Scouting the Cleveland Indians 2016 Draft: Hosea Nelson and Ben Krauth

The IBI's Tony Lastoria provides some insight and information on 2016 draft picks Hosea Nelson and Ben Krauth as well as detailed comments from Indians Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant...

Hosea Nelson - Outfielder

9th round, Clarendon Junior College (TX)
2016 stats: 30 G, .222 AVG, 15 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 11 BB, 45 K, 13 SB, .673 OPS

Quick summary: Nelson is a Michigan native who ended up at Clarendon College, which is a junior college in Texas. He had a scholarship out of high school to play for Oakland of the Horizon League, but changed his commitment after graduation to Wabash Valley where he struggled in 2015 in limited play. He went from Wabash to Clarendon and as a sophomore he won the conference MVP with a slash line of .531/.606/1.020/1.626. He is an athlete who has some strength, plus speed and the ability to play all three spots in the outfield.

Grant’s take: "We liked the power. He is a strong dude with power. I know it was Clarendon, but he had 20 homers, 18 doubles and 9 triples there. He started off at Wabash in Illinois and during the course of the summer someone saw him and invited him down to Texas and he went there and kind of flourished and took off. He hit .530 down there with a 1.600 OPS so it was off the charts numbers. When you watch him he has tools. He is a plus runner with power that can play a corner outfield position and center field too. If he can hit enough to get to that power you have a pretty good player. It is just getting through the adjustments with the bat for him.”

Ben Krauth - Left-handed pitcher

16th round, University of Kansas
2016 stats: 16 G, 4-0, 1.66 ERA, 38.0 IP, 28 H, 9 R (7 ER), 2 HR, 7 BB, 46 K

Quick summary: Krauth is a six foot left-handed senior signing from Kansas. He transferred there from Diablo Valley where he pitched his first two years. He doesn’t throw hard as he mostly sits in the upper 80s, but his changeup is more than 10 MPH slower and fools hitters. It is why he was able to post a strikeout rate over 10 his senior season. The question remains whether the low velocity will work in the minors. He also has a very good pick off move, knows how to pitch and is a hard worker. He is a guy who might have a chance as a reliever down the road based on the strength of his changeup.

Grant’s take: “Steve Abney, our scout out there, has been doing this a long time and he also seems to find some of these guys. He was a senior but left-handed. He has some deception to his delivery and some deception to how he does it and lets his fastball play. It is an 87-90 MPH fastball with a curveball and slider that are good. I think his best secondary pitch is his changeup. He is a guy that is kind of funky and is deceptive and locates the fastball to both sides and gets swing and miss with it. There is more sink life to it than run or tail, so it is kind of a sinking, deceptive fastball and it plays. He is a reliever only at this point as I don’t think he has the pitches to turn over a lineup multiple times. I think there is something in there we can develop. Steve drafted Jason Stanford and some guys who you didn’t know what they were going to be and they ended up being something. I think this is another case where you let it play out and see what happens, but he is off to a good start."

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