5/30 - Here is a great site that catalogs all the various mock drafts.
Currently it looks like it will be a college pitcher (from Jim Callis of BA) and that could would either be Bauer (who I predicted it would be in February), Jed Bradley, Matt Barnes or Taylor Jungmann. The latest rumors have the Indians maybe taking a run at Francisco Lindor who may fall due to concerns about his 5'11" stature. I have also seen one mock that has the Indians gambling and taking Taylor Guerrieri who came on this season after starting as the 47th best prospect in the country to currently being ranked 10th.
So, even though I don't put much stock in mock drafts, this draft is really interesting. I still like Barnes and Jungmann as everyone else has issues for me. Great upside, to be sure, but issues, nonetheless.
One thing about Jungmann: Most consider him a safe pick who will sign for slot.
One thing about Barnes: Scouts think that he may end up sitting at 95-96 mph (he currently sits at 93-94 and touches 97).
I think Barnes is the better ML pitcher down the road but Jungmann is solid, as well.
On a level playing field, I think Jungmann beats Barnes to the majors by 1/2 a season. That could be huge if the Indians poise themselves to make a run in 2013. If they are set up for a run in 2014 and beyond, then Barnes is the man for me. A school of thought says that if they compete in 2012 Bauer might be the best pick as he could be useful in the ML bullpen by the second half ot 2012 and, like Masterson, flop back over to starting in 2013. I still see him as a short righthander.
While one should not put much stock in mock drafts, two ones that just came out are really scary.
Baseball America has the Indians taking Jed Bradley. Bradley is not a bad player, by any means, being BA's #10 college prospect at the beginning of the year. Still, in a year where the power of the college bat has been dulled by new rules, Bradley has a 3.71 ERA. He has also given up 75 hits in 85 IP and walked 28 while striking out 94. Of those numbers only the K/IP is impressive.
Prospect Insider writer Jeff Ellis has the Indians taking Alex Meyer of Kentucky. Mr. Meyer has done nothing but disappoint during his career. He had a 5.93 ERA as a freshman and a 7.06 ERA as a sophomore when he had mononucleosis in the MIDDLE of the season. He started out slowly this year but has come on recently.
Bradley is a reach at 8, given who else is available and Meyer is the TYPICAL sucker pick. A guy who had huge potential coming out of HS but has not shown anything except in the last two months before the draft (go figure!). I know Jeff suggested these as "projected picks" but no one that I know of is projecting Meyer to go as high as 8th because everyone knows the risk of picking a guy based on two months in the past 3 years.
So, my money, and hopes, are still on Matt Barnes and Taylor Jungmann, in that order. I give Barnes the slight edge because he is a cold weather pitcher. Aside from that, they are a dead heat and, in my opinion, won't be tough signs (although if one or both are represented by Scott Boras and Co. that might change).
I have seen other recent projections with the Indians getting Trevor Bauer, Sonny Gray and an old projection with them getting Francis Lindor.
However, at this point, I still like Barnes and Jungmann the best. As I will point out later in my draft analysis, this is a DEEP draft but that quality depth BARELY extends to the Indians' second pick, if that far. I don't want to take the risk that Bradley will be better in the pros than he is in college where now we are seeing how guys like Jungmann (0.95 ERA) and Barnes (58 H in 105 IP with 97 K and 26 BB), prime prospects, can dominate and have for MULTIPLE years. So we need to hit on this first pick and Jed Bradley and Alex Meyer and even Sonny Gray are not the way to go. If we make that gamble, in a year with great draft depth, we may end up with an "F" or a "D" in 3-4 years from Baseball America and other draft experts.
We need to get a solid #2 with #1 potential out of this draft and that is not Bradley or Meyer who have #1 potential but now look like solid #3-5 guys, if their performance this year is compared to their draft-eligible colleagues.