Guardians grab speedy Lampe, other college talent on Day 2

July 18th, 2022

The Guardians won’t be repeating last year’s strategy of taking all but one pitcher in the Draft, but they’ve started to set another trend through the early rounds.

Cleveland has become known for its old-school approach to the game with its current big league roster. For Guardians batters, contact is prioritized over power, while walks are far more common than strikeouts. That profile carried over into their approach for Rounds 3-10 of the Draft on Monday, whether intentional or not.

“It’s not something we’re aiming at,” said Guardians director of amateur scouting Scott Barnsby. “I think it’s something that these are players our scouts and organization likes because you want your hitter to be able to put a bat on the ball and it’s important to have a plan. These guys have had success against quality competition and that’s important to us.”

Let’s take a look at who the Guardians selected on Day 2 of the Draft.

Joe Lampe, OF, Arizona State
Round 3 (92nd overall)

Notable skill: Lampe’s speed has impacted every part of his game. After hitting .294 with six stolen bases at the bottom of Arizona State’s lineup in 55 games in 2021, Lampe thrived in 2022 in the leadoff spot, swiping 17 bases in 57 contests with a .340 average, 22 doubles, three triples and demonstrated some more power with 12 homers. His speed translates to playing a solid center field (and likely staying there through his professional career). He originally attended San Rosa College in 2020 and stole 17 bases in 20 games.

Fun fact: Haven’t gotten the idea that Lampe is fast just yet? He and his team were playing the University of Arizona in April when he was standing on second base as a long fly ball was sent to center field. Easy to tag and advance to third, sure. But to score from second? Lampe somehow made that look just as simple. He raced around third and was able to dive into the plate without an attempt from the catcher to tag him out.

Quotable: “He’s one of the hardest workers you’ll ever see. He cares about winning and does all the little things. I think every guy on the team will tell you who’s the hardest worker and who puts the most time in. Joe Lampe’s at the top of that list.” -- Lampe’s head coach Tracy Smith, told to in 2021

Nate Furman, 2B, UNC Charlotte
Round 4 (121st overall)

Notable skill: Furman fits the profile of the current Guardians roster, with a contact-first approach. He might not be a threatening power bat, but he has elite bat-to-ball skills, striking out nearly half the time as he draws walks. In 58 games with UNC Charlotte in 2022, he was walked 49 times as opposed to just 26 strikeouts with a .371 average and a .976 OPS.

Fun fact: Furman played at Monsignor Bonner High School in Pennsylvania and helped lead his team to back-to-back Philadelphia City Championships in 2017-18.

Quotable: “This guy has a really advanced feel to hit. He can consistently find the barrel. A lot of fun watching him hit. A lot of fun to watch his approach. He’s had a lot of success offensively. He’s currently playing second base. He’s a plus runner. He can move to the outfield. We feel good about his versatility defensively as well.” -- Barnsby

Guy Lipscomb Jr., OF, Belmont University
Round 5 (151st overall)

Notable skill: How about we combine the skills of the first two Draft picks of the day? Add together speed and impressive bat-to-ball skills and that means hitting for a ridiculous average. Lipscomb Jr. hit .406 this year with a school record of 42 stolen bases in 57 games.

Fun fact: Belmont’s archrival is Lipscomb University -- something Lipscomb Jr. heard plenty of jokes about during his time in school.

Quotable: “He’s really come on offensively swinging that bat well, consistent approach, finds a barrel, the power continues to develop. He can really run. He’s another outfielder that can not only play center field, but he’s athletic enough to move around.” -- Barnsby

Dylan DeLucia, RHP, Ole Miss
Round 6 (181st overall)

Notable Skill: Command. DeLucia doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he dominated throughout the College World Series with pinpoint command as he threw 16 2/3 innings in Omaha and didn’t walk a batter. Only Roger Clemens has thrown more frames without issuing a walk in a single College World Series. During the series, he went 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA and 17 strikeouts.

Fun Fact: There’s not really much of a higher honor in college than walking away from the 2022 College World Series as the Most Outstanding Player, which DeLucia did after going 2-0 with a clutch four-hit shutout performance on the road to Ole Miss winning the national championship.

Quotable: “We watched him at the end of the year just compete. I mean, that’s the biggest stage they can absolutely play on. … He took the ball when the game was on the line and carried them. So, you have to think that’s going to help him. I think that’s one of the things that’s a separator to be able to slow the moment down and to be able to compete like the way he did bodes well for him down the road.” -- Barnsby

Javier Santos, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy
Round 7 (211th overall)

Notable Skill: Santos brings the heat. The Guardians are known for being able to develop starting pitching as good or better than any other farm system. However, the common trend with their recent hurlers who have made it to the Majors is dominating without “wow” stuff. Santos has a chance to reverse that trend, as his heater sits in the mid 90s and can inch closer to 100 mph.

Fun Fact: Santos hails from the same high school as Guardians top prospect Daniel Espino.

Quotable: “Just a young high school pitcher. Up to 98 [mph]. Has an elite arm. Can really spin the breaking ball." -- Barnsby

Jackson Humphries, LHP, Fuquay-Varina High School (N.C.)
Round 8 (241st overall)

Notable Skill: Spin rate. Maybe it’s not the flashiest skill, but both Humphries’ slider and curveball already boast impressive spin, setting a strong foundation before the Guardians’ pitching factory can help the soon-to-be 18-year-old develop. His command wavered more during his senior high school season than it had in the past, but his four-pitch mix of fastball, slider, curveball and changeup has the potential to be solid.

Fun Fact: Humphries is currently committed to play at Campbell University.

Quotable: “A left-handed, durable body. Up to 95 [mph]. Feel to pitch. We think he’s going to be able to pitch with a plus fastball. Can really spin the breaking ball from the left side and just misses a lot of bats. Feel really good about his ability to start long-term, as well.” -- Barnsby

Austin Peterson, RHP, University of Connecticut
Round 9 (271st overall)

Notable Skill: Command. Peterson’s arsenal consists of a fastball, a slider and a changeup, and has solid command of all three offerings. In his 190 2/3 innings at UConn (he began his career at Purdue), Peterson fanned 229 batters while walking just 46. His 5.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2022 ranked 27th in the nation.

Fun Fact: Peterson ranked third in the NCAA in strikeouts in 2022 (147), setting a school record in 110 1/3 frames.

Quotable: “This guy can not only pitch, but I’ve mentioned ‘competitor’ with a lot of these guys. So, the makeup is really impressive on the mound. Up to 93 [mph]. Quality slider. Feel for a changeup and throws a ton of strikes and misses a lot of bats.” -- Barnsby

Jacob Zibin, RHP, TNXL Academy (Fla.)
Round 10 (301st overall)

Notable Skill: Changeup. Zibin’s fastball can sit in the mid 90s, but his changeup is his best secondary pitch and has both good sink and arm speed. According to MLB Pipeline, Zibin has been confident throwing his change in any count.

Fun Fact: Zibin played for the Langley Blaze club team in British Columbia, Canada -- the same team that produced big leaguers Brett Lawrie and Tyler O’Neill.

Quotable: “This guy is the youngest guy in the Draft at 17 years old. Absolutely physical at 6-foot-4, up to 97 [mph] already. He’s got life to his fastball. Really good feel for his changeup. We’re confident that the breaking ball is going to come, as well. Throws strikes, and another guy we couldn’t be more excited about the player development group getting their hands on.” -- Barnsby