The Indians finished Tuesday with a win and two more players, OF/2B Jason Kipnis from Arizona State and Right-handed pitcher Joe Gardner from UC Santa Barbara. Here is a little info on both.
The left handed hitting junior has had a great 2009, (.385 avg/.496 OBP/.729 SLG/1.250 OPS) with 16 Homers and 71 RBI in 59 games with 26 stolen bases. Hopefully they stick with him at second base. Here is what ESPN's Keith Law has to say about him...
In retrospect Jason Kipnis made a wise decision to go back to school and raise his draft value. He has great bat speed and is strong enough to hit for power, but there is a concern that he has a grooved swing with no load and a soft front side, which in turn leads to a lot of swings and misses.
He has a great eye, works counts, and isn’t afraid of hitting with two strikes, though he doesn’t change his approach at all when he does have two strikes. The big question on Kipnis is position.
He’s an average runner who is at best 50/50 to even stay in center, but may not have the power to play corner outfield. Some clubs have though of returning him to second base, where he played in high school, but his body is different and moves to high- skill positions rarely work.
He was kicked off Kentucky and had to transfer after his freshman year, so there are lingering questions about make up. Though it should be noted he had zero problems since he moved to Tempe.
Nice to see them go with a position player so high, as I imagine most of the draft will be pitching heavy.
is a 6'5, 220 lb right hander out of UC Santa Barbara. Seems to be a bit of a project,as 2009 was his first season in Division 1 baseball. More from Keith Law about Gardner...
Joe Gardener transferred to UCSB and ended up being the Gaucho’s ace this year, leading his team in era by more than a run and a third. He’s very big, but lacks athleticism and looks awkward on the mound.
He sits right around 90, with a very good tailing life on the pitch, possibly thanks to his ¾ slots. His slider has decent speed but he gets around it too much. His change up has decent fade but stays up too long. His delivery isn’t pretty with a lot of extra movements and lack coordination.
He is very raw, but has size, arm strength, and a good ability to throw strikes. With a decent pitching coach there is is a chance there is even more velocity in that arm.
This draft pick points to be a guy they spend a bit of time with in the low minors since he is still just turned 21 years old. "The Gaucho" seems to be a fitting nickname for this this larger than life righty.
As for picks 4-50, Tribe Times will hit on a few players that jump out over the next two days.