The Cleveland Indians have selected Quentin Holmes with the 64th overall pick. Holmes is a New York high school outfielder with the sort of tools scouts drool over. With 70+ speed and the abillity to play plus defense in center field the Indians grabbed a lot of upside for the first pick at the bottom of the second round. MLB.com had Holmes ranked 33rd, Baseball America at 5o, and Eric Longenhagen had him at 41.
Many consider Holmes the fastest player in this draft and at 18 years old, 6 feet tall, Holmes has a body built to add muscle, improving his profile. Holmes is a huge upside play betting on a freak athlete and one elite tool to turn into a big time value. The Indians continue a trend of adding athletic middle of the field players who can be improved in an outstanding developmental system.
The Indians enter the 2017 MLB Draft bereft of options at the top of the draft. With the Indians first round pick being sacrificed for Edwin Encarnacion the Indians have the second smallest bonus pool in the draft behind the Cardinals, known and punished for their theft of intellectual property. Paramount to the Indians contention in the A.L. Central over the past two years has been their ability to draft effectively, a skill which the organization lacked in the early 2000s. Be it 2008 first rounder Lonnie Chisenhall, second rounder Jason Kipnis, 2010 first round pick Pomeranz though with another team, or the outstanding 2011-2014 run including Naquin, Lindor, Frazier, Zimmer and Sheffield on top. Two of these picks key in acquiring the best reliever in baseball.
Quentin Holmes is added to a system which has a lot of high-upside types in the pipeline be it Francisco Mejia, Will Benson, Triston McKenzie, Nolan Jones, Yu-Cheng Chang, or Bobby Bradley. With Bradley Zimmer graduating the Indians face the challenge of continuing to stock the minor league system despite lacking first round pick in this draft. However, players like Cody Allen were stolen late in the draft, and their ability to develop latin talents like Jose Ramirez remains a core competency. Holmes is another toolsy gamble, one the Indians had to make.