Over the last few days, I have done some extensive research on the draft while mainly centering on prospects that the Reds may be attracted to. When looking at the Reds options, the most obvious type of player that most would expect them to select would be a polished collegiate pitcher that can help an already contending team and potentially catapult them to a World Series contender. While that may be a fine conclusion, the more I think about about it the more I see the Reds potentially doing something a little less conventual.The 2011 draft will be a draft like no other for the Reds because since 1965 the Reds have never, I repeat NEVER, picked later than the 25th overall selection. This year, the Reds possess the 27th overall pick and that may lead them to select a slightly different player than some might predict. Over the past 20 years (1990-2010), the Reds have also never selected a college player with a pick after the 15th overall choice.
Additionally, the current Reds GM Walt Jocketty has yet to select a high school player during the 1st round since becoming Cincinnati's GM in 2007, though, again the Reds have never picked this late either. But before the Reds, Jocketty was the St. Louis Cardinals GM from 1994 to 2007. During that 14 year span, Jocketty selected later than the 27th pick six times (30th in '99, 28th in '01, 28th in '03, 28th in '05, 30th in '05, & 30th in '06) and in those six selections, Jocketty made his only three 1st round high school choices ('07 Peter Kozma, '05 Colby Rasmus, & '03 Daric Barton). On the other side, Jocketty's three late round college picks ('06 Adam Ottavino, '05 James Greene, & '01 Justin Pope) have been busts. So, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for Jocketty to go for another high school player with the 27th overall selection as he's struck it rich there before.
Something else that will likely influence Jocketty's decision is that the Reds current roster already includes impressive young arms like Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Travis Wood, and Mike Leake. Plus, Jocketty recently went against the grain and paid big bucks to phenom Aroldis Chapman, which show the Reds aren't afraid to make a splash if the right situation presents itself. So, since the Reds are so top-heavy in pitching, it wouldn't be out of the question for them to go with an upside HS arm and have him develop in the minors instead of college pitcher.
While these facts don't mean the Reds will do one thing or the other, it does point out some facts and brings up some precedence. So, if the Reds do decide to go with a HS arm instead of the predicted college arm at pick 27, who should that be?