Cleveland Indians 2016 MLB Draft Day Two Roundup

Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Indians 2016 MLB Draft Day Two Roundup

The 2016 Major League Baseball Draft continued yesterday, with Rounds 3-10 taking place. After making three picks on Day One of the draft, the Indians had eight picks on Day Two, one in each round. Here are the picks:

Round 3 (92) – Aaron Civale, RHP, Northeastern

A college Junior, Civale worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen his first two years making 35 appearances with just one start. He really jumped onto the map in the Cape Cod league last summer when he made 14 appearances. He struck out 29 in just 25 innings of work and had a 0.36 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. He moved to the rotation for the 2016 season and looked better than he had in college. In 15 starts, he posted a 1.73 ERA and had a ridiculous 8.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has a four-pitch mix with his cutter/slider being the best pitch. Many feel he could return to the pen at the next level but if he can command multiple pitches like he did this year he could start.

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Round 4 (122) – Shane Bieber, RHP, UC Santa Barbara

A college junior, Bieber is a three-year starter for UC Santa Barbara. He’s a lot like Civale in that he doesn’t have elite stuff but doesn’t walk anyone with a career walk rate of just 1.17 in college. He posted an 11-3 record this year with a 2.86 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He reminds me a bit of Tribe prospect Adam Plutko, who was a bit overlooked in his day at UCLA but had the control and makeup that drew the Indians to him. Bieber has a nice three-pitch mix with a fastball, slider, and change.

Round 5 (152) – Conner Capel, CF, Seven Lakes HS (Katy, Texas)

After going to the college ranks with the previous three picks, the Indians went back to the prep ranks with their 5th round pick. Capel hit .456 as a high school senior with 27 doubles and 23 stolen bases. The left-handed hitter is committed to the University of Texas. He’s got baseball bloodlines as his father Mike Capel was college pitcher and a 13th round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 1983. Conner inherited some of his father’s arm, running it up to 90 mph on the mound in high school when he wasn’t terrorizing opposing pitchers with his bat and play in the outfield. He can play all three outfield spots and has a lot of upside. Many felt he was a top 60 prospect in the draft and could have gone on Day One.

Round 6 (182) – Ulysses Cantu, 3B, W.E. Boswell HS (Fort Worth ,Texas)

The second high schooler out of the state of Texas in a row, Cantu hit .374 as a senior with six home runs. He was a Texas district Offensive Player of the Year and is a Texas Tech commit. After playing third base this year (and being announced as one by the Indians), many feel he could move to catcher. There’s been talk he could catch at Texas Tech so while the Indians will likely start him at third base, he could have the versatility to move behind the dish.  He also pitched in high school so the arm is pretty solid (another reason catcher could be an option). He has some right-handed pop though not elite power. 

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Round 7 (212) – Michael Tinsley, C, Kansas

The second college catcher of the draft for the Indians, Tinsley earned First Team All-Big 12 honors this year. He left-handed hitter led the conference with a .377 average. He has elite plate discipline as he nearly walked twice as much as he struck out in 2016 (32 BB vs 18 K). He offers very little in terms of power (five in his collegiate career) but the bat should play and he had a good arm behind the plate. He’ll need work on his receiving skills he played outfield some too.

Round 8 (242) – Andrew Lantrip, RHP, Houston

Another college right-hander, Lantrip is a college junior who is allergic to walking batters. While Civale’s strikeout-to-walk rate was great, Lantrip’s 2016 K/BB was videogame-esque at 16.8. He walked just five batters in 90 innings and posted a 2.70 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.  His fastball rarely touches 90 mph so his upside is very limited but the command is something that could make him a depth option, similar to a younger Josh Tomlin.

Round 9 (272) – Hosea Nelson, OF, Clarendon College

A Junior College player, Nelson is a left-handed hitting outfielder who had a statically stunning season for Clarendon College (Texas). He hit .531/.606/1.020 (that’s a 1.626 OPS for you non-math majors) and had 20 home runs, 18 doubles and drove in 100 runs in just 55 games! As fun and amazing as those numbers are, he did it playing against vastly inferior talent. He has some speed and seems athletic but he wasn’t a top prospect according to the major publications. He has a commitment to North Florida.

Round 10 (302) – Samad Taylor, SS, Corona Senior HS

The Indians closed out Day Two with a 17-year-old high schooler out of California. Taylor is committed to the University of Arizona. He’s a switch-hitter who plays shortstop for now though likely ends up at second base at some point. He’s very athletic and has some quick hands. Power isn’t there but it could develop at he matures. He could be one of the tougher signs of the day as slot is only $156,000 for this pick, though it’s a worthwhile gamble at this stage of the draft.

Next: Indians Top Angels as Kluber Goes Distance

Day Three of the draft concluded earlier today with Rounds 11-40 taking place.  Unlike with the first ten rounds, who have various slot values and draw from the Indians draft pool money, rounds 11-40 all come with a $100,000 “limit”. Any money given out over that goes against the draft pool. Stay tuned for a look at those 30 players the Indians selected.