Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, drafted in the second round in 2002. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
On to the next club, the Cincinnati Reds.
Cincinnati Reds Draft Analysis
1) Yasmani Grandal, C, University of Miami-Florida: A very strong defender who took a big step forward with the bat this year, showing power and plate discipline. He probably won't need much time in the minors, and I think he was a terrific pick, though his price tag won't be cheap.
2) Ryan LaMarre, OF, University of Michigan: A fine athlete with excellent makeup, LaMarre can be inconsistent with the bat and struggled with a thumb/wrist injury this spring. He's a good pick in the second round, with loads of upside but some risk as well.
3) Devin Lohman, SS, Long Beach State University: Another in a long line of LBSU shortstops, Lohman has a decent glove at short but may end up at second base ultimately. He can hit for average and show some pop to the gaps, but isn't a huge power guy. In the end he might fit best as a strong utility infielder, but there is a non-zero chance he can hit enough to get beyond that.
4) Brodie Greene, 2B, Texas A&M: Another middle infielder from a strong college program, Greene is an easily-signable senior, runs well, has a strong throwing arm, showed some pop in college, and is very versatile with the glove. His work ethic is excellent and he has a good shot at being a solid utilityman.
5) Wes Mugarian, RHP, Florida HS: He'll need to be bought out of Alabama, but his 90-92 MPH fastball and good curve make it likely that the Reds will do so. I don't think they would have spent a fifth round pick otherwise.
6) Drew Cisco, RHP, South Carolina HS: Another signability question, Cisco is committed to Georgia. He is one of the most polished high school pitchers available and really knows how to pitch (his grandfather is longtime coach Galen Cisco), but average velocity kept him from truly elite status in the draft class.
7) Tony Amezcua, RHP, California HS: A projectability pick, Amezcua throws 90-92 and may pick up more zip as he matures. He will need to be bought out of Long Beach State.
8) David Vidal, 3B, Miami-Dade CC: Vidal is undersized at 5-10, but has a very powerful bat. Scouts aren't sure where he will fit defensively, as he doesn't run well enough to play outfield. His arm is good enough for third, but his hands might not be, and he's too short for a classic first baseman. He can hit though. He will need to be bought out of Florida International.
9) Tanner Robles, LHP, Oregon State University: He has an 88-90 MPH heater, but his breaking ball and changeup are inconsistent, and scouts don't like him as much as they did when he was a Utah high school player.
10) Kevin Arico, RHP, University of Virginia: Arico picked up 16 saves this year, but his stuff is mediocre for a right-hander. He projects as a middle reliever if he makes it.
FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 12-Kyle Waldrop, OF, Florida HS; 13-Lucas O'Rear, RHP, University of Northern Iowa; 18-Robert Maddox, OF, University of Ohio; 19-Josh Alexander, OF, Arizona HS:
COMMENT: I like the Grandal selection, and a lot of scouts think LaMarre will blossom as he gets further past the injury. Neither Lohman nor Greene will be stars, but both have a good shot at being major league contributors. The three high school pitchers would be great to add to the system if they can sign them: Reds fans should be happy if two of them come to terms, though they will all need substantial bonuses. Vidal's bat is intriguing, but the ninth and tenth round picks look like stretches. Overall I think this is a good class, with a nice mixture of talents and backgrounds...if they can get some of that high school pitching inked.