Cleveland Indians: Best 2020 MLB draft pick who wasn’t a 1st rounder

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians best draft pick who wasn’t a first rounder also plays SS.

The Cleveland Indians tapped Carson Tucker to hopefully be their shortstop of the future five years down the road. As the draft progressed, the Tribe took other players to further bolster the most important position in the infield.

In the fourth round, the Indians’ brass pulled the trigger on shortstop Milan Tolentino, a prep standout out of Santa Margarita (Calif.) High School. He’s the sone of former big leaguer Jose Tolentino. scribe Jim Callis called Tolentino the Indians best draft pick not taken in the first round.

"“Milan had one of the highest baseball IQs and was one of the best defenders in the prep class, and he’s a contact-oriented hitter with solid speed.”"

Tolentino had committed to UCLA, so you can see what Callis is talking regarding upside. He’s a fourth-rounder, now, imagine what he could be after three seasons playing for the Bruins.

The Indians have been working diligently to bolster the shortstop position, a spot that will received increased attention with free agency awaiting Francisco Lindor in the winter of 2021.

They notably added Tyler Freeman in second round of the 2017 draft (71st overall). Freeman was a prep talent when chosen, and it was forecasted he would move to second base at some point. That may still happen, but he’s spent the bulk of his short minor-league career at short.

The Tribe also has 19-year-old Brayan Rocchio, who’s hit .290 in the minors. He’s considered to be the Indians’ best defensive shortstop throughout their minor league system, according to Baseball America. The Tribe used their international free-agent money to land the teenager in 2017.

The draft was only five rounds, but it’s worth noting the Tribe is being lauded for their efforts in re-stocking the minor-league system.

In addition to Tucker and Tolentino the Indians added Tanner Burns,, a college pitcher with their compensatory first-round pick. In round two, the Tribe stuck with pitching, adding Logan Allen, while drafting Mira Costa high schooler Petey Halpin in the third round (No. 95).

The Tribe closed out the drafty by taking right-hander Mason Hickman, a pitcher out of Vanderbilt.