CLEVELAND, OH -Information on Cleveland Indians 2014 First-Year Player Draft selections, thru the first two rounds.
Round 1 (#21 overall)
OF BRADLEY ZIMMER
AGE/DOB: 21, Nov. 27, 1992 College: University of San Francisco BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-5/205 6'5", 205-pound outfielder, hit .368 with 10 doubles, 7 triples, 7 home runs and 31 RBI for the University of San Francisco Dons as a junior during the 2014 season. Walked 31 times and recorded a .461 on-base percentage. He posted a .573 slugging percentage and was 21-for-32 in stolen base attempts. The two-time All-West Coast Conference member made all 54 starts in center field and owned a .969 fielding percentage in 2014. He was named a 2014 preseason All-American selection by Louisville Slugger, Baseball America and Perfect Game USA. He is also one of 30 finalists for the Golden Spikes Award.
From MLB.com on Zimmer
Comments: Zimmer's older brother Kyle went fifth overall in the 2012 Draft and reached Double-A in his first full pro season. Bradley won't go quite that high but looks like a first-rounder and also could move quickly through the Minor Leagues. He performed well last summer, leading the U.S. college national team with 11 steals and winning playoff MVP honors in the Cape Cod League. Zimmer has a nice package of tools, with his bat standing out the most. He has a sweet left-handed stroke, and he manages the strike zone and recognizes pitches well. His body has enough strength and leverage to possibly produce plus power if he were to add some loft to his swing, though he's content to spray line drives all over the field for now. He enhances his solid speed with keen instincts, which make him an asset on the basepaths and in the outfield. He has a chance to play center, and if not, his strong arm will fit well in RF.
LHP JUSTUS SHEFFIELD
AGE/DOB: 18, May 13, 1996 High School: Tullahoma (TN) High School BATS/THROWS: L/L HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-1/196 The selection was compensation for the free agent signing of RHP UBALDO JIMENEZ by the Baltimore Orioles. Recently completed his senior season at Tullahoma (TN) High School, going 10-0 with a 0.34 ERA (3 ER/61.2 IP) and 131 strikeouts. On Wednesday, the 6-for-1, 180-pound southpaw became the first high school athlete from the state of Tennessee to win a Gatorade National Player of the Year Award. Past pitching recipients of the award include Zack Greinke ('02), Clayton Kershaw ('06) and Rick Porcello ('07), while Cleveland's 2013 first round selection (5th overall), OF Clint Frazier, earned the distinction last year. Sheffield, a 2014 Perfect Game USA First Team All-American and returning First Team All-State selection by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association, is committed to Vanderbilt University, where his older brother, Jordan, is completing his freshman year as a RHP on the Commodores baseball team.
From MLB.com on Sheffield
Comments: Sheffield's brother Jordan might have been a first-round pick in the 2013 Draft if he hadn't blown out his elbow and required Tommy John surgery. Jordan dropped to the 13th round and the Red Sox, turning down third-round money to attend Vanderbilt, where Justus also has committed. Sheffield is very similar to his older brother, as he has a compact build, plenty of arm strength and impressive secondary stuff. The biggest difference between the two is that Justus has the advantage of throwing lefthanded. While he lacks size, Sheffield could develop three solid or better pitches. He already works with an 89-92 mph fastball that can hit 94, and both his mid-70s curveball and changeup are advanced for a high school. A quality athlete with a clean delivery, he throws strikes with ease.
OF MIKE PAPI
AGE/DOB: 21, Sept 19, 1992 College: University of Virginia BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-3/210 Papi, 21, is a junior outfielder for the University of Virginia where he has hit .297 (62-209) this season with 9 doubles, 11 home runs, 51 RBI and 51 runs scored in 60 games for the Cavaliers. The Tunkhannock, PA native is a 6-3 outfield/first baseman with checks in at 6-3, 210 pounds. During his sophomore season of 2013 he was named First-Team All-American by ABCA and Baseball America and All-ACC First Team, earning an invitation to try out for 2013 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team following season. Was the ACC 2013 batting champion with a .381 average and led the league in on-base percentage (.517) and was second in slugging (.619). Selected by the LA Angels in the 30th round of 2011
From MLB.com on Papi
Both Papi's father and brother played college baseball, but it looks like Mike is going to be the first in the family to extend his playing career to the professional ranks. After a strong summer in the Northwoods League, Papi has kept hitting for Virginia. His plate discipline and pitch recognition are as good as any college hitter in this Draft class. He's more of a line-drive hitter right now, but there is some slugging potential in his left-handed swing, plus excellent bat speed and good balance at the plate. Papi is very versatile as a defender. He's more of a corner outfielder, but he can even play center field in a pinch, and he can even play first. Virginia's home park is not hitting-friendly, and many Cavaliers hitters have gone on to hit better at the next level. The team that thinks that will happen for Papi, and that more power will come, will take a long look in the top few rounds.
