With the current season off to a slow start, the 2009 draft looks to be a prime opportunity for the team to address some serious needs. Lack of consistency on the mound has doomed Cleveland for the past few years, with the exception of 2007. The team’s success seems to be based heavily upon power hitting and streaky pitching. With that being said, the 2009 draft will probably see the Indians address the team’s largest problem: pitching. With the 15th pick in the first round, here are some prospects the Indians might look to land:
Andrew Oliver – pitcher (Oklahoma State): Some college baseball fans might only remember Oliver for his run in with the NCAA regarding eligibility issues. Oliver was first team All-Big 12 in 2008 and 3rd in the conference in strikeouts. Despite struggling to a 5-6 record with a 5.30 ERA this season, Oliver still struck out 97 hitters and possesses the lefty arm that pro teams covet.
Mike Leake – pitcher (Arizona State): Leake has dominated while at Arizona State. As a freshman, he was Pac-10 co-leader in victories with 13 and struck out 94 batters over 127 innings of work. In his sophomore campaign, Leake was Pac-10 pitcher of the year and first-team All-American. He accumulated 11 wins and 104 strikeouts against only 20 walks. Leake has sparkled even more this year with a 16-1 record, 1.36 ERA, and 150 strikeouts through their Super Regional victory over Clemson.
Eric Arnett – pitcher (Indiana): The numbers from his first two years as a Hoosier certainly don’t jump off the page. As a junior, though, Arnett notched 12 wins and 109 strikeouts. This tied school records for both categories. Arnett was the first Hoosier to be named Big Ten pitcher of the year in 2009. He also notched 6 complete games while maintaining a sprkling 2.50 ERA. Arnett also looms large on the moung (6-5, 225).
Mike Minor – pitcher (Vanderbilt): After being a freshman All-American in 2007, Minor stepped up the next season leading the Commodores in strikeouts (101), innings pitched (103), complete games (2), and wins (7). He surpassed his totals in each of the aforementioned categories except for wins. Minor was 6-6 with a 3.90 ERA, but that was in the rugged SEC. Once again, Minor possesses the size (6-4, 195) and power lefty delivery coveted by the pros.