Cleveland Indians: Which 2018 MLB Draft pick could get to majors first?

Cleveland Indians (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians made four selections on the first day of the MLB Draft. Here’s what we know about the newest prospects.

The first day of the 2018 MLB Draft came and went, and Cleveland Indians made a haul, collecting four players.

MLB Draftnicks were correct as to what the Indians would do on draft day, as the organization got their catcher of the future in addition to some pitching help.

Will he make the majors first? The Cleveland Indians used their second-round pick on Nick Sandlin, a college pitcher out of Brett Favre’s alma mater–the University of Southern Mississippi.

Sandlin, would be the obvious choice to make his Major League Debut before the Tribe’s three other first-round picks, because of the position he plays, in addition to the extra experience he gained playing collegiately.

Sandlin’s arsenal consists of five pitches and he throws from several different arm angles. All of those tools helped him produce a 9-0 record (1.13 ERA) in 14 starts.

Compared to high schoolers, Sandlin’s so polished, jokes were made between the press and the Indians’ Director of Scouting Scott Barnsby as to whether Sandlin could help the Tribe this season, via’s Jordan Bastian.

"“Barnsby was jokingly asked if Indians manager Terry Francona had called yet to see if Sandlin was available for the big league bullpen.”‘I think we’re about to get that phone call tonight,’ Barnsby said with a laugh.”"

Sandlin said he will sign in the coming days. He’s slotted to earn $939, 700.

While there was some joking as to how soon, Sandlin could help, it’s not out of the question for him to be with the club by the 2019 All-Star break.

He started off his collegiate career as a closer, but finished as a starter. As someone with so many pitches, you’ve got to think Cleveland will look at him as a starter.

However, the bullpen would be what gets him to the majors quicker. The Indians are poised to lose Andrew Miller and Cody Allen this offseason. They’re going to need help, and soon.

The Canadian Catcher: The Cleveland Indians’ used their first-round pick (29th overall) to select high schooler Noah Naylor out of St. Joan of Arc High School in Ontario. Naylor is the younger brother of Padres’ prospect Josh Naylor.

Why draft a catcher when Francisco Mejia is waiting in the pipeline to take over behind the dish?

Well, when some write that Naylor was the best prep bat in this draft, and he’s available at No. 29, you go ahead and take. Plus, in MLB, you can’t draft for need.

For diehards who really paid attention during last year’s All-Star Game in Miami, Naylor was something to watch at the high school home runs derby, winning the event.

Naylor also dabbled a little at third leading up to the draft, and it’s thought he could also play some first base.

He should get plenty of time at catcher, because it can be a quick ticket to the big leagues.

Naylor also dabbled a little at third leading up to the draft, and it’s thought he could also play some first base.

Good enough to be No. 1 overall?: Ethan Hankins’ named received some consideration as the possible No. 1 pick in the entire draft.

That’s something, considering eventual No. 1 pick Casey Mize, who had injury questions of his own, was regarded far-and-away as the only choice with the first pick. Some scouts felt the drop-off after him was considerable.

It’s a wonder as to whether they would’ve felt the same if Hankins was healthy.

The 6-6 right-hander can throw 97-98 miles per hour when healthy, and he’s already got a “plus” slider.

Why did he slide, then? He suffered shoulder problems in his senior season at Forsyth Central High School in Georgia.

However, the Indians believe the problems he dealt with  are a part of the past, according to Bastian.

This could be a huge draft pick for the Tribe, as this is where luck comes into play. If this kid’s able to keep it together physically, the sky’s the limit for his ability.

Another prep righty: With their first-round compensatory pick, the Indians selected Lenny Torres Jr., a high school out of New York City who’s committed to play at St. John’s.

CBS baseball lead draft analyst Jeff Ellis wrote Torres has a tremendous ceiling thanks largely to athletic ability and a fastball that already sits in the mid-90s.

His selection kind of reminds me of Justus Sheffield, who the Tribe drafted with the 31st overall pick in the 2014 draft out of a high school in Tennessee.

Sheffield had tons of upside, nobody knew if he’d touch it though. Sheffield was a key part of the Andrew Miller trade in 2016, and he’s now rated as a better prospect than outfielder Clint Frazier.

Next: 5 Indians prospects you don't know (but should)

Ellis then wrote Torres could either be an elite bullpen arm, a front-line starter or never make it past double-A. Couldn’t you say that about 90 percent of all prospects.