The Cleveland Indians selected RHP Ethan Hankins out of Forsyth Central High School in Georgia. Hankins was primed to go much higher in the draft after setting the world on fire for Team USA in the 18-and-under World Cup when he struck out 27 across 12 innings. However, shoulder tightness in February caused him to miss some time and, ultimately, drop his stock a bit. Minor League Ball says he “may be the most physically gifted pitcher in the entire draft class”. So that’s certainly exciting.
At 6’6”, 200 lbs., Hankins is a power pitcher and can hit the mid- to upper-90s on his fastball. Not only that, but it can move as well. He pairs it with a curve, slider, and change-up. But the showcase is definitely the heater.
The problem with Hankins is staying healthy. When the 18-year-old went down in February with his shoulder injury, he missed about a month or so. When he came back, his fastball was down into the low-90s. After getting back into his groove his fastball picked up again, and the reports are that his shoulder should be good to go. The Indians must believe that he has a chance to stay healthy, and if he can, he will be a phenomenal pickup for the Indians.