(Ed: This post was written by the newest member of the Redleg Nation team, Jeremy Powers.)
As the Redlegs got back on track, beating the Cubbies Monday night on the diamond of GABP, Reds’ scouting director Chris Buckley, GM Walt Jocketty, and executives were busy using the 27th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft selecting Robert Stephenson out of Alhambra High School in Martinez, Calif.
The 18-year-old Stephenson stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs in at 190 pounds. He has a commanding fastball that clocks in at 98 mph alongside a curve ball with upside, a slider and change-up. Although Stephenson has indicated plans to sign a letter-of-intent with the University of Washington, the Reds still believe they will be able to sign Stephenson to a minor league deal.
Stephenson’s high school numbers support the first round pick’s projection to the big leagues. During his senior campaign, Stephenson went 7-2 with a 1.61 ERA and started off the season with back-to-back no-hitters. With the rotation struggling this season Stephenson could be just what the club needs down the road. Just don’t expect a Mike Leake type of development with Stephenson as minor league ball should pay dividends for the promising right-hander. (Be sure to watch the Reds/Cubs series on FS-Ohio; maybe Thom and company will speak to Stephenson in the near future.)