Indians front office finalizing Draft board

Indians front office finalizing Draft board

CLEVELAND -- With the First-Year Player Draft fast approaching, the Indians front office has begun to finalize its board and make its last set of evaluations on this year's draft class.

The Tribe look to be in good position to capitalize on what the team has called a "deep class," with four picks on the first day of the Draft, including the 21st, 31st and 38th overall selections. But much of this week, says Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant, will involve the scouting department organizing its reports on players expected to be around on days two and three.

"We have 800 total players on the board this year, and our area scouts will come in starting on Monday and we'll put the second half of the board together," Grant said. "We spent the majority of the last five days with our cross-checkers in town to go through the top 150 players, really put those guys under the microscope. Our attention will really start to turn to that secondary board starting Monday."

Cross-checkers are the club's personnel responsible for comparing a given player to others in his area or at his position in this year's Draft class.

The Indians have the eighth-highest signing bonus pool in this year's Draft -- Grant estimated the total to be $8 million -- based on its awarded selections, which allows the Indians a bit of freedom with their funds and where they can be allocated.

"You have more money than 22 other clubs," Grant said. "So I have a lot more agent calls this year than I had in the past because we have the flexibility to do a lot of different things."

But while this week at the front office could be hectic as the team makes its last-minute preparations, the day-to-day operation of the Major League club will remain largely unaffected -- though Indians manager Terry Francona said he does plan on staying abreast of how the Draft unfolds.

"There's been a few times I've been at home," Francona said. "There's enough time and enough guys in there where I'll call somebody, and then they start sending out information. We get emails on the guys and information, as much as we want."

The first two rounds of the Draft will take place on Thursday, with rounds three through 10 set for Friday and the remaining 30 rounds scheduled for next Saturday. Two of the Tribe's last three first-round picks have come from the high school level (outfielder Clint Frazier and shortstop Francisco Lindor).

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.