2009 Indians 3rd Round Pick: RHP Joe Gardner
6'5" 220 lbs.
UPDATE (11:54 PM EST): Dennis Nosco
Commentary: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder at this point. In the 3rd round you are looking for projectability and signability. Pitchers still on the board at this point were Ben Tootle and Joe Kelley, both snatched up right after Gardner and a number (23) of other guys, some pitchers, some position players, in Baseball America's top 100 prospects who weren't drafted on the first day. This is where the scouts and minor league coaches make their money. They must have scouting reports on most if not all of these guys. If they like Gardner better than 25 other players (plus all the guys in BA's top 160 or Keith Law's top 80 or whatever ranking you wish to use who were left when we took Gardner) then it is their gamble. It wasn't a pick where you were scratching your head and saying "who?" like some other teams' fans may have been with some of the picks that I saw but, at the same time, it wasn't the kind of pick that you went "YES, YES, YES" on. It was a scout's pick, in my humble opinion and, while it wouldn't have been my pick, it beats the heck out of Cord Phelps last year and, even for that matter, Ryan Garko a few years ago, in terms of where the guy was ranked versus where we picked him in the 3rd round and notice that those picks haven't been disasters, have they? Also, looking back at Mirabelli's 3rd round history, I think he has a pretty good record of not having clunkers in that round recently so let's give Brad Grant and Mirabelli some slack on this one. I can't wait to see this guy pitch. I am more anxious to see him pitch than to see White pitch, frankly, as they must see something in Gardner that I would like to see, as well.
UPDATE (11:24 PM EST): Official Release
With their 3rd round selection (94th overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft the Indians selected RHP JOE GARDNER, a 6-5, 220-pound right-handed pitcher from UC Santa Barbara College. The junior hurler posted a record of 7-1 with a 3.40 ERA (84.2IP, 79H, 48R/32ER, 31BB, 69K) in 13 starts this past season as he led the team in nearly every pitching category. The Fremont, CA native was named to the Big West Conference