Screen Grab: MLB Network

Everyone's Mocking Us: A Look at the 2014 MLB Draft

From June 5 to June 7, Major League Baseball will hold their annual amateur draft. It’s where players are selected for the opportunity to ride buses, stay in terrible hotels, and hope that their signing bonuses aren’t the last contracts that they’ll ever sign to play a game that they love. The MLB Draft is difficult for fans to truly get behind because in nearly all cases, the players who are selected tend to spend several years working their way up through the minor leagues, with several fans losing track of who the player is or what they will become because they never really new them in the first place. In the NFL and NBA, we can watch the players in college, but very rarely do we see collegiate baseball on TV, and I have never seen a high school game. That makes the players who are drafted by your favorite teams, in this case the Indians, total unknowns, and you just hope that the strengths from all of those scouting reports are all that you ever end up seeing.

Which brings us to the names. All over Al Gore’s creation, you can find webpages with mock drafts. The Indians pick 21st overall in the first round, while possessing the 31st pick in the compensation round due to Ubaldo Jimenez leaving for Baltimore via free agency. Here are the names of those who mockers have selected for the Indians:

Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com:

21st: Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS (Hawaii) – “Medeiros is a bit polarizing in that he’s not as big as some would like — though he’s bigger than listed — and he has a slightly unorthodox delivery, but it’s hard to argue with his stuff: He was up to 95 mph with a killer slider in his last start of the season.”

(Video courtesy of Big League Futures)

31st: Nick Howard, RHP, Virginia – “Howard closed for the University of Virginia, but many teams believe he has the stuff to start. Knowing he could help out of a bullpen quickly is a nice backup plan.”

Matt Garrioch, SB Nation:

21st: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Sandalwood HS (Florida) – “Foley would fit with the Indians youth movement. As one of the top prep arms available, he could add some pitching to their middle of the field filled farm system.”

(Video courtesy of Big League Futures)

31st: A.J. Reed, 1B/LHP, Kentucky – “Cleveland likes high impact high school players and polished college players. Reed fits in the latter and may have more usable power than anyone else in the draft.”

(Video courtesy of WTHI-TV)

John Manuel, Baseball America:

21st: Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina – “With other college bats off the board, Kentucky slugger A.J. Reed will tempt the Indians. But the Tribe has tried and failed with college first basemen high in the draft many times over the years (Michael Aubrey, Stephen Head, Beau Mills) and won’t get fooled again. Cleveland has another pick at No. 31, so it can take a risk with one of the injured pitchers and may need to go get one with its first pick, because the Royals and Reds pick again before Cleveland.”

(Video courtesy of Baseball America)

31st: A.J. Reed, 1B/LHP, Kentucky – “OK, asking Cleveland to pass on Kentucky slugger Reed twice when he’s leading the nation in home runs—and could always fall back on being a lefthanded pitcher—is just too much to ask of the Tribe.”

Kiley McDaniel, Scout.com:

21st: Michael Chavis, 3B, Sprayberry HS (Georgia) – “Cleveland picks basically at the end of that big second tier of talent, so they’ll just take the player that slides here after being in the mix at all the picks ahead of them. For this, that ends up being Chavis, though I’m told they’d also like a crack at Pentecost and Beede if they make it here. Blandino and Derek Hill are also in the mix.”

(Video courtesy of Big League Futures)

31st: Chase Vallot, C, St. Thomas More HS (Louisiana) – “Vallot tailed off last summer when he put on some weight and looked sluggish, but was in much better shape this spring and has been excellent. Alex Verdugo, Luis Ortiz and Michael Kopech all are in play here.”

(Video courtesy of Big League Futures)

Watch the videos and learn the names, but check out the links from the intelligent minds who have actually done the work and the scouting. Maybe a bigger name falls or maybe someone reaches for a player that they love that wasn’t supposed to go so early. Regardless, we will remain unlikely to see anyone taken at the beginning of June for a couple of years. Fall in love with the future, as these are the players that will be taking over when 2017 and 2018 arrive and several of the current cornerstone players, like Carlos Santana, Nick Swisher, and Yan Gomes, will be closer to free agency. Who will be this year’s Clint Frazier? We’ll find out in a little less than two weeks!

Tags: Cleveland Indians

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