CLEVELAND — In the midst of a bitter labor negotiation, Major League Baseball proceeded with its first-year player draft on Wednesday, and the Indians added a man they hope will be a future star infielder.
The Tribe selected shortstop Carson Tucker with the 23rd overall pick. The 18-year-old Phoenix native graduated from Mountain Pointe High School in May, and was ranked as the 52nd-best prospect by MLB.com.
In 92 games with the Pride, Tucker hit .390 with 68 RBIs and an OPS of 1.029. He was named to Rawlings' preseason All-West Region first team and hit two home runs three games into his senior season before the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to play.
Tucker is currently committed to the University of Texas, so the Indians will have to entice him a bit financially if they want him to skip college. However, the last time Cleveland failed to sign one of its first-round picks was 2001 (Alan Horne), and Tucker himself seemed more than open to coming to Northeast Ohio.
Tucker's older brother Cole was also a first-round draft pick, having been taken 24th by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014. The elder shortstop made his big league debut last season, and hit .211 and tallied two defensive runs saved in 56 games with the Bucs.
The last time the Tribe drafted a shortstop in the first round was 2011, when they drafted a young Francisco Lindor out of Montverde High School in Florida. Some on social medial speculated that the drafting of Tucker means the team is set to move on from the four-time All-Star and soon-to-be free agent, but most didn't read much into it.
The Indians also had the 36th overall selection, and took starting pitcher Tanner Burns out of Auburn. The 21-year-old right-hander struck out 210 and had a 2.86 ERA across 188 2/3 innings in his college career.