CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has selected outfielder Tyler Naquin with the 15th overall selection in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
Naquin, 21, is a junior outfielder at Texas A & M University in College Station, TX. The 6-3, left-handed hitting outfielder finished his three-year collegiate career with a .348 batting average with 49 doubles, 13 triples, seven homeruns, and 112 RBI in 187 games. Tyler hails from Spring, TX outside of Houston where he was a two-time all-State selection at Klein Collins High School. Naquin was previously drafted out of high school in the 33rd round in 2009 by the Baltimore Orioles.
Indians Director of Amateur Scouting, Brad Grant said the Indians have had their eye on Naquin since they first saw him in high school. “We scouted him in high school and for two years at Texas A&M. He’s been firmly on our radar.” Grant said. “He’s an above average hitter with really good bat speed and the ability to drive the ball the opposite way.”
The Indians are currently lacking depth in the outfield, and they feel that Naquin is the guy to help build that depth for the future.
While Naquin is currently playing right field for Texas A&M, Grant says the Indians plan is to use him in center field. “With his tools, speed, instincts and arm strength, we believe that he can play center field at the professional level.” Grant said. He went on to say he witnessed Naquin make some unbelievable plays in the outfield, and that his defensive skills are second to none. “He’s one of the better college hitters in the draft with a well above average arm.”
2012 marks Grant’s fifth year drafting for the Indians. The club’s previous first-round selections under Grant include Lonnie Chisenhall in 2008, Alex White in 2009, Drew Pomeranz in 2010 and Francisco Lindor in 2011.
The 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft will resume in the second round at noon on Tuesday. The Tribe’s second round selection is in the 79th overall slot. The club’s third round pick is the 110th overall slot.