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The Sports Daily > Burning River Baseball
Cleveland Indians 2017 Amateur Draft Wrap

For day one of the Indians 2017 draft click here and for day two click here.

Round 11, Pick 342 – Matthew Turner – LHP
Round 12, Pick 372 – Dante Mendoza – RHP

After taking seven straight college players on day two, the Indians started off the third and final day of the draft with a pair of high school pitchers, Turner from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Florida and Mendoza from Torrance High School in California. Turner is a tall lefty who features a strong fastball change combination with his fast ball reaching 87 according to Perfect Game.

Mendoza had a 1.62 ERA in three years playing varsity across 108 innings and 26 games. He struck out 119 and walked 34. At 88 MPH, he has one of the better fast balls in the class.

Round 13, Pick 402 – Angel Lopez Alvarez – C

The Indians first junior college pick of 2017 was Angel Lopez out of Northampton CC. He batted .411/.549/.858 with 14 home runs, 17 doubles and 14 steals. Since this is division III, numbers are inflated, but he was unquestionably the best hitter on his team and there’s no question the Indians need help at catcher.

Round 14, Pick 432 – Oscar Serratos – SS

Not only considered a solid hitter and fielder at short stop, Serratos is also a relief pitcher and struck out 15 in 6.2 innings last year, hitting as high as 93 MPH. Given that he’s 17, committed to Georgia Tech and was picked outside of the first ten rounds, it’s unlikely the Indians will be able to sign him.

Round 15, Pick 462 – Kyle Nelson – LHP

Nelson is a third year college student at UC Santa Barbara and was a dominant reliever from 2015 through 2016 before switching to the rotation this year and struggling. He struck out 87 and walked just 18 last year in 74.1 innings, but in 13 more innings this year, struck out 18 fewer and saw his ERA balloon from 2.18 to 4.53.

Round 16, Pick 492 – Nick Gallagher – RHP

Like Nelson, Gallagher was much more dominant in relief the last two seasons before joining the Iowa Hawkeyes rotation this year. The difference, however, wasn’t nearly as extreme and his peripheral stats (8.2 K/9 in 2017, 8.4 in 2016 and 2.4 BB/9 in 2017, 3.1 in 2016) show that he may have actually been more efficient as a starter.

Round 17, Pick 522 – Pedro Alfonseca – CF

The Indians first redraft of 2017, Alfonseca is in his first year at Black Hawk College after being drafted by the Indians in the 39th round last year. He hit .401/.508/.626 and stole 37 bases in 43 attempts at the junior college.

Round 18, Pick 552 – Dillon Persinger – 2B

Persinger hit .296/.417/.384 with 18 steals last year for Cal State Fullerton after transferring from Golden West Community College. Like Alfonseca, this is the second time the Indians have drafted Persinger, taking him in the 31st round in 2015. He was also drafted by the Angels in the 17th round last year. As a junior, Persinger could return for one more season and hope to reverse this downward trend or could sign now and avoid the risk of being picked even later next year.

Round 19, Pick 582 – Josh Nashed – RHP

A two way player, Nashed converted almost exclusively to DH this year, making just five starts compared to the 31 appearances he had in his first two seasons at San Jose State. Statistically, he doesn’t really stand out at the mound or the plate and he doesn’t have a position in the field beyond pitcher. Because of this, he’ll most likely join the team as a pitcher.

Round 20, Pick 612 – Jonathan Teaney – RHP

Obviously there’s a lot more to drafting and scouting than looking at numbers and the Indians obviously think they can do something with Teaney, who is a junior at San Diego. He posted ERAs above five in each of his three seasons, almost all exclusively in relief. His bonus is a 11.6 K/9 this season and 121 K’s in 100 innings in his college career, but he’s also walked 87 and given up a lot of home runs.

