Yes, today really is day one of the 2018 MLB draft.
While the MLB draft doesn’t receive the fanfare and hoopla of the NFL or NBA drafts, it’s still incredibly important in securing a prosperous future for your favorite teams. Where would the Indians be if they had completely whiffed instead of drafting Francisco Lindor among others?
With rounds one and two of the draft set kick off tonight at 7:00 p.m., who do the experts think the Indians will take?
The Tribe has three picks before the second round with their regular pick at #29, then a compensation pick at #35 for losing Carlos Santana and lastly a competitive balance pick at #41 for being in a small market. Will they continue to draft proven college arms like Shane Bieber, Adam Plutko, Aaron Civale and Eli Morgan, or will they take a shot on a high schooler who put up slow-pick softball numbers?
I’ve rounded up as many decent and recent mock drafts as I could find, so let’s see what they think:
Jonathan Mayo: Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Cumming, Ga.) -- Because of a shoulder issue earlier this spring, Hankins has been a little tough to place. But he did return the mound and appears to have a clean bill of health. He’d have to be cleared by a team’s doctors, but he could be a steal down here if he stays healthy.
Jim Callis: Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward Prep (Coconut Creek, Fla.) -- The Indians also figure to wind up with a prep hitter, with Edwards, Scott and outfielder Alek Thomas (Illinois) the most likely candidates with a good chance to get to 29.
Mayo: Jameson Hannah, OF, Dallas Baptist -- It’s possible Hannah is gone by this point, and the Indians would have an interest in high school hitters like Edwards and Thomas should they be available.
Callis: Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS (Chicago) -- Cleveland will decide between the bats it considered at 29 and high school arms such as Denaburg, Ginn and Hankins.
Keith Law (ESPN insider subscription required)
29. Cleveland Indians: Jake McCarthy, OF, Virginia
McCarthy is one of the few up-the-middle players in this college crop who projects to stay up the middle in pro ball.
29. Cleveland Indians – Greyson Jenista, RF, Wichita State
We think a college bat fits in somewhere, and that demographic’s scarcity means they pounce on one here and let good high schoolers fall.
35. Cleveland Indians – Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (GA)
41. Cleveland Indians – Jake McCarthy, CF, Virginia
67. Cleveland Indians – Osiris Johnson, CF, Encinal HS (CA)
29. Cleveland Indians: SS Xavier Edwards, North Broward HS (Florida)
Edwards fits their usual profile as a top-of-the-line, up-the-middle athlete. In this case, Edwards is maybe the fastest player in the draft class, he knows his game as a switch-hitting leadoff guy.
Minor League Ball (actually goes to 4th round mock)
29. Indians – Xavier Edwards, SS, Florida HS
35. Indians – Lineras Torres Jr, RHP, New York HS
41. Indians – Jeremiah Jackson, SS, Alabama HS
67. Indians – Dashawn Keirsey, OF, Utah