It took Matt McLain a bit of time to get on the field after his college season ended. This year Major League Baseball held the draft 5 weeks later than it usually does so that they could showcase it during the All-Star break. While I’m sure the executives at MLB loved it, everyone who actually works in baseball development hated it. And they hated it for good reason: It kept guys off of the field for an addition 5-6 weeks that they normally would have gotten playing time, and for some pitchers it means that they won’t pitch at all this season after being drafted because they didn’t throw in games for 6-8 weeks before they signed and ramping them up now would be dangerous.

Cincinnati has signed all 22 of their draft picks. Not a single pitcher has been activated yet. Only five draft picks have been activated out of the Reds draft class, but last night saw their 1st round pick, Matt McLain activated out in Goodyear and he was immediately placed in the starting lineup at shortstop and had him batting in the leadoff spot.  Far more advanced than much of the competition, McLain is basically with the complex level team just to get back into the groove of things after not playing in games for June or July after his college season came to an end. His advanced ability showed right away.

In his first at-bat of his career he tripled. Unfortunately he was trying for an inside-the-park home run and was thrown out at the plate as he tried to score. The now former UCLA Bruin shortstop would also add a double later in the game and finished his debut going 2-3 with two extra-base hits. He will likely spend a few more days in Arizona before heading off to a full season affiliate.

39 Responses

  1. RedBB

    Have any of our draft picks played yet? Also do you think Mclain will see time in A or A+ ball this year or remain in Rookie ball? TIA Doug

    • Doug Gray

      Literally every question you ask is answered in this article if you would read it.

      • Moses

        That reply seems more harsh than it needs to be: you say five players have been “activated” but not whether they’ve played (since you made the distinction for McLain), and you say that he’ll be moving on, but nothing about whether that would be to Billings or A/A+ (not sure which affiliates have survived contraction and Covid).

      • Doug Gray

        Well, if McLain played last night then the question of “have ANY of our draft picks played yet” is answered.

        But yes, Jack Rogers, Blake Dunn, Mike Trautwein (edited/corrected), and Ruben Ibarra have also played and gotten about 10 combined at-bats so far in Arizona.

        Billings no longer exists in the Reds organization. It’s just the team in Goodyear, then the full-season teams. So moving up means he’s not staying in rookie ball.

      • Doug Gray

        But more so, this is about the hundredth time in the last who knows how long questions are asked that are answered within the article.

        It’s just frustrating to see nearly every day. Sometimes the accumulation of frustration gets that submit button.

      • oklared

        Might be time for a break. I understand your frustration but it is kind of in the nature of receiving questions. Unless this is a repeat offender daily/weekly, seems the tone was a bit harsh. It is a public board and not everyone is as informed or connected as you areas as to the levels of teams and other players status. It seems you have had several pointed responses to this sort of question in last few weeks, generally don’t remember these type of responses in previous years. Best of luck in this frustration

      • Doug Gray

        There are literally 1000 people that leave comments (not 1000 comments, 1000+ people) every week. It’s impossible to keep track of who is asking what every day.

        My point was pretty simple, and it may have come off rude, but every question that was asked was answered within the article. Matt McLain is going to be promoted from Arizona shortly. The question was asked if he was going to remain in Arizona. The question asked if any draft picks had played yet when the article was about Matt McLain, the 1st round draft pick and his play last night.

        Perhaps if the question was asking about how the other picks were performing it would have been a better question, but that’s not what asked.

        And man, I wish I could take a break. I’d love to take a break. Or have an off day. But this isn’t a job with vacation days or PTO. If I don’t go to work, then there’s no money coming in. I signed up for it, I guess, but I can’t just call the boss and say “I’m taking off today”.

      • Reds fan

        Try saying “serenity now” a few times. Just kidding. You do a great job and I appreciate it.

      • Moses

        Kudos to you, Doug, for being honest, self-reflective, and non-defensive about the feedback. And for replying to all of the comments. This is not easy work, to be sure, and we appreciate you!

    • burtgummer01

      Unfortunately Doug common sense isn’t so common

    • Corey

      Didn’t sound harsh to me. It was a bad question.

  2. Arthur

    Gotta say – starting off your career with an inside-the-park HR would have been pretty darned awesome.

    Nothing but best wishes for this young man – may he find a place in Cincinnati quickly, and may his stay be long and highlighted with a few fancy rings.

  3. RojoB

    How close was the play at home?
    Did the coach send him?

    • Doug Gray

      No way of knowing. There’s no video. No audio broadcast. Unless you were there in person, you’re never going to know and I was about 2800 miles away.

  4. Mark Moore

    That’s very encouraging. Glad they got him into game action as quickly as they did. Difficult year given the extended delay in the draft and when minor league seasons end.

  5. redsgettingbetter

    I think Mike Trautman is actually Mike Trautwein or i am wrong?

    • Doug Gray

      You are right. And I’m an idiot.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Mr Doug, You are not at all, because I think if you were, you would not be doing this great job of collecting and providing this valuable information. It’s just that some of us want to contribute in the corrections.
        Go Reds!

      • Doug Gray

        Always point out corrections, it’s appreciated.

  6. Michael Spriggs

    Great start and he’ll fit right in with the big league club if he has no idea what to do on the basepaths. It’d be great if the Reds would work on base-running IQ this offseason. Still, it’s pretty exciting that the major league club is playing fantastic and there are so many hopefuls on the way.

