Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker and general manager Walt Jocketty on a scouting trip to the North Pole. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
2011 MLB Draft Cincinnati Reds Review
A big splash in the first round, followed by more budget-oriented selections.
1) Robert Stephenson, RHP, California HS: Given that he would have been a top ten pick some years, getting him at 27 is a steal even if it takes an overslot deal to do the trick. Athletic, works in mid-90s, good curveball, great makeup.
2) Gabriel Rosa, OF, Puerto Rico HS: Good tools, decent power now with more to come, swing mechanics and plate discipline will need work. High upside/high risk type.
3) Tony Cingrani, LHP, Rice: Works in