As we close in on the MLB Draft, we’re getting a clearer picture of what the Cleveland Indians might try to do with their multiple picks in the early rounds.
Rumors are coming in now as to who the Cleveland Indians are targeting with their two first round selections. Despite going with an outfielder with their first pick in four of the last five drafts, the Tribe could be dipping into that well one more time.
Here’s what Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline had to say in his latest mock draft:
"Cleveland has two selections toward the end of the first round and could double up on prep bats unless one of the premium high school arms makes his way to No. 29. The Indians also are watching the outfield group mentioned with the Astros, plus Edwards and Georgia high school catchers Will Banfield and Seigler."
The outfield group that Callis is referring to includes: Alek Thomas, Parker Meadows, Nick Schnell, Mike Siani, and Connor Scott.
These are the first real rumored connections we’ve seen outside of mock drafts that just describe a player’s ability. These are legitimate rumored connections between prospect and team. A lot of these names are familiar as well.
Connor Scott and Alek Thomas were profiled in our outfield position preview, and Schnell’s name was brought up in our mock draft roundup. Xavier Edwards was profiled in our shortstop position preview, and was another name found in mock drafts.
Banfield, Anthony Siegler, and Noah Naylor were all covered in our catching position preview and all three of them have been connected to the Cleveland Indians now as well. There is legitimate interest between them.
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What does this mean?
This is a wide group of players to be connected to. That generally happens when you pick late in the first round. Odds are, one or more of this group of players that Callis mentioned will be available when the Indians go on the clock with the 29th pick. And there’s a good chance that the Tribe will be able to pick up two players that have been listed above since they pick again at 35 overall.
Everything depends on how the board falls. There could be some unknown player that falls during the draft that was much higher on the Indians draft board. The entire thing is up in the air.
The Indians could be at the beginning of a run on high school outfielders. They could also lock up one of the top catchers in this class and get one of the outfielders with the 35th pick, but might risk losing their top outfield target.
The draft is a risky game, hoping certain players fall to your next pick and drafting some maybe earlier than they should have gone. But that’s the game teams have to play, and it’s one that can be fun to watch, while also infuriating.
But we have real rumors to hold onto now. The Cleveland Indians are targeting a group a high school outfielders, catchers, and a shortstop mixed in there. But that might depend on which pitchers could fall to them.
Rumors are always fun to listen to. As baseball fans, we yearn for them year round, whether it be on trades or free agent signings, but at this point in time, it’s the draft rumors that are flying around, buzzing in the ears of scouts and journalists.