CLEVELAND, OH - Information on Cleveland Indians 2015 First-Year Player Draft selections.
Round 1 (#17 overall)
LHP BRADY AIKEN
AGE/DOB: 18, Aug. 16, 1996
High School: IMG Academy (FL)
Aiken, 18, is a 2014 graduate of Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego, CA), where he compiled a 7-0 record with a 1.06 ERA in 11 starts in his senior season. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound lefty enrolled at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL in February 2015 as a postgraduate high school student after he and the Astros were unable to reach an agreement on a professional contract by the July 18, 2014 deadline. After making one appearance for the IMG Academy, Aiken underwent reconstructive left elbow surgery on March 26 in New York City (Dr. David Altchek) and is currently two and a half months post-op. Brady was a 2014 Perfect Game USA first Team All-American and led Team USA to the gold medal at the 18U World Cup in Taiwan in September 2013, including a win in the championship game vs. Japan (7.0IP, 1R, 10K). He was the fifth LHP selected first overall and the first since David Price (Tampa Bay) in 2007.
From MLB.com on Aiken
Comments: Aiken entered 2014 as the most polished high school pitcher available, then he saw his stuff improve and became the No. 1 overall pick by the Astros. The two sides agreed on a $6.5 million bonus, but the team became concerned about his elbow following a post-Draft physical and cut its offer to $5 million. He turned it down, joining Danny Goodwin (1971) and Tim Belcher (1983) as the only No. 1 overall picks not to sign. Aiken originally committed to UCLA but opted instead to pitch for IMG Academy's post-graduate team, making him eligible for the 2015 Draft. He left his lone start for the team in the middle of March after 13 pitches and underwent Tommy John surgery six days later. Aiken had no physical problems as a senior at San Diego's Cathedral Catholic High, showing advanced command of a fastball that sat at 92-94 mph and reached 97. He added more power and depth to his curveball and displayed one of the best changeups in the 2014 Draft, featuring deception and tumbling action. By leading Team USA to the gold medal at the 2013 18-and-under World Cup in Taiwan and thriving under all the scrutiny last spring, Aiken also earned points for his makeup.
Competitive Balance Round A (#42 overall)
RHP TRISTON McKENZIE
AGE/DOB: 17, Aug. 2, 1997
High School: Royal Palm Beach (FL)
The 6-foot-5, 160-pound Vanderbilt commit is a 2015 graduate of Royal Palm Beach (FL) High School, where he compiled a 9-5 record with a 0.79 ERA during his senior campaign, tallying 157 strikeouts against just 16 walks across 91.0 innings/15 games. McKenzie was a 2015 Perfect Game USA first-team Preseason All-American and led Royal Palm Beach to the Class 7A state tournament for the first time since 2000. The right-hander threw five complete games in the tournament and allowed just 4 runs, 3 of which came in the team's state semifinal loss. McKenzie, 17, entered his senior season as a Baseball America third-team Preseason High School All-American. McKenzie's selection marks the second consecutive year that the Indians have selected a high school pitcher in the first round, tabbing LHP Justus Sheffield with the 31st overall pick in 2014.
From MLB.com on McKenzie
Comments: The best prospect to come out of Royal Palm Beach High since the Braves made Jarrod Saltalamacchia a supplemental first-round pick in 2003, McKenzie is also one of the most projectable pitchers in this year's crop. He's a 6-foot-5, 160-pounder with a fastball that already reaches 92 mph. Once he fills out, McKenzie should have at least above-average velocity, though he sits in the 89-91 range now, and his fastball already has promising life. Likewise, his curveball shows good depth and should develop more power once he gets stronger. He also has the makings of a changeup that should be an effective third pitch. McKenzie has an easy arm action and has advanced feel for a high school pitcher. He's part of Vanderbilt's top-ranked recruiting class, so he will likely need to get drafted high enough to spurn the Commodores.
