Rich Rundles debuts on the Indians Ink list after bouncing around five organizations (Red Sox, Expos, Cardinals, Mets, Indians) for nine years. But he's only 26 and may finally achieve his potential under the Tribe's tutelage.
Through 836 minor-league innings, Rundles has a fine 3.39 ERA, accomplished with an 87-91 mph fastball, very good changeup and average curve. He has always had good control, since being a third-round pick out of high school back in 1989. As a starter in Class A ball a year later, he walked only 13 while fanning 114 in 132 innings.
Various injuries stalled his development -- until signing with the Indians as a minor-league free agent in January 2007.
Leave it to the Tribe to recognize that the talent was still there and a move to the bullpen could help the lefty avoid his durability issues.
Sent to Double-A Akron in '07, Rundles went 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA and two saves in 23 games, 21 of which were out of the bullpen. That earned him his first call to Triple-A, where he was 2-4 with a 2.70 ERA in 17 relief outings at Buffalo.
Rundles then went to the 2007 Arizona Fall League to continue his transition to relief. In limited work, he allowed one run in 8 2/3 innings (1.04 ERA) over eight outings.
The Rich Rundles File
Born: June 3, 1981 in Chattanooga, TN
Acquired: Signed as minor-league free agent, Jan. 22, 2007
2008 Projection: Part of Buffalo bullpen.
2007 & MINOR-LEAGUE CAREER
CLEVELAND INDIANS' TOP PROSPECTS
No. 46 Todd Martin, 1B
No. 47 Hector Rondon, RHP
No. 48 Adam Davis, 2B
No. 49 Rich Rundles, LHP
No. 50 Frank Herrmann, RHP