RHP GRANT HOCKIN
AGE/DOB: 18, March 5, 1996 High School: Damien High School (CA) BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-4/200 Hockin, 18, recently graduated from Damien High School in La Verne, CA where he logged 20 career victories in 63 games across 4 varsity seasons for the Spartans. The 6-4 190-pound right-hander went 9-3 with a 1.49 ERA (17 ER/80.0 IP) in 14 games/13 starts during his senior season, limiting opposing batters to a .199 (59-297) while notching 99 strikeouts against 17 walks. A part-time infielder, Hockin hit .379 (25-66) with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 15 RBI and 15 runs scored, while notching a 1.124 OPS (.488 OBP/.636 SLG) in 83 plate appearances this season. Hockin is the grandson of late Hall of Fame infielder Harmon Killebrew, currently committed to UCLA.
From MLB.com on Hockin
Major League bloodlines are always a benefit, so even though Hockin is a pitcher, the fact he is the grandson of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew is a point of interest. Hockin's certainly made a name for himself as a projectable high school right-hander from Southern California. Tall and lean, he has decent stuff across the board coming from a clean and easy delivery. The UCLA commit will touch 92 mph with his fastball, and his two-seamer has some good run to it. His slider can be inconsistent, but he'll often throw it with good tilt and depth. Hockin's changeup will show a split-finger-fastball kind of action at times. When everything is working, he can throw all three for strikes. In a deep class for high school pitching, Hockin is behind the elite names, but with the chance to have three at least Major League average offerings, a team could find some very good value with him a little deeper in the Draft.
1B BOBBY BRADLEY AGE/DOB: 18, May 29, 1996 High School: Harrison Central HS (Gulfport, MS) BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-2/215 Bradley, who turned 18 on May 29, recently graduated from Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, MS. During his recently completed senior campaign he hit .340 (17-50) with 5 2B, 2 3B, 6HR & 11RBI in 22 games. He hit .567 (34-60) as a Junior with 8HR & 32 RBI in 27 games and over his four-year high school career he batted .442 (89-300, 23HR, 91RBI, 84 games). He is a national letter of intent to attend LSU. He attended the same high school as LHP Greg Hibbard (now an Indians MiLB coach) and OF Matt Lawton.
From MLB.com on Bradley
In a strong year for Mississippi high school talent, Bradley's bat could take him into the second round of the Draft. He's a product of Harrison Central High in Gulfport, which has also spawned big leaguers Greg Hibbard and Marcus and Matt Lawton. Bradley has an extremely advanced bat for a prep player and the power to match. He has a sweet left-handed swing with plenty of bat speed, as well as a willingness to use the entire field. He focuses on making hard contact rather than selling out for home runs, though he still can hit the ball out of any part of any park. Bradley tried catching at the beginning of the season and also has played some third base in the past, but he's destined for first base in college or pro ball. He has enough arm strength but lacks the receiving skills to catch and the range and quickness for the hot corner.
LHP SAM HENTGES
AGE/DOB: 17, July 18, 1996 High School: Mounds View High School (St. Paul, MN) BATS/THROWS: L/L HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-6/235 Hentges, is a 6-6", 240-pound left-handed pitcher from Mounds View High School in St. Paul, MN. He was recently named 2013-14 Gatorade Minnesota Baseball Player of the Year as Mounds View recently qualified for the 8-team Minnesota state high school baseball tournament. He led his team to the MN state title in 2013. He appeared in 7 games in 2014 and sported a 1.00 ERA (36.0IP, 17H, 7R/4ER, 26BB, 66K). Has a signed letter of intent with Arkansas.
