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Cleveland selects RHP Tanner Burns with the 36th pick of the 2020 MLB Draft

2020 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

With the 36th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Cleveland has selected right-handed pitcher Tanner Burns out of Auburn.

Realistically, there’s a high chance that Burns will end up as a reliever at the professional level, as there are concerns about his size (6-foot and 205 pounds), durability (he’s dealt with shoulder issues during his college career), and pitch arsenal (his fastball and his slider are his only above-average offerings). With that said, he’s been very good throughout his time at Auburn while pitching in arguably the toughest college baseball conference in the country, posting a 2.86 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP while averaging 10 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine over 37 collegiate appearances (36 starts). He has an impressive mid-90s fastball, and it seems likely that a team will at least try to see if he can become a Carlos Martínez or Sonny Gray-like starter before sending him to the bullpen. If he does end up transitioning to relief, he definitely has the potential to be a lights-out bullpen arm, and that’s not a bad thing at all considering the way teams use pitchers these days.