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Merryweather latest college hurler taken by Tribe


Through five rounds of the First-Year Player Draft, the Indians managed to find balance.

At No. 158 overall, the Tribe drafted right-handed pitcher Julian Merryweather out of Oklahoma Baptist University, marking the first time the college senior has been drafted in his career. He went 12-3 with a 1.07 ERA in his final season with the Bison, throwing four shutouts and striking out 132 in 100 2/3 innings -- all numbers that led the team.

"We liked his arm strength. He was a guy that could throw up to 95 [mph]," Indians director of amateur scouting Brad Grant said. "Good feel for a changeup, another good strike-thrower and a guy that we'd been following for a while. He was a guy that was at a smaller school that [our scout] identified early on and did a good job staying on him. And we have a guy that has good pitches on the table and can start for us."

With their first seven picks, the Indians took four pitchers to three position players and four high-school prospects to three college products.

Merryweather possesses a fastball that regularly sits between 90 and 92 mph to go along with an improved secondary arsenal that features a breaking ball and changeup. With Merryweather at the front of the rotation, the Bison went a school-best 55-9 in 2014 and won two games in the Avista-NAIA World Series.

"We weren't really trying to go high school to college, college to high school, but I think there was a good mix of the whole group," Grant said of the Tribe's haul on Day 2. "We had some established college hitters with some upside high school players and pitchers."

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

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

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{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
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