With the Indians second pick at No. 31, which came as compensation for losing veteran pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez in free agency, they selected left-hander Justus Sheffield - a high school hurler from Tullahoma, Tenn.
Sheffield, 18, just wrapped up his prep senior season, going 10-0 with a 0.34 ERA (just three earned runs over 61 2/3 innings) with 131 strikeouts. Wednesday, the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder became the first high school athlete from Tennessee to win a Gatorade National Player of the Year Award after leading the Wildcats to a third consecutive district championship and on to a second-round appearance in the state playoffs.
Also a part-time center-fielder, Sheffield batted .405 with 13 doubles, 3 homers and 16 RBI and had committed to play at Vanderbilt University, where his older brother Jordan Sheffield is wrapping up his freshman year as a right-handed pitcher for the Commodores. Sheffield’s selection gives the Tribe back-to-back Gatorade National Player of the Year award winners, having selected outfielder Clint Frazier in the first round last year.