Draft Notes: Hoffman, Angels, Indians

East Carolina pitcher Jeff Hoffman, who was universally projected to be a top-of-the-first-round pick before an elbow injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery, isn’t going to enjoy following the first round of the draft, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports. “The competitor in me makes it hard for me to see, maybe, a bunch of guys get picked ahead of me — guys that I know aren’t better than me, some guys out of high school that don’t really understand the game of baseball yet,” says Hoffman. Nonetheless, he remains confident in his ability, and he hasn’t changed his goal of helping a big-league team within two years. “[E]verything happens for a reason, and whatever team takes the so-called risk and drafts me is going to get the best player in the draft.” Hoffman remains a likely first-round pick. Here are more notes on the draft.

  • The best first-round draft pick in Angels history, unsurprisingly, is that of Mike Trout in 2009, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes. That’s the case even though the Angels have also drafted Jered Weaver, Troy Glaus and Darin Erstad in Round 1. Gonzalez also names the Angels’ best picks from every other round through Round 15. Those include John Lackey in the second round in 1999, and Tim Salmon in the third round in 1989.
  • Having four picks on the first day of the draft (Nos. 21, 31, 38 and 61) gives the Indians an edge this season, Indians amateur scouting director Brad Grant says on a video posted by Dan Labbe of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Grant says that this year’s draft class is heavy on depth, with many similar players falling between the end of the first round through the second round. After sacrificing picks for Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn in the 2012-2013 offseason, the Indians selected Clint Frazier at No. 5 overall last year and then didn’t pick again until No. 79 overall. Grant says there were many players the Indians only watched once, proceeding on the assumption that they wouldn’t get to draft them. With so many extra picks this year, the Indians are spending more resources scouting players who might go in the first few rounds.

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