Mike Axisa, CBS Sports (June 25)
Mike Axisa updated his mock draft on June 25 and kept the same pick for the Cleveland Indians that he had in his June 11 edition with outfield Joshua Baez. While Baez has struggled a bit this season in terms of strikeouts, his power is very intriguing in today’s game that is drifting more towards the home run ball and launch angle. Being in the later part of the first round, the Tribe might be in the perfect position to take a chance on the outfielder with hopes of limiting those swings and misses.
"Cleveland has a type and that type is high schoolers with upside who are young for the draft class. Baez turns 18 just before the draft and he is an exit velocity monster with enormous power. There’s risk here given his propensity to swing and miss, but every player at this point in the draft has a flaw, and few have Baez’s power potential. – Mike Axisa"
Having just turned 18 within the last month, Baez fits what Axisa alludes to as the Tribe taking players on the younger side of the class. Being a Vanderbilt commit, it could take a nice signing bonus to convince Baez to bypass college completely.
Standing at 6-foot-3, Baez’s biggest draw is his power, but with that has come some struggles making contact as well. His arm strength in the field is also impressive, hitting 96 on the radar gun when on the mound.
Baez has the ability to be a five-tool player, but it will really just depend on where he lands in this draft. Since he has somewhat of a hit and miss resume, figuratively and literally, he could go anywhere in the first round. However, if Cleveland has a chance to take him it could turn into a high-reward pick.