Cleveland Indians: Top 5 Cleveland draft classes of the last 25 years

Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians
C.C. Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jamie Mullen/Getty Images) /

No. 5, 1998 – C.C. Sabathia (1st round), Ryan Drese (5th)

With the 20th overall pick in the 1998 MLB Draft, the Cleveland Indians selected Carsten Charles Sabathia, a 6-foot-6 left-handed starting pitcher out of Vallejo, Calif. Fast Forward to now and the pitcher better known as C.C. is retired after being the 2007 American League Cy Young for the Tribe as well as being a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees, six-time All-Star and ALCS MVP in 2009.

While Sabathia only pitched eight of his 19 major league seasons in Cleveland, he is still regarded as one of the better picks and pitchers for the club over the last 25 seasons. Winning a Cy Young Award will do that.

Over his eight seasons in Cleveland, Sabathia totaled an ERA of 3.83 over 1,528.2 innings while striking out 1,265 batters. He also was able to tally a record of 106-71 for Cleveland. However, he wasn’t the only pitcher from this class to do decently well.

Ryan Drese was taken in the fifth round of the same draft by the Tribe. Drese tossed two seasons for the Tribe, making 30 starts over 35 appearances with an ERA of 5.90. He went on to pitcher for the Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals as well, totaling six major league seasons. Cleveland traded him to Texas with Einer Diaz for Travis Hafner.

Sabathia is the player that really makes this class and being a Cy Young will put him on this list alone. Drese being the player that netted the Tribe Hafner helps as well. While it might not be the quality of class were accustomed to now, it was still a decent haul thanks to Sabathia alone.