KANSAS CITY -- The Indians announced Tuesday that they have signed three picks from the 2018 Draft, including their top two selections.High schoolers Noah Naylor, Ethan Hankins and Korey Holland and Oregon State's Steven Kwan all signed with the Tribe for more than their slotted or expected amounts. Naylor signed
KANSAS CITY -- The Indians announced Tuesday that they have signed three picks from the 2018 Draft, including their top two selections.
High schoolers Noah Naylor, Ethan Hankins and Korey Holland and Oregon State's Steven Kwan all signed with the Tribe for more than their slotted or expected amounts. Naylor signed for a bonus of $2,578,138 (No. 29 pick value: $2,332,700), Hankins for $2,246,022 (No. 35 pick value: $2,016,400) and Holland for $515,000 (No. 433 pick value: $125,000).
Naylor, a catcher from St. Joan of Arc Catholic in Mississauga, Ont., projects as a strong hitter with heavy power, and he has a strong defensive profile in addition to his proficiency at the plate. He was previously committed to play at Texas A&M.
"We're excited about Noah's bat. He can really hit," director of amateur scouting Scott Barnsby said during the Draft. "[He] controls the strike zone, [has] really good hand-eye [coordination]. Can drive the ball to all fields. There's power there. Defensively, [he's] a stay-behind-the-plate catcher with arm strength."
Naylor's power culminated in an appearance at the High School Home Run Derby during last year's All-Star festivities at Marlins Park in Miami. He finished second in the competition to Nolan Gorman, who was taken 10 picks before Naylor by the Cardinals.
As a member of the Ontario Blue Jays (an elite 18-and-up team based in his home province), Naylor hit .421 in seven games. He also played for the Canadian Junior National Team, touring Spring Training facilities in Florida to play against members of the Red Sox and Blue Jays.
The Indians found Naylor a battery-mate just six picks later, when they drafted Hankins, a right-handed pitcher from Forsyth Central High in Cumming, Ga. He had been committed to pitch at Vanderbilt.
Hankins was projected by many to be one of the first pitchers drafted this year, but a muscular issue with his throwing shoulder made his stock fall. He did make a recovery, however, and finished the season strong.
Cleveland was drawn to Hankins' 6-foot-6-inch frame, which allows his long arms to operate smoothly in his delivery. He projects as a starter, with his best pitch being a fastball that sits consistently in the mid-90s and tops out at around 98 mph.
"Ethan is an impressive young man," Barnsby said during the Draft. "It's a four-pitch mix, and he throws a lot of strikes. He's an athletic kid. The arm works well, so we're absolutely looking at him as a starter."
Kwan was a member of the Oregon State squad that recently captured the 2018 College World Series title. Battling an injury, he started just one game in the Finals, and pinch-hit in another.
The regular leadoff hitter for the Beavers, Kwan swings a consistent bat and has good speed out of the box. It translates to the outfield as well, where he exhibits strong range in center field.
Holland, who was drafted in the 14th round, is a speedy center fielder with a solid line-drive approach at the plate. He was committed to play at Texas.
Jordan Wolf is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.