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Indians come away with balanced effort in Draft

Club takes 19 pitchers, 23 position players while focusing on college talent

If any quality could be applied to the Tribe's incoming class of young talent, it would be the group's symmetry.

The Indians were able to keep themselves balanced through much of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, taking 19 young arms and 23 position players. A majority of those players were of the college variety (27), while 15 more prospects came from the high school ranks.

Cleveland again showed it was unafraid to dip into the nation's pool of prep talent early and often, as seven of the first 11 Draft picks were made on high schoolers. The club also addressed its outfield right away, making college products Bradley Zimmer (No. 21 overall) and Mike Papi (No. 38 overall) two of its first three choices.

"We liked how we were able to balance it out," Indians director of amateur scouting Brad Grant said. "Especially at the beginning of the Draft, with college guys and the upside of the high school pitching and position players."

The Indians also opted to go lefty-heavy at the top of the Draft. In addition to Zimmer and Papi, they added prep lefty pitchers Justus Sheffield (No. 31 overall) and Sam Hentges to go along with high school first baseman Bobby Bradley within the first four rounds. Damien High School right-hander Grant Hockin, the grandson of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, joined Zimmer, Sheffield and Papi as one of the Tribe's four Day 1 selections.

But while the first two days of the Draft dealt heavily in lefties, Day 3 saw the Indians pick 12 right-handed pitchers, of which only one did not play college baseball.

"We took a lot of power arms at the back end," Grant said. "I think we purposely targeted those arms. I think we've had success in finding bullpen arms with [2011 23rd-round Draft pick] Cody Allen and signing those type of guys."

Notables among the team's Saturday selections include catcher Juan Gomes, the younger brother of Tribe starting catcher Yan Gomes, and Peter Dolan, son of team chairman and CEO Paul Dolan.

"[It was] something we were excited to do for the Dolan family," Grant said. "Peter had a very good high school career and will be heading to the University of Michigan, where he hopes to walk on the baseball team."

In all, the Indians acquired 42 players. They have to agree to terms with the team by the signing deadline, which falls on July 18.

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for
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