http://www.indiansbaseballinsider.co...y-zimmer-68035With their 1st round pick (#21 overall) in the 2014 Draft the Cleveland Indians have selected outfielder Bradley Zimmer out of the University of San Francisco.
Born: 11/27/1992 – Height: 6’5” – Weight: 205 – Bats: Left – Throws: Right
Baseball America: 14
Keith Law: 12
Jeff Ellis: 6
Tony's take: This pick may not excite people and it may be more of a safe pick, but he was the highest rated player on the board and someone who could have gone much earlier in the draft. There are a lot of interesting arms still available for the Indians to take at #31 and #38 so this looks like a solid, safe pick before the Indians potentially take some gambles the rest of the night. He has bloodlines as his brother Kyle is in the Royals system and has played well for them so far. He is more of a polished player who could move quickly through the system and is a toolsy player, which is something you don’t see a lot of coming out of college. His bat and speed both grade out as above average or better and shows a good approach at the plate. He also could have at least average power if not more depending on how his frame fills out as a professional. The Indians will probably develop him as a center fielder at first because of his athleticism, speed, and strong arm, but he could settle in as a right fielder down the road.
Jeff Ellis: So you know I have to be extremely happy and fans should be too. I had him in the top 10 and so did Jim Callis. Zimmer has plus speed, I would grade it at 60 and on top of that he is 6’5” with a frame which screams power. Here is a potential five tool guy. I see a player who should have plus power, speed, and hit tool. His power needs to develop, but there are reasons a lot of people love Zimmer. He might be a college guy but the upside is there. I think he can play centerfield, and could stick there. He instantly becomes the number three prospect in this system by the time he signs. Zimmer could easily end up being the top bat from this class; worst case is an average bat in centerfield.
Press Release: Zimmer, a 6’5”, 205-pound outfielder, hit .368 with 10 doubles, 7 triples, 7 home runs and 31 RBI for the University of San Francisco Dons as a junior during the 2014 season. Zimmer, 21, walked 31 times and recorded a .461 on-base percentage. He posted a .573 slugging percentage and was 21-for-32 in stolen base attempts. The two-time All-West Coast Conference member made all 54 starts in center field and owned a .969 fielding percentage in 2014. He was named a 2014 preseason All-American selection by Louisville Slugger, Baseball America and Perfect Game USA. He is also one of 30 finalists for the Golden Spikes Award.
The La Jolla, CA native was named All-WCC during his sophomore season in 2013, hitting .320 with 7 home runs, 37 RBI and 19 stolen bases.
Has a pedigree. All around player that can hopefully develop some power with some work on his swing. The speed is crazy for a guy his size.
http://www.indiansbaseballinsider.co...heffield-68062With their 1st round compensation A pick (#31 overall) in the 2014 Draft the Cleveland Indians have selected left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield out of Tullahoma High School (TN).
Born: 5/13/1996 – Height: 5’10” – Weight: 196 – Bats: Left – Throws: Left
Keith Law: 21
Baseball America: 41
Tony’s take: You had to know that the Indians were going to take some risk with this pick and go for a prep arm, and that is what they did taking the top left-handed arm on the board. I would have preferred Reid-Foley here and Ortiz was probably who the Indians wanted but he went just one pick earlier. That said, I see no problem with this pick as he has the bloodlines you like, is an athlete and has some good strength to go along with a good mix of secondary pitches that are very advanced for a high school arm. This is a more polished prep arm that doesn’t appear to be as much of a gamble as some of the high round prep arms in the last few drafts, so it will be interesting to see how he shakes out. I would also expect the Indians to double up on prep players with either a prep arm or bat at #38.
Jeff Ellis: Justus Sheffield is an interesting arm. Last year I talked about how the Indians seemed to target smaller guys who would have gone higher if not for their size. Well that is exactly the story from Sheffield who is listed at six feet but is really less than six feet. He has really good secondary pitches, three of them which are advanced for his age. He is an excellent athlete as well and starts the Indians new theme this year which appears to be bloodlines as both of the Indians first two picks had brothers who were also top prospects. He isn’t who I would have taken there, but I am fine with the pick. If the Indians decided they wanted a left-handed pitcher then I can’t blame them as they took the best one on the board.
