06/10/09 6:00 PM ET
Indians' Draft far from finished
Tons of big league talent has come from later rounds
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
But if you think all the players who someday will impact Major League rosters have been taken, well, think again. One look at the Indians' active roster is proof that the less-hyped rounds have their own share of intrigue.With their fourth-round pick in 2000, the Expos took a tall, thin left-hander out of the University of Arkansas. One trade, two years and three months later, Cliff Lee was a September callup with the Indians, beginning a Major League career that has blossomed into Cy Young Award-winning status. And prominent players don't even have to come from the top 10 rounds -- or the top 20, for that matter. Back in 1996, with their 31st-round selection, the Rangers took a chance on a community college slugger from the middle of nowhere (also known as Sykeston, N.D.). Five years later, Travis Hafner, who was the 923rd overall pick in his Draft class, was a September callup in Texas. And after a trade to the Tribe in the winter before the '03 season, the man they now call Pronk became a feared middle-of-the-order hitter who put up MVP-type numbers in 2006. Keep these pick precedents in mind Wednesday, when the First-Year Player Draft continues. After 111 picks on Day 1 -- including Round One, Compensation Round A, Round Two, Round Three and Compensation Round B -- and Day 2's coverage of Rounds Four through 30, the Draft will resume with exclusive coverage on MLB.com at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds.
MLB.com's coverage will include a live pick-by-pick audio stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.
Fans will not only be able to follow along every minute of the way online, but they'll be able to interact directly with Draft-eligible players and MLB.com Draft experts, among others.
The Draft Tracker will also feature the addition of Twitter, and the participation of "tweeters" such as MLB.com Draft expert @JonathanMayoB3, who will also be serving as on-air talent for all three days of the Draft; and reporter @LisaWinstonMLB, who will be writing the up-to-the-minute coverage for MLB.com.
In addition, MLB.com has created a Twitter account devoted to the Draft, where you can stay updated on every piece of info as it becomes available (@MLBDraft).The Indians have plenty of players who were taken somewhere beyond the first three rounds. Josh Barfield was a fourth-round pick by the Padres in the 2001 Draft, and he made his debut in 2006. Ben Francisco was a fifth-round selection by the Tribe in '02, and he made his debut in '07. Mark DeRosa was a seventh-round pick for the Braves in 1996 and debuted just two years later. Carl Pavano was a 13th-round pick by the Red Sox in '94 and debuted with the Expos in '98. Jamey Carroll was a 14th-round pick by the Expos in 1996 and reached the bigs in 2002. Anthony Reyes was a 15th-round pick by the Cardinals in '03 and debuted two years later. Aaron Laffey was a 16th-round pick by the Indians in 2003 and reached the Majors in '07. Chris Gimenez was a 19th-round pick by the Tribe in 2004 and made his debut last week. Clearly, this Draft is just getting started.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.