Drew Pomeranz, Alex White and Joe Gardner, the three pitchers in the deal (Pomeranz is the player to be named later), all were in the Indians' Top 10. Pomeranz, who won't be traded officially until August, was No. 2 on the organizational list and No. 32 on the overall Top 50 list .
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 Draft, Pomeranz was on a fast track in his first full season of pro ball. He began the year in the Class A Advanced Carolina League and was dominant there, with a 1.87 ERA, .202 batting average against and an 11.1 K/9 ratio. After a trip to Phoenix and the All-Star Futures Game, he made the move up to the Double-A Eastern League. He had made three starts with Akron and had pitched capably, allowing four runs over 14 innings and striking out 17.
College lefties have a reputation of being finesse and command types, but Pomeranz was not the typical pitchability southpaw coming out of Mississippi. He's got a plus fastball that can reach the mid-90s and he complements it with what many felt was the best breaking ball in the 2010 Draft class. He's got a changeup as well, and will continue to use it as he moves up the ladder. Command was an issue at times in college and he had walked 3.8 per nine at the time of the trade. He could be ready for the big leagues at some point in 2012.
White, No. 4 on the Indians' Top 10, was Cleveland's first-round pick a year before Pomeranz, in 2009. Coming out of the University of North Carolina, some thought he might have to move into a bullpen role because of command issues in college. He answered those questions during an outstanding first full season, when he finished second in the organization with a 2.45 ERA, held hitters to a .220 average and walked just 2.7 per nine innings while spending much of the year in Double-A.
His breaking ball, a slider, became much more effective to help ensure a future as a starter. So did his 2.61 groundout-to-airout ratio during that first season. After just four starts in Triple-A to begin 2011, he got the call up to Cleveland and seemed to be settling in nicely over three starts. Again, he was a worm-killer, with a 2.33 GO/AO ratio before landing on the disabled list. That ground-ball ability should serve him well in Coors Field.
The No. 6 prospect on the Indians list is Joe Gardner. The 2009 third-round pick had an outstanding first full season, leading the system in wins and strikeouts while finishing fourth in ERA. Like White, Gardner is a ground-ball machine, as evidenced by his 3.2 GO/AO ratio, thanks to his outstanding sinker. His slider and changeup have not been as effective as his primary pitch, and he will have to continue to improve them to pitch consistently well at the upper levels.
He's still getting ground balls, with a 1.91 GO/AO in Double-A, and he was very effective for the first half of the season, with a 3.29 ERA in April and 3.55 in May. But that went up to 4.55 in June and he had a 7.34 ERA over six July starts.
Finally, there's McBride, a 2006 second-round pick. The Lehigh University product was a catcher when he began his professional career and he played that position exclusively over his first few years with the Indians. However, injuries kept him off the field for all but 45 games in 2008. That more or less ended his catching career, as he played first base and the outfield in 2009 and 2010. He did return behind the plate a bit in 2011, but he's largely a corner guy or DH. He's always had some power, with a career high of 21 home runs in 2010, but he was back in Double-A at age 26 this season after struggling in Triple-A to start off the year.
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