On Sunday night the Cincinnati Reds selected right-handed pitcher Rhett Lowder from Wake Forest with the 7th overall pick in the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft. We wrote about his selection here. Later in the night they would make two more picks.

In the competitive balance round A (this is considered a part of the 1st round) the Reds used the 38th overall pick in the draft to select right-handed pitcher Ty Floyd out of LSU. There’s some good and some not-quite-so-good when it comes to Floyd. When he’s on, he can be dominant. In the College World Series title game last month he struck out 17 Florida Gators as he helped lead LSU to a National Championship. But after his season was complete he had a 4.35 ERA. That’s not bad – the average ERA for teams in the SEC was 5.09 – but it wasn’t exactly dominant, either.

Ty Floyd missed a ton of bats this past year. He struck out 120 of the 387 hitters he faced – that’s 31% for those who didn’t want to do the math. But he also walked 37 batters (9.5%). That’s not a bad walk rate, but it’s not a good one, either. He also hit 12 batters, which makes the control numbers move a bit closer to the not-so-good direction. Where Floyd did struggle, though, was keeping the ball in the ballpark. He gave up 16 home runs in his 91.0 innings pitched.

When it comes to stuff, Floyd’s got it. His velocity got a bump this year and he was sitting in the mid-90’s and touched 98 MPH. And his fastball showed good movement on top of that velocity, too. Floyd also throws a slider, curveball, and a change up. All have a chance to be above-average big league offerings with more consistency. You can see his career stats at LSU here.

With their 2nd round pick and the 43rd overall pick the Reds selected shortstop Sammy Stafura from Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Given that he was a high school player, talking about his stats would be pretty useless. What we can do, though, is talk about his athleticism and what scouts who saw him play thought.

When it comes to his athleticism, he’s among the best athletes in the draft. He’s a quick-twitch kind of guy with explosive speed. Keith Law of The Athletic had Stafura rated as the 25th best player in the draft. Other reliable outlets had him between 32 and 43.

A potential 5-tool player, the hit-tool is probably the lowest graded tool he has. Most scouts seem to project it as an average big league hit tool in the future, though some are a little bit lower than that. He’s got the power potential to hit 25 home runs in the future. Mix that with his speed and you’re looking at a guy who could put up some big power/speed numbers. Defensively there isn’t much concern about him remaining at shortstop where he’s got range, good actions, and a strong enough arm to play there long term.

32 Responses

  1. Colorado Red

    Sammy Stafura looks like a good pick at this position. High ceiling and low floor.
    A hit or miss guy.

    Not a bad pick.

  2. Rednat

    you can never have too many shortstops I suppose. Speaking of shortstops I still have not given up on Barrero. I still think he is the best defensive ss in the orginization and next TO EDLC he has the highest ceiling as far as overall talent level

    • Wanderin

      I’m with you regarding Barrero. Just looking over at Adames of the Brewers this weekend, makes me more bullish on Barrero. Adames never had a minors season like Barrero had a couple seasons ago. Yet, Tampa gave him a long leash to take over the reins and solidify himself as a good glove, low contact, above-average power bat. Not sure why Barrero couldn’t do the same given the chance. Might just be a confidence issue. Adames was put into a position of low expectations that eventually led to success. Barrero was put in a position of uber expectation that punished any stumbling or slow growth.

    • AMDG

      Barrero has produced an OPS over 1.250 over his past 8 games, so he’s trending well in AAA.

      But with no options left, and the Reds currently in a playoff hunt, I doubt the Reds would willingly reduce playing time for McLain, EDLC, or Friedl, to give Barrero another chance.

      His best opportunity is likely to hit well enough in AAA to be asked for in a trade to a team who is empty at the SS position, and is willing to give him enough consecutive at bats to let him sink or swim at the plate.

      • Melvin

        He’s played mostly SS at AAA but I understand he started playing CF some again too. It just depends on what trades are made as to whether he might again be a backup for the Reds. If both Newman and Senzel are gone maybe. He’s definitely been coming around lately. There’s a better chance he’s traded I think.

      • Jim Walker

        Barerro can be moved back and forth between AAA and MLB for the rest of this season on the (annual) option that was used to send him down in June.

    • Ted Alfred

      Let’s hope there’s another team out there that needs a shortstop and feels the same way you do and let’s make a trade for a starting pitcher.

  3. bug

    Not so sure about another shortstop that is possibly a below average hitter. Time will tell, I guess.

  4. Tim

    I’m not so sure that if a kid plays ss in high school that it licks him in as he moves up. HS teams usually put their best athletes at SS. He’s got plenty of time to learn other positions

  5. MBS

    Floyd, and Stafura seems like interesting picks. More potential than polish, I like it. 17 K’s in a game is 17 K’s in a game!

    • JayTheRed

      How many innings did he pitch? How many pitches in the game did he make? He would never get that far with Bell.

  6. CI3J

    Floyd sounds like a high risk/high reward project. If he can learn some control, he could be a very good starter or, failing that, a dependable bullpen arm.

    As far as Stafura goes, he’s too young and too unknown to really say anything. Probably has long odds to ever make it to MLB, but that’s true of most draftees.

