The 2021 MLB Draft is approaching and that means it is time to look back on some past Cleveland Indians draft picks.
Specifically, we are going to look at some of the best top picks.
Since 2010, the Indians have drafted both studs and duds.
Anyone remember Brady Aiken?
That is all part of any MLB Draft.
A sure-fire prospect from high school or college could never pan out, while a late-round pick could end up being the franchise’s next star.
So let’s go back to 2010 and look at the team’s three best top picks since that point.
3. Bradley Zimmer – 2014
Bradley Zimmer remains a player of unknown potential for the Indians since making his debut in 2017.
Francisco Lindor gave Bradley Zimmer some advice on the day of his MLB debut: pic.twitter.com/ia2cQywm6b
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) May 17, 2017
He played in 101 games that year, but has not even matched that total combined since.
Injuries have plagued the high-flying outfielder, yet he has made his return in 2021.
Zimmer was the No. 21 overall pick in a draft that saw Aiken go No. 1 overall to the Houston Astros, only to not sign and end up with the Indians a year later.
Zimmer at least making it to the MLB level is why he makes our list here.
And when healthy, he has proven to be a positive-WAR player, even if he is not an All-Star.
First-round picks need to make it to the majors and Zimmer still has time to turn things around.
2. Tyler Naquin – 2012
Tyler Naquin was the No. 15 overall pick in 2012.
Like Zimmer, injuries held back Naquin’s true rise in Cleveland.
But he sure seems to be doing just fine in Cincinnati this year.
Naquin showed up in 2016 during the World Series year and managed to finish third in American League Rookie of the Year voting.
He struggled to get playing time after that year, and an injury in 2019 slowed what could have been his rise into a full-time job.
Naquin is now getting everyday time in Cincinnati and while some Indians fans may be upset, a change of scenery seemed to do him well.
Sometimes it just never works out with a top pick.
1. Francisco Lindor – 2011
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 29, 2019
We have arrived at the obvious player on this list.
The Indians hit a home run with the Francisco Lindor selection in 2011 when they drafted him No. 8 overall out of high school.
One note on that draft is Trevor Bauer went No. 3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks before eventually finding his way to Cleveland soon after.
Lindor debuted in 2015 and was an All-Star a year later.
As we all know, the story did not have a happy ending, but he did prove to be a big star during his time in the city.
The Indians hit on this pick, only for it to go so well they determined he was too expensive to keep.
That problem is much bigger than the game itself and has to do with ownership.