Press release: Sheffield, 18, recently completed his senior season at Tullahoma (TN) High School, going 10-0 with a 0.34 ERA (3 ER/61.2 IP) and 131 strikeouts. On Wednesday, the 6-for-1, 180-pound southpaw became the first high school athlete from the state of Tennessee to win a Gatorade National Player of the Year Award after leading his Wildcats team to a third straight district championship and a second round appearance in the Tennessee state playoffs. Past pitching recipients of the award include Zack Greinke ('02), Clayton Kershaw ('06) and Rick Porcello ('07), while Cleveland's 2013 first round selection (5th overall), OF Clint Frazier, earned the distinction last year.
A part-time center-fielder, Sheffield also batted .405/.478/.620 with 13 doubles, 3 homers and 16 RBI at the plate. Sheffield, a 2014 Perfect Game USA First Team All-American and returning First Team All-State selection by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association, is committed to Vanderbilt University, where his older brother, Jordan, is completing his freshman year as a RHP on the Commodores baseball team.
Already signed. This is what you get from letting Ubaldo walk. We'll see if it plans out. Some believe that Justus will stick to the pen due to his lack of size but seems to have good mechanics and good secondary pitches. Don't see anything more than a 3/possible 2 but for wanting a LHP he was the best one available. I would've taken Reid-Foley but he is committed to FSU and is said to be very tough to sign. I hope that becomes true so he sticks with FSU.
http://www.indiansbaseballinsider.co...ike-papi-68075With their 1st round competitive balance pick (#38 overall) in the 2014 Draft the Cleveland Indians have selected outfielder Mike Papi out of the University of Virginia.
Born: 9/19/1992 – Height: 6’3” – Weight: 195 – Bats: Left – Throws: Right
Baseball America: 43
Keith Law: 43
Jeff Ellis: 35
Tony’s take: This pick comes as no surprise as Papi was projected to the Indians in several national mocks at #31 or #38, though with so much prep talent on the board I may have preferred the Indians go that route one more time before going safe in the next few rounds. In any case, Papi has an exceptional approach at the plate with a good eye and a lot of patience, so the bat along with the ability to work deep in counts and draw a ton of walks obviously appealed to the Indians. He displays some very good bat speed and has a nice line drive stroke, and there could be some untapped power that the Indians can maybe bring out as he matures and gets on a pro strength and conditioning program and proper nutrition program. He should fit in right field but can also handle center field and even play first base.
Jeff Ellis: Michael Conforto went tenth in this draft and I don’t see a big difference between him and Papi. Papi has been a great player in college. He has shown solid pop from the left side. I had been told that the Indians liked him, so I did get this pick right in my mock. Papi’s best skill is his eye at the plate. He will always have more walks than strikeouts. He basically owns the strike zone. He has above average power and hit tool. I am not sure where he plays defensively, but most think he ends up at first base. He will be either a great defensive first baseman or a mediocre to below average outfielder with a good arm. The player he reminds me of the most is Nick Swisher.
UVA has a very tough hitter ballpark so wouldn't be surprised if Papi shows a little more power numbers going through. Very patient hitter and like Ellis I believe he ends up at 1B due to OF talent being assembled in the system at this time and I can't see him being able to stick at RF so would be a LF'er if kept in OF. Pick due to his bat. Also we can call him Big Papi hopefully soon.
11:32 p.m. ET: With their 2nd round pick the Indians have selected prep RHP Grant Hockin.
http://www.indiansbaseballinsider.co...one-blog-67971Hockin is an 18-year-old righty from Damien High School in La Verne, California, where he pitched 80 innings this season, with a 1.49 ERA, with 99 strikeouts and only 17 walks. He is listed at 6'3", 195 pounds.
Scouts say he has a clean and easy delivery. His fastball sits at 89-90 MPH, 92 mph, and he also throws a two-seamer with some movement, a slider that has not yet fully formed, and a changeup too. Hockin also has a very impressive bloodline for baseball, as he is the grandson of Hall of Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew (so if he doesn't work out as a pitcher, the Indians can always use him to hit 500+ home runs.
Hockin has a commitment to UCLA, but the slot value of the pick is $928,700. Is he willing to turn down nearly a million dollars? (On the other hand, hanging out on campus in Westwood for three years sounds a whole lot more appealing than riding buses around the Midwest.)
This was the Tribe's fourth and final pick on day one of the draft. They gold the 23rd pick in every round from here on out. Rounds 3 through 10 will take place on Friday, followed by rounds 11 through 40 on Saturday.
We'll be here for the duration, and while most of the players drafted on days two and three never make an impact at the MLB level, every year there are a handful of future All-Stars drafted on those days, so nothing should be ignored.