On Thursday night, Major League Baseball kicked off the first of a three day First-Year Player Draft. The Cleveland Indians owned the fifth overall pick in the draft, their highest pick since 2010.
When the Indians finally came on the clock, commission Bud Selig announced their pick as 18-year-old high school center fielder Clint Frazier out of Loganville, Georgia. The 5’11” 190-pound right-handed hitting outfielder was beaming after hearing his name called. After putting on the Indians jersey he said, “This is a dream come true.”
Frazier, who most recently appeared on the front page of Baseball America’s draft preview, was ranked the number four overall in the Top 100. Hailing from Loganville, Georgia, the youngster put together a superb high school career playing for Loganville High School. In his senior year, he batted .485 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs to go along with 56 runs scored and a .561 OBP. After the end of the season, Frazier was named Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year.
During his junior year, he put up just as stellar numbers while leading the Loganville Devils to AAAA Georgia state championship while earning All-American honors. Some call Frazier a mini-Mike Trout as a young outfield prospect with the ability to hit for average and solid power. His bat speed is incredible with a short stroke that has projectable power as he gets stronger.
On a post draft selection radio interview, when asked if he’s inclined to sign with the Indians Frazier beamingly said, “Yessir, I am going to sign with the Indians.” He had previously verbally committed to University of Georgia.
When asked how he has developed into such a talented player, he stated, “Confidence is what drives my game. Very outgoing, very welcoming. Not one to shy away from conversation.”
Frazier’s childhood friend, Austin Meadows, who lived not far from him was also a first round pick being selected eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Earlier in the MLB’s draft coverage both players confessed their brotherly love for each other, hoped for the best, and with both of them being in the top 10 picks it certainly was a celebratory event for the Georgian natives.
With a pick as high as the fifth overall, it is considered a can’t miss for the organization and the Indians’ scouting staff certainly did their homework. Brad Grant, the Indians Scouting Director, had the ability to really focus on that fifth pick on the first day of the draft because it was the Indians only pick tonight. The Indians free agent signings of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn lost them two picks, the 43 and 69th overall picks in the draft. Effectively after making the fifth overall pick, the Indians will not pick again until the third round, the 79th overall pick.
A quick draft note, Mark Appel, the eighth overall pick in 2012 by the Pittsburgh Pirates that passed up signing for his senior year saw it pay off as the Houston Astros made him the first overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Just the first two rounds of the draft will be chosen tonight with the final 38 rounds being spread across the final two days concluding on June 8. Keep up to date with the draft by following the MLB draft tracker on MLB.com