Round 2 (#59 overall)
LHP JUAN HILLMAN
AGE/DOB: 18, May 15, 1997
High School: Olympia (FL)
Hillman, 18, is a 2015 graduate of Olympia High School (Orlando, FL), where he recorded a 10-0 record with a 1.44 ERA across 62.0 innings/12 games during his senior campaign. The left-hander struck out 80 batters against just 12 walks. Hillman was a 2015 Perfect Game USA first team Preseason All-American selection and was named to the Florida All-Region First Team. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Central Florida commit has been mentored by his godfather and former Major League pitcher Tom "Flash" Gordon.
From MLB.com on Hillman
Comments: Hillman is the latest prospect out of Olympia High, which has produced big leaguer Brad Miller (who went to Clemson before pro ball), supplemental first-round picks Jesse Winker and Walker Weickel and first-rounder Nick Gordon in the last seven Drafts. Gordon is the half-brother of 2014 Major League stolen-base champion Dee Gordon and son of former All-Star closer Tom Gordon, who also serves as Hillman's guardian. Hillman has a live, athletic frame with a quick arm and projection remaining. He has more feel than the typical prep pitcher and the potential for three solid-or-better pitches. The Central Florida recruit will show an 89-92 mph fastball with some armside run early in his outings. His curveball has nice shape and depth, and his changeup has some fade and deception. Once he fills out, he should add more power to his pitches and do a better job of maintaining his velocity deeper into games.
Round 3 (#93 overall)
2B MARK MATHIAS
AGE/DOB: 19, Aug. 2, 1995
College: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Mathias, 19, recently completed his junior campaign at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he hit .356 (72-202) with 7 2B, 3 3B, 1HR & 28RBI in 47 games. The Fremont, California native had a banner sophomore year, hitting a team-leading .386 average on his way to Big West Conference Field Player of the Year honors. The right-hander's preseason honors included first-team D1Baseball.com All-America Team, second-team Baseball America Preseason All-America Team and second-team National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-America Team. The 6-0 200-pound second baseman underwent labrum surgery in early December 2014 after injuring his shoulder playing for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team last summer. He was ranked as the 103rd best draft prospect by Baseball America.
From MLB.com on Mathias
There are a good amount of college middle infielders who can hit in this year's Draft class. While Mathias' progress in the field was held up by a labrum injury, he showed this spring that his ability to swing the bat generated plenty of interest. Originally a shortstop, Mathias had to DH for much of 2015 as he recovered from his shoulder issue. His return to the field has come at second base, where he has the chance to be a fair defender. His arm continues to come back, but will likely play no better than average. It will be Mathias' bat that will get him drafted and carry him up an organizational ladder. He has a very good approach at the plate, making consistently hard contact. More of an extra-base hit guy now, there is enough strength for some power in the future. As he's gotten bigger and stronger, he's slowed down to an average runner. College bats who perform always tend to do well in June, and a team seeing Mathias as an everyday offensive-minded second baseman could take him in the top few rounds.
Round 4 (#124 overall)
SS TYLER KRIEGER
AGE/DOB: 21, Jan. 16, 1994
College: Clemson University (GA)
Krieger boasted the 2nd-highest average for the Clemson Tigers in his junior season, batting at a .339 clip (80-for- 236), with 14 doubles, one triple, one home run and 41 RBI. The Johns Creek, Georgia native was a second-team All-ACC selection and a Brooks Wallace Shortstop-of-the-Year Award Watch List member as a sophomore, as he hit .338 with 49 runs, 18 doubles, 2 homers, and 32 RBI. Krieger was named a team co-captain for 2015 and was named a preseason first-team All-ACC by Perfect Game. The switch-hitter was also named the 11th-best preseason ACC prospect for the 2015 draft by Perfect Game. The switch-hitter was previously drafted in the 35th round (#1061 overall) of the 2012 First Year MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners.
