Lance McAlister’s blog has a summation of Jim Callis draft report on the Reds 2006 draft:
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Baseball America draft report on Reds
Jim Callis, Baseball America
Best Pro Debut: SS Chris Valaika (3) won the Pioneer League MVP award, set a league mark with a 32-game hitting streak and batted .324/.387/.520 with eight homers and 60 RBIs. OF Danny Dorn (32) batted .354/.457/.573 and paced the Pioneer League in hitting and slugging percentage. RHP Jordan Smith (6), who went 6-3, 3.01, and 2B Justin Turner (7), who hit .338/.411/.511, were PL all-stars.
Best Athlete: The top college athlete in the draft, OF Drew Stubbs (1) plays Gold Glove-caliber defense in center, has well above-average speed, plus power and average arm strength. The only question is whether he’ll make enough consistent contact to hit for average, and he didn’t answer it by batting .252 in his debut. OF Justin Reed (4) had a football scholarship to play running back at Mississippi, but signed with the Reds. SS Milton Loo, one of the game’s prime draft-and-follows from 2005, is another quality athlete.
Best Pure Hitter: Valaika’s quick hands help him at the plate and allow him to compensate for fringe-average range at shortstop. Loo’s best tool is his bat, and he hit .372 before an elbow injury ended his debut after 14 games.
Best Raw Power: Since Texas’ Disch-Falk Field opened in 1975, Stubbs is just one of four players who has twice cleared the 20-foot batting eye that stands 400 feet away from the plate. 1B Logan Parker (12) is a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder who hit .329 with nine homers in his first taste of pro ball.
Fastest Runner: Despite battling turf toe, Stubbs swiped 19 bases in 23 pro attempts. Reed has plus speed, as does Loo.
Best Defensive Player: Stubbs. Turner is the best infielder and probably could get by at shortstop even with his fringy arm.
Best Fastball: RHP Josh Ravin (5) had a tired arm in the spring but recovered to throw 94-96 mph in the summer. RHP Sean Watson (2) is just behind him at 92-95 mph. Smith touched 96 mph at the CC of Southern Nevada and worked at 90-93 in pro ball. RHPs Jeremy Burchette (9) and Josh Roenicke (10) can reach 94.
Best Breaking Ball: Watson’s 82-85 mph knuckle-curve. He joined Todd Helton as the only pitchers to reach double digits in saves at Tennessee.
Most Intriguing Background: OF Carson Kainer (14) didn’t sign, instead preparing for a kidney transplant in September. A pure hitter, he still may sign with the Reds. His uncle Don pitched briefly in the majors. RHP Travis Webb (8) is a cousin of longtime NBA guard Craig Ehlo.
Closest To The Majors: Watson.
Best Late-Round Pick: Dorn and RHP Derrik Lutz (19). Lutz starred in the Cape Cod League in 2005 but fell prey to elbow tendinitis this spring. When healthy, he has a 90-92 mph sinker and an effective slider.
The One Who Got Away: The Reds couldn’t lock up draft-eligible sophomore SS Ryan Wehrle (18), who improved significantly and drew comparisons to Michael Cuddyer in his second season at Nebraska.
Assessment: To a large extent, how well Stubbs hits will determine the success of the draft. However, early returns indicate that that scouting director Chris Buckley’s first draft with Cincinnati could be one of its deeper efforts in years.
My only comments on this are that Sean Watson looked HORRIBLE in his time at Dayton, while Lutz looked pretty good.