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MLB Draft 2017: Minor League Ball has Indians taking SS Kevin Smith with 64th pick

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The Indians need a shortstop, right?

Sung Min Kim/Testudo Times

There are plenty of 2017 MLB mock drafts out there, but they only cover the first round.

Problem is, the Cleveland Indians do not have a first-round pick this year due to signing Edwin Encarnacion in the offseason after he rejected a first-round qualifying offer from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Thankfully, SB Nation is home to a great site like Minor League Ball, which comprehensively covers all things minor leagues as well as top MLB draft prospects. The site recently hosted a community mock draft for the first four rounds, which includes four total picks by the Indians.

In the first four rounds this year, the Indians have four picks in total, a second-round pick (pick 64), a second-round competitive balance pick (pick 71), a third-round pick (102) and a fourth-round pick (132).

Here’s how the draft played out for the Tribe on their site:

64. Kevin Smith SS Maryland
71. Gavin Sheets 1B Wake Forest
102. Kade McClure RHP Louisvile
132. Andrew Bechtold 3B Chipola JC

Minor League Ball community member and pretend Indians general manager Rockyburgher offered an explanation for his picks as well for those that are interested:

I went into the mock with picks 64 71, 102, and 132 and a limited budget. I decided to focus my energy on college and JC guys since the research time into preps was likely to be largely wasted. The Indians are also in a window of contention and it seems silly for them to spend heavily on prep players who won’t be ready for years.

64. Kevin Smith SS Maryland – a solid defensive IF who has a little pop but his average and contact are middling. He could be a useful bench player in a year or two.

71. Gavin Sheets 1B Wake Forest – big (6’-5") LH 1B with a lot of power and good plate discipline. He’s hitting .320/.424/.644 with 20 HR, 44 BB, and 31 K.

102. I was looking at prep Calvin Mitchell here, but he went at 101 to the Red Sox. So I went with hometown boy Kade McClure, a big (6’-7" 235) RHP who is the #2 starter for Louisville behind McKay. He’s very athletic, hits 95 on the gun, and has a breaking ball and a change both in the 78-84 mph range, so he should be able to progress quickly, to at least a bullpen role.

132. Andrew Bechtold 3B Chipola JC – this is a very talented bat that could fill a position of need. He’s hitting .420/.535/.678 with a dozen HR and 23 SB, with 49 BB and 44 K.

I expect all of these guys to be very signable, and thus will have money available in the later rounds to potentially snag a couple of preps who fell due to signability concerns.

If you’re interested in learning more about their community mock draft, check out the following links from Minor League Ball. Also make sure to read the comments because there are plenty of interesting tidbits there as well:

Mock Draft

Round One
Round Two
Round Three
Round Four

Post-Draft Discussion