    • Doc

      Getting thrown out at a base is not the same as not having a clue about base running. Sometimes an outfielder makes an excellent throw, as does the relay man. Then again, some folks always bemoan the pop up cloud on a sunny day.

    • Rednat

      +10000. yes, i feel this needs to be the top issue addressed over the offseason. an aggressive yet intelligent approach to baserunning in 2022 will transition this offense from very good to elite!

      • Arthur

        You must keep in mind one simple, stubborn fact about this team: with the exception of India, they are all SLOW. Watching them run the bases is like watching India and 8 catchers. In fact, I would hazard a guess that Lorenzen and Gray are the second fastest men in the lineup when they pitch.

        Winker, Castellanos, Votto, Barnhart, Suarez or Moustakas, and even Farmer – average speed at best. Aquino and Akiyama seem fairly quick, but they don’t spend much time running the bases.

        You can coach them to run the bases better, but you can’t coach them to be faster.

      • PTBNL

        Don’t sleep on Shogo. He’s a burner too……..when he plays.

      • Old-school

        I agree with the speed issue. But, lets not lump everyone into the same slow category.

        Votto, Suarez, and Barnhart are snails with Suarez not even a snail who tries, which puts him in the glacier sundial category.

        Moose, Castellanos, Farmer, and Winker are slow.

        So you have to look at which players can you overlook their liabilities at speed who still bring great value in other areas and what opportunities are there to address the whole.

        Center field and Byron Buxton Minnesota would be an off-season area that would fix Winker and Castellanos speed and defense. He’s the fastest player in MLB, the best defensive CF in the game and an all Star.

        Sign Castellanos long term.
        Trade Senzel and Mahle for Buxton and a Twins A star.

        Moose can play 2 more years. No clue what to do with Suarez other than benching him might change things.

        Barrero, McClain and India are the future at 2b/3b/SS.

  7. Redsvol

    Very encouraging start for Matt McLain. I hope more of the other draft picks get some action. I think Doug said the big 1st baseman already has a home run. I’d like to see jay allen and the pitcher from Virginia get some action this year

  8. Eddiek957

    No information on McClain’s play at shortstop?

    • RojoB

      I’m speculating that due ti what Doug says above regarding the absence of video or radio if the game, that almost all info is of a box score type for the games in this venue

  9. Lego

    Yes…more than necessarily harsh, DG.

  10. Old-school

    Maybe I am drinking the Reds Kool Aid 8 games over .500 for the first time since the Reds lost the wild card game in October 2013. It’s August 2021 and the Reds are 8 over .500

    But, Nick Krall is doing a good job. Drafting and developing and building a team for the long haul. It seems by reports that McClain has a high floor and you can never have too many shortstops. Speaking of which, look at the Louisville bats twitter and highlight of Barrero glove flip 6-4-3 DBP last night. He’s looking confident.

    Also MLB pipeline twitter has a link to an article on Hunter Greene.

    Lots of Seth Etherton quotes and they arent using the kid gloves with him. He started a throwing program between games and really working on his change up and off speed. Etherton is getting him ready to succeed. He looks like he is developing and making up lost time from injury and Covid 2020.

    • Indy Red Man

      I don’t know why some of RLN is scared to use him in relief in September? Maybe not back to back days or 2 out 3 or anything, but 5-6-7-8 outs every 4 days? Thats not asking that much and could really help protect some leads. We should be going for a 11 game winning streak tonite except for 2 games the pen blew.

      • Old-school

        I am not a roster guru, but it appears if Greene were added to the 40 man roster by august 31, he would be eligible for the post season.
        He’s thrown only 85 innings so he needs another 5-6 starts to get up to 120 innings or so and also continue his develop. You dont want to stop his innings now with COVID limits in 2020 and injury limits in 2019.
        Ive got no problem bringing Greene up Labor Day weekend-ish

      • DaveCT

        Welp, even though it was a front office or two ago, the Chapman issue still carries weight among RLN. Fair or not fair, accurate or inaccurate, right? It just is.

        Then, the Antone bullpen assignment this year tweaked all sorts of nerves, too. Or, as Yogi said, deja vu all over again.

        My primary concern with Hunter, especially, or any young arm, is that they get the call when they are ready. And again, we have seen a bunch of the more troubling type of failure among our better young arms — where they stall or don’t pan out as starters — and they also seem rushed, on enough occasions or so it seems.

        That said, Greene the other night looked fantastic, approaching ML ready. High gas, breaking ball, change. And my question then was, what next for him? The main thing I could think of, as a total amateur, is that he now show consistency.

        A bullpen assignment this year may not be against his development. But bringing him up without the necessary preparation would, in my opinion not be advisable. I guess its really just being conservative. So it’s not really fear. It’s just wanting the club to fully use its new program (Boddy, DJ). Else why bother having it?

  11. Daryll

    Or maybe, Doug, you should remember that nobody is going to go to your pay site if you are an a-hole on the free?

    • Doug Gray

      I’ll just have to live with that one, then. We’ve all got our days my guy.

    • Redsvol

      Read this article and then read that post. I can see why someone might get frustrated. Doug puts a lot of work into his articles. The least we could do is read them before we start posting.

  12. kevinz

    Nice early start.
    Keep a Nice approach.
    Find way up here fast.
    Now hope for Health and good Play.