Logan Ice is a talented catcher out of Oregon State, who now finds himself trying to climb the ranks of the Cleveland Indians system.
In 2016, the Cleveland Indians selected catcher Logan Ice out of Oregon State University with the 72nd-overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft. Ice, 22, is known for his work behind the plate, with Cleveland brass believing his bat will soon follow. Should that happen, Ice has a chance to be in the major leagues soon, joining other young stars such as Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor.
Recently, Ice talked about his path to the professional ranks, where he has to improve and what his goals are in the short and long-term. He finished the 2017 season in Single-A.
Q: After not being drafted in 2013, did you have a chip on your shoulder heading into 2014?
A: “Yeah the draft was a complicated thing, and I wasn’t necessarily the highest rated. There was a kid from my area that was really highly-touted baseball player out of high school. So he kind of overshadowed me a little bit. I haven’t really been a big tool guy as far as a big arm or a lot of power so I didn’t really impress (at first). So as far as showcase-type stuff that it was easy to see. I’m a big guy, I’m like 5-foot-10, 5-foot-11. As far as the draft, it was kind of one of those things where I could have got picked.
“But teams want to make sure you’re going to sign when you are selected. I wasn’t going to sign because it wasn’t going to be enough money, and I was strongly committed to Oregon State and going to college. But it was definitely a good (experience) going to Oregon State and was probably the best decision I ever made. I can’t imagine how seeing professional baseball for those kids that come from Latin America that are 16 or high school kids that are 17,18 years old. I don’t know how they do it.”
Ice’s career offensive numbers at Oregon State included a .279 batting average with 42 extra-base hits in 164 games. Ice is also a switch-hitter that provides pop, a rarity at any position, let alone catcher.
Q: What was your favorite baseball moment in college?
A: “I think my favorite moment, there was two. I was from Washington, but I ended up not going to the University of Washington and instead went to Oregon State for baseball. With that being said, I was a Washington guy and they recruited me pretty heavily, and I ended up not going there. We ended up playing them.
The series was tied 1-1 and we were on a Sunday game, and basically, it came down to (me). They intentionally walked the guy to get to me and I was a freshman at the time. I ended up hitting a walk-off to win the series. Ultimately, we ended up winning the Pac 12 that year, so that was number one.
The other thing would be winning the Pac 12 championship my freshman year. It was an extremely honorable thing and extremely exciting for me.”
Q: How has the Cleveland Indians organization benefited you as a player?
A: “It’s a really good player development organization. They do a very good job. They put a lot of emphasis/value on players. They like to acquire players via trade and they usually see those guys sign multi-million dollar deals. The Indians really pride themselves on being a smaller market team. The guys that they draft and the guys that they sign internationally are the guys that they’re going to rely on to make it to the big leagues.
“With that being said, they put a lot of emphasis on their player development, personnel, and the guys that are teaching and coaching the younger players and the guys in the minor leagues. So, you know, they’ve done a lot of work thus far in my short minor league career to help me continue to improve my abilities.”
Q: What do you think is your best tool on the field?
A: “Catching defensively, a defensive-minded guy. Hitting kind of came around in college in my last year. But yeah, defense is definitely my strong suit.”
Q: What are you trying to work on heading into this season?
A: “Hitting is always something that’s going to be. It doesn’t come natural to me as much as some other guys, and it’s just something you’ve got to work on and continue to work on. And so, you know, I wouldn’t say I’m bad at it. It just doesn’t come natural to me where some guys naturally can just hit and maybe their defense is weak. So it’s just give or take, you got to work on your weaknesses and strengths as well. So offensively would be the area that I would like to take bigger strides.”
Q: Who’s the coach that you’re most impacted by?
A: “Justin Toole. He actually played with the Indians for I want to say seven years. He never made it to the big leagues, but he made all the way to Triple-A. He was a middle infielder who had the tactical accolades. He played all nine positions in one game. He’s just kind of a utility guy that understands how the minor leagues is and he made it up to Triple-A. Really young guy, he’s like 30 years old and enjoys a closer stage of life to where I’m at and relates well with younger players.
“He’s kind of taken me and we kind of think along the same wavelength. So we’ve kind of hit off with each other, and I go to him for a lot of different things.”
Q: What are you looking forward to in 2018?
A: “Continuing to get better. I mean, my league is kind of a different beast compared to college. Less about winning, more about yourself. And so, I’m not really into the whole life for yourself type deal. That kind of makes it more stressful, and you feel the weight of a bad performance.”
Overall, Ice is in the next wave of top catching prospects. He has great defensive tools with a bat he hopes will come around. The backstop has the promise of becoming an everyday big leaguer thanks to the aforementioned defense and raw power he possesses. The 22-year-old has shown he can put baseballs in the seats, so belting 15 homers in a season isn’t out of the question.