The Cleveland Indians made several selections here on the second day of the MLB Draft, and like we expected, they went heavy on college players.
The Indians led off their draft with three high school players and followed that up with a college reliever to finish up the first night of the draft. And it could be tough to sign some of those young high school players, so they needed to save money with a couple of college selections.
Richard Palacios, SS, Towson
Palacios hit .301/.457/.515 this year for Towson with 18 doubles and eight home runs. The big stats however are when he doesn’t make contact. He drew 52 walks this season and struck out only 16 times all year. Remarkable.
He also has good speed, swiping 25 bases this spring and was only caught once. Was the 134th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline and has some raw power but is more of a table setter and high on-base, big stolen base guy.
Adam Scott, LHP, Wofford
The Cleveland Indians take a trip to Pawnee, Indiana for their next pick. Just kidding, Wofford is located in South Carolina, the home state of Tom Haverford. In case you haven’t picked up on it, there will be several Parks and Rec references here.
Scott pitched to a 3.14 ERA this year, the same number as pi, and pies are just like calzones. Again, I can’t resist. But this guy is a good pitcher.
As a college lefty, Scott has gotten better each year at Wofford. In 2018, he finished with 138 strikeouts and allowed only 18 walks. He can stick in the rotation.
Steven Kwan, OF, Oregon State
Kwan was the centerfielder for an Oregon State team that had two first rounders in Nick Madrigal and Trevor Larnach. Kwan was the leadoff hitter in front of those two guys and he pulled his weight around those two guys.
In his entire three year college career, he struck out only 34 times. He struck out 14 times this spring and drew 48 walks. He has an absurd ability to get on base. Had a .462 OBP this year. Doesn’t have much power, only three home runs in his college career, but a good hit tool and decent speed.
Might end up as a left fielder long term because of his size and throwing arm but his bat is solid.
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Raynel Delgado, 2B/3B, Calvary Christian Academy (FL) HS
The Indians go with a switch hitting prep infielder, their first high school player since Lenny Torres at 41 overall. Delgado came over to the US from Cuba at age 7 and is still a pretty raw player.
His bat has a lot of potential but he didn’t show much consistency with it this year, and that’s a big reason why he fell to the sixth round. Also, he’s a pretty slow runner, which is odd for a middle infielder.
The Tribe clearly has high hopes for Delgado’s bat, but they’ll need to be patient with him as he develops.
Cody Morris, RHP, South Carolina
This begins a run on four straight college right handers for the Indians. Morris underwent Tommy John surgery while in high school, but he can throw gas. He hits 97 MPH on the radar gun. Had a 3.68 ERA this year for South Carolina and struck out 83 batters in 78 innings.
He has good size at 6’5″ and 222 lbs, but the elbow will always be a big concern after he already underwent one Tommy John surgery. If he can stay healthy, could be a good contributor to a big league staff. Back end starter or bullpen is his best bet.
Alex Royalty, RHP, UNC Wilminigton
This could be my favorite name in this year’s draft class for the Indians. Talk about a name that commands respect. And he commands respect from opposing hitters when he’s on the mound. He struck out 91 hitters this year and walked only 27.
He didn’t have his best year on the mound in 2018, finishing with a 4.76 ERA, but he had better numbers last year with a 3.20 ERA his sophomore season.
Royalty could stay in the rotation long term. He doesn’t overpower anyone but he’s a solid pick with a great name.
Brian Eichhorn, RHP, Georgia Southern
Eichhorn had a strong junior season, posting a 3.15 ERA with 106 strikeouts over 88 innings. There’s not much physical projection remaining as he’s 6’1″ and 225 lbs, but he’s got the body and durability to remain as a starter and could be a back end guy like Royalty.
He doesn’t throw that hard, sitting in the 92-93 MPH range, but he knows how to pitch and is able to get by his lack of overpowering velocity with good command and control. Opponents hit just .211 against him this year.
Robert Broom, RHP, Mercer
Another great name. Broom swept the competition away this year with a 1.70 ERA over 74 innings. Broom struck out 111 batters and walked just 24. He pitched out of the bullpen and just dominated opposing hitters, with just a .209 batting average against.
Broom is a sidewinder, with a sweeping breaking ball and a pretty good changeup as well. He sits in the low 90s and looks a lot like former Indians reliever Joe Smith.
As a college reliever, Broom could also reach the big leagues quickly. Broom is the fourth future reliever the Indians took in the first 10 rounds, joining Cody Morris, Lenny Torres, and Nick Sandlin. Perhaps major league need does impact a draft strategy after all.