Round 21, Pick 642 – Tyler Friis – 2B

Friis is a 21 year old middle infielder who hit .322 last year with an OBP over .400 for Indiana State. He also had his best season on the bases, taking 14 of 19 steal attempts and 33 of 46 in his collegiate career. He fits the Indians MO of well developed college players who are all around athletes and good contact hitters. Like many Indians picks this year, he had more walks than K’s and in his career has 61 walks to 62 K’s in 138 games.

Round 22, Pick 672 – Clark Scolamiero – CF

Another college junior, Scolamiero played two years for South Carolina although he’s also played the last few years in the Coastal Plain league including a short stint of relief work where he struck out five and walked one in three hitless, scoreless innings. As a hitter, there wasn’t much to look at as he hit .206/.293/.206 in 42 games in 2016, but he transferred to North Greenville before 2017 so he could start and he hit .360/.440/.545 in division II. After attempting just seven steals in two years at USC, he stole 29 of 31 attempts in 2017.

Round 23, Pick 702 – Jordan Scheftz – RHP

Scheftz had a poor season with Saddleback College in 2015, but transferred to Central Florida for his junior year and posted a 2.35 ERA in 30.2 relief innings. He struck out 40, but walked 19.

Round 24, Pick 732 – Riley Echols – RHP

Used mostly as a starter, Echols played three seasons at Central Arkansas before finishing out his college career at Freed-Hardeman University. There, he posted a 4.64 ERA with 80 K’s and 32 walks in 77.2 innings. As a senior, he should be fairly guaranteed to sign.

Round 25, Pick 762 – Chandler Ferguson – RHP

A high school pick, Ferguson was a star on both sides of the ball, batting .355 with with five doubles and three home runs in his senior year after hitting .431 as a junior. In his primary position of pitcher, he had a 2.01 ERA as a senior after a 1.13 as a junior. He’s committed to Northwest Florida State College and if he signs with Cleveland, it would be a steal in round 25.

Round 26, Pick 792 – Tommy DeJuneas – RHP

A 6-foot-1 junior from North Carolina State that had 27 strikeouts and 25 walks in 32 innings as a reliever for the Wolfpack. Despite those struggles, he does have 11 strikeouts in 100 career innings at NC State. He also played third base and left field briefly but posted just a .623 OPS in 76 at bats. He did have six multi inning relief appearances this year, so maybe the Indians see an underrated ability to miss bats in multiple innings. He is a true junior and could go back to NC State and try to improve on his average season.

Round 27, Pick 822 – Casey Opitz – C

Baseball America ranked the Arkansas commit as the 26th best catcher available in this draft. He was a Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention and a switch hitting backstop. There are reports that suggest he won’t stay behind the plate but that his bat could be his calling card anyway. His older brother, Shane Optiz, is currently a shortstop in the Blue Jays organization but it doesn’t seem very likely that Casey will join his brother in the pro ranks for another three years.

Round 28, Pick 852 – Michael Hendrickson – LHP

The 6-foot-3 lefty was one of a school record 11 Wolverines selected in the draft. Hendrickson had 70 strikeouts in 75 innings and isn’t short on smarts either. He was a National Honor Society member in high school, is a Biopsy, Cognition and Neurosciences Major and an Academic All-Big Ten selection. So if this baseball thing doesn’t work out, and he’s not the Indians typical control lefty pick, he’ll be OK. He does already have Ohio ties, however – his brother David is on the basketball team at John Carroll.

Round 29, Pick 882 – Tre Gantt – CF

Gantt earned playing time as a freshman and sophomore at Ohio State University but finally became a regular as a junior this year. He put up an .852 OPS and was 14-of-17 on stolen bases while patrolling centerfield. He led the Buckeyes in hits and was one of the few top performers on an underwhelming ball club. Seeing that improvement he made as a regular, Gantt could elect to improve his draft stock and the Buckeyes do have a good recruiting class coming aboard.

