Indians loaded with four first-day draft picks when First Year Draft starts today

Published:

Record-Courier staff report

The Cleveland Indians own four picks during today's first day of the 2014 First Year Player Draft.

The first selection sits at No. 21 for the Tribe, then the team will be on the board for picks Nos. 31, 38 and 61.

The draft will continue through Saturday.

Cleveland had the No. 5 overall pick last year and selected highly touted outfield prospect Clint Frazier, who is currently playing for the Lake County Captains and is batting .253, with two HRs and 13 RBI in 44 games.

The franchise's standard operating procedure in the draft is to select the best player available -- regardless of position.

"With the development path in baseball, today's need may be very different than in three or four years," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti recently told mlb.com.

The Indians have not selected a pitcher in the first round since drafting lefty Drew Pomeranz at No. 5 in 2010. Pomeranz was later packaged in a deal with Colorado that brought pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland in 2011.

Jimenez was a free agent this past off-season and declined the Indians' one-year qualifying offer and signed a longterm deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Jimenez's signing elsewhere allowed the Indians to acquire the 31st pick in the draft as part of the league's compensation policy.

Cleveland's 38th pick was obtained through the league's Competitive Balance Round, which is sandwiched between the first and second round.

Pick No. 61 for the Tribe is a second-round selection. Cleveland also has No. 97 in the third round.

The draft begins tonight at 7 p.m. and will then continue for 40 rounds total stretching out over three days in Secaucus, N.J.

For the fifth time in franchise history -- and for the third consecutive season -- the Houston Astros will pick No. 1 overall. It is the first time in MLB history that the same team has picked first in three consecutive drafts. The Astros selected Stanford pitcher Mark Appel in 2013 and shortstop Carlos Correa from Puerto Rico in 2012.

TOP PROSPECTS

California high school LHP Brady Aiken, Vanderbilt RHP Tyler Beede, Florida high school SS Nick Gordon, California high school C-OF Alex Jackson, Texas high school RHP Tyler Kolek, LSU RHP Aaron Nola and North Carolina State LHP Carlos Rodon.

ON THE CLOCK

Teams have 41⁄2 minutes to make picks in first round, and 1 minute in first competitive balance round, second round, second competitive balance round and rounds 3-10. Rest of draft has selections without delays.

COMPETITIVE BALANCE ROUNDS

Started last year, these rounds give 10 teams with lowest revenues and 10 in smallest markets opportunity to get additional picks through lottery, held last July. Six selections awarded following first round, and teams not receiving one of those are entered into lottery for six picks following second round.

SIGNING DEADLINE

Teams must sign drafted players, other than those who were college seniors, by 5 p.m. EDT on July 18.

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