In what’s becoming something of standard analysis of the Indians’ Rule 4 draft, Keith Law chimed in on Cleveland’s haul (Insider Required):
This started somewhat poorly with the overdraft of Tyler Naquin (1), a plus runner who should hit (albeit without power) but does have to prove he can play centerfield.
But Cleveland rolled the dice on more ceiling with their next three picks, high school arms Mitch Brown (2) and personal favorite Kieran Lovegrove (3) as well as raw high school athlete D’Vone McClure (3). Dylan Baker (4) came out of nowhere this year when he started hitting 97 and showing an above-average breaking ball while starting for Western Nevada, although most scouts project him as a power reliever. Josh McAdams (6) has a smooth, balanced swing with good extension, but needs to find a permanent position, most likely in right field.
The “rolled dice” theory that Law references in rounds 2-6 tends to jibe with the suspicion some have voiced regarding drafting an “under-slot” player in the first round in order to gamble more of their budget on high-risk, high-reward players throughout the rest of the draft.
Related: [Indians Gamble on Young Upside On Day 2]