Drew Pomeranz is officially a member of the Cleveland Indians, agreeing to a $2.65 million signing bonus minutes before the midnight deadline. The lefty from the University of Mississippi was the No. 5 overall selection in June. Earlier, Cleveland also signed its picks from the second, third, fourth and eighth rounds in a hectic day for general manager Mark Shapiro and assistant Chris Antonetti.
Cleveland doled out plenty of cash, reportedly giving outfielder LeVon Washington from Chipola (Fla.) Junior College $1.2 million as their second pick and signing No. 3 pick Tony Wolters for $1.35 million.
Wolters, a high school shortstop from California, had a scholarship to the University of San Diego.
That's where No. 4 pick Kyle Blair pitched and the Tribe signed the right-hander for $580,000 in the afternoon, along with No. 8 selection Alex Lavisky from Lakewood St. Edward High School.
“We are excited to sign Drew Pomeranz, LeVon Washington and Tony Wolters -- our top three draft picks," scouting director Brad Grant said. "Each player has unique skills that can enable them to become long-term contributors to the Cleveland Indians.
"Drew is an accomplished college left-handed pitcher, while LeVon and Tony are each young, athletic, middle-of-the-diamond players with tremendous upside. We look forward to these three players beginning their professional careers with us.”
Pomeranz was one of several first-round selections that signed just before the deadline. That included No. 1 overall Bryce Harper with Washington, No. 2 Jameson Taillon with Pittsburgh and No. 3 Manny Machado by Baltimore.
Pomeranz went 9-2 with a 2.24 ERA in 16 starts as a junior this spring. In 100 2-3 innings, he allowed only 71 hits, walked 49 and struck out 139.
"With his ability to start, and with his power stuff, we liked Drew Pomeranz," Grant had said when Cleveland selected the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder in June. "We feel like we got a big, front-of-the-rotation left-handed starter.
"He is a guy we have followed since he was in high school. After his performance at last year's regionals and with Team USA, he became a targeted guy for us."
In a 2009 regional final, Pomeranz struck out 16 in a complete-game win on only two day's rest. He followed that up with a 146-pitch, 10-strikeout effort over seven innings in a super regional game for the Rebels.
The Indians like Pomeranz's repertoire, which includes both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, curve and changeup. His fastball usually is timed between 90-95 mph, and the big lefty gets a lot of swing-and-miss strikeouts with his big curve.
Washington, 19, a 5-10, 170-pound left-handed hitter, batted .327 with 11 doubles, a triple, eight home runs, 25 RBI and 39 runs in 41 games this spring.
He was the 30th overall selection in the first round of the 2009 draft by the Tampa Bay Ray, but did not reach an agreement.
Wolters, 18, batted .430 with 27 runs, six doubles, three triples, four homers and 17 RBI in 25 games for Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, CA. He also was 25-for-25 in stolen base attempts.
This summer for the Team USA 18-under squad, he hit .366 with nine doubles, a home run, 14RBI and 26 runs in 20 games, going 8-for-8 in steals.
Blair, the 120th overall pick, went 8-4 with a 2.54 ERA this spring at San Diego.
Lavisky reportedly got a $1 million signing bonus. He and right-hander Stetson Allie, the No. 52 overall pick who signed with Pittsburgh earlier in the day, helped St. Edward win the Ohio Division I state championship this spring.
The Indians signed 27 of their 50 picks overall, and each of their top 14.