From MLB.com on Krieger
One of the better college hitters in the Southeast, Krieger sprays line drives to all fields from both sides of the plate. He's extremely patient and has some wiry strength to him, though his approach doesn't lend itself to much power. A club that thinks Krieger can stick at shortstop could be tempted to pop him as high as the second round. But he spent almost the entire 2015 season at DH, with only a handful of appearances at second base, as he recovered from offseason surgery to repair the labrum in his throwing shoulder. He showed an average arm and decent range at shortstop a year ago, though he also was so erratic that he mostly DHed down the stretch. If he can't cut it at shortstop in pro ball, Krieger still could make it as a second baseman or a utilityman. He's an average runner with savvy on the basepaths.
Round 5 (#154 overall)
OF BLAZE KA'AI TOM
AGE/DOB: 21, May 24, 1994
College: University of Kentucky
Tom, who turned 21 on May 24, led the Wildcats with a .375 average (81-for-216) during his junior campaign. The 5-9 outfielder paced the team in doubles (16), RBI (51), total bases (114), and stolen bases (15). Was named firstteam All-SEC in 2014, hitting .328 (67-for-204) with 40 runs, 13 doubles, 3 homers, 41 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 54 games/53 starts. His .373 (38-for-102) league batting average in 2014 fell just short of the SEC batting crown.
Round 6 (#184 overall)
RHP JONAS WYATT
AGE/DOB: 17, Sept. 16, 1997
High School: Quartz Hill High School (Quartz Hill, CA)
RHP Jonas Wyatt was a 2015 3rd-Team Perfect Game High School Senior Preseason All-America and a Perfect Game 1st-Team Preseason California Region All High School Senior. Wyatt is committed to San Diego State University.
From MLB.com on Wyatt
A nice jump in velocity had scouts paying more attention to Wyatt this spring, with his athleticism and arm strength sure to intrigue many teams. The San Diego State commit was touching as high as 96 mph on occasion and sitting in the 90-94 mph range fairly consistently. A strong and raw athlete on the mound, Wyatt is more of a thrower than a pitcher right now. He'll vary his speeds on his curveball, sometimes throwing a firmer one in the 76-80 mph range, but at times dropping down to 70-74 mph. His low 80s changeup if fringe average with some split-like action to it and the chance for it to improve over time. Wyatt will have to improve his delivery to remain a starter, but if it all clicks, he has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter.
Round 7 (#214 overall)
RHP NATHAN LUKES
AGE/DOB: 20, July 12, 1994
College: Sacramento State (Sacramento, Calif.)
Was one of just two Hornets to play in all 60 games, hitting .345 (81-for-235) with 7 homers and 38 RBI. The 20- year-old led Sacramento State in batting average and RBI, and reached base safely in 39 straight games to start the season. Earned All-WAC First Team for the second consecutive season, ranking among league-leaders in hits (3rd), total bases (1st, 120), doubles (T2nd, 14) and home runs (T5th). In his sophomore campaign, Lukes hit .347 (90-for-259) with 26 RBI and 54 runs scored. The Antelope, California native tied the Sacramento State singleseason record with 28 multi-hit games, and broke the single-season record with 259 at-bats in his 2014 campaign.
Round 8 (#244 overall)
RHP JUSTIN GARZA
AGE/DOB: 21, March 20, 1994
College: Cal State Fullerton (Fullerton, CA)
Garza, 21, went 4-3 with a 3.05 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 65.0 innings of work in 2015. The right-hander missed part of the season due to a slight tear in his UCL. The 5-10, 170-pounder spent the 2014 summer as a member of the USA Collegiate National Team, going 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA over eight appearances and four starts. In his sophomore campaign, Garza went 5-4 with a 3.22 ERA and 60 strikeouts against 14 walks in 11 starts (72.3IP). Garza's best collegiate year came as a freshman in 2013, as the right-hander finished the season with an undefeated record of 12-0 in 17 starts. In 2013, Garza was named an All-American and the 2013 Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year. The Glendora, California native was originally drafted by the Indians in the 26th round (#803 overall) in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
From MLB.com on Garza
Teams evaluating Garza will have to weigh three years of starting for a very good Cal State Fullerton program and a successful turn with Team USA last summer against his smaller frame, concern about shoulder issues and a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery. When healthy, there's plenty to like about the right-hander beyond his resume. He has pretty good stuff across the board, starting with a fastball that will sit in the 91-92 range and will flash 93-94 mph. He's shown the ability to reach back for 95-96 in the past, but not consistently. His slider has improved and could be at least a Major League average breaking ball and he has a very good feel for his changeup. Questions about his durability, with his narrow shoulders and slight build, had some foreseeing a career in the bullpen, where his stuff might play up a tick. The elbow surgery might only intensify that projection. A team taking him, however, could rehab him and send him out as a starter to see what happens.
