06/06/12 9:00 PM ET
Kipnis is a pick doing big things for the Indians
By Justin Albers / MLB.com
Cleveland traded left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2010 first-round pick), right-handers Alex White (2009 first-round pick) and Joe Gardner (2009 third-round pick), and first baseman Matt McBride (2006 second-round pick) to the Rockies in the deal.
All of a sudden, an Indians' farm system that had been full of talent looked rather barren.
"When you have a trade of that caliber, there's definitely a negative impact," said Ross Atkins, the Indians' vice president for player development.
But while they lost several top prospects, the Indians kept and continue to develop many of their recent Draft picks. Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis, drafted in 2008 and 2009, respectively, are currently on the Indians' roster.
The Indians drafted 17 pitchers in 2011, and they added a shortstop prospect in Francisco Lindor who they couldn't be more excited about.
"There's no way we could be more pleased," Atkins said of Lindor, last year's first-round pick. "He has all of the upside, all of the potential to be an everyday Major League player, and more. We're talking about having someone that is playing in All-Star games and going to play Major League Baseball for a long time."
Atkins said the organization has its greatest depth at pitching in the upper levels, and infield prospects at the lower levels. Even after giving up so much in the Jimenez deal last July, Atkins still feels confident about where the organization stands.
"We still feel very good about our system," Atkins said. "We're obviously going to have to help players realize potential. We have fewer players that have pedigree and the background of performance than we had two years ago, but we feel pretty good about our system."
Here's a brief look at some of the more notable selections and where they are in the pipeline:
From the 2009 Draft:
Kipnis, 2B: A converted center fielder, Kipnis was the Indians' second-round pick in 2009. Kipnis made his Major League debut last July 22, and he hasn't looked back. He's now the everyday second baseman for the Indians, and he leads the team in a number of offensive categories this season. Kipnis is hitting .275 with nine home runs, 34 RBIs and 13 stolen bases entering Monday's game.
Austin Adams, RHP: A converted shortstop, Adams was a fifth-round pick in '09 and turned into one of the Indians' top pitching prospects. But Adams underwent right shoulder surgery on May 23, and is expected to miss significant time. Adams was 11-10 with a 3.77 ERA for Double-A Akron in 2011, and was one of the final players cut from the Indians' roster during Spring Training.
Preston Guilmet, RHP: The Indians took Guilmet in the ninth round in '09. He's moved up to Akron and has been solid out of the bullpen thus far this season. Guilmet is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and six saves in 16 appearances. He has struck out 16 and walked only six in 18 innings.
From the 2010 Draft:
LeVon Washington, CF: The Indians took Washington in the second round after he didn't sign with the Rays as a first-round pick in 2009. He has played in only six games this season because of hip surgery. Washington hit .218 with four home runs, 20 RBIs and 15 stolen bases for Class A Lake County last season.
Tony Wolters, SS: A third-round selection in 2010, Wolters is considered one of the Indians' top prospects. He has struggled this season at Class A Carolina, however, hitting just .220 with one home run and 20 RBIs in 49 games.
Tyler Holt, CF: The Indians' 10th-round pick in 2010, Holt has continued to progress in the Minor Leagues. The speedy leadoff hitter is batting .286 with 15 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 54 games for Carolina.
From the 2011 Draft:
Lindor, SS: The Indians selected Lindor with their first-round pick last year, and they continue to be excited about his potential. Indians manager Manny Acta made a recent trip to Lake County to see Lindor play, and Acta could only smile when asked what he thought.
"He's going to be OK," Acta said.
Lindor, 18, is hitting .273 with four home runs, 21 RBIs and 13 stolen bases for Lake County this season. He's considered the Indians' top prospect.
Dillon Howard, RHP: Howard is currently in Arizona at the team's Goodyear complex. He continues to pitch in extended spring training.
Jake Lowery, C: Lowery was selected in the fourth round of last year's Draft. He's had some problems with strikeouts with Carolina this season, but he's holding his own at the plate. Lowery is hitting .246 with two home runs, 13 doubles and 21 RBIs in 47 games.
Will Roberts, RHP: A fifth-round selection last year, Roberts pitched well at Lake County early this season. He was 2-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five starts before he was promoted to Carolina. Roberts hasn't had as much success at the higher level -- he's 2-2 with a 5.58 ERA in six starts.
Justin Albers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.