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2014 MLB Draft: Papi set to come to Cleveland on Tuesday

2014 MLB Draft: Papi set to come to Cleveland on Tuesday
Mike Papi (Photo: AP)
June 30, 2014
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1st round competitive balance pick outfielder Mike Papi is set to sign with the Indians. He had his exit interviews with the Virginia coaching staff on Friday and will fly to Cleveland this Tuesday to have his physical, sign his contract and take part in pre-game activities with the team at Progressive Field. After signing he will travel back home to pack up his things and then drive to his first minor league destination which is expected to be short season Single-A Mahoning Valley sometime over this coming weekend.

What will be interesting will be to see what roster moves – if any – are made to get Papi onto the roster. Considering they already have top picks Bradley Zimmer and Greg Allen in the outfield plus drafted outfielder Taylor Murphy and young prospects Josh McAdams and D’vone McClure there, it would not surprise to see one of Allen or Zimmer – or even both – be sent to Lake County over the weekend.

Papi brings an advanced bat to the system and is a player who could quickly move to Lake County at some point this season, so the outfield glut at Mahoning Valley my soon end up being an issue at Lake County. All three of Zimmer, Allen and Papi have a great shot of opening the 2015 season at High-A Carolina – at least two of them – so the Indians will want to get some of them a meaningful amount of games at Lake County this season.

With the signing, the Indians have now signed all of their top 15 picks, 24 of their top 26 picks and 28 of their top 33 picks. They have signed 28 picks overall. A few other picks like catcher Juan Gomes, outfielder Cody Jones and right-handed pitcher Jake Morton still remain possibilities to be signed.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

July 3, 2014 - 7:46 AM EDT
Thanks Tony!
July 2, 2014 - 11:15 PM EDT
Papi is in tow and should be in Mahoning Valley this weekend. Expected there on Friday or Saturday.
July 2, 2014 - 10:21 PM EDT
Any official signing/assignment news?
June 30, 2014 - 11:01 PM EDT
Indians are deeply committed to developing Zimmer as a center fielder and believe he can play there. I would expect he plays there all or most of next season and then adjust from there based on organizational need, his development and how he fits into things.

I would think Washington is in Akron....probably someone like Gallas. Also Jordan Smith could repeat. Myles also likely repeats.
June 30, 2014 - 10:00 PM EDT
That sounds about right anon. After reading the post below, I actually do believe Frazier starts next year at LC unless he really heats up. I still have faith, but he has done nothing to earn a promotion to A+ next year.

June 30, 2014 - 7:08 PM EDT

no way you let any first year full season player open at AA. Zimmer is considered a "projectable" College player anyway, which means even A+ is setting the bar high for his first full season gig.

At Akron, I see J.Smith repeating and joined by Washington and LuRod with maybe Gallas as the 4th OF. At Columbus, it should be Naquin, Myles, Moncrief and Holt. Probably a Linton/Carson-like player filling the roster at AA/AAA. At Akron a guy like Hankins could fill the 5th OF role along with Sabourin (if not cut).

The Indians could fill almost any full season roster spot with homegrown talent if they want to and everyone stays healthy. That won't happen though, but I hope the AAAA guys will be limited.

The LC roster 2015 will be a tough one to make. Well over 30+ players that could/should be on it, especially pitching spots should be hard fought. Their staff and roster overal should be really good.
June 30, 2014 - 4:22 PM EDT
Walter, I don't think they'll force any of the three to Akron. In fact, all three will probably spend the majority of next season at Lake County / Carolina. Definitely going to be some interesting decisions coming down. Had Naquin not went down with an injury I would suggest he could have been a key component in a trade, he still might be.

Just thinking of the Indians OF depth...
Moncrief, Holt, Myles, Naquin, Smith, Washington, LRod, Hankins, Allen, Zimmer, Papi, Frazier, Paulino, McAdams.

That's a lot of players, I'm sure I forgot a few. Seems like the a Tribe will have a bit of a roster crunch. Hopefully, they utilize some depth and make a few moves for arms, can never have too much SP.
June 30, 2014 - 3:41 PM EDT
The reason there is a log jam in OF is the very slow development of Martinez,Santander, Paulino and McAdams. If they were able to succeed at LC they would have been considered for Carolina.

My main question after any trades at deadline, the off season trades, and rule 5 draft who would be in the outfield for Akron next year? Assuming that Naquin and Myles would be in Columbus. Would the Indians hope 1 out 3 between Zimmer/Papi/Allen start next year in Akron?
June 30, 2014 - 3:39 PM EDT
@Tony..hmm.. the FanGraphs article from the other day (Homer linked it on the boards: ) had as a component a comp of Zimmer to Shawn Green, the superb athletic CF'er converted to RF to exploit the arm and coming power, speed, etc. These two guys (Zimmer and Green) are almost the Bobbsey Twins as far as make up, size, frame, tools, etc. Developing Zimmer as a CF'er or an elite RF'er seems to be the question. Any chance the future OF of Papi in LF, Frazier in CF and Zimmer in RF make their appearance as a future view of coming attractions in Cats-land?...
June 30, 2014 - 3:08 PM EDT
Papi is staying in the outfield. The Indians are committed to developing him as one. He will only play first base on occasion if at all. The way things sit right now, I think it is almost a guarantee that Zimmer and Papi are in the starting outfield in Carolina.....though injuries, performance and development over the next 2-3 months can change that. Also, I think Frazier may repeat at Lake County next year, in fact, I think based on things right now he very well might. Zimmer needs priority center field time at Carolina and will get I don't think they want both Frazier and Zimmer on the same team. Also, Allen will be in the mix there as well and he could very well go to Carolina with papi and Zimmer. Some very intriguing roster situations brewing for next year.
June 30, 2014 - 3:00 PM EDT

Since I don't see Frazier repeating at LC, who would move off CF if all three of him, Zimmer and Allen are at Carolina to start next season? CF-rotation? Papi could also move to 1B, allowing all 3 of them to roam the OF. Allen, Frazier, Zimmer, Papi, NRod would make a nice 1-5 at Carolina at OF, 1B and DH.

Will be interesting to see what happens to fallen specs like Paulino and Santander. Do they open next season at LC for the 3rd straight year? Backups at Carolina? I think one of them or McClure could be a wildcard/high upside throw-in in an upcoming trade.

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