Round 9 (#274 overall)
RHP DEVON STEWART
AGE/DOB: 22, Dec. 26, 1992
College: Canisius College (Buffalo, NY)
The 22-year-old went 7-7 with a 3.84 ERA in 16 games/starts in his senior campaign. Stewart tossed 4 complete games and struck out a team-high 75 in 98.1 innings of work. In 2012, the right-hander was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the MAAC Rookie of the Year.
Round 10 (#304 overall)
LHP WILLIAM STRODE
AGE/DOB: 22, August 10, 1992
College: Florida State University
Strode went 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 14 saves in 30 appearances with Florida State University in his senior campaign. Had a similar year in 2014, going 2-1 with a 2.62 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 48.0 innings pitched. The Parkland, Florida native was named to the All-ACC Academic Team in 2014 and the ACC Academic Honor Roll from 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Round 11 (#334 overall)
RHP CHANDLER NEWMAN
AGE/DOB: 18, Feb. 5, 1997
High School: Richmond Hill HS (GA)
A 2015 graduate of Richmond Hill High School, Newman was an honorable mention to the Perfect Game Preseason Southeast Region All-High School team. The Georgia Southern commit boasts a fastball that sits at 95 mph and helped guide the Richmond Hill Wildcats to three straight GHSA Region 3-AAAAA titles. The righthander's older brother, Hunter, currently pitches at LSU.
Round 12 (#364 overall)
LHP RYAN PEREZ
AGE/DOB: 21, Oct 27, 1993
College: Judson University (IL)
Perez went 4-1 for the Judson University Eagles with a 4.61 ERA (14ER/27.1IP) in 12 appearances/3 starts in the 2015 season. The switch-pitcher struck out 33 batters while allowing 16 walks. Perez also tallied 3 saves on the year. He was the 2014 West All-Star MVP while playing for Hyannis in the Cape Cod League.
Round 13 (#394 overall)
C DANIEL SALTERS
AGE/DOB: 22, Feb. 5, 1993
College: Dallas Baptist (TX)
Started 57 games for the Dallas Baptist Patriots in 2015, batting .261 (58-for-222) with 15 doubles, one triple and 4 HR. Salters also tallied 36 RBI and drew 31 walks. He was originally drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2014, but did not sign. The catcher was named to the 2015 Dallas All-Regional Team as the Patriots went 3-2 at the NCAA Dallas Regional.
Round 14 (#424 overall)
RHP MATT ESPARZA
AGE/DOB: 20, Aug 22, 1994
College: UC Irvine (CA)
Started 16 games this season, finishing 8-2 with a 3.38 ERA (37ER/98.2IP) for the Anteaters. The right-hander struck out 81 hitters and surrendered 35 walks. In 2014, Esparza was a first team All-Orange Empire Conference selection while with Cypress College.
Round 15 (#454 overall)
RHP DANIEL SPRINKLE
AGE/DOB: 18, Oct. 14, 1996
High School: White Hall HS (White Hall, AR)
The 6'4, 230-pounder is an Auburn University commit. The White Hall, Arkansas native led his team to the 5A State Championship in 2014, giving up 3 hits and striking out 8 in a complete-game performance that earned him the State Tournament Most Valuable Player. Was named a PRO-DAY "Prep Gear" All-American Honorable Mention as a sophomore and a PRO-DAY "Prep Gear" Second-Team All-American as a junior.
