In what struck most draft-mavens as a bit of a surprise, the Cleveland Indians selected OF Tyler Naquin out of Texas A&M in the first round of Monday night’s Rule 4 Draft.
Naquin hit .380 (92-242) with 18 2B, 6 3B, 3HR & 49RBI in 61 games with Texas A & M this year. Interestingly, quite a few draft experts had Naquin’s college teammate Michael Wacha going to the Indians, a right handed pitcher who is now looking likely to fall out of the top 20.
There is currently some sentiment floating around that the Indians selected Naquin with the hopes of saving some of their budget for later rounds (each team is allotted a capped budget to spend on their first 10 draft picks; exceeding this figure results in draconian penalties including the loss of future first-round picks). Such a strategy would allow them to go over-slot on a second round pick, as some talented players continue to fall down boards due to signability concerns.