2013 Draft Review

Clint Frazier 1. Clint Frazier – CF – AZL Indians
The next coming of Rusty Staub, Frazier has been on fire since joining the Arizona League Indians, immediately taking over the integral roles of center fielder and lead off hitter. Despite joining the team a week late, he still ended up leading in HR (5), RBI (28), hits (51) and triples (5). He has taken off faster than any other player I've ever seen with the Arizona Indians and will likely be moved at least one (possibly two) levels in 2014.

3. Dace Kime – SP – SS Mahoning Valley
Kime was immediately thrown into the starting rotation and was very impressive with an ERA of 2.92 and 26 K's in 24 innings. He went 0-2 in his nine starts, but that is much more to do with the poor offensive output than his own ability. He may play another season in short season, since he only pitched in nine games, or could split time in Lake County next season.

4. Kyle Crockett – RP – MV, LC & AZL AA Akron
Crockett advanced further than any other player from the 2013 team draft as he started in Mahoning Valley, but made it all the way to Akron before the season was through. He impressed at every level, striking out 32 in 24.2 innings. Comparisons immediately jump to Cody Allen, who had a similar meteoric rise through the minors that allowed him to make it to the Indians within a year of being drafted. While that may be putting too high of expectations on Crockett, he has been, by far, the best relief pitcher from this draft and one of the best in the whole system. He allowed just one run in both Lake County and Mahoning Valley and didn't allow a single earned run to score in Akron where he ended up throwing the most innings. He will likely start next year with the Aeros to make sure this season was not a fluke, but could possibly end up in the Majors as early as late 2014, earlier than any other player from the draft.

5. Sean Brady – SP - AZL Indians
Brady has been the Indians best starter, in fact, the only one with an ERA below 4.30. In 10 starts, he has been simply amazing, keeping runners off the bases (WHIP of under 1.00) and off the plate (1.97 ERA). Equally impressive, Brady has struck out almost a batter per inning and walked just six compared to 30 strike outs. As the third pitcher taken in the draft, not much is expected of Brady, but he certainly started things off well.

6. Casey Shane – RP - AZL Indians
For every pitcher who outperforms his expectations, one has to fall the other way and Casey Shane would prefer to forget about his first professional season. His ERA of 6.52 is second worst among Indians pitchers with at least 20 innings logged, a feat on a poor pitching team. His WHIP of 1.69 is also second to last (ahead of Anthony Vizcaya) and he is close to walking as many batters as he strikes out. At 18 years old, Shane will likely be blessed with a second year in Goodyear in 2014 to get himself straight. 

7. Kenny Mathews – SP - SS Mahoning Valley
Mathews was even more impressive as a starter than number two pick, Dace Kime (2.52 ERA, 1.22 WHIP), but finished the season with an even worse 0-3 record. Along with Kime, Mathews will need to be stretched out a little more before next season (he averaged less than four innings per start) and both pitchers will join the Indians instructional league this fall.

8. Trevor Frank – RP - SS Mahoning Valley
Frank was a solid relief option for the Scrappers after being drafted and lead the team with a 39/2 K/BB rate. He was used to finish games 14 times and saved three games to lead the team. He held an impressve 2.83 ERA, but like many pitchers on the scrappers, was "aided" by a poor defense or a picky official scorer. Frank allowed five unearned runs. The team as a whole allowed 71 unearned runs, an incredible number considering the fact that they play in a short season.

9. Thomas Pannone – RP - AZL Indians
Pannone really struggled this year, allowing more runs than innings pitched and more than two base runners per inning. He was drafted by the Cubs last year late in the draft, but didn't sign, hoping to be taken higher, which he was by the Indians in 2013. He will need another season in rookie ball, despite the fact that he will be 20 when the 2014 season begins.

11. Adam Plutko – RHP – DNP
Plutko wasn't signed until July and was not assigned to a minor league squad in 2013.

13. Sicnarf Loopstok – C - SS Mahoning Valley
The man with the great name had to split time with three other catchers, none of which were incredible. Loopstock hit safely just 15 times in 24 games, knocking in just two runs. The Indians will have to clean up their catcher situation at the low levels if they want to give any single player a chance to excel.

14. Silento Sayles – OF - AZL Indians
Sayles has been versatile in the outfield, spending time in all three positions when needed, making made just two errors and none in center field, his primary position. He has struggled offensively, however, batting under .200 and knocking just four RBI in 31 games. He seems to be a free swinger, striking out 32 times as well, but that should improve as he matures as a hitter.

