For the 2012 draft, MLB was introduced a new draft pool system Each teamwais now assigned a pool of money with which to sign their picks from the first 10 rounds. The Tribe elected for a strategy that involved spending a big chunk of their pool on four high school players (Mitch Brown, Kieran Lovegrove, Josh McAdams and Caleb Hamrick) and then filling out their top ten with some bargain basement collegians (Joe Wendle, Jacob Lee and Josh Martin).
(All stats in this article are as of July 1.)
1 (15). Tyler Naquin. OF/LHH. Age 21. $1.75MM bonus.
Having overcome some injury problems over the past year or so, Naquin is back on track, having recently been promoted to AAA. A quality outfielder, Naquin has been hitting well and could well be in line for an MLB debut within the next year or so.
2 (79). Mitch Brown. RHP. Age 18. $800K bonus.
After a great second half in Lake County last year, Brown was promoted to Lynchburg, where he has been very erratic. He needs a very strong second half if he is to make it to Akron for next year.
3 (110). Kieran Lovegrove. RHP. Age 17. $400K bonus.
Lovegrove has been a big disappointment to date, with a career 5.25 ERA/1.65 WHIP. After two mediocre seasons in the Arizona League, he finally made it to Mahoning Valley last season. However, he was shut down on July 25th after eight starts and only returned to action on June 22nd.
4 (143). D'vone McClure. CF/RHH. Age 18. $765K bonus.
Like Lovegrove, McClure spent two years in Arizona before he was promoted to the Scappers last year. However, he has only hit .217/.293/.299 in his career to date and is probably approaching the last-chance saloon at Mahoning Valley.
5 (173). Dylan Baker. P. Age 19. $200K bonus.
Baker is almost certainly the unluckiest player in the entire organization. Last year he made it to Carolina (A+) in only his second full season, only to be shut down after a great seasonal debut when he broke his ankle. Having come back in July, he put up solid numbers in nine A+ starts, and things looked promising when he made another stellar seasonal debut in 2015. However, that turned out to be it for this year as he then needed to undergo TJ surgery.
6 (203). Joey Wendle. 2B. Age 22. $10K bonus.
AKA "Brandon Moss". Wendle was signed for a bragain $10K, and after a successful debut with the Scrappers in 2012, he skipped Lake County and went straight to A+, again showing good promise (.295/.372/.513). However, Wendle lost time due to injury last year with the RubberDucks and only managed a respectable .253/.311/.414. It was something of a surprise, therefore, when Billy Beane decided that he would be the piece required in exchange for Brandon Moss.
Wendle has just turned 25, so his current (July 1) AAA line of .263/.304/.401 hints at a solid rather than spectacular career.
7 (233). Josh McAdams. OF/RHH. Age 18. $250K bonus.
McAdams simply didn't live up to his draft status. His career line of .204/.277/.242 was feeble and he was demoted from Lake County to Mahoning Valley last year before being released last month
8 (263). Caleb Hamrick. RHP. Age 18. $180K bonus.
After a fine year starting for the Scrappers in 2013, Hamrick started last year in the Captains' rotation, but he struggled there and ended up in the bullpen. He wasn't activated this year until May 28, and it now appears that his future lies as a reliever.
9 (293). Jacob Lee. RHP. Age 22. $2.5K bonus.
Lee skipped Lake County in 2013 and went to the Carolina rotation. However, he wasn't effective in that role and was shut down in early June, returning to repeat the year in 2014 as a A+ reliever (2.99 ERA/1.18 WHIP). He is currently having a so-so year at Akron (3.68 ERA/1.39 WHIP).
10 (323). Josh Martin. RHP. Age 22. $5K bonus.
Martin has really come into hs own as a reliever in the past year or so, pitching to a 2.92 ERA/1.05 WHIP in 64.2 IP in Carolina last year and a 1.07 ERA/0.83 WHIP in 42.0 IP at Akron so far in 2015. His innings-eating capabilities and durability will certainly stand him in good stead going forward.
12 (383). Jeremy Lucas. C/RHH. Age 21.
After making good progress through the system, Lucas opened the season at AA. However, he isn't seeing much playing time at catcher any more (since Tony Wolters has the starting catcher gig) and a line of .230/.286/.285 just isn't getting it done at 1B.
14 (443). Michael Peoples. RHP. Age 19.
Peoples began his MiLB career on fire, reaching A+ within a year of being drafted. However, two years on, he has now reached ... A+. Worse still, he seems to be regressing — a 5.57 ERA/1.58 WHIP is disappointing for a 23yo at that level.
15 (473). Nellie Rodriguez. C/RHH. Age 17. $100K bonus.
Yes, Rodriguez was drafted as a "catcher" although he lasted only three games there as a professional. It took him a while to adjust to full-season ball, but a final line of .268/.349/.482 at Lake County last year in his age 19-20 season was most encouraging. Furthermore, he has adapted much faster to the pitchers at A+, hitting .280/.361/.475 so far and being rewarded with a place on the Carolina League All-Star team .
18 (563). Louis Head. RHP. Age 22.
Head was promoted to the Akron bullpen just over a year ago, and made a decent start there (2.97 ERA/1.40 WHIP). However, he has struggled to a 4.15 ERA/1.53 WHIP this year as his progress has stalled.
20 (623). Nick Pasquale. RHP. Age 21.
Pasquale did a decent job in the Carolina rotation in 2013, but after missing the 2014 season due to injury, he is now being used as a reliever at Lake County. His class A numbers have been decent so far this year (1.72 ERA/1.245 WHIP), but he's now 24 and not really much of a prospect.
21 (653). Joe Sever. 2B/RHH. Age 21.
Sever's 2014 season was derailed by injuries, but he put up a decent .253/.310/.419 line at Lynchburg this year, that earned him a promotion to Akron, showing better power but worse plate discipline. Having said that, Sever is now approaching his 25th birthday, so he is very fringy as a prospect.
22 (683). James Stokes. RHP. Age 21.
Stokes was shut down in early August last year. He was actually pitching pretty well at Lake County up to that point, but at the age of 24 he is a long way behind most of his contemporaries, and is currently back in Mahoning Valley.
36 (1103). Benny Suarez. RHP. Age 20.
Following a promising start to the season, Suarez was promoted to the AA bullpen, but then suspended (for unspecified reasons) and later released on June 18.
39 (1193). D.J. Brown. RHP. Age 21.
Brown is currently repeating at A+, where he has forced his way back into the rotation after starting out 2015 in the bullpen. However, his numbers (4.57 ERA/1.31 WHIP) have been pretty similar to last year, so he needs a strong second half if he is to progress. In any case, he has certainly been good value for a 39th rd pick.
AAA: 2 (Naquin, Wendle at Oakland)
AA: 5 (Lee, Martin, Lucas, Head, Sever)
A+: 5 (M. Brown, Baker, Peoples, N.Rodriguez, D.J. Brown)
A: 2 (Hamrick, Pasquale)
MVS: 3 (Lovegrove, McClure, Stokes)