2014 Indians 1st round comp balance pick: OF Mike Papi
With their 1st round competitive balance pick (#38 overall) in the 2014 Draft the Cleveland Indians have selected outfielder Mike Papi out of the University of Virginia.
Born: 9/19/1992 – Height: 6’3” – Weight: 195 – Bats: Left – Throws: Right
Baseball America: 43
Keith Law: 43
Jeff Ellis: 35
Tony’s take: This pick comes as no surprise as Papi was projected to the Indians in several national mocks at #31 or #38, though with so much prep talent on the board I may have preferred the Indians go that route one more time before going safe in the next few rounds. In any case, Papi has an exceptional approach at the plate with a good eye and a lot of patience, so the bat along with the ability to work deep in counts and draw a ton of walks obviously appealed to the Indians. He displays some very good bat speed and has a nice line drive stroke, and there could be some untapped power that the Indians can maybe bring out as he matures and gets on a pro strength and conditioning program and proper nutrition program. He should fit in right field but can also handle center field and even play first base.
Jeff Ellis: Michael Conforto went tenth in this draft and I don’t see a big difference between him and Papi. Papi has been a great player in college. He has shown solid pop from the left side. I had been told that the Indians liked him, so I did get this pick right in my mock. Papi’s best skill is his eye at the plate. He will always have more walks than strikeouts. He basically owns the strike zone. He has above average power and hit tool. I am not sure where he plays defensively, but most think he ends up at first base. He will be either a great defensive first baseman or a mediocre to below average outfielder with a good arm. The player he reminds me of the most is Nick Swisher.
Press release: Papi, 21, is a junior outfielder for the University of Virginia where he has hit .297 (62-209) this season with 9 doubles, 11 home runs, 51 RBI and 51 runs scored in 60 games for the Cavaliers. Virginia is taking on Maryland this weekend in the NCAA Super Regional. The Tunkhannock, PA native is a 6-3 outfield/first baseman with checks in at 6-3, 210 pounds. Currently owns a career 3-year average of .324 (159-491) at UVA with 32 2B, 19HR & 125RBI in 150 games.
Troy, you don't consider Jesus Aguilar a legitimate first base prospect?