Cleveland Indians 2021 mock draft: Top-end prep bat lands with Tribe

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The player the Cleveland Indians select in the 2021 MLB Draft won’t be major league ready for years, but there’s still plenty of reason to be jazzed.

The Tribe’s future is dependent upon success in the draft more than ever, and with every new pick there’s the hope Cleveland will unearth the franchise’s next great player.

Baseball America has the Tribe taking East Amherst, N.Y. catcher Joe Mack with the 23rd overall selection, especially if there’s a run on college pitching during the preceding picks.

BA’s Carlos Collazo wrote the following regarding the latest draft buzz (subscription required).

"“There are a number of names who get mentioned in the 20s, but Mack seems to be one of the last high school bats that most teams seem confident will go off the board in the first round.”"

The Indians drafted prep shortstop Carson Tucker in 2020. They drafted Bo Naylor, who will appear in the Futures Game next week, in 2018.

Cleveland Indians recent draft history

Unfortunately, the Indians haven’t been super successful in the first round under the Dolan ownership. Aside from Francisco Lindor, there haven’t been any impact players found in the first round.

That said, they’ve managed to find assets that can help the club, whether they play for the big league club or not. Remember, first-rounder Clint Frazier was the center piece of the Andrew Miller trade. Before that, Alex White and Drew Pomeranz were packaged in a deal for Ubaldo Gimenez.

Besides Francisco Lindor, the Indians haven’t gotten any elite help for the first round since they made Lindor the seventh overall pick of the 2011 draft. They just gave up on Tyler Naquin, and Bradley Zimmer’s big-league career appears to be on borrowed time. Perhaps Triston McKenzie changes narrative.

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Fortunately, the Tribe’s been strong later in the draft, selecting Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac starting in the third round and beyond.