Round 16 (#484 overall)
INF COBIE VANCE
AGE/DOB: 17, Aug. 24, 1997
High School: Pine Forest HS (Fayetteville, NC)
The 2015 graduate of Pine Forest High School and Alabama commit was a preseason Perfect Game first team selection in the Atlantic Region. Vance was also a 2013 and 2014 Underclass Honorable Mention. In 2014, he hit .405 with 7 doubles and 30 runs scored.
Round 17 (#514 overall)
INF NICK MADRIGAL
AGE/DOB: 18, March 5, 1997
High School: Elk Grove HS (CA)
MLB.com and was a member of the 2014 USA Baseball U18 National Team that took Gold in La Paz, Mexico. Madrigal hit .481 with one triple, 7 RBI and 7 stolen bases at the Pan Am Tournament, playing in all 8 games. He was selected as a Max Preps All-American after his junior season.
From MLB.com on Madrigal:
A small middle infielder with sparkplug type skills, Madrigal has shown a penchant for playing above his tools against very good competition. The high school shortstop was a standout for USA Baseball's 18 and Under team last summer on both sides of the ball. He handles the bat well putting the ball in play consistently; he didn't strike out once with Team USA. He's not particularly physical and power will never be a part of his game, leading to more David Eckstein comps than, say, Dustin Pedroia or Jose Altuve. He has plenty of speed and maximizes it as a base-stealing threat. The Oregon State commit has the tools to stay at shortstop thanks to his quickness and accuracy, though without pure arm strength. He's a natural leader and a coach on the field from short. Teams will have to look past Madrigal's size and project some added strength when deciding to take him. With his tools and plus makeup, he's the type who proves any skeptics wrong.
Round 18 (#544 overall)
INF ANTHONY MILLER
AGE/DOB: 20, Oct. 4, 1994
College: Johnson County CC (KS)
Hit .443 (86-for-194) in 60 games in 2015 at Johnson County Community College. Miller tallied 26 HR, 15 doubles, 5 triples and 79 RBI, while walking 43 times against 28 strikeouts. His on-base percentage was .556.
Round 19 (#574 overall)
OF TODD ISAACS
AGE/DOB: 19, May 22, 1996
College: Palm Beach State College (FL)
Isaacs hit .330 with 30 RBI, 40 runs scored and 31 stolen bases at Palm Beach State College in 2015. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round (#645) of the 2014 draft.
Round 20 (#604 overall)
INF LUKE WAKAMATSU
AGE/DOB: 18, Oct. 10, 1996
High School: Keller HS (TX)
Wakamatsu is the son of former Major League player and current Kansas City Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu. The Rice commit is a switch-hitter that entered the draft as the 91st overall prospect in MLB.com's rankings.
Round 21 (#634 overall)
RHP BROCK HARTSON
AGE/DOB: 21, Aug. 9, 1993
College: University of Texas at San Antonio (TX)
Hartson started 15 games in 2015 for UTSA, posting a 6-4 record with a 3.54 ERA. The right-hander tossed three complete games. Hartson was a 2013 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and 2013 second team All- Western Athletic Conference selection.
Round 22 (#664 overall)
INF GARRETT BENGE
AGE/DOB: 19, Dec. 28, 1995
College: Cowley County CC (KS)
Benge hit .502 with 19 HR, 97 RBI and 96 runs scored in 59 games at Cowley County CC in 2015. Former Indian Travis Hafner was also drafted out of Cowley County CC.
Round 23 (#694 overall)
RHP CHAD SMITH
AGE/DOB: 20, June 8, 1995
College: Wallace State CC (AL)
Round 24 (#724 overall)
INF SAM HAGGERTY
AGE/DOB: 21, May 26, 1994
College: University of New Mexico (NM)
Haggerty hit .311 across 29 games in 2015 at New Mexico. He missed 30 games with a strained oblique. The infielder was one of four co-captains on the team and scored 25 runs.
