The following are a few insights on the upcoming June 9th major league baseball draft according to Indians scouting director Brad Grant.
Grant, who met with reporters before Saturday's Indians game against the visiting Yankees, said he personally saw approximately 175 players this past year and up to 350 by video. The Tribe's first pick is the 15th overall.
* "This year's draft seems like it's pretty pitcher heavy. We think there's good depth to the pitching side of it both at the collegiate level and at the high school level."
* "We don't draft for major league need, but we do look at organizational need and incorporate that into our draft strategy."
* "Over the past two years we've been pretty position-player heavy in our drafts. So fortunately this year we're looking at the depth of the draft to add some pitching to the organization this year. That doesn't mean I'm going to take 50 straight pitchers - we'll mix in some position players - but the depth of this year's class is pitching."
* "Every year going into the draft the focus is always on that first-round pick. When you look at that pick, it's where your impact player usually comes from. You can add depth to your draft back behind (the first pick), but the success rate is in the first round."
Reagarding local baseball talent, Grant said: "It was down this year. I didn't have many home dates this year, I wish I had more. There's some, but not as strong as it's been in the past. It's more at the college level."
Which brought him to Kent State, which he praised for the university's ability to continully produce major-league type pitchers.
"Kent State is one of the hotstpots in Ohio. They're recruiting has been very good. They always seem to have good pitching year in and year out and they always seem to have pitchers who are drafted. They'd had some position player success as well, but they're very good at finding local talent and developing it into major league-type talent. They've had a very good track record, probably one of the best in the MAC."¶