Manny Acta is more than happy to let Indians scouting director
Brad Grant do his job, especially with the 2011 MLB draft beginning just days from now on Monday at 7 p.m.
"I don't get involved in it at all,"Acta said. "I trust the people that are doing that and I have enough on my hands. Brad has done a tremendous job the last couple of years he's done it."
In fact, this season Acta has no idea who are even the top players in the country right now.
"I didn't go to college here, so there's no allegence to anybody, so I don't follow it," the Dominican Republic native said.
Also, the lack of an clear No. 1 pick has kept this year's pre-draft hype in check compared to the last two years.
"This year there's not that many high-profile guys like in the past - like (
Stephen) Strasburg and the (
Bryce) Harper kid, where everybody kind of got to know who they were," Acta said.¶
Having managed in A-ball for eight seasons and running the Houston Astros Dominican Academy, Acta spent a long time working closely with young prospects. Still, he's not secretly hoping that Grant will bring him videos of players and asking for his opinion on whom the Tribe should take with their 8th overall selection, followed by their subsequent picks at 67, 97 and 128.
"I've done it in the past, but not here," Acta said.
The one aspect of the draft that Acta did have a lot of opinion on came when he was asked what he thought was the hardest thing to evaluate in the draft.
"A high school position player," he said quickly. "It's so tough to project a kid that's 17, 18 years old. You have a better idea about a college guy than a high school guy. I worked a lot of years in the minor leagues and I've run (into) a lot of those can't-miss or can't-play type of kids where ther's so much time ahead of them to make it to the big leagues. It's very tough to put your head on the line and tell the whole world that a 17-year old guy is going to be a middle-of-the-order bat.
That's why Acta realizes one of the hardest jobs in baseball is scouting.
"It's so easy to say a guy can't play because a majority of the time you'll be right," Acta said. "Because that's what the numbers say. The toughest thing it to put your name and your stamp on a guy you feel is going to be a good player.
"It's the same thing when we were in the minor leagues writing the reports. You're putting your name right next to a guy whom nobody in
the room thinks can play. But you feel like he can play because besides the tools, he's got the makeup...That's the thing, when you put your name right next to a guy that's not considered a bonafied major league prospect, then you have to devlop this guy and prove to everybody else that this guy can play."