Grant reflects on Tribe's past Draft picks

June 1st, 2017

CLEVELAND -- The results of the MLB Draft under Brad Grant, the Indians' senior director of amateur scouting, can be found all around the Tribe's clubhouse. The Major League roster currently includes seven drafted and developed players, including former first-rounders and Bradley Zimmer.

"To walk through the clubhouse right now," Grant said, "and have all those guys and all of them participating, that's really a fun thing to watch. A lot of days on the road and a lot of time away from your family all comes to fruition when you walk in here and see that. It's pretty cool."

On June 12, Grant will look to add more building blocks to Cleveland's future in the 2017 MLB Draft. The Indians' top selection will be in the second round (64th overall), but the club has had success in that range in the past. Second baseman was a second-round pick (63rd overall) in the 2009 Draft.

Here are Grant's thoughts on a variety of topics from a sit-down with local media on Thursday:

On the improved power for Lindor (first round, 2011):

"He was the second-longest player in the Draft at the time. We knew as he progressed he was going to get stronger, be able to drive the ball a little bit farther and leverage the ball a little bit more. We didn't probably anticipate the power becoming what it is. We always focused more on the ability to stay at short and then the ability to make hard, consistent contact. But, the power has increased. It's been good to see."

On outfielder Zimmer (first round, 2014):

"It's awesome for all of us to watch [Zimmer reach the Majors]. It just goes back to that collective process that we talk about. To see the strides Bradley has made through the development system, to see what he's been able to effectively do with his swing, and then for it to happen here, is really cool."

On pitching prospect Brady Aiken (first round, 2015):

"He's still having some up-and-down inconsistencies to his outings. ... You've got to remember, he hadn't pitched for two years and he's still trying to work through that. But the flashes are in there. It's coming along. The breaking ball is definitely in there. The fastball velocity is starting to increase. The last thing that usually comes back with Tommy John surgery is command, and that's the one thing that's kind of still coming back for him."

On pitching prospect Triston McKenzie (first round, 2015):

"We always knew with Triston that nothing rocks him. He is steady as can be. He's going to go out and maximize his potential. He's doing that. He has not hit any adversity, yet. He just fights right though it. And the great thing about him is he consistently leverages the baseball down in the zone, and he's able to command that fastball, and the breaking ball and changeup play. We're going to keep on pushing him and keep on trying to get him to hit that adversity, but who knows? We'll see. If he keeps doing what he's doing, we're in a good spot."

On outfield prospect Will Benson (first round, 2016):

"Will Benson is still in extended [spring training] but making really great strides right now. If you take a look at his swing and where his swing is now, where his launch position is, where his timing is, he's made a lot of good adjustments and looks very good. He's driving the ball extremely well, putting up some power numbers and is still showing the plate discipline that he's had in the past."