Round 25 (#754 overall)
INF CONNOR MARABELL
AGE/DOB: 21, March 28, 1994
College: Jacksonville University (FL)
Played in 56 games at Jacksonville University in 2015, hitting .326 with 21 doubles and 6 HR. Marabell also tallied a team-high 54 RBI and 43 runs scored.
Round 26 (#784 overall)
INF ANTHONY GFAFFANINO
AGE/DOB: 17, July 16, 1997
High School: Northwest Christian School (AZ)
Anthony is the son of former Major Leaguer Tony Graffanino.
Round 27 (#814 overall)
RHP AUSTIN RUBICK
AGE/DOB: 17, Aug 11, 1997
High School: Buena HS (CA) BATS/THROWS: R /R
Round 28 (#844 overall)
C JACK GOIHL
AGE/DOB: 22, March 2, 1993
College: Augustana College (SD)
Goihl started in 53 games at Augustana College in 2015, hitting .386 with 12 doubles, one triple and 15 HR. He was named to the NCBWA All-Central Region Second Team.
Round 29 (#874 overall)
RHP CHRISTIAN MEISTER
AGE/DOB: 21, Oct. 29, 1993
Round 30 (#904 overall)
RHP CHANDLER DAY
AGE/DOB: 18, May 24, 1997
High School: Watkins Memorial HS (OH)
FROM MLB.com on Day: One of the youngest and most projectable players in the high school crop, Day is a 6-foot-4, 162-pounder with a deep and promising repertoire. Assuming he adds strength and maintains his clean delivery, he could develop three plus offerings. Day already throws his fastball at 90-93 mph, enhancing its velocity by adding sinking life and throwing it on a steep plane. He has advanced feel for his secondary pitches, an upper-70s curveball with good depth and a low-80s changeup that drops at the plate. His stock fell this spring, however, when he tried to light up radar guns, got away from using his changeup and saw his control and command regress. Vanderbilt has had five pitchers selected in the first round of the last eight Drafts and could have two more in 2015. It's easy envisioning Day added to that list if he follows through on his commitment to the Commodores.
Round 31 (#934 overall)
INF DILLON PERSINGER
AGE/DOB: 19, Jan. 31, 1996
College: Golden West College (CA)
Persinger hit .367 with 19 RBI and 35 runs scored in 42 games during his 2015 season at Golden West College. He also stole 15 bases.
Round 32 (#964 overall)
LHP JACOB HILL
AGE/DOB: 21, May 27, 1994
College: University of San Diego (CA)
Hill appeared in 20 games and made 4 starts in 2015 at the University of San Diego. He was 6-2 with a 7.53 ERA and struck out 30 hitters in 28.2 innings.
Round 33 (#994 overall)
C GARRETT WOLFORTH
AGE/DOB: 17, Oct 13, 1997
High School: Concordia Lutheran HS (TX)
Round 34 (#1024 overall)
RHP ANDREW CABEZAS
AGE/DOB: 18, Dec. 5, 1996
High School: Coral Gables Senior HS (FL)
Cabezas is committed to the University of Miami. He went 6-4 with a 0.70 ERA and 88 strikeouts during his senior season at Coral Gables Senior HS.
Round 35 (#1054 overall)
C CADE TREMIE
AGE/DOB: 17, June 30, 1997
High School: New Waverly HS (TX)
Cade is the son of current Columbus Clippers Manager, Chris Tremie.
Round 36 (#1084 overall)
RHP RYAN COLEGATE
AGE/DOB: 21, Nov. 12, 1993
College: Ohio Dominican University (OH)
Round 37 (#1114 overall)
RHP LUCAS HUMPAL
AGE/DOB: 21, Sept. 5, 1993
College: Texas State University (TX)
Round 38 (#1144 overall)
RHP BRADEN WEBB
AGE/DOB: 20, April 25, 1995
Round 39 (#1174 overall)
RHP TRISTIN ENGLISH
AGE/DOB: 18, May 14, 1997
High School: Pike County HS (GA)
Round 40 (#1204 overall)
RHP HUNTER PARSONS
AGE/DOB: 17, June 24, 1997
High School: Parkside HS (MD)