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Tribe's quest for talent goes well
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06/03/2003  6:45 PM ET 
Tribe's quest for talent goes well
Mirabelli says Indians stick with plan of picking best player available
By Justice B. Hill / MLB.com Vote now for the 2003 All-Star game
CLEVELAND -- John Mirabelli looked at ease as he took a break from the Tribe's draft room Monday afternoon. The First-Year Player Draft was winding to the end of its first day, and Mirabelli had already used his two No. 1 picks.

As he talked to the media, Mirabelli was through Round 4, and he had drafted six potential prospects for a farm system that Baseball America had described as the deepest in the Major Leagues. For Mirabelli, the day had gone about as he had expected.

"This was really a tough draft to gauge, even up to the 11th hour," said Mirabelli, the Tribe's director of scouting and draft coordinator. "Even after the first five or six picks fell, we weren't sure who was gonna come our way.

"But you gotta be ready to move; you gotta be open-minded; you gotta be flexible in your thinking and react to what happens in front of you."

Mirabelli said he and his staff did, which is why they were pleased with the talent the Indians were able to select on Day 1 of the 2003 draft.

The players that the Indians picked Monday all fit the theme Mirabelli & Co. went into the draft with: take the best talent available. Those players were:

  • No. 11 overall: Michael Robert Aubrey, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound first baseman. He swings a bat that has a lot of dynamite in it. Baseball America called the 21-year-old Aubrey the eighth best talent in the draft. At Tulane last season, he hit .433 with 16 homers and 76 RBIs
  • No. 18 overall: Brad Snyder, 6-3, 205-pound outfielder. Snyder, 21, starred at Ball State, and Baseball America called him the third-best "Five-Tool Talent" among college players available. A native of Bellevue, Ohio, he hit .405 with 14 homers and 61 RBIs for the Cardinals.
  • No. 31 overall: Adam Miller: 6-4, 175 pound right-hander. Pitching for McKinney High School in Texas, Miller's record was 10-2 with a 0.56 ERA. With a three-quarter delivery, he is pitcher with far more savvy than his age (18) might suggest. Baseball America ranked him as the 35th best player.
  • No. 48 overall: Javi Herrera: 6-2, 190-pound catcher. Herrera, 21, batted .309 with 9 homers and 31 RBIs. Baseball America ranked him as 56th best player.
  • No. 78 overall: Ryan Garko: 6-2, 225-pound catcher. Considered the No. 19th-best prospect out from Northern California. His Stanford background continues that school's pipeline to the Indians. They drafted two Cardinal players last June: pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and outfielder Jason Cooper. Both signed with the Tribe.
  • No. 108 overall: Ben Harrison: 6-4, 203-pound outfielder. Baseball America ranked Harrison as the 17th-best prospect in Florida, a hotbed of baseball talent.
  • No. 138 overall: Juan Valdes: 6-0, 150-pound outfielder. A speedy outfielder who gets a good jump on the ball. A switch-hitter, Valdes is described as having a level swing. He runs well, and has a good arm. His major flaw is a lack of overall strength, but at 17, Valdes has plenty of time to add muscle.
  • No. 168 overall: Kevin Kouzmanoff: 6-1, 200-pound third baseman. Played four seasons at the University of Nevada.
  • No. 198 overall: Matthew Davis: 6-2, 200-pound right-hander. Played four seasons at Ohio State, which is still alive in the NCAA Tournament.
  • No. 228: Robert Ashabraner: 6-7, 230-pound right-hander. Pitched for California State the past four seasons. Ashabraner has a Jeff Nelson-type body. His fastball is considered Major League quality. He throws strikes, and is considered a candidate for set-up duty.
  • No. 258: Anthony Lunetta: 5-10, 185-pound shortstop. Played four seasons at Southern Cal. Smooth fielder with soft hands, scouts project Lunetta as a second baseman.
  • No. 288 overall: Scott Roehl: 6-0, 200-pound right-hander. Pitched for Arkansas the past four seasons. Roehl throws with a three-quarter motion. Scouts call his curveball his "out" pitch. Roehl has a power arm.
  • No. 318 overall: Ryan Mulhern: 6-1, 210-pound outfielder. Played four seasons for South Alabama. Scouts say Mulhern has a strong, solid build, which is similar to Shane Andrews. Adequate as a defender, but shows power to all fields.
  • No. 348 overall: Brandon Pinckney: 5-9, 165-pound shortstop. Played for Sacramento Community College.
  • No. 378 overall: Steven Reinhold: 5-9, 175-pound second baseman. Played for Tuscola High School.
  • No. 408 overall: Denton Williams: 6-3, 190-pound outfielder: Played at A&M Consolidated High School.
  • No. 438 overall: Ryan Spilman: 6-2, 185-pound catcher: Played for Mt Vernon High School. Scouts say Spilman as "plus" tools as a catcher. He knows how to play the game.
  • No. 468 overall: Aaron Leffey: 6-1, 178-pound left-hander. Played for Allegany High School. Scouts say Laffey, 18, has three Major League pitches, including a tight curveball. He has a live arm.
  • No. 498 overall: Jeffrey Pry: 6-4, 205-pound right-hander. Played for Franklin High School.
  • No. 528 overall: Dustin Barnard: right-hander. Played for Connors Community College.
  • No. 558 overall: Joseph Huskins: 6-3, 185-pound catcher. Played for Cypress Junior College.
  • No. 588 overall: Shane Mathews: 6-2, 180-pound right-hander: Played at St. Stephens High School. Scouts say Mathews, 18, lacks secondary pitches. Long way from a Major League prospect.
Justice B. Hill is a senior writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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