Keith Law: Indians’ Draft “Started Somewhat Poorly”

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]

  • chh11

    Gotta like this part

    “I don’t grade drafts, but the three I liked the best, based on players I’ve scouted and what I’ve heard from scouts I trust, are Toronto’s, Oakland’s, and Cleveland’s.”

  • WFNYJon

     Indeed.  I didn’t know what to title this piece.  “Keith Law Likes Tribe Picks other than Round 1”?  “Keith Law is under-overwhelmed by Tribe”?

    I think the takeaway is that under this newly rigged system, the trick is to find value–not just talent.  And it would seem that after deciding there was not talent to be had in the first round that wouldn’t ruin the rest of the draft, they went with high value guys who would produce above their implied cost.

    Which is just to say, I finally trust our scouting director and front office. It’s a nice feeling.

  • Indians selected 6 players in Law’s top 100 so he better like their draft. I know i’m in the minority but i don’t mind the 1st round pick. I saw him with the US National team over the summer and he does have power- he was asked to be a table setter on an offensively challenged team in college. I just think the Naquin kid will be fine and it’s a HUGE added bonus that his section allowed the Indians to grab MULTIPLE high-end pieces that they other-wise wouldn’t have been able to select.

  • Natedawg86

    OK Phil we will hold you to it.

  • mgbode

    should you title it:  “Keith Law refuses to acknowledge Indians draft strategy”

    I wonder if Selig is upset that the Indians are pretty brazenly going “under” slot in round1, then over in the next few rounds (if we believe all of the rankings, which it seems we should)

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Being serious here, but is that possible?  Can a player really change his swing so as to be a table-setter rather than a power hitter?  If he can, I’d say he’s a supreme talent… most players go to the plate looking to make good contact using the same swing each time.

  • kjn

    Asdrubal sure makes it seems possible. He basically traded about 30 points of average to adopt a power stroke.

  • kjn

    Now we’ve got to sign these guys.