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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Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

No. 2, 2011 – Francisco Lindor (1st), Eric Haase (7th), Cody Anderson (14th), Ryan Merritt (16th), Cody Allen (23rd)

The 2011 MLB Draft class paired together quantity and quality for one of the best Cleveland Indians draft classes over the last 25 years and probably even beyond that. The class of course was headlined by eighth overall pick, Francisco Lindor.

The recently traded Lindor played six seasons in Cleveland, collecting four All-Star appearances, two Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves, a platinum glove and a World Series appearance. Had he stayed in Cleveland, he would have gone down as one of the Tribe’s best players ever. However, with a smaller sample size than most that could be a hard case to make now. Regardless, he was electric in Cleveland and lived up to his draft spot, which few do in the MLB.

While Lindor was great, the best value pick of the 2011 MLB Draft for the Tribe was Cody Allen in the 23rd round. Cleveland took Allen in the 16th round of the 2010 draft, but he opted for college instead. With his draft stock falling, Allen joined the Tribe the second time around and within three seasons was the club’s closer.

Allen ended up pitching seven seasons for the Cleveland Indians, registered 149 saves to hold the club record. Allen’s fall was as fast as his rise, going from 27 saves for Cleveland in 2018 to four for the Angels in 2019 and then out of the majors.

As for the rest of the class, Cody Anderson was a spot starter for the Tribe over three seasons, Ryan Merritt became a postseason hero and Eric Haase is finding his career now in Detroit after being the Tribe’s minors for the last decade.