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Indians Indians Archive Drew Pomeranz and Day 2 Draft Thoughts
Written by Tony Lastoria

Tony Lastoria
Drew PomeranzLast night the Indians selected University of Mississippi junior left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz with their first round pick (5th overall). Here are some quick thoughts on the pick and some quick thoughts on what could unfold today on Day 2:

• The Pomeranz pick was not really much of a surprise, in fact going into the draft most prognosticators had him going to the Indians. That said, some final hour discussion from national media types that mentioned he may be slipping on draft boards did add some drama to the Indians selection and did make many people (including yours truly) reconsider who the Indians may end up taking. In the end, the reports were bogus and the Indians took their top guy.

• The Indians have not commented on who else they were considering for the pick, but every indication has been given that he was their guy all along with the assumption that Harper, Taillon and Machado would not be there when they picked. Had the Royals taken Pomeranz it is unknown who the Indians may have taken and if they would have selected Chris Sale or Michael Choice, but it appears they knew they were getting Pomeranz because he wouldn’t go top three and the Royals had no connection to him. Some of the late news of the Indians backing off on him may have been a smokescreen to kind of quiet the talk he would be the pick as everyone was aligning him up with the Tribe. Mission accomplished.

• Some may be wondering if Pomeranz will pitch in the Indians system this year, but from what I am hearing he very likely will be a late signing just like Alex White was last year. Unless he goes for slot, which is not happening, both sides are going to let this play out until the mid-August signing deadline gets closer. This should be no surprise as just about every one of the Top 10 picks will likely not sign until deadline day just like last year. What this means is if this happens then Pomeranz will not pitch this year for the Indians, just like White last year.

• Here is a quick take on Pomeranz from a rival AL scout who followed him this year: “Pomeranz is a big, strong, durable guy that has the ability to get his fastball in on right hand hitters at 90-95 with a good spike curveball. He's a workhorse. Will need to further the development of his change-up. He had a peck strain that he pitched thru that caused his velocity to drop. He was healthy at the end though. No concern with his health.”

• There have been some questions on how Pomeranz is considered a “power lefty” when he typically throws 91-93 MPH though touches 95 MPH. Some have brought up Dave Huff who often throws in the same range (91-93), but the difference here is not necessarily the actual velocity. Former Indians hurler Cliff Lee also typically threw 91-93 MPH and most observers would consider him more of a power lefty than Huff. With Pomeranz though the difference is he gets it consistently up to 93-94 and touches 95 MPH. Some guys also have fastballs which get on hitters quicker because of deception in their delivery, good late life, and/or good movement (all three qualities Pomeranz has).

• One interesting little nugget is the area scout for the Indians who followed Pomeranz and will be responsible for getting him signed is Chuck Bartlett. What makes this interesting is Drew's father, Mike, played at Ole Miss and lettered there for four years and his teammate was Chuck Bartlett. I'm not sure if that helps in negotiations at all, but there is some familiarity there (and hopefully trust) so every little bit helps.

• Shifting gears to today, so what will the Indians do with the #55 today? The Indians pick 5th overall in the second round and to start Day 2 of the draft. One name that is gaining huge interest in the on-line discussion world is local fireballing right-handed high school pitcher Stetson Allie (St. Edward) who is committed to pitch at the University of North Carolina. But don’t get your hopes up as he is sliding purely for signability reasons. If he stays healthy, with his 97-100 MPH fastball he has a chance to be the #1 overall pick in 2013 or at worst a top three guy, so the bonus demands right now are going to be huge. It would actually be a huge surprise to see the Indians take him early on Day 2, though they may take a flier on him if he were still available a few rounds into the day.

• Another guy to keep an eye on is A.J. Cole, a high school right-handed pitcher from Winter Springs, FL who is committed to the University of Miami, FL. He could be one of those “aggressive” picks Mirabelli hinted at last week. As for high school outfielder Austin Wilson (North Hollywood, CA), forget it. He is probably more unsignable than Allie at this point and is another guy who could become top overall pick material or a Top 5 guy.  The Indians have a pretty good relationship with the University of Michigan of late, so it would not be a surprise to see outfielder Ryan LaMarre be the pick at #55.

• Really, after the Indians loaded up on pitching last year by acquiring over 30 pitchers via the draft or trade, it may be time to put some focus on a few high profile bats out of high school in the higher rounds. There are currently some interesting hitters in the lower levels of the Indians’ system, but there is not nearly the amount of bats as seen in the upper levels, particularly Triple-A Columbus. With the system being so top heavy at the moment with Major League caliber bats, an influx of some good, raw bats would be nice. So, one of the things I plan to watch on Day 2 is how they attack the position player front and what gambles they take. Also, it will be interesting to see if their focus over the past year on acquiring power arms continues.

• Day 2 kicks off at noon today. We will be listing the picks on the as they come in just like last year.  Like with yesterday’s posting with Pomeranz, we will edit and update the profiles for each pick with new information as it comes in with scouting reports, analysis, stats, video, etc.

• By the way, if you are up for discussing the draft (or just want to lurk), follow the discussion on the IPI forums.

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