The Cleveland Indians did not participate in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday, but they did lose a player along the way.
Pitcher Kyle Dowdy was selected with the tenth overall pick by the New York Mets. The right-handed pitcher recently joined the Indians organization, acquired in July’s trade with the Tigers that brought outfielder Leonys Martin to Cleveland and sent infielder Willi Castro to Detroit.
The Rule 5 draft, held annually on the final day of the Winter Meetings, allows eligible players to be selected if not protected by placement on their club’s 40-man rosters. Players are deemed eligible if they have played five or more seasons of professional baseball after signing at 18 or younger or if they have played four or more seasons after signing at 19 and up. Rule 5 picks cost selecting clubs $100,000 to make.
Lynchburg’s Anthony Miller lived on the base paths over the final week of the 2018 Carolina League schedule, earning him the league’s Player of the Week award for games played between August 27 and September 3.
The 23-year-old first baseman took home his first professional award on Tuesday after a solid week at the plate that saw him go 16-for-35 (.457) with a pair of walks to boast a .513 on-base percentage in the eight days. In the nine games played by the Hillcats in that stretch, he hit six doubles, knocked two balls over the fence, scored four times, and drove in eleven. He hit safely in all nine games played to put together a season-high nine-game hitting streak, and the stretch included an impressive 5-for-5 day on August 31 against the Red Sox, when he finished just a triple short of the cycle in Lynchburg’s 8-0 win over Salem.
At first glance, second-year High-A Lynchburg Hillcats first baseman Anthony Miller appears to be your stereotypical corner infielder. He is big, standing 6’5” tall, and weighing in at 240 lbs. You would be wrong in assuming he is a slow, classical power hitter.
“Defensively, he’s very good,” said Hillcats manager Rougie Odor. “He’s done a good job and just needs to continue to improve his at-bats, making sure he gets good pitches to hit.”
The Lake County Captains have returned to their winning ways, now that they have not had to see the South Bend Cubs for a stretch.
They wrapped up a series split last Monday by taking the fourth game of their series with Fort Wayne by a 5-4 final. They followed by taking two of three from Bowling Green to end their homestand with a 4-3 record. Over the weekend, they captured another series win by taking each of the first two games against Great Lakes in Midland, Michigan, at Dow Diamond before the Loons ended their season-high tying six-game losing streak with a win in the 8-4 finale.
The Captains remain in third place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division, trailing South Bend by a game and a half and just a half-game behind second place West Michigan.
In other notes from the Captains’ log:
For many years, the Indians have been criticized for having some sub-par draft classes, getting few regular contributors to the everyday lineup in Cleveland while the club needed to supplement the poor selections by trying to pick off young talent from other teams.
Recent drafts, especially in this second decade of the 21st century, have provided much more promise and Lake County’s Tyler Krieger is quickly establishing himself as a top prospect to watch down on the farm. On Saturday, the 22-year-old switch-hitting middle infielder had five hits in six at bats and the Captains tallied 19 hits and a dozen runs in a 12-0 shutout of the Lansing Lugnuts.