With the 2015 MLB Draft approaching, many fans are wondering what type of player the Cleveland Indians are targeting.
While MLB’s amateur draft is much different than other major sports — draftees rarely make an immediate impact on the big league club — it still gives fans something to look forward to in the form of prospects that have the potential to turn into major-league stars.
With the 17th pick in this year’s draft, the Indians seem very confident in where their first-round selection falls.
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"At pick 17, we are in a position to get a player we feel really good about," Brad Grant, Cleveland’s director of amateur scouting told MLB.com. "We feel there is strength to the Draft class as a whole and will focus on selecting the best player available."
While the Indians will likely spend the later rounds stocking up on young arms, most mock drafts have them selecting a position player with the 17th pick.
The most recent mock draft from FanGraphs has the Tribe taking Chris Betts, a power-hitting catcher from Wilson High School in California and Tennessee commit. FanGraphs says Betts is "a nice value with a long track record at a premium position and he’ll go somewhere in the 15-25 range."
Other names that the Indians have been reportedly linked to include Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi, Cincinnati outfielder Ian Happ, Arizona shortstop Kevin Newman, Vanderbilt right-hander Walker Buehler and Virginia lefty Nathan Kirby, according to MLB.com.
In addition to pick No. 17, the Indians will have the 42nd overall pick during the Competitive Balance A round and two more selections in the Top 100, Nos. 59 and 93.