RHP JULIAN MERRYWEATHER
AGE/DOB: 22, October 14, 1991 College: Oklahoma Baptist University (OK) BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-6/240 Named to the 2014 NAIA Baseball All-America team (first team)…Finished 12-3 on the season with an ERA of 1.07 in 100.2 innings pitched. The senior from Berkley, Calif., allowed just 12 earned runs all season while striking out 132 batters and holding opponents to a .181 batting average. Merryweather was also named to the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series All-Tournament Team for his performance in Lewiston, Idaho.
CF GREG ALLEN
AGE/DOB: 21, March 15, 1993 College: San Diego State (CA) BATS/THROWS: S/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-4/170 CF Greg Allen hit .302 with 25 stolen bases for the SD State Aztecs this season. Named to preseason Baseball America's All-America 2nd Team. From MLB.com on Allen Finding true leadoff hitters is no easy task, but teams might find one atop the San Diego State lineup this spring. Lean and athletic, Allen has all the makings of a top-of-the-order catalyst. The switch-hitter doesn't try to do too much at the plate, with a short, quick swing and good plate discipline. Once on base, he's a legitimate threat to steal a base. His speed works very well on the other side of the ball as well, where he covers a lot of ground in center field, with outstanding instincts and a solid arm. The last center fielder/leadoff type to come out of San Diego State was Tony Gwynn Jr., and there are some similarities there. If Allen's bat continues to develop, he has the chance to be an everyday center fielder at the next level. Round 7 (#218 overall)
C/INF SIMEON LUCAS
AGE/DOB: 18, Feb 7, 1996 High School: Grant Community HS (Fox Lake, IL) BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-2/195 Hit .443 (31-70) with 9 doubles, 7 home runs and 32 RBI during his senior season (.581OB/.871SLG)… Committed to play collegiately at Illinois State. From MLB.com on Lucas Lucas has the chance to be a very good all-around catcher and has many teams interested in him based on his potential both offensively and defensively. At the plate, he has great bat speed from the left side, a smooth swing and makes consistent, hard contact to all fields. Right now, Lucas has mostly gap power, but he could grow into more power as he develops. He will need more work with blocking and receiving, though he does have a solid arm. If a team is willing to be patient and wait for Lucas' glove to catch up to his offensive potential, it could have a solid big league backstop on its hands.
RHP MICAH MINIARD
AGE/DOB: 18, April 12, 1996 High School: Boyle County HS (Danville, KY) BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-7/195 The 6-foot-7 right handed pitcher struck out 76 batters in 56.1 innings of work as a junior at Boyle County High School, winning five games, including a no-hitter, while posting an ERA of 2.24. This past season he also won five games, with a 1.76 ERA and once again has 76 strikeouts in 56.1 innings…Signed to play at Western Kentucky… Named a 2013 Under Armour All-American and pitched in the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field this past summer. From MLB.com on Miniard Tall and athletic, Miniard offers plenty of projection for scouts to dream on. He has already begun tapping into that potential as he got stronger over the winter and saw his fastball velocity jump as a result. Miniard's fastball topped out at 94 mph, but he more often pitches in the upper-80s to 90 mph. He also throws a hard, downer curveball that has average potential and a rarely seen changeup. He has a long way to go, but has all the raw tools to become a solid pitcher. Miniard is committed to Western Kentucky where his sister, Hannah, won 13 games for the softball team as a freshman this spring.
SS ALEXIS PANTOJAS
AGE/DOB: 18, January 1, 1996 High School: Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (Vega Alta, PR) BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-11/155 Very good defensive infielder and bat projects well according to Perfectgame.com. Glove stood out at Perfect Game World. 2014 Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American… All Region 1st Team (Canada/PR). From MLB.com on Pantojas Two years after Carlos Correa became the first Puerto Rican to be drafted first overall, the best player on the island is once again a shortstop from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. Pantoja, however, is a much different player than Correa. Pantoja' defense is well ahead of his offense, and scouts wonder if he will hit enough to be an everyday player. He has a sound approach at the plate, but he has below-average power and will need to put weight on his wispy frame. Pantoja is a slick fielder, capable of making all the plays at the position. He has a solid arm and good range, despite not having great speed. Pantoja earns praise for his baseball IQ and aggressive play. He is committed to Alabama State.
INF STEVEN PATTERSON
AGE/DOB: 21, August 3, 1992 College: Cal-Davis BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-9/205