Round 30, Pick 912 – Zack Draper – LHP

Draper struck out 100 batters in 95 1/3 innings at the NAIA level. He had a pretty stellar two-year career at the College of Idaho. It will be interesting to see where Draper is placed once he is signed given his age, performance yet level of competition he saw in college.

Round 31, Pick 942 – Asa Lacy – LHP

Lacy was a potential first day pick and struck out 72 in 39 1/3 innings as a senior at Tivy HS in Texas. The 6-foot-4 lefty already features a fastball that sits 91-93 and is committed to Texas A&M. Baseball America had him ranked as the 22nd best lefty available and his commitment to Texas A&M will lead him to not sign after being drafted in the 31st round. Keep an eye on his name in three years for the Indians, who do like to re-draft guys they chose late in previous drafts and did not sign.

Round 32, Pick 972 –  Mitch Reeves – IF-OF

Reeves played at three different colleges as an infielder and outfielder and played some third base and right field for Florida Southern over the last two years and broke out with 11 homers in just 198 at bats last season and 17 this year in 204 at bats. The Indians drafted him as an outfielder who showed plenty of power in college. Watch for him in Mahoning Valley in a few weeks.

Round 33, Pick 1,002 – Michael Cooper  – 1B

Cooper is a 6-foot-5 high school first basemen from Ridge Point in Texas and was a Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention. Perfect Game likes Cooper’s simple swing and long levers to help give him good raw power. Cooper is a multi-sport athlete, also playing basketball in high school. I didn’t see a college commitment anywhere for Cooper but it would be hard to believe a 6-foot-5 first basemen/outfielder with the potential for good power doesn’t have a solid commitment to some college that would sway him from accepting the slot for a 33rd round pick as a higher schooler.

Round 34, Pick 1,032 – Cole Turney  – OF

Turner is another well built southpaw with a sweet swing. Perfect Game raves about his bat speed, ability to barrel the ball and a strong throwing arm as well as good footwork in right field. He’s also an Arkansas commit who will almost undoubtedly head to college this fall rather than pro ball. Keep your eyes out in the 2020 draft, though.

Round 35, Pick  1,062 – Spencer Strider  – RHP

Despite just being listed at 6-foot, 205lbs, Strider can reportedly touch 96 with his fastball as a high school senior at Christian Academy in Knoxville, TN. He was a Rawlings-Perfect Game 2nd teamer and Baseball America’s 51st ranked right hander. Srtider has a commitment to a talented Clemson ball club that will surely keep him from signing with the Indians this late in the draft.

Round 36, Pick 1,092 – Jorge Arellano – LHP

Arellano is a high school, 6-foot-3 southpaw who operates with a low-90s fastball. He has a commitment to UC Santa Barbara where the Indians have drafted plenty of players from and will likely keep tabs on him until 2020.

Round 37, Pick 1,122 – Austin Martin – SS

Martin is an 18 year old shortstop hailing from Florida and was a Rawlings-Perfect Game 2nd team selection. He has a strong commitment to Vanderbilt and Baseball America had him listed as the draft class’ 20th best shortstop.

Round 38, Pick 1,152 – Scott Kobos – LHP

Kobos is a two-year JUCO lefty with 68 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings who struck out 68 batters.The Indians pull off a rare sign of a college player with eligibility left this late in the draft provided Kobos doesn’t have a strong commitment to play his final two years at a four year school.

Round 39, Pick 1,182 – Josh Rolete – C

Rolette was a hot hitting catcher in 2016 at Kansas State who put up a .290 as a freshman but regressed to .219 this past year. He was also drafted by the 18th round by the Cardinals in 2015.

Round 40, Pick 1,212 – Cole Kleszcz – OF

Kleszez is the last pick for the Indians who his .410 as a sophomore at JUCO College of the Canyons. He also led the state in homers with 18 and as a two-year JUCO player, the Indians could sign him but some school probably already has a home for the 6-foot-1 ball player with power for the next year or two.