The Cincinnati Reds had four picks on the first day of the draft, covering the first two rounds. They selected two third basemen, a catcher, and an outfielder on the night. There are still 18 rounds to go over the next two days, but day one seemed to go quite well for the organization.
1st Round, 18th overall: Cam Collier
In what feels like the steal of the 1st round, Cam Collier made it down to the 18th pick in the draft after being almost universally rated in the top 10. The youngest position player in the draft graduated from high school early and then enrolled at Chipola Junior College in order to be draft eligible this year instead of next year (where he was the highest rated high school player).
Despite not turning 18-years-old until this upcoming November, Cam Collier more than held his own at one of the premiere junior college baseball programs in the country where he hit .333/.419/.537 with 20 extra-base hits, 25 walks, and 32 strikeouts in 52 games played.
The third baseman may have one of the best hit tools in the entire draft, above-average to plus power potential, a plus-plus arm, and strong and advanced approach at the plate.
1st Round, 32nd overall: Sal Stewart
It feels like deja vu all over again! Cincinnati’s second pick on the night was another young third baseman. Sal Stewart comes out of Westminster Christian High School in Miami, Florida and was one of the top bats in the high school class this year.
Stewart has an above-average hit tool, above-average to plus raw power, and is known for his quality at-bats and ability to handle good secondary offerings. No one really seems to question whether or not he can hit. The questions at hand for Stewart revolve around whether or not he can remain at third base in the long term. Already 6′ 1″ and 225 lbs as a high school senior there are more than a few scouts who believe his ultimate destination on the field will be first base.
This draft pick was available for the Reds due to compensation from losing Nick Castellanos in free agency.
2nd Round, 55th overall: Logan Tanner
Cincinnati went to Mississippi State to select catcher Logan Tanner with their 2nd round pick. There’s not much argument that he’s the best defensive catcher in the draft this season, showing off a big time arm and good receiving abilities behind the plate.
At the plate is where he has some areas he needs to work on. He never hit better than .287 in his three seasons at Mississippi State. His hit tool is considered to be below-average. Tanner does have some power potential, and he showed good power in 2021, but it regressed in the 2022 season as his slugging percentage dropped by 100 points.
2nd Round, 73rd overall: Justin Boyd
For their final pick on the first day of the draft, the Reds selected outfielder Justin Boyd from Oregon State. The 2022 season was the first year he played every day, but he took advantage of it as he hit .373/.490/.577 with 24 stolen bases in 62 games.
Primarily a right fielder in his two seasons at Oregon State, Boyd’s best bet for an every day job in the big leagues will be if he can slide to center because his power just doesn’t profile enough for a corner position. He’s got good speed, but he does lack the experience there. If he can play center it takes a little pressure off of his bat compared to if he can’t play center and he has to maximize every aspect of his game to profile as an every day guy.