Cleveland Indian fans can see a sparkle of hope today as the 2010 MLB Draft is set to kick off. The tribe holds the No. 5 pick of the first round and most mock draft experts expect them to take LHP Drew Pomeranz out of the University of Mississippi.

Pomeranz will not receive nearly as much attention as 17-year-old phenom Bryce Harper (expected to go No. 1 to the Nationals), but should still bring a smile to Cleveland fans’ faces if he is in fact taken with the 5th overall pick. Over his career at the U of Miss., Pomeranz has compiled a 12-7 record with an ERA slightly under 4.00.

Given, these are not outstanding numbers, but Drew is only 20 years old and is improving on his numbers every year.

Rebuilding through the draft is something the Indians are going to have to focus on if they expect to get back to their 2007 form, which took them all the way to the ALCS. Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays have built nearly all of their recent successes on drafting skilled players and working them through the Minor League system.

For a team that is concerned with spending and is used to spending small market money, building a team through the farm system and drafts is the main, if not the only option.

Cleveland management will have their work cut out for them early in the 2010 draft. Owning three picks in the top 100 gives Cleveland a great opportunity to improve their farm system and get players that can make an impact down the road.

The key is to make sure you draft the correct players—easier said than done for Indian regimes over the last two decades.

Some of the more notable Indian first-round draft picks since 1990 have included Manny Ramirez (1991), Paul Shuey (1992), Jaret Wright (1994), and CC Sabathia (1998). Current Indians Trevor Crowe and Jeremy Sowers were also drafted by the team in 2004 and 2005.

Cleveland has failed to draft a significant impact player in the first round for the franchise since the addition of Sabathia in 1998. After the talents of Sabathia, Victor Martinez, and Cliff Lee were shipped off last season, Cleveland has struggled to fill the voids with younger talented players.

Even though the 2010 draft will not have an immediate impact on the team, it should be a useful tool in order to bring life back into the organization. Only time will tell if the 2010 draft picks will help bring the Indians back up to the top of the AL Central.

In the meantime fans will just have to sit back and wait to see if Cleveland will spend some money on key free agents or keep trying to develop young “talents.”


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