2008 Draftee Profile: Zach Putnam
Signing status: Still in negotiations through advisor at SSX Sports. He will be coming to Cleveland on July 10th to see a game and talk to Tribe officials. Said the round he was drafted in will have no effect on whether he signs and that, although he won't share his desired bonus, says that it is significantly above the slot for 5th rounders (around $175,000)
Birthdate: 7-03-87 (Happy birthday, Zach!)
Stuff: Fastball 91-92 and up to 95 mph. Has 5 pitches. Splitter is his out pitch but slider can be effective, too.
On being drafted as a pitcher instead of a hitter (he did both at Michigan): "I would have been happy either way but now, in thinking about it, I feel my future is on the mound. I still like hitting and maybe I can get to hit in interleague games if I make it to the majors."
On the scouts being concerned about his delivery and his peformance: "I have seen the video on MLB.com and I think a lot of their concern comes from early in the season when I got real sick and lost about 20 pounds that I am still trying to put back on. The video I saw was from an early season game where my whole body was just tight in my warmups and couldn't get loose in the game making my mechanics look 'off'. I will be very receptive to what the Indians have to say about my delivery."
Pre-draft buzz: Didn't have any idea the Indians might draft him. Scouts said he could go in the sandwich round to second round.
Strengths: Power pitcher, composure in tight games.
Playing status this summer: The Indians have asked that he not play summer ball so he he can focus on getting his strength and weight back from his illness this spring. He said he is having fun kicking back and enjoying his family and friends this summer but, as a baseball player, he has an itch to get started and probably will start his career full throttle in the fall instructional league even though he would like to play some this summer, if possible.
On playing in Columbus as a former Wolverine if the Indians' farm team moves there: "Hopefully with Pickens, Abraham and Recknagel being drafted by the Tribe we will have strength in numbers in Columbus. No problem, I think we will just have fun with it and it shouldn't be a big deal."
He said: "Don't hold it against me because I am a Wolverine fan. I will be a Cleveland Indian when I play and will do my best for the organization."