2020 Complete Cleveland Indians Draft Breakdown and Capsules
The Cleveland Indians Thursday night wrapped up their 2020 Major League Baseball draft with a couple more selections to add to the pair that they selected on Wednesday evening.
Today we take a look at all of the Indians picks over the last two days, and also with the help of MLB/Indians draft guru Jeff Ellis we give you some insight as to what to expect from each player chosen by the Tribe.
Ellis wrote the draft capsules for each player following their breakdown of where they played ball previous, their age, what they bat and throw, and their height and weight.
Round 1 (#23 overall)
INF CARSON TUCKER
AGE/DOB: 18, Jan. 24, 2002 SCHOOL: Mountain Pointe HS (Phoenix, AZ)
BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-2/180
Carson Tucker was going in this range. There was a 0% chance he was going to be available at pick 36. I had him 50th on my personal Big Board. He fits what the Indians did a year ago with Yordys Valdez and Christian Cairo. The Indians value up the middle defenders. It seems the view is the most important thing about any shortstop is their ability to stick there. They have gone for defensive first shortstops first and foremost. Tucker has a better hit tool than either of the previously mentioned players, and an approach which gives him a chance to be an average offensive player long term. He is an under slot signing for sure. I often explain this idea is that is how an MLB team trades down. They take a player who costs less so they can sign a more expansive player later. While there are no trades, it nets the same thing a trade would do getting better talent later by getting lower talent at first. He might not be the most exciting player who was there at 23, but he is a safer prep talent who is a no-doubt shortstop.
Competitive Balance Round A (#36 overall)
RHP TANNER BURNS
AGE/DOB: 21, Dec. 28, 1998 SCHOOL: Auburn (AL)
BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-0/215
Tanner Burns is a pitcher who fits the Indians mold and is a type they have had a ton of success with. He has a three-pitch mix highlighted by a mid 90s fastball. He throws a slider, which is his best secondary offering, and has a change that is well developed as a third pitch. He was one of the top pitchers in the SEC as a sophomore. Burns had a walk per nine of 2.39 and a strikeout per nine of 11.39. The Indians prefer pitchers with a double-digit strikeout per nines with walks per nine-under three. The concern here is he wore down late in the college season during his freshman and sophomore years. The Indians knew this was a concern, so spoke to the faith their medical team has in Burns. If he can hold up as a starter, this is a steal and would have been a top 20 talent on my board. If not, then you have a multi-inning reliever or an opener. Barring injury, he feels like a near slam dunk future major leaguer.
Round 2 (#56 overall)
LHP LOGAN ALLEN
AGE/DOB: 21, Sept. 5, 1998 SCHOOL: Florida International (FL)
BATS/THROWS: R/L HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-0/180
Logan Allen, I had rated higher than Burns and Tucker. He is a two-way player in college and has the athleticism one would expect for a player who can excel in that role. He performed even better than Burns did, though he was facing weaker competition. Burns and Allen are going to be compared do to similar skills, numbers, size, and pitch mixes. Allen has the better secondaries, athleticism, and health history. Allen has been a known entity since high school, where he turned down big bonus offers to go to school. This is the exact type of pitcher the Indians have had a ton of success with looking at Aaron Civale, Shane Bieber, Etc. I rated him higher than Burns due to athleticism, which is an underrated aspect of injury avoidance, and being left-handed. Yes, it is fun to add another lefty named Logan Allen to the minors, he was a great value in round two.
Round 3 (#95 overall)
OF PETEY HALPIN
AGE/DOB: 18, May 26, 2002 SCHOOL: Mira Costa HS (Manhattan Beach, CA)
BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-0/180
Petey Halpin is a player I discussed as an Indians target back in August. The Indians tend to mind Calfornia and Georgia in particular. They used an age-based model that favors youth, Halpin did not turn 18 until the end of May. He has an advanced approach at the plate that uses all fields and shows patience and the willingness to work counts. The only knock is his size, which is something the Indians seem to target. I have never had it confirmed, but I think they view size as a bit overrated and a market inefficiency. One might think that due to his size, he lacks power, and that is just not the case. He is in the top 10% of all high school hitters in exit velocity and bat speed according to Perfect Game data. He is a potential five-tool talent, and in terms of pick value, he is the best one they have had. There were those who thought he and PCA were very close in terms of ability.
Round 4 (#124 overall)
SS MILAN TOLENTINO
AGE/DOB: 18, Nov. 17, 2001 COLLEGE: Santa Margarita HS (CA)
BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-1/180
Milan Tolentino is another six-footish player with an advanced approach at the plate. He has a lot in common with the previous two prep selections. Tolentino's dad played in the majors and is a broadcaster for the Angels. The Indians value defensive value at shortstop, and most people I talked with listed him as a no-doubter at short. There were a few that thought he might move to second long term. He is a good athlete with above-average to plus speed. While his power potential is often viewed below average, he posted exit velocity in the top 13% according to perfect game data. Indians are clearly looking for players with advanced approaches at the plate. The Indians land another up the middle talent with bloodlines with their second to last pick.
Round 5 (#154 overall)
RHP MASON HICKMAN
AGE/DOB: 21, Dec. 23, 1998 SCHOOL: Vanderbilt (TN)
BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-6/230
Mason Hickman might be 6’6”, but he is cut from the same cloth as that of Burns and Allen. He actually has the worst velocity of the three arms despite his size. His fastball is a high 80s to low 90s pitch, which is why Hickman is on the board here. While he has been great at Vanderbilt, he has not added any velocity. It stands to note over the last few years, Vanderbilt’s pitcher development has been an issue with several players underperforming or seeming to not develop. In terms of his per nine data strikeout over 12 the last two years with a walk at 2.44 and 1.45. His fastball moves a ton and might have the best vertical movement in the entire class. He has a curve that is his best secondary and a slider that is an average offering that flashes more. The performance is there, but the Indians might think they can unlock more. When he got to Vandy every assumed he would add velocity, the Indians have had a lot of success finding another gear with other college arms.