The Cincinnati Reds made 40 selections earlier this week in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft. Not all of the players will sign. In fact, we know that at least one of them is choosing to go to college rather than sign. But we do know that normally, there will be about 25-30 players who will sign from a given draft class.
This was the first year that the Reds draft was run by someone other than Chris Buckley since 2005. Buckley drafted and signed 7 All-Stars, with a chance for more than a few still out there, but this offseason he was promoted to a different role in the organization and Brad Meador took over as the Director of Amateur Scouting.
Things were a bit different. But some things were the same. In what seems like a trend, the Cincinnati Reds selected someone named Nick with their 1st pick for the 4th time since 2012. Nick Lodolo, a left-handed pitcher from TCU was the #7 overall selection on Monday night. He was joined as a Reds pick by infielder Rece Hinds, a high schooler from IMG Academy in Florida later that night, who was the teams 2nd round selection and #49 overall pick.
Both players are expected to sign. Of course, everyone taken in the top 10 rounds is expected to sign. When Major League Baseball went to a slotting system with that money tied to the overall bonus pool money teams were allowed to spend, it changed the game in the draft. Now teams call the players before drafting them to be sure that they will sign if drafted for a specified amount of money. If the player says they won’t, then that player will not be drafted. Expect everyone taken in rounds 1-10 to sign unless there’s a medical issue that pops up during their physical.
Day two of the draft began with the Reds selecting infielder Tyler Callihan out of Providence High School in Jacksonville. Last night he reportedly agreed to terms with the Reds for a $1.5M signing bonus, more than twice the value of the slot he was selected in. The team clearly believes they’ve got the other signings locked in to the point that they can make this work without facing a penalty that would force them to give up future draft picks.
With 40 picks, while we could dive into all of them, we’re not going to do that here. If you are interested in reading reports on all of the 40 players selected, you can check out my coverage at RedsMinorLeagues.com from Monday through Wednesday here. What we can and will do here, is break down a few things that the Reds did do earlier this week.
The team took 17 pitchers, 17 infielders, and 6 outfielders. Among the 17 infielders taken there were 8 catchers – though 2 of them seem unsignable and were taken in the 38th and 40th rounds, respectively. The Reds selected 3 players from the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy. 2 players were selected that were born in Canada. 12 picks were from high schools. 5 picks came from junior colleges. 23 picks were from 4-year colleges.13 of their draft picks are already 22 or 23-years-old. That’s a bit different than years in the past.
One of their picks was local. Sort of. In the 39th round the team selected University of Cincinnati outfielder A.J. Bumpass. It was actually the second time that the Reds had selected him. In 2017 the team spent a 29th round pick on him, but he chose to return to school. He was undrafted in 2018. Bumpass is from North Carolina, but he’s been a Bearcat for four seasons, and a full-time starter for the last three.
What are they saying about the Reds draft?
Fangraphs prospect guru’s Kiley McDaniels and Eric Longenhagen split up the duties of reviewing Day 1 of the draft. Here’s what one of them had to say about how the Reds did:
Working under the assumption they wouldn’t get a chance to take one of the six top bats, the Reds had been fixated on Lodolo for a while. He’s the consensus best pitcher in the draft, and Cincy still needs more of that at the big league level. Hinds is one of the bigger boom or bust hitting prospects in the draft, with 70 raw power undermined by whiff issues. He’s a hulking 6-foot-4 with something close to average long speed and he can do backflips, but at times he looks lost at third base. He could be a monster, he could be Jake Gatewood.
Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline broke down some of the best drafts in his opinion this year. The Cincinnati Reds made the list, coming in at #7. Here’s what he had to say about their haul:
Cincinnati opened by landing the consensus best pitcher in Texas Christian left-hander Nick Lodolo (first), who has three solid pitches and control to match. After that, the Reds stocked up on power with high school sluggers Rece Hinds (second) and Tyler Callihan (third) and Alabama-Birmingham right-hander Graham Ashcraft, who can reach 98 mph with his fastball. Chipola (Fla.) JC second baseman Ivan Johnson (fourth) and Grand Canyon outfielder Quin Cotton (eighth) have the offensive potential to exceed their Draft status.
My quick take
Grabbing the top pitcher in the draft is always a good thing. In a draft that’s been considered weak, landing the top pitcher in the draft and also grabbing a few big upside high schoolers in rounds 2 and 3 seems like a good play here.
The 2019 Cincinnati Reds Draft Picks
|2||49||Rece||Hinds||SS||IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.||HS|
|3||85||Tyler||Callihan||2B||Providence HS, Jacksonville||HS|
|4||114||Ivan||Johnson||2B||Chipola (Fla.) JC||JC|
|7||204||Eric||Yang||C||UC Santa Barbara||4YR|
|11||324||Wendell||Marrero||OF||Puerto Rico Baseball Academy||HS|
|12||354||Yan||Contreras||SS||Puerto Rico Baseball Academy||HS|
|14||414||Garrett||Wolforth||C||Nova Southeastern (Fla.)||4YR|
|16||474||Jason||Parker||RHP||North Carolina State||4YR|
|20||594||Jose||Rodriguez||RHP||Cumberland County (N.J.) JC||JC|
|21||624||Ashton||Creal||OF||John A. Logan (Ill.) JC||JC|
|25||744||Yamil||Nieves||C||Puerto Rico Baseball Academy||HS|
|28||834||Michael||Miles||RHP||Cumberland County (N.J.) JC||JC|
|29||864||Yassel||Pino||3B||South Miami HS||HS|
|30||894||Ryan||Leitch||C||Sinclair SS, Whitby, Ont.||HS|
|31||924||Justin||Gomez||C||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||4YR|
|33||984||Trey||Clarkson||LHP||Mesquite HS, Glendale, Ariz.||HS|
|34||1014||Jason||Hodges||OF||Marist HS, Chicago||HS|
|35||1044||Tanner||Cooper||RHP||Finger Lakes (N.Y.) JC||JC|
|36||1074||Alexander||Johnson||RHP||McKinley HS, Buffalo||HS|
|38||1134||Maxwell||Romero||C||Pembroke Pines (Fla.) HS||HS|
|40||1194||Matt||McCormick||C||St Laurence HS, Burbank, Ill.||HS|
I really hope we are able to sign Lloyd. He was great for IU this year and was a major factor for us winning the B1G. He’s a 4 year graduate so he has no option to going back, so I can see him taking what they may offer. I too would like to know who the one name is that is for sure going back to school.
Maxwell Romero Jr, 38th rounder.
Mike Leake vs Nick Lodolo – who is/was more polished at this point? Could Lodolo make the jump straight to the Starting 5 or was Leake extremely unquie in that?
Mike Leake was more polished than just about everyone ever coming out of the draft. But we also need to understand how stupid the “Mike Leake jumped straight to the Majors out of the draft” stuff really is. Mike Leake was drafted in June. Mike Leake didn’t pitch in the Majors for another 10 months after that. He went to instructional league. Then he went to the Arizona Fall League. Then he had a full spring training. THEN he pitched in the Majors.
It’s still insanely impressive. But Brandon Finnegan reached the Majors after the draft much quicker than Mike Leake did. So did Ryan Wagner.
Chances that Lodolo is in the Majors by April 2020? Next to none.
FWIW, the lede to Keith Law’s summary, to add to the above, was “The Reds crushed this draft.”
But what did some no name from The Tennessean grade the Reds’ draft performance?
But some things were the game? SHB same.
Also who was the teams SHB team’s