Needs: IF, OF
Cleveland's future catching situation is well in hand with last season's 1st round choice Juan Lira on his way up. The remainder of the infield, with the exception of Mathewson at SS, are all below the current league standard and could use upgrading. The outfield is in much better shape, but has been spread thin as a result of several natural outfielders being pressed into service in the infield to cover there. By far Cleveland's greatest strength is its pitching. Fast_eddie is set in both the rotation and bullpen for years to come. Wholesale commitment to drafting positional players would be my advice.
Draft Expectations: Moderate
With his first pick at 13th overall, fast_eddie should expect a star quality player with that pick. He also has a supplemental first rounder to give him two chances at a good quality player within the top 50 picks. Overall he has 6 picks in the first 5 rounds.
Middle of the road player payroll means that with some planning, fast_eddie should have a successful draft. He chose to forego the international market, and opted to put all his faith in the domestic draft. He sank a bit more funding into college scouting than high school scouting, and kept his prospect budget relatively low.
Round 1 Pick 13 RF Hector Borders
Although he may be better suited to play 1B, Borders will give Cleveland some much needed pop in the middle of the batting order. His outstanding speed and batting eye means he will most likely hit 3rd.
ML Projection: 25 HR/.300-.320 BA/30-40 SB
Round 1 Supp Pick 47 RP Cliff Larkin
Very solid relief pitcher will have a long career as a set-up man. His high make-up rating means he should come very close to his projected ratings. He has good control and very effective splits, and could also fill in as the closer if needed.
ML Projection: 70 IP/3-5 W/.210-.230 OAV/2.00-2.50 ERA
Round 2 Pick 70 SP/RP Adrian Gardner
Signability issues. If he had signed, he might have been a deceptively effective pitcher.
Round 3 Pick 102 SP Thumper Withem
Nice name. Unfortunately, that's about the only thing worthwhile about Thumper from a ML baseball point of view. AA or AAA ceiling
Round 4 Pick 134 SP Alvin Jacobs
Has some intriguing numbers. While his control and groundball/flyball ratio numbers are huge red flags, he sports ML quality left/right splits, and 3+ ML pitches. He is a player worth considering for a brief tryout at some point.
Round 5 Pick 166 C Javier Mercedes
Is borderline defensively for a catcher, and may be better served as a DH. His hitting numbers are good, but may not be good enough for a ML DH. He probably will top out as either a AAA C or AAA DH.
Hidden Gems: C King Rowe?, C Buddy Green?, RP Bud York
Overall Grade: C-
fast_eddie's 1st pick Hector Borders at no. 13 overall is right about what should be expected. The second pick, RP Larkin was a nice find in the supplementary round. After that though, the pickings get a bit lean. Hopefully for fast_eddie, some of the lower picks get a good bump from the DITR lottery.