The 2014 MLB draft begins in only six days, on Thursday. We've been covering the Indians recent draft history and looking at the organizational depth at various positions. It's also interesting to check in with prospect experts and see how they predict things to play out.
One such expert is ESPN's Keith Law, who is probably the best know baseball talent evaluator in the world. His latest mock draft of the first round was recently released (you can read the whole thing here, but a subscription is required).
The Indians are up at #21, and Law has them taking Michael Chavis, a high school third baseman from Marietta, Georgia (less than 50 miles from Loganville, where the Tribe's top pick from last year, Clint Frazier went to school), who hits for a lot of power. Says Law:
"I've heard the Indians will take the best player available regardless of position or school type, which I take to mean they're waiting to see who falls to them."
Chavis has a somewhat stocky frame (Law lists him at 5'11', 180 pounds, this article from the Marrietta Daily Journal lists him at 6'0", 200 pounds), with a strong lower body that helps to generate power, and quick hands that allow him to turn on the ball. Last summer Chavis won the Home Run Challenge at a prominent prep All-Star Game.
Baseball America's most recent mock draft had the Tribe taking left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb at #21, but Law has him being long gone before the Indians are on the clock, going at #10.
Chavis, like almost any high school player with a chance of going in the first round, sounds intriguing, with corner-infield power being something the Indians could use more of in the farm system. I'm glad to hear Law say the Indians plan to take the best available player, regardless of position, because with baseball draft picks usually being at least three years from arriving, it's hardly worth trying to predict what will be needed by the time they're ready.