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Cleveland Indians 2009 draft review

Who were the hits and misses of the Tribe's 2009 draft? Part two of the LGT draft series sees Jason Kipnis joining the fold.

Vidal Nuno — the one that got away?
Vidal Nuno — the one that got away?
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With two of the top three picks subsequently being traded away in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal, the 2009 draft is rather hard to assess. For a contemporary reaction, here are Ryan's original 2009 draft articles: Rounds 1-3, Rounds 4-30.

1 (15). Alex White. RHP. Age 20. $2.25 MM bonus. -0.9 career fWAR (as of June 1).
White raced through the minors and made his MLB debut in April 2011. However, his Indians career was short-lived as he was traded to the Rockies as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal that July. After he struggled through 20 starts with the Rockies in 2012, he underwent TJ surgery and has spent the last couple of years in AAA with the Astros.

2 (63). Jason Kipnis. CF/LHH. Age 22. 12.8 career fWAR.
Whatever your thoughts on the Jimenez trade, many might consider the 2009 draft a major success purely because of Jason Kipnis. After an All-Star appearance in 2013, Kipnis was derailed by an oblique injury last year, but he is currently enjoying the best spell of his career.

Here is Baseball America's pre-draft scouting report: "Kipnis doesn't have one standout tool, but can do a little bit of everything. He has a patient approach and a line-drive swing. He has shown he can hit quality pitching, though he doesn't profile for big power with a wood bat, making him a potential tweener. While his defense in center field has improved, he doesn't have the range to stay there long-term -- yet he might not hit enough to man a corner spot. He may also get a chance to try second base." Source.

3 (94). Joe Gardner. RHP. Age 21.
Like Alex White, Gardner was sent to the Rockies as part of the Jimenez trade. However, he has never made it past AA. After a short spell with the Cubs last year, he joined the Braves who subsequently released him in February.

4 (125). Kyle Bellows. 3B/RHH. Age 20.
Bellows was drafted as a power-hitter, but like Gardner, he never made it past AA and he was released by the Tribe in March last year.

5 (155). Austin Adams. RHP. Age 22. Career fWAR: -0.2.
Adams has bounced backwards and forwards between Columbus and the Indians this year, and is currently on the 25-man as a result of Scott Atchison's injury. He was a promising starter earlier in his career (26 starts in Akron in 2011 for a 3.77 ERA/3.57 ERA) but after shoulder surgery cost him the 2012 season, Adams was switched a relieving role where his 98-100 MPH fastball has played well in the minors, but hasn't yet been so effective in the bigs.

6 (185). Ben Carlson. 1B/LHH. Age 21.
Carlson retired from baseball after he hit below the Mendoza line for Lake County in the 2010 season.

7 (215). Jordan Henry. CF/LHH. Age 20.
Henry made it to Akron halfway through the 2010 season, but he was never able to develop any power (no home runs at any farm level) and was released after Spring Training in 2013.

8 (245). Cory Burns. RHP. Age 21. Career fWAR:  -0.1.
After a great year as a closer at Akron in 2011 (35 saves; 2.11 ERA), Burns was traded to the Padres for Aaron Cunningham in Deccmber that year. He subsequently made it to the MLB with both the Padres and Rangers, but couldn't establish himself and, after a couple of waiver claims, he was DFA by the Blue Jays in January. He remains in the Blue Jays organization at AA.

9 (275). Preston Guilmet. RHP. Age 21. Career fWAR: 0.0.
After earning a cup of coffee (four games) with the Tribe in 2013, Guilmet was traded to the Orioles for Torsten Boss in April last year. He played in ten games for the Orioles last year and has since been through the waiver mill, passing through Pittsburgh and Toronto before ending up at the Rays, for whom he recently returned to MLB action.

10 (305). Brett Brach. RHP. Age 21.
Brach was never a highly regarded starting prospect, and peaked as a solid "organizational guy" for Akron in 2012 and 2013 (with the odd AAA appearance). He was released by the Indians last May and spent seven weeks with the Nationals before they too let him go.

12 (365). Joseph Colon. RHP. Age 19.
Joe Colon's career has been blighted by numerous injuries. It seemed like he may have put those behind him with 25 starts at Akron last year, but he suffered a late-season shoulder sprain and has only recently returned to action, being brought along gently in a relieving role. With the wave of young arms at Akron (Anderson/Morimando/Merritt/Clevinger/Plutko) he faces an uphill task to reestablish himself in the rotation and will probably remain in the bullpen for the time being.

27 (815). Tyler Sturdevant. RHP. Age 23.
After undergoing TJ surgery in 2013, Sturdevant was well on the way to establishing himself at Columbus until he tested positive for amphetamines in February. He will shortly be completing a 50-game suspension.

48 (1445). Vidal Nuno. LHP. Age 21. Career fWAR: 1.4.
The one that got away? Nuno was released after playing in 21 games (16 starts) at Lake County in 2010 for a 4.96 ERA/4.11. At the time the Indians reportedly suggested that he should try and develop a change-up, and after a brief spell in independent ball working on his new pitch, he was snapped up by the Yankees,. He then raced through their farm system to make it to the bigs in 2013. Last July he was traded to the Diamondbacks for Brandon McCarthy in a seemingly lopsided trade, and he has been bouncing between AAA and MLB this year (but has actually pitched well in his sporadic MLB relief appearances). Last night he was traded to the Mariners as part of the Mark Trumbo deal. Nuno may possibly never amount  to any more than a long reliever, going forward, but even so he has already achieved an amazing amount for a 48th rounder.


25-man roster: 2 (Jason Kipnis, Austin Adams)

AAA: 1 (Tyler Sturdevant)

AA: 1 (Joseph Colon)

Played MLB but no longer with Tribe: 4 (Alex White, Cory Burns, Preston Guilmet, Vidal Nuno)

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