Indians draft Pomeranz No. 4 Madison Central’s Ryan Bolden taken by Los Angeles Angels

Published 12:06 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

SECAUCUS, N.J. — Needing a front-of-the-rotation left-hander after trading away two Cy Young winners, the Indians selected Ole Miss lefty Drew Pomeranz with the fifth overall pick.

The team had been targeting the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder for more than a year.

Pomeranz wasn’t Mississippi’s only selection on the first day of the three-day, 50-round MLB draft.

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Madison Central outfielder and Ole Miss signee Ryan Bolden was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels in Compensation Round A with the 40th overall pick.

“We started watching him (Pomeranz) in high school three years ago,” said Indians scouting director Brad Grant. “He had a big season in 2009 and we really started following him then.”

The Indians have been looking for their next All-Star ace after dealing CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee in the past two seasons.

“He’s got a power fastball, and a late breaking curve,” Grant said. “We like his ability to start.”

Pomeranz was slowed by a pectoral problem, but went 9-2 with a 2.24 ERA in 16 starts this past season for the Rebels. He struck out 139 in 1022⁄3 innings, and was named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year.

Pomeranz is the highest MLB draft pick in school history and the state’s loftiest since Mississippi State pitcher B.J. Wallace was taken third overall by the Montreal Expos in 1992.