The Indians perform terribly in the draft. Or they don't. Or it is too early to tell. Or the draft is just one part of talent acquisition. Or they are unlucky. Or the economics of the draft are too messed up to use it as a basis for evaluation. Or all of that. Probably all of that.
But one thing worth remembering is that even while we have had a lot of front office consistency over the past 8 years, the management of the draft has changed since 2008 with Brad Grant taking over Amateur Scouting. I can say with certainty that it is too early to evaluate his success or failure in that role, but I think the early signs from the 2008 and 2009 draft are positive. Here, for example, are our picks in the top 3 rounds the past two seasons and what they are currently up to:
1st round: Alex White - Already 2 starts into his tenure at Akron. Would be nice to see his Ks go up, but early results, particularly as they relate to sticking in the rotation, are positive.
2nd round: Jason Kipnis - Transition to 2B at Kinston this season a work in progress, but bat is looking nice for the position (.299/.379/.480)
3rd round: Joe Gardner - Perhaps the most impressive/surprising performer so far this season in the Tribe's system. Lots of Ks, tons of GBs. Goldstein says he is a one-pitch (sinker) guy, but the Indians seem pretty good at milking that pitch.
1st round: Lonnie Chisenhall - 2009 prospect sensation gave everyone a scare with his shoulder-related DL-stint. Going 8-19 with 2 HRs in the week since coming off the DL for Akron feels nice.
2nd round: Trey Haley - the kind of high(ish) ceiling high school arm many people constantly clamor we get more of. The Indians had some developmental restrictions on his last year which contributed to him allowing more BBs than Ks (and about as many runs). Signs of turning it around this year (see his May 25th and May 4th starts), and doesn't turn 20 for a few weeks.
3rd round: Cord Phelps - Doesn't have a ceiling as more than a utility guy, but already in Akron and putting up satisfactory numbers.
The following are the other guys whose names are still relevant one or two seasons post-draft. A few of these guys are legitimate prospects, a few others haven't yet reached the point where becoming a prospect is out of the question.
Check out mcrose's fanshot for more discussion of this year's draft prospects