Round 1, pick 5: Colin Moran, 3B, UNC - JR
Round 3, pick 79: Andrew Mitchell, RHP, TCU- JR
Round 4, pick 111: William Abreu, OF, Mater Academy, Hialeah, Florida - HS
I look at this draft and while it is not sexy by any means, I like it. In the past couple of years I've taken a splashy player (Archie Bradley in '11, Rio Ruiz in '12) that had an upside that would make me salivate, and I will admit I am much more biased towards toolsy/projectable players, but this year there just weren't many players like that. I was also working with a short stack after the Indians forfeit their 2nd round and competitive balance picks after their Swisher and Bourn signings. This did make me a little concerned as I liked a lot of players that were within the range of the 35-60 spots on my board and didn't know if I would be able to get any. As the draft was going on and I was doing further research as the picks started to take shape, I started to like the guys in the 61-90 spots more and more as well. While I was certain I would get one of those with my 3rd round pick I was again a little concerned whether any would be available in the 4th.
All of that said I nabbed three players inside the top 85 on my draft board (Moran 4, Mitchell 44, Abreu 82) and like the prospects for all of them with respect to potentially becoming big league regulars. All have decent ceilings and while Moran may be the only one who projects as a potential All-Star (albeit very slight chance), the other two could have bright futures as well. If Mitchell puts it all together he could be a #2 starter and while there is a lot to put together, he could have a nice fallback career as a reliever. Abreu has decent offensive potential for someone taken this late and I think he could eventually become a low end first division regular with his above average power being his carrying tool.
As far as other players I was considering with each of the picks, the first round was pretty much decided for me. I had a clear top 5 on my board (Gray, Appel, Bryant, Moran, Stewart) and I fully expected to get Moran. I was holding out hope something would happen with the Astros taking a underslot guy which would allow Gray/Appel or Bryant to fall to me but knew it wasn't too realistic.
For the 2nd round I was targeting a pitcher as this is where I thought the sweet spot of the draft was for them. Hunter Green going as early as he did rattled me a little and I thought most of the guys I had targeted would be gone by the time pick 79 came around. Midway through the 2nd round I had Mitchell, Trevor Williams (#53 on my board) Kevin Ziomek (#57), Clinton Hollon (#64) Teddy Stankiewicz (#68), and Dillon Overton (#71) eyed up with Carlos Salazar (#77) and OF Jordan Paroubeck (#56) as fall back plans should they all get taken. One by one they started to come off the board and I was certain that Wright would not be there when my pick came. I started doing cross checking to make sure I wanted Hollon over Salazar and was all set to pull the trigger when my pick came up and to my surprise Wright was still there. He does have attributes that make me a little nervous (as I said I'm terrified by the broken arms of TCU pitchers of the past) but believe he offers a great combination of potential and probability to make at least some impact at the big league level. That said I would definitely have been fine with Hollon or Salazar although their timetables are a little longer.
The third round I wanted to grab someone who would boost the offense and Abreu had been on my board for a while. I was pretty confident he'd get to me after a good chunk of the 3rd round passed but wanted to double check my other options. Matt McPhearson (#83 on my board) was higher on a lot of the analysts boards but I feel like there are already quite a few players in this mold in the system and there isn't much power potential with him. Drew Ward (#95) was a hot target for me entering the spring but as the months passed I just wasn't completely sold on him and I had already taken a 3B who may have to shift to 1B with my top pick. The guy I had started to develop a slight mancrush on over the past couple weeks was BYU outfielder Jacob Hannemann (#100) who I had originally listed as a down board guy highlighted in red. I recently heard a Baseball America report that just fawned over him. In the end I wanted the bigger bat but it was a difficult decision and if I have any regrets it would be here.
I said going in that I was estimating around $5MM in bonuses for these three picks and I think I accomplished that. Moran should give me a little savings to play with and Mitchell shouldn't cost anymore than slot if not provide some savings himself. I'm not as certain on Abreu as I haven't seen much on his willingness to sign but I'm not worried with the ability to offer at least $600k. The way these four rounds shape up Cleveland could even be a little aggressive later with a pick or two instead of going with safe senior signs across the board. In this draft that would have to be considered a success as well.