Indians choose Chisenhall
Very interesting pick at 29th overall in INF Lonnie Chisenhall. The Indians, as you no doubt know, place a high value on “character guys,” and Chisenhall was kicked off the South Carolina team after an arrest for burglary and grand larceny. He was charged with stealing $2,000 worth of materials — a flat-screen TV, DVDs and a PlayStation — from a dorm room. The Indians do their due diligence on potential draft picks, so you’d have to assume that they assume Chisenhall’s transgressions are behind him.
This was our Draft guru Jonathan Mayo’s report on Chisenhall…
|Hitting Ability:||Chisenhall has a good-looking bat with a very good approach at the plate. He’s got good rhythm and balance with plus bat speed. He hits the ball hard and centers it more often than not.|
|Power:||He’s got line-drive power now. His game power is a little below-average, but he has the chance to be a little plus in the power department in the future.|
|Running Speed:||Chisenhall is a below-average runner.|
|Base Running:||He has average instincts on the basepaths, though he had stolen a couple of bases early on in the season.|
|Arm Strength:||Chisenhall has a solid average arm that is fairly accurate. He’s doubling as Pitt’s closer.|
|Fielding:||He’s a little below-average defensively, playing one game at shortstop and one at third in this doubleheader.|
|Range:||With slightly below-average range, he’ll have to be a third baseman or corner outfielder at the next level.|
|Physical Description:||Chisenhall has a very athletic body with a medium-large frame and good legs. He’s got some room to get bigger.|
|Strengths:||His bat is by far his biggest strength. He has the chance to hit for average and some power.|
|Weaknesses:||His foot speed is a minus and his defense is just OK. He doesn’t jump out at you when he plays. An off-the-field incident last year caused his dismissal from University of South Carolina, so makeup will be an issue.|
|Summary:||A 12th-round Draft pick out of high school in 2006, he chose USC over the Pirates. His Gamecock career ended abruptly after he was arrested on burglary and grand larceny charges. If teams can be convinced he’s gotten past it and his makeup is OK, he still has the tool that had everyone interested in the first place: a plus bat.|
We’ll have a story up on the site shortly on this pick, as well as a roundup of Day 1 at the end of today’s first five rounds. In the meantime, here’s the release from the Tribe…
CLEVELAND, OH — The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has selected INF LONNIE CHISENHALL with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
Chisenhall, 19, spent the 2008 school year at Pitt Junior College in Greenville, NC where he hit .410 (68-166) with 27 doubles, 8 homers and 66 RBI for the Bulldogs, who went 41-15 on the season and finished one win shy of qualifying for the NJCAA World Series. The Newport, NC native drew 38 walks and struck out just 8 times all season. Following the season the left-handed hitting infielder was a NJCAA All-District and First Team All-Region X All-Conference selection.
Chisenhall was the 11th round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006 out of West Carteret High School (NC) after batting .574 as a senior and earning Baseball America second team High School All-American honors. He played his freshman season for the University of South Carolina in 2007 (20 games, .313, 1HR, 13RBI) before enrolling at Pitt J.C. for the 2008 season.