The Cleveland Indians spent a ton of money but in the end were able to get their top two draft picks from the 2011 Amateur Draft signed by the Midnight, Tuesday deadline.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor and Right-hander Dillon Howard had offers to play college baseball this fall if the Indians could not get their contracts worked out. Spending nearly $5 million in signing bonuses on the two players made sure the Tribe didn't lose out on the two players - Lindor received $2.9 million while Howard picked up $1.85 million.
Lindor, a shortstop who played high school in Florida after moving to America from Puerto Rico at age 13, hit .528(28-53) with 31 runs scored, six homers, 13 RBI and 30 steals during his senior year. He is projected to remain at shortstop and is a strong defensive prospect. Baseball America had Lindor ranked as the 7th-best prospect in the 2011 Draft.
Howard, a 6-4, 210 pound right-handed power pitcher from Searcy, Ark, was 9-1 this past season with a 0.31 ERA. He allowed just two earned runs in 58 innings while striking out 115 and walking 25.
Lindor had an offer to attend Florida State University while Howard was set to go to Arkansas.
Overall the Indians signed nine of their top ten draft picks, with left-hander Stephen Tarpley they only one not to sign. He will attend USC on a baseball scholarship.
The final signing of the night came when the team came to terms with 18th-round pick Shawn Armstrong, a right-hander from ECU. That brought the total number of picks signed to 29 of 50 - 17 of the top 19 overall.