16. James Roberts – SS - SS Mahoning Valley
Roberts was the starting short stop for the Scrappers and was a leading proponent of the 71 unearned runs allowed by the team. He committed nine errors at short for a terrible fielding percent of .911. His 18 games at third base may have shown his true future as a baseball player as he committed just a single error at the hot corner. Offensively, however, he has work to do no matter where he wants to play. He batted just .235 and didn't show spectacular power or speed. Despite being a college player from USC, he probably should have started in Arizona.

18. Paul Hendrix – 2B - SS Mahoning Valley
Hendrix was probably the best of the new middle infielders in Mahoning Valley, but still has plenty of work to do. Used primarily as a second baseman, but also some at short stop, he batted just .258/.330/.333 with just 12 extra base hits. Defensively, he was better than the rest of the infield, but still needs work as well. He will join Roberts and Claudio Bautista in the Indians instructional league this fall.

19. Matthew Whitehouse – RP - SS Mahoning Valley
Whitehouse started four games for the Scrappers, but was also the best reliever on the team. He had the lowest ERA in Mahoning Valley of all pitchers with at least five innings pitched. His WHIP is also the best, allowing less than three runners every four innings. His K/BB rate of 29/4 is very impressive as well, showing he has great control, at least as far as minor league umpires are concerned.

20. Shane Rowland – C - AZL Indians
Rowland was forced to split playing time with the Indians as one of three catchers with at least 20 games played. He must be considered the worst of these three offensively (.218 AVG), a fact that does not help his career in the short term as he is four years older than the top catcher on the team, Francisco Mejia.

22. Ben Heller – RP - SS Mahoning Valley
Heller lead all Scrapper relievers in appearances and was effective, holding an ERA of 3.13 while earning three holds and saving two games. His strike out rates are also where they should be at his level with 39 strike outs in 35 innings.

Grant Fink3 23. Grant Fink – 1B - AZL Indians & MV
If it weren't for Frazier playing in Arizona, Fink would look like an All-Star. He came in second in the team in RBI (23) and hits (42) while leading in doubles (14). He was originally listed as a third baseman, but has been used almost exclusively as a first baseman, holding a .990 FLD% while at first. At third, however, he has struggled, committing three errors in just nine games. 

24. Kerry Doane – RP - SS Mahoning Valley
Doane wasn't used much, pitching in just nine games in relief, averaging about two innings per appearance. Over that period, he allowed eight runs, leading to a 4.15 ERA. As a late draft pick from a small school, little is expected of Doane. He should get another chance at the lowest levels next year to see if he can make something of himself.

25. Cole Sulser – SP - SS Mahoning Valley
Sulser ended up being the Scrappers top starter by the end of the season, leading the team in wins and ERA, strike outs and WHIP. As a starter, his 60/9 K/BB is truly amazing, especially for his first year at a professional level. The Indians were lucky to steal such an accomplished college level pitcher this late in the draft and it will be exciting to see what he can do at the next level.

27. Juan Gonzalez – C - AZL Indians
Gonzalez was listed on the roster with Arizona, but never got into a game look for him to make his professional debut in 2014 with the AZL Indians.

32. Cortland Cox – RP - AZL Indians
It can be difficult to get innings in on a team that used 28 different pitchers including draft picks from the last two seasons, international free agents and rehabbing pitchers from upper levels. Cox was only able to get into three games, where he allowed two earned runs and struck out three. He will likely get to spend another year in Goodyear where he should get more playing time as a second year player.

Jordan Milbrath 35. Jordan Milbrath – RP - AZL Indians
I had the opportunity to see Indians middle reliever in action recently and he was throwing flames. Unfortunately this only lasted a few pitches and as his fastball slowed, he became more hittable, eventually giving up lead. He has been fair overall this year, but with an ERA nearing 5.00, still has some work to do at the Rookie level before moving on.

 

Mike Giuffre2 36. Mike Giuffre – 3B - AZL Indians
Giuffre comes in with no expectations as he was drafted lower when he was in 2008 after five more years of development. He has found it hard to get into games in Arizona, where the Indians have been starting much higher ceiling players like Yonathan Mendoza and Ordomar Valdez. In the seven games Giuffre did get into, he batted .154 with seven strike outs and six walks. Of course, the six walks lead to a very respectable .421 OBP, which is either a signal that he has a very good eye or was just taking a lot of pitches in a league with very wild pitchers.

37. Garrett Smith – 2B – AZL Indians & MV
Smith has been able to obtain some playing time due to being a kind of super utility players. He has spent time at four different positions (2B, 1B, SS and LF), but never really hit his way into the lineup. At the plate, there was no resemblance to the versatile defenseman as he batted .059 in 18 games with no extra base hits.This late in the draft, Smith was a kind of throw away pick and has no Major League expectations, but could be useful in filling out minor league rosters during his career.

38. Justin Garcia – RHP – DNP
Garcia wasn't signed until July and was not assigned to a minor league squad in 2013.

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona.

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