Draft Picks From '08 Skip A Level

Chuck Lofgren ... fans seven in good outing.

The Indians are proud of their 2008 draft and from what some of the players have shown in spring camp, their optimism is well-based. Lonnie Chisenhall, Tim Fedroff and Cord Phelps look so good they likely will skip over Lake County and go directly from short-season Mahoning Valley a year ago to Class A Kinston. Pitchers Eric Berger, T.J. House and Zach Putnam from the class of '08 also look good.

"Chisenhall is the best listener and faster learner I've worked with in camp," said former Indians third baseman Travis Fryman.

Fryman, manager at Mahoning Valley, is helping Chisenhall make the transition from college shortstop to professional third baseman. Fryman made a similar move with the Detroit Tigers. He was an AL All-Star at short, then moved to third and was selected to the All-Star game at that position with Detroit and the Indians.

"He's adapted a lot quicker than I expected," Fryman said. "He's got a lot of work to do, but he does a lot of work. That's part of the battle right there."

Fryman raves about Chisenhall at the plate.

"The ball jumps off his bat," Fryman said. "The thing is, he hits line drives the opposite way. That's the mark of a good hitter. As he matures and learns to pull the ball, the power will naturally come with it, but he should still put up a good batting average with it."

Fryman mentioned three very good left-handed hitters when talking about Chisenhall: Hall of Famer George Brett and former all-stars Mo Vaughn and Tino Martinez.

"I didn't see George as a young player, but yes, I can see a similarity there where Lonnie hits the ball consistently the other way," Fryman said.

"When I was coming up, two guys I faced when they were in the minors were Mo Vaughn and Tino Martinez and both of them hit the ball the other way all the time. They didn't pull it at all, but were good hitters. As they got bigger, they became sluggers and still hit for an average.

"Now, I'm not about to say Chisenhall is going to hit like Brett, or hit homers like Vaughn. What I am saying is that like them, he's a natural hitter and has a chance to do some exceptional things at the plate."

On Tuesday, Chisenhall went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs, two RBI and a stolen base for Kinston in a 7-6 win over a team of San Diego Padres players headed for Class A ball.

Kinston totaled 14 hits, three by catcher Richard Martinez. First baseman Matt McBride went 2-for-4 with a double, run and RBI, right fielder Roman Pena was 2-for-3 with a walk, double and two runs.

Phelps went 2-for-4 at second base while center fielder Fedroff was 1-for-5.

Berger started and gave up four runs and five hits over four-plus innings. He three first-pitch strikes to 12 of 19 batters faced, walked two, struck out one, and hit a top speed of 91 on the radar gun.

Chen-Chung Lee topped out at 93 and allowed three hits and two runs over two innings. He was 5-for-7 on first-pitch strikes.

Josh Judy allowed two hits and fanned two over two scoreless innings. He hit 92 on the gun and was 3-for-8 on first-pitch strikes.

Michael Finocchi got the save, fanning two over a perfect ninth, going 2-for-3 on first-pitch strikes.

Double-A Akron lost, 4-1, getting two singles, two doubles and three walks while striking out eight times total.

Chuck Lofgren looked good again, fanning seven without a walk over 4 2-3 innings. The big lefty allowed six hits and one unearned run, was 12-for-20 on first-pitch strikes and topped out at 89.

Erik Stiller was shaky, allowing three walks, two hits and four unearned runs over 1 1-3 innings. He was 5-for-9 on first-pitch strikes, but couldn't put batters away and hit 89 on the gun.

Submariner relievers Randy Newsom and Vinnie Pestano each yielded one hit over one scoreless inning. Newsom fanned one, was 5-for-5 on first-pitch strikes with a top speed of 82. Pestano whiffed two, went 4-for-4 on first-pitch strikes and topped out at 90.

Lake County won, 4-3, despite striking out 12 times. Third baseman Jeremie Tice and first baseman Chris Nash each fanned three times, but both tripled in four at-bats and had an RBI.

Center fielder Donnie Webb was 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs.

Santo Frias was 2-for-3 on first-pitch strikes, topped out at 94 mph and walked one with one strikeout in one hitless inning.

Starter Ryan Miller yielded three hits, three walks and three runs over three innings, fanning four. He was only 5-of-16 on first-pitch strikes and used 66 pitches, the fastest of which was 91.

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