We've entered the thick of mock draft season, and today one of the most anticipated entries, that of ESPN's Keith Law, has arrived. (Insider only) Law projects that the Indians will use theit 1st round pick (#17 overall) on Ian Happ, a second baseman from the University of Cincinnati. He would be the first Bearcat ever drafted in the 1st round.
Law describes the Indians as a "best player available" team, and says Happ would fit that bill. Happ, a 20-year-old junior, is a switch-hitter, and was just named American Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He's batting .369/.492/.672 for the season, with 18 doubles and 14 home runs in 198 at bats. he'd hit for a good average and drawn a good number of walks in earlier years, but his power numbers represent a big jump.
I said earlier this week that the system seems to be in greater need of pitching than position players, but no farm system can ever have too much of either, and "best player available" is the right philosophy. Projecting what might happen years down the road is pretty foolish, but if you want to play that game, you might imagine Happ taking over at second base in 2019, when Jason Kipnis would be 32 and entering the final year of his contract with the team.