CLEVELAND -- The Indians wasted little time signing their top two picks from last week's First-Year Player Draft.
With the July 13 signing deadline still nearly a month away, Cleveland agreed to terms with both outfielder Tyler Naquin and pitcher Mitch Brown on Friday. Both Naquin and Brown were at Progressive Field before Friday night's game against the Pirates.
Both players will leave Saturday to begin a short season in the Minor Leagues. Naquin will head to Class A Mahoning Valley and Brown will go to Rookie League Arizona.
"We were fortunate to be able to get both Mitch and Tyler signed and out playing," said Indians scouting director Brad Grant. "To get both of these guys out and starting to develop now, and get a full short season in is definitely an advantage to both of them."
Naquin, the 15th overall pick out of Texas A&M, will receive a $1.75 million signing bonus. He hit
.380 with 18 doubles, six triples, three home runs and 49 RBIs in 61 games for the Aggies last season. The Indians plan to develop him as a center fielder.
"You dream about it as a kid," Naquin said. "To make it come true -- it's an unbelievable experience. The journey doesn't stop here. ... The goal is just to work your way up as fast as you can and play hard."
Brown, a right-handed high school player from Minnesota, will receive an $800,000 signing bonus. He was named the Minnesota Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year for Rochester Century High School after going 7-1 with a 0.91 ERA last season.
Brown was signed to play for San Diego State, but he felt like it was the right time to make the jump to professional baseball.
"I feel this gives me the best opportunity to advance as quickly as possible," Brown said. "College is maybe more suitable for someone growing into their body. Physically, I'm more mature than kids my age and I just felt like the Major League route was the way to go for me."
The Indians have now signed 12 of their 40 Draft picks, overall.