2009 MLB Draft: Day One (Rounds 1-3)

Some interesting links from around the Web about today's MLB First-Year Player Draft (6:00 PM, MLB Network):

Draft Preview: Lottery a Tribe emphasis | indians.com: News
"The focus is always on that first-round pick, and that's usually where your impact players come from. There's always pressure, every year, with every first-round pick we take. But picking in the top half, we certainly feel even more pressure to make sure we're successful with that selection." -- scouting director Brad Grant, on the Indians' spot at No. 15.

Crystal ball: Plenty of Draft questions left | MLB.com: News (First Round Projection)
15. Cleveland Indians: Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana University It could come down to Arnett vs. Scheppers, with Arnett winning because of his easy signability and the questions surrounding Scheppers' shoulder.

BaseballAmerica.com: Draft: Draft Preview: John And Jim's Fantasy Draft
15. INDIANS (Jim). The Indians want an experienced pitcher and there's a guy sitting right here who may have the second-best stuff in the draft after Strasburg. We're not privy to the medical reports on St. Paul Saints (American Association) righthander Tanner Scheppers, but if they're clean, this is the point where his value clearly begins to outweigh any nagging doubts about his shoulder. I couldn't take Scheppers at No. 9, but I can take him here.

Ohio.com - Pitching is name of game for Indians in draft
Pitching, pitching and more pitching — and perhaps even younger pitching than has been the norm. That's the mantra of Indians scouting director Brad Grant as Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft begins Tuesday evening featuring a new format.

Indians Draft Picks Rounds 1-3

First Round (15): RHP Alex White, University of North Carolina

Alex White Scouting Report
White was a top high school prospect in 2006, but went to UNC instead. He's still one of the better arms now, though his performance in the spring has been a little uneven. He does have plus stuff with a fastball-slider combination along with the makings of two other pitches. He doesn't always command his fastball that well, but that could be corrected with some mechanical tweaks. With his stuff and his track record, he's likely to go pretty early on Draft Day.

Second Round (63): OF Jason Kipnis, Arizona State University

Jason Kipnis Scouting Report
It's hard to argue with the statistical success Kipnis has had at ASU, particularly in his junior season. But projecting him is a little more difficult. He's got average tools across the board and does tend to play above them. But he doesn't profile as an everyday guy at any one outfield position, making him more of a tweener or fourth-outfielder type. Still, he's tightened up his swing and his on-base ability should appeal to those teams who really value those skills.

Third Round (94): RHP Joseph Gardner, University of California - Santa Barbara

Joe Gardner Scouting Report
After the first tier of college right-handers, there are a number of interesting arms for teams to consider. Gardner, in his first season as a transfer to Santa Barbara, has put himself into that category. He's big and projectable with the chance to throw three at least average pitches. He runs into trouble when he loses his arm slot, his stuff flattens out and he loses command. Even with that flaw, however, the big righty should hear his name called in the first few rounds.

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