After Naquin, Indians load up on right-handers

After Naquin, Indians load up on right-handers

Brad Grant didn't know how this year's First-Year Player Draft was going to go. With a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place that assigns values to picks in the first 10 rounds, it was hard for the Indians' scouting director to predict how things would play out.

"It was going to be something that you had to feel through," Grant said, "and feel through how other teams were approaching it, and then react accordingly."

The unpredictability of the 2012 Draft, though, didn't stop the Indians from coming up with a group of players they feel good about. They took the best available player in the first round when they selected Texas A&M outfielder Tyler Naquin, then the Indians drafted by need later by adding right-handed pitching.

Cleveland, which lost two top right-handed prospects in the trade for Ubaldo Jimenez last July, and another one to major shoulder surgery in May (Austin Adams), took 19 right-handers in the 40 total rounds of the Draft. The Indians selected only one left-hander -- Randall Fant in the 29th round.

2012 Draft Central

"It was a byproduct of the Draft, really," Grant said. "I think we had 25 left-handers on our board. There just wasn't many this year at all. It wasn't by design. It was just a byproduct of the depth of the Draft."

Grant was particularly excited to get right-handers Dylan Baker and Caleb Hamrick in the fifth and eighth rounds, respectively. Baker attended Western Nevada Community College last year, and Hamrick is a product of Cedar Hill High School in Texas.

The Indians also continued their recent trend of taking high school players, and taking them in the early rounds. Last year, four of their first eight picks were from the prep ranks, and 17 out of 50 overall were drafted out of high school.

The Indians took an even higher percentage this year, selecting three high school players in the first four rounds, and 16 in the 40 total rounds. Cleveland took six prep pitchers, including Mitch Brown and Kieran Lovegrove in the second and third rounds, respectively.

"We're really pleased with what we came out with," Grant said. "I think we balanced things out well. We got a lot of upside with some advanced college [players] as well."

The Indians have until 5 p.m. ET on July 13 to sign their picks.

Justin Albers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.