No. 1, 2016 – Nolan Jones (2nd), Aaron Civale (3rd), Shane Bieber (4th), Zach Plesac (12th)
For anyone following the Cleveland Indians it’s hard not to know which draft class has been the most impressive for the club. That mantle belongs to the 2016 MLB Draft class that contains starting pitchers Aaron Civale, Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac.
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Just five seasons removed from the draft and those three are the core of Cleveland’s starting rotation. Bieber already has one Cy Young under his belt as well as an MLB record for strikeouts per nine in a single season with 14.2 last year. Civale is currently leading the American League in wins with 10, despite being hurt for a couple weeks now, after being the first in the league to hit double-digit wins. As for Plesac, he could be an ace on some staffs around the game, but in Cleveland he’s the third starter.
What people might forget is that the 2016 MLB Draft also netted Cleveland their top prospect in Nolan Jones. Jones has been honing his craft in the minors and should break into the majors next season, that saying he doesn’t get called up this year.
We’ll also throw in the honorable mention to Cal Quantrill. While he wasn’t drafted by Cleveland, he is a member of this class. The San Diego Padres took him eighth overall out of Stanford, the same pick that the Tribe took Lindor with.
Considering that the Tribe essentially landed more than half of their starting rotation in this draft and the club’s top prospect, there’s really no arguing that this is the team’s best draft class over the last 25 years, if not one of the best all-time.