AL Central Review: Indians getting lost in the weeds

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

A week of losses and injuries in the AL Central had three teams treading water and two drowning. Cleveland took the brunt of it by losing their shortstop, closer, and a bunch of games. However all the teams were looking to add premium talent in the Rule 4 Draft that kicked off on Thursday night. This week's ALC Review takes a look at who brought intriguing talent on board.

The Week of May 31-June 6 in the AL Central saw a lot of misery and frustration get spread around the division with the Twins, Royals, and Tigers only being able to muster .500 weeks as "bright spots" in the division. The Tribe and the White Sox both were in tail spins that were getting ugly.

When the front-running Tigers scored some runs, they won. When the offense sputtered some solid pitching efforts went for naught culminating in a loss.

The Cleveland Indians continued to be in a fall from since their 18-4 stretch ended and the week was further complicated by Chris Perez receiving some whacky-tobacky in the mail and getting busted while in the process (allegedly). Hint...getting the Feds involved, since the US Postal Service was in the mix, with your pot issues probably isn't very smart.

On Thursday night the MLB 1st Year Player Draft kicked off. Each AL Central team was picking in the Top 20 with three in the Top 8. We'll take a glimpse at the premium talent brought aboard each respective team in this week's AL Central Review.

Detroit Tigers (32-26 overall, 3-3 on the week)

Next UP: 3 at home w/Cleveland, 3 at Kansas City (your humble author in attendance!)

Synopsis of the week: A bullpen malfunction in Baltimore led to one loss that swung the series to the Orioles. The Tigers followed up by taking two of three against the Twins. Along the way the offense either scored 10 runs or coughed and wheezed along.

Draft Picks:

20th Overall Pick: Jonathon Crawford RHP Florida--Big arm. 95-mph with a wipeout slider.

39th Overall Pick: Corey Knebel RHP Texas--Pure reliever. Power repertoire hitting 98-mph with nasty curve. ESPN's Keith Law mentioned he could be this draft's first player to reach the majors.

58th Overall Pick: Kevin Ziomek LHP Vanderbilt--No recent Tigers draft would be complete without a Vandy representative. Ziomek's successful career in the SEC should put him near the top of starting pitching hopefuls in the system.

Cleveland Indians (30-29 overall, 1-5 on the week)

Next UP: 3 at Detroit, 3 at Texas

Synopsis of the week: It got really messy for the Tribe. Tampa invaded from the south and took two of three and then a trip into New York resulted in three hard fought losses. For good measure starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera went on the disabled list with a quad injury. A 6-game road trip will be quite a test for the Tribe's resolve.

Draft Picks:

5th Overall: Clint Frazier OF Loganville (GA) HS--Top slugging prospect out of Georgia. Won't arrive fast but long term a real shot at stardom.

The Tribe forfeited their next two picks by signing Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.

Minnesota Twins (26-31 overall, 3-3 on the week)

Next UP: 3 at Washington, 3 at home w/Philadelphia

Synopsis of the week: The Twins bounced back from getting shutout by Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners bullpen last Friday to capture a series win by taking the next two. They then went to Kansas City and allowed the Royals to get up off the mat with a Royals series win.

Draft Picks:

4th Overall: Kohl Stewart RHP St. Pius (TX) HS-- The baby faced hurler throws some solid heat and will be enticed with a fat check to forgo a college football career.

43rd Overall: Ryan Eades LHP LSU--Eades has rallied back from labrum surgery in high school to have a successful run in the SEC for the Bayou Bengals. The Twins hope he's a fast-mover

Chicago White Sox (25-33 overall, 1-6 on the week)

Next UP: 3 at home w/Oakland, 3 at home w/Toronto


Synopsis of the week: A truly ugly week of baseball. One lone highlight was a wild 16-inning win in Seattle with some rare and historic feats. Otherwise losses piled up and Jake Peavy ventured to the disabled list with a rib injury.

Draft Picks:

17th Overall: Tim Anderson SS East Central CC (MS)--The Sox looked to bolster their system with an intelligent and athletic young middle infielder that might be a bit raw due to a basketball upbringing. However Anderson gives the Sox plenty to dream on with a very high ceiling.

55th Overall: Tyler Danish RHP Durant HS (FL)--Danish was getting more and more buzz as draft day near and it vaulted him to the second round. He's a hard thrower, few question he has ability. ESPN's Keith Law was very critical of the arm-action in his last draft day chat however. We'll see who is right in the end on Danish's future.

Kansas City Royals (25-32 overall, 3-3 on the week)

Next UP: 3 at home w/Houston, 3 at home w/Detroit (did I mention I'll be there?)

Synopsis of the week: The Royals managed to pull their season out of death spiral by going 3-3 when they were able to take the final two match ups with the Twins. Desperate times call for Saber-measures. Ned Yost switched to a lineup suggested by his stat-guys in the front office. Two wins followed whether by cause or coincidence.

Draft Picks:

8th Overall: Hunter Dozier SS Stephen F. Austin--The shock of the first round. Dozier will sign fairly cheap allowing the Royals to maneuver their money elsewhere. What he brings to the Royals besides thrift is a big athletic frame with plenty of projectable ability. "Tulo" comps were tossed out. That's probably out of line...but it's always fun to hear if you're a Royals fan I would assume.

34th Overall: Sean Manaea LHP Indiana State-- The man behind drafting Dozier to save money. The Royals will likely pour resources into an over-slot bonus for Manaea. Long thought to be a top 5 talent, Manaea suffered hip injuries that limited his final Sycamore-season. But the gleam in scout's eyes remains from Manaea's outstanding work in last summer's wood-bat Cape Cod League where he dominated some of college baseball's best. Manaea is the big news in KC despite being their second pick.

46th Overall: Cody Reed LHP NW Mississippi CC--We are sure he's a nice young man deserving of this opportunity. If you know more about him, please post in the comments!

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