Clint Frazier had tweeted just seven times and followed only three others on the social media site before Wednesday evening.
Yet, the newest Indians prospect ought to experience a big bump in followers that should easily push him past the 3,000 mark after becoming the fifth overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft a little after 7:30 p.m.
When the Indians picked the redheaded Georgia high school slugging outfielder with their first-round pick, Frazier’s Twitter account @cjf19 was being followed by 2,896 people.
A significant portion of that total had come from Frazier’s recent front-page cover story in Baseball America’s Annual Draft Preview, whose scouting report included this summary:
“While modestly sized, Frazier has fast-twitch athleticism and strength in his hands, wrists and forearms. He generates tremendous bat speed and plus-plus raw power that should play at any level. He hits ‘em far and hits homers with regularity.”
But just minutes after the 6-foot-1 slugger was selected, a couple Indians players began tweeting and texting their congratulations to Frazier in an effort to welcome him to the organization.
“Guess I’ll have to check my Twitter by the end of the night,” Frazier, 18, said with a laugh.
A product of Loganville High School, he was recently honored as the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Frazier, who’d previously made a verbal commitment to the University of Georgia, hit .484 with 17 home runs, and 45 RBI in 32 games as a senior with a simple offensive approach.
“I just go up there and try to hit the first pitch that’s in the strike zone,” he said.
Frazier will take that approach with him immediately to the professional level. Despite admitting he didn’t know “very much” about the Indians, he added: “I can promise you that at the end of the night, I will.”
Frazier grew up in the hotbed of Georgia baseball not as an Atlanta Braves fan, but instead a Philadelphia Phillies fan thanks to his appreciation for slugger Ryan Howard. But having been converted from a third baseman to a center fielder, he admitted to spending the last year or two following Washington Nationals young and brash outfielder Bryce Harper.
“I’m still new to the position, so I have a long way to go,” Frazier said. “But I’m definitely comfortable with it.”
When he was done with a handful of media obligations about an hour after hearing his name called, Frazier finally got around to sending out that eighth tweet. It read simply: “I’m officially a part of the Cleveland @Indians !!”
Prior to the Indians selection, the Houston Astros kicked off the draft by selecting Stanford pitcher Mark Appel. Baseball folks might remember that the Cardinals first ever No. 1 overall pick was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates last year as a junior but did not sign.
With the second overall pick, the Chicago Cubs took University of San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, who led all Division I hitters with 31 home runs this season. The third selection, the Colorado Rockies drafted Oklahoma right-handed pitcher Jonathan Gray, followed by the Minnesota Twins taking Texas high school pitcher Kohl Stewart with the fourth selection.