The waiting game begins for No. 5 overall draft pick Pomeranz

By Eric Besson

Drew Pomeranz has worked for three years to improve his draft position after the Texas Rangers selected him in the 12th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball amateur draft, and he did just that when the Cleveland Indians drafted him No. 5 overall Monday night.

Now, instead of working to attain his goal, he will wait to pitch competitively again until he reaches a contract agreement with his new club. What will he do in the meantime?

“I’m just going to play golf and see what happens,” Pomeranz said. “Play golf every day.”

He will not throw much during his period of rest, but instead will focus on keeping his body in shape.

“I’ll probably take a little bit of time off,” Pomeranz said. “I haven’t really thought about that much either. Mostly probably just running. I’ll just run every day and just stay in shape body-wise. I mean, I’ve got 100 innings under my belt this year. I don’t think it will take me that long to get back into it.”

The left-handed pitcher from Collierville, Tenn., has until August 15 to sign with the Indians. Negotiations between big-league ball clubs and draftees often develop slowly, with neither side giving ground until the final weeks, days or hours.

“I don’t have any rush to get in or rush to drag (the negotiations) out at all,” Pomeranz said. “I don’t know how it’s all going. I haven’t heard anything, any negotiations. From what I hear, they are going to probably fly me up there or get me a trip up to Cleveland, do a physical, show me around before they even start negotiating anything.”

When Pomeranz — advised by the Beverly Hills Sports Council — does sign, he could play with former Rebel teammate Jordan Henry at some point in the Indians’ system. Henry, who texted Pomeranz a message of congratulations after the draft, is playing for the high-A Kinston Indians.

But Pomeranz’s goal is not to just sign.

It is to make it to the big leagues and have a successful career. The Washington Nationals have already promoted two pitchers they selected in the 2009 draft, just one year after having a 5.00 team ERA. This season, the Indians are 24th in the league with a 4.72 ERA and have only one starter with a number under 3.50, so if Pomeranz pitches well in the minors, he could be called up as early as next season.

“It’s definitely a positive, I guess, to go to a team where I could be up pretty quick,” Pomeranz said.

With his Rebel career now over, Pomeranz compared some of the aspects of his college life to the stories he has heard, through his brother Stuart Pomeranz – drafted 65th overall in 2003 – and former teammates, about life in the minors.

“I guess you don’t have the whole college thing,” he said. “You’re on a bus all the time traveling. There is not 8,000 people in the stands every weekend.”

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