    • David

      I think that the intensity of play and intensity of coaching at the A or AA level of Minor league baseball, is much higher than in college baseball. Not to say that college baseball coaches are bums, but at A, and AA, there is a lot more play between near-peers in talent and expectations, so if you are mediocre at that level….it shows.
      The guys playing in the minors are frequently the cream of the crop from college and high school baseball programs.
      I think Floyd will struggle at first and barring something bad (like a bad elbow and TJ surgery), will be able to turn it on when he rises to the level of the competition. So yeah, I think he does have a high ceiling, but high draft picks washing out is nothing new. His control will have to get better, and his other pitches will have to be sharpened up. It’s kind of where Andrew Abbott was mid-summer last year, and Connor Phillips was early this season. They mastered their mechanics and their control got a lot better. Abbott right now is the rock of the Reds’ rotation, and maybe Connor Phillips is up here in a few weeks.
      And Don Gullett, at 19 years old, played about 2 months at “A” level ball before he came up as a reliever with the 1970 Reds, and did a great job, usually as a set-up man for Clay Carroll, who was the closer then. I think he was 5-2, with an ERA somewhere in the mid – 2’s range.
      And at age 20, he was starting, and was 16 – 6. He threw hard, and seemed to have a great natural control for throwing strikes. Very compact and simple mechanics. He was very rarely wild.

    • CI3J

      I wonder how much Boone had to do with getting Casey hired.

      What’s next, Dmitri Young for 1st base coach? Pete Harnisch for pitching coach?

      • JayTheRed

        Honestly, I feel like Casey is a good choice for hitting coach. The guy was over.300 batting average most of his career.

        Plus, managers hire people they are close to pretty often all over baseball.

  7. CI3J

    I know, I just thought it would be funny if Boone re-assembles the entire early-2000’s Reds team to be his coaching staff.

    Sean Casey for hitting coach, Dmitri Young for 1st base coach, Eddie Taubensee for 3rd base coach, Pete Harnisch for pitching coach, Danny Graves for bullpen coach, and so on.

    • Mark Moore

      That would be VERY funny. And I doubt it would change much about that organization. I’m biased against the NYY’s, but to play there is to play with a “superstar attitude” that doesn’t always align with a team effort.

  8. Danny

    Doug,

    What does it mean to have “Good Actions” defensively? Thanks!

    • Doug Gray

      How they use their body, hands, footwork, etc.

  9. BK

    MLB Trade Rumors is reporting the Ramos and Karcher were outrighted to Louisville this evening.

    • David

      I think Ramos was outrighted to make a space on the 40 man for Michael Mariot, who came up Sunday to replace Brett Kennedy. Kennedy, by the way, is still on the 40 man. Ramos is hitting pretty good at AAA, but really, no room with the Reds right now. Somebody will likely sign him…somewhere.
      Mariot is older, and it will be interesting to see if he takes Weaver’s place in the rotation.
      My guess for the rotation coming out of the All Star Break is (drum roll!!!!!)

      1) Andrew Abbott
      2) Graham Ashcraft
      3) Brandon Williamson
      4) Ben Lively
      5)…….TBD…. (I’ve seen this guy pitch).

      Probably Weaver, but he has been so lousy, it’s hard to think that he won’t be replaced.
      Break up Andrew Abbott and Williamson (both lefties, although they look different to hitters). Follow Williamson with Lively, because Lively, if healthy, will give you 5-6 innings. Don’t make Williamson 4th, because who knows what the 5th starter will do….a short outing? And hoping that Ashcraft may have turned a corner on pitching.

  10. William

    The Reds have spent 30 years giving opportunities to young players and have zero championships in that period of time. Barrero has had a lot of opportunity. I have not been impressed with his ability to hit major league pitching. Maybe someone else is, but not me. He can continue to try to prove himself in AAA. Wish him the best. I do not agree with those that want to bring him up to the major leagues. CES and Marte are the ones that I am following closely. The Reds are loaded with talent in the infield. I see CES and Marte as part of the Reds future.

    • CI3J

      REALLY hope the Reds don’t give up any meaningful prospects for 3 months of Giolito.

      He’s a good pitcher, but unless the Reds can sign him long term, it would be foolish to give up much prospect capital for a rental, especially when this Reds team is not fully equipped to really make a run at the World Series yet.

      Sorry, but I don’t see it. If the Reds are making a trade, it better be for more than a rental for prospects.

  11. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I loved the pitchers. I would have loved more OF’s.

    If we don’t change their positions now, we don’t need more SS’s. People can cry all day long, “You pick the best athletes”, yada, yada, yada, but that’s why we currently have 4 SS’s currently planned on being in the major leagues by 2026. Because we haven’t been changing their positions. As well as, more SS’s mean less playing time in the minors for the SS’s, time that can help them develop.

  12. Jonathan

    So…what caused Mike Leake to jump from College to MLB rotation the next year. Clearly he wasn’t better than some of the other College SP stars….Was it great timing and he seized the opportunity in 2010? if Rhett Lowder is/was better than Mike Leake was at the time…could he jump right into MLB rotation in 2024?

    • David

      Leake did not have an overpowering fastball, but he had four pitches, coming out of college (Arizona State, PAC-10?), and could get them all over the plate. He was kind of a “finished” pitcher. I think I did seem him pitch (on TV) in college and he did have good command of the strike zone.
      I don’t know squat about Rhett Lowder besides what people/Doug Gray have written about him. He was highly regarded (well, duh!) and is probably “close” to being a ML starter. How close? The baseball experts would know best, but again, how needy are the Reds right now?
      The Reds have just about a whole pitching staff on the DL, and if half of them come back, then the pitching is in a lot better place than it is today.