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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Cleveland Indians, C.C. Sabathia
C.C. Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Top 5 Cleveland Indians draft classes of the last 25 years

The 2021 MLB Draft is right around the corner and the Cleveland Indians will enter with the 23rd selection in the draft. This draft pick location has become a place of comfort for Cleveland over the last few seasons, picking either 23rd or 24th in both the 2018 and 2019 MLB Drafts. So as the team prepares for the next influx of youth into the organization, we take a look back at previous drafts.

Recently, the Cleveland Indians have fared rather well in the draft in terms of finding prospects that fit the club’s future plans. However, that wasn’t always the case. The luck in the draft has been something rather recent.

When looking over the last 25 MLB Drafts for the Tribe there are certain seasons that standout from the others, for better or worse. Going back to the 1996 draft, the team struggled for a decent amount of time to build through the draft. However, more recently there’s been much more success in finding talent through this medium.

Of the current active roster in Cleveland that consists of 26 players, 14 were brought into the organization via the MLB Draft, being 10 of the team’s pitchers and four players in the field. Given the club’s track record of producing pitching, that really should come as a surprise.

However, looking over the past 25 MLB Drafts, spanning from 1996 until 2020, what are considered the best classes for the Cleveland Indians? Which drafts played the biggest roles in the club’s future or simply just located top talent of the future?

Here, we’ll breakdown what we consider the five best drafts by the Tribe over the last 25 seasons. What each of these classes brought was a little different than the last and not all the talent was expended in Cleveland, but they at least saw some of the best players drafted by the club since 1996.