The Setup:

The 2020 MLB Draft will begin Wednesday, June 10th at 7 PM ET with round one and competitive balance round A for a total of 37 picks. Day two of the draft will follow on Thursday, June 11th beginning at 5 PM ET with round two and proceeding through round five for an additional 123 picks. In total teams will select 160 players in this abbreviated draft class.

The 2020 MLB Draft will be televised on the MLB Network both days and ESPN on day one of coverage with ESPN2 covering day two. Teams will not be permitted to gather in their respective conference rooms. Instead, teams will meet via video conferencing to interface and discuss their draft strategy. Each team will be represented by their respective scouting director, team president or general manager.

With deferrals already in place for the 2020 and 2021 drafts, all draftees will receive $100,000 of their signing bonuses this season with the additional amounts owed to be split 50/50 over the 2021 and the 2022 seasons.

According to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, the signing date for draftees will be August 1st. McDaniel further offers the undrafted free agent signing period will begin on Sunday, June 14th at 9 AM ET. Teams will not be limited to the number of free agents they can sign, however, teams are limited to $20,000 signing bonuses per player with no special incentives or additional allowances per McDaniel.

Draft Philosophy:

The Indians have drafted prep players in each of the last four years (excluding 2015 selection Brady Aiken). Generally speaking, the Indians key in on the athletic middle of the diamond performers, pitchers with advanced pitch-ability, and pitchers with high spin rates. Other traits the Indians prefer are; cold-weather players, “famous” performers, advanced bats with hitting-ability, and young for the class players/pitchers. Look for these trends to continue as the Indians have enjoyed success with this draft model in place (read more here). 

The Picks:

The Indians will have the following selections:

Day One:

Round 1, pick 23 overall

Competitive Balance Round A (CBA), pick 36 overall

Day Two:

  • Round 2, pick 56 overall
  • Round 3, pick 95 overall
  • Round 4, pick 124 overall
  • Round 5, pick 154 overall

Recent Picks:

  • 2019 round 1 (24) Daniel Espino
  • 2018 round 1 (29) Noah “Bo” Naylor
  • 2018 round 1a compensation pick (35) Ethan Hankins
  • 2018 round 1b competitive balance pick (41) Lenny Torres Jr.
  • 2017 round 2 (64) Quentin Holmes 
  • 2016 round 1 (14) Will Benson
  • 2015 round 1 (17) Brady Aiken

Noteworthy Prospects:

  • Bobby Miller- RHSP Louisville
  • Chris McMahon- RHSP Miami
  • Cole Henry- RHSP LSU
  • Tyler Soderstrom- C Turlock HS, CA
  • Justin Foscue- 2b/3b Mississippi St.
  • Dillon Dingler- C Ohio St.
  • Carmen Mlodzinski- RHSP South Carolina
  • Carson Montgomery- RHSP Windermere HS, FL
  • Alika Williams- SS Arizona St.
  • Jared Kelley- RHSP Refugio HS, TX
  • Jordan Walker- 3b Decatur HS, GA
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong- CF Harvard-Westlake HS, CA
  • JT Ginn- RHSP Mississippi St.
  • Blaze Jordan- 1b DeSoto HS, MS
  • Slade Secconi- RHSP Miami
  • Ed Howard- SS Mount Carmel HS, IL
  • Austin Wells- C/LF/1b Arizona
  • Nick Loftin- SS Baylor
  • Alex Santos- RHSP Mount St. Michael HS, NY
  • Carson Tucker- SS Mountain Point HS, AZ
  • Dax Fulton- LHSP Mustang HS, OK
  • Tanner Witt- RHSP Episcopal HS, TX

Recent Mocks:

Recent mock drafts vary on the players the Indians are selecting with picks 23 and 36. Players like: Dillon Dingler, Mick Abel, Jordan Westburg, Austin Wells, Tanner Witt, Jordan Walker, Tyler Soderstrom, J.T. Ginn, Carson Montgomery, Jared Kelley, Ed Howard, Carmen Mlodzinski, Alex Santos, and Patrick Bailey have all been mentioned in various mock drafts. Most of these mock appear based upon the best player available according to the respective writers. Though it is very possible a few of these players do in fact end up drafted by the Tribe on Wednesday.

What will they do?

It remains to be seen what the Indians will do on draft day. However, based on the Indians draft model (see: Draft Philosophy above) the Indians seem likely to continue to value youth. The Tribe has selected prep players with four of their last five top picks and they have (mostly) selected three or four prep players before selecting a college player for several years. Based upon the quality and depth of pitching in this draft class the Indians could add to their depth with a few selections. There has been some speculation (by myself and others) that the Tribe will focus more on pitching with their six selections because of the lack of pitching brought in through the International period. Some internet rumors prior to the draft tie the Indians to New York prep right-hander Alex Santos at pick 36. At pick 23 expect the Indians to grab the best player/biggest draft slider (Aiken, Naylor, Hankins, and Espino in recent years) that fits their draft model and to continue to search for value with all six selections. 

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2 Comments »

    • Thanks Marty, I appreciate it! It is good to “see” you again.
      There will be plenty of coverage the next few days and a recap of the draft podcast Friday.

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