Focusing on the Northeast pays off for the Indians
Baseball America|December 2020
Over the past few years, the Indians have mined the Northeast for talent. The 2020 team got big-time contributions from former college righthanders Aaron Civale (Northeastern) and James Karinchak (Bryant). Waiting in the wings are three more prospects from the region, all from high school: third baseman Nolan Jones (Bensalem, Pa.), catcher Bo Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and righthander Lenny Torres (Beacon, N.Y). All five of those players were signed by area scout Mike Kanen, a former Baseball America intern. BA recently spoke with Kanen about his first impressions of those players. The interview is edited for brevity.
JOSH NORRIS

Q: When did you hook on officially with the Indians?

A: So (after the 2013 World Wood Bat Association World Championship in Jupiter, Fla.), I was able to have informal interviews with Brad Grant, (the Indians’) scouting director at the time; Paul Gillispie, assistant scouting director at the time; and Matt Forman, another former BA intern.

About a day after the Winter Meetings had ended, they asked if I would want to move to Cleveland for a baseball operations internship. So, kind of sight unseen I ended up moving to Cleveland in the dead of January—my first day in Cleveland was during the polar vortex. It was minus30 degrees or so. I ended up spending probably the first eight or nine months of 2014 with the Indians and Cleveland as a baseball operations intern, and I ended up transitioning more into an assistant amateur scouting role. Soon after that is when Clint (Longenecker) joined us as well, so we kind of had a BA duo in the office at that time.

Q: What were your first impressions of guys like Jones (second round, 2016) and Naylor (first round, 2018), and what about them made you pound the table for them?

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Focusing on the Northeast pays off for the Indians

Over the past few years, the Indians have mined the Northeast for talent. The 2020 team got big-time contributions from former college righthanders Aaron Civale (Northeastern) and James Karinchak (Bryant). Waiting in the wings are three more prospects from the region, all from high school: third baseman Nolan Jones (Bensalem, Pa.), catcher Bo Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and righthander Lenny Torres (Beacon, N.Y). All five of those players were signed by area scout Mike Kanen, a former Baseball America intern. BA recently spoke with Kanen about his first impressions of those players. The interview is edited for brevity.

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