2012 Draft Report Cards: Cleveland Indians

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See also: Draft Report Card Index

As a polished college performer, Naquin was a classic Tribe first-rounder. After him, Cleveland's draft class had a heavier high school tilt than usual with Brown, Lovegrove and McClure.
Bonus Spending: $5.3 million
Best Pure Hitter: The Indians weren't the only club that considered OF Tyler Naquin (1) the draft's best pure hitter. He has good swings whether he's ahead or behind in the count and has a knack for centering the baseball. Best Power Hitter: 1B Nelson Rodriguez (15) packs present strength into his 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame. He has a track record of hitting for power, including with USA Baseball's 18-and-under squad. Fastest Runner: OF Tyler Booth (13) is a 6-foot, 155-pounder with plus-plus speed and wiry athleticism. Naquin's above-average speed has allowed him to move to center field after playing right in college. Best Defensive Player: Cleveland is confident Naquin will be an above-average center fielder. He had one of the best outfield arms in the draft as well.


Best Fastball: RHP Jacob Lee (9) pitched at 89-92 mph at Arkansas State, then bumped his fastball to 92-94 and touched 96 after signing. He throws plenty of strikes with his heater as well and could provide excellent value for his $2,500 bonus. RHP Dylan Baker (5) sits at 94-95 mph at times and touches 97 but doesn't command his fastball as well as Lee. Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Mitch Brown (2) has two potentially excellent breaking balls: a true curveball at 76-78 mph and a hard cutter/slider that ranges from 83-87.


Best Pro Debut: 2B/3B Joe Wendle (6) ranked third in the short-season New York-Penn League in batting and on-base percentage, hitting .327/.375/.469. Lee went 4-2, 3.12 with 47 strikeouts in 43 innings in the NY-P, including a five-inning no-hit start. Best Athlete: OF D'Vone McClure (4) offers the best combination of power and speed in this class. He has enticing bat speed to go with a developing 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame. He drew interest from college football programs as a wide receiver. Most Intriguing Background: RHP Kieran Lovegrove (3) was born in South Africa and pitched for his homeland in a World Baseball Classic qualifier. 3B Nick Hamilton's (35) father Tom has been an Indians radio broadcaster for 23 seasons. 3B Joe Sever (21) is the nephew of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway. Brown's father is a Korean-born powerlifter who was adopted and brought to Minnesota as a child. C Richard Stock's (23) brother Robert is a Cardinals farmhand who was Baseball America's 2005 Youth Player of the Year. Closest To The Majors: Naquin should be one of the first college position players from the entire draft to get to the big leagues. Best Late-Round Pick: Rodriguez or RHP Nick Pasquale (20). A sinkerballer with command, Pasquale walked just five in 50 innings as a pro. The One Who Got Away: The Indians hoped to sign OF Andrew Calica (17), an athletic switch-hitter. He headlined a strong UC Santa Barbara recruiting class instead.