About That Lonnie Chisenhall

If you’re following the MLB Draft at all, you’ve likely heard that the Indians drafted an infielder out of Pitt Junior College (actually located in North Carolina…weird) named Lonnie Chisenall with their first round selection. Before we get in depth, here is the official press release from the Indians Media Relations:

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.

Not bad numbers. In fact, Chisenhall is a left-handed batter, right-handed in the field, and can actually play in the outfield as well as third base. He also clocked in a few innings on the hill, when needed. As an incoming Freshman, his player bio read that he was “one of the best looking hitters ever recruited.”

The only thing that the above note doesn’t tell you is that his Freshman season was actually played at the University of South Carolina – a team he was dismissed from in 2007 after being charged with a count of grand larceny.

Lonnie Chisenhall, Uh-oh
Newly drafted Chisenall is the fellow on the left-hand side of the picture above. Per the story dated March 21, 2007 at, Chisenall and then teammate Nick Fuller were charged with burglary and grand larceny after they were caught doing a few extra-curricular activities during a spring break. Upon breaking and entering, the two players stole a flat-screen tv, a Playstation 3, and DVDS. The total property was valued at $2,000.If you check out the news report, Fuller was obviously a little more inclined to thievery, as he also swiped about $3,000 out of the coaches offices. Thus, you can be “glass half full” and assume that Chisenhall was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not surrounding yourself with the best people can do that to you. Also, at 18-years old, some things just seem like better ideas than they truly are – something I’m sure we can all attest to.While at South Carolina, Chisenhall was actually named SEC Player of the Week at one point; and this was as a Freshman. The talent is obviously there, so assuming he learned his lesson and matured a bit from his days at (the other) USC, Tribe fans many be able to bank on seeing this kid at third base by about 2012.   If he makes it, it will be due to his bat, as word on the street is that his fielding isn’t exactly Gold Glove material.

Of course, Wes Hodges may get there first, and make all of us forget about Chisenhall. But until that happens, we can bank on knowing that the Tribe is investing in a very versitile player that should be able to contribute somewhere down the line – even if it is in the outfield, and even if he does have a bit of a rap sheet.

Tanner: There’s No Explanation For It []