The Cleveland Indians have used the #17 pick of the 2015 MLB Draft to select Brady Aiken.
Aiken, a left-handed pitcher, was the #1 overall pick a year ago. However, after he and the Astros seemed on the verge of agreeing to a deal, elbow inflammation in his throwing arm was detected, and the two sides were unable to work the signing bonus out. Because he had signed with an agent, Aiken was ineligible to play college baseball, and instead enrolled at the IMG Baseball Academy, a private athletic training institute in Florida. He exited during the 1st inning of his first game there, and underwent Tommy John surgery in March.
Aiken is still only 18 years old, and is expected to be ready to pitch by the time spring training begins next year, Prior to the surgery, he had a fastball that sometimes reached 100 MPH.
The slot value of the pick is $2,393,600. The deal he nearly signed a year ago was for $6.5 million, which is nearly the entire draft budget for the Indians. Obviously if he signs with the Tribe, it'll be for a lot less than he almost had a year ago. Terrible timing for him, with the elbow problems showing up at the worst possible time. He's a high risk/high reward draft pick. If he makes a full recovery, he could become the best pitcher from this draft, and an All-Star.
The Indians' next pick is #42. That the pick they won in the competitive balance lottery.
Follow the draft live and discuss the Tribe's picks and whatever else strikes your fancy in LGT's 2015 MLB Draft open thread.