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Tribe's future seen now
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06/05/2002 9:18 pm ET 
Tribe's future seen now
Architect of Indians draft likes his collection of talent
By Justice B. Hill / MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- John Mirabelli headed into his third draft as Indians scouting director with a simple mission: find talent.

Oh, Mirabelli also wanted to fill some organizational needs, but talent is what he was looking for in a player draft that, baseball experts say, was short on impact players.

No Chipper Joneses or Mark Priors or Alex Rodriguezs were going to jump off the ballfields at high schools and colleges and give a ballclub a quick infusion of can't-miss talent, the experts say.

Mirabelli didn't disagree with them.

Still, he saw the '02 First-Year Player Draft, if it turns out a success, as a tribute to hard work his scouts did in scouring the land for diamonds that might need polishing. He thought the Indians had plucked more than a few of those diamonds from the field of talent.

From No. 1 Jeremy Guthrie to No. 72 Pat Osborn or No. 82 Jason Cooper, Mirabelli, the draft's architect, thought the Indians had achieved their mission.

"When I look at those top 20 picks, I see a nice balance of young players, more advanced players and even some college players like (Brian) Slocum, Osborn and Cooper," Mirabelli said. "I'm pretty happy with the balance we got in those picks."v

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What he also liked, he said, was that the Indians found players who could fill some organizational needs. The consensus was that the Tribe's farm system was short of positional players, and if the 2002 draft had a positional tilt for the Indians, it was toward those kinds of players, and not pitching.

Mirabelli saw picks like third baseman Matt Whitney (No. 31), second baseman Micah Schilling (No. 43), first baseman Fernando Pacheco (No. 124), outfielder Louis Francisco (No. 154) and outfielder Brian Wright (No. 214) as bolstering the pool of talent in the organization's farm system.

"I think these guys addressed a lot of our needs," Mirabelli said.

He said he and his lieutenants started with a plan and stayed with it. The results, he said, are draft picks with more upside than the shallow pool of talent might indicate.

But a draft of baseball players is simply a hope in the unseen. Nobody can look seasons ahead and see how all of those diamonds look with more polish. They still could be rough gems not worthy of a high price tag.

Still, that doesn't mean Mirabelli is not happy with now those players look in the aftermath of the draft.

"How it turns out, we'll see," he said. "But we couldn't be more than pleased with how things fell for us."

INDIANS 2002 DRAFT PICKS
22 JEREMY S GUTHRIE RHP STANFORD U
33 MATTHEW J WHITNEY 1B PALM BEACH GARDENS HS
41 MICAH C SCHILLING 2B SILLIMAN INSTITUTE
63 BRIAN J SLOCUM RHP VILLANOVA U
72 PATRICK B OSBORN SS U FLORIDA
82 JASON M COOPER RF STANFORD U
94 DANIEL E CEVETTE LHP ELKLAND AREA HS
124 FERNANDO PACHECO 1B MONTGOMERY HS
154 LOUIS B FRANCISCO OF U CALIFORNIA
184 MICHAEL K HERNANDEZ LHP FRESNO ST U
214 BRIAN G WRIGHT OF NORTH CAROLINA ST U
244 BLAKE T ALLEN LHP UNION U
274 SHAUN M LARKIN 2B CALIFORNIA ST U
304 KEITH RAMSEY LHP U FLORIDA
334 WILLIAM PEAVEY 1B U SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
364 RANDALL C LONGWORTH LF JJ KELLY HS
394 REID G SANTOS LHP SADDLEBACK CC
424 MICHAEL D MITCHELL RHP ST CHARLES JC
454 NATHAN E PANTHER OF CF MUSCATINE CC
484 OMAR CASILLAS C ANA J CANDELAS
514 JEFFERY W OSTRANDER LHP PATRICK HENRY HS
544 JAHSEAM GEORGE LHP SAN JOSE ST U
574 CURT T MENDOZA OF REDLANDS HS
604 CHRIS WHITE LHP KENT ST U
634 EZEKIEL A PARRAZ SS CC SOUTHERN NEVADA
664 CLAYTON A MCCULLOUGH C EAST CAROLINA U
694 AARON TENNYSON LHP MILAN HS
724 DANIEL N DONALDSON LHP MEMORIAL HS
754 NICHOLAS J PESCO RHP COSUMNES RIVER COL
784 JOSE CARDONA LHP AMERICAN MILITARY ACADEMY
814 DEREK A DUNNE RHP SULLIVAN HS
844 TIM R SABO RHP DON BOSCO PREP
874 RUBEN FLORES RHP RIVERSIDE HS
904 DANIEL EISENTRAGER RHP SS CALIFORNIA ST U
934 JEFFREY B DAVIS RHP U KANSAS
964 ROBERT S DOUGLAS LHP U SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
994 JENSEN D LEWIS RHP ANDERSON HS
1024 CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS C MARCUS HS
1054 KEVIN D HAWKINS RHP EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL
1084 AARON J BRAITHWAITE OF INDIAN RIVER CC
1114 LUIS A DEJESUS SS NEW MEXICO CC
1144 JOHN E MORAN SS SOUTHAVEN HS
1174 BLAKE G TAYLOR RHP U SOUTH CAROLINA
1204 SHEA S MCFEELY SS FEDERAL WAY HS
1234 ANDREW J KNIGHT LHP MAIZE HS
1264 CHRISTOPHER A ROSARIO CF PINE RIDGE HS
1293 MATTHEW D PAZ RHP CALIFORNIA ST U
1321 RICHARD F WELLS 3B GLENDALE COL
1348 TRUAN J MEHL CF HUTCHINSON CC
1375 AARON C DAVIDSON 2B U FLORIDA
1401 JAMES M MAYER SS SOMERSET SR HS
1427 BRYCE Z KARTLER LHP ARIZONA ST U
1452 DANIEL S LINDNER RHP POTOMAC ST COL
1476 RICARDO CONCEPCION RF PETRA CORRETSER HS

Justice B. Hill covers the Indians for MLB.com. He can be reached at jbernardh@aol.com



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