound. And now he's put together a sustained period of excellence that has satisfactorily responded to at least one major question mark on a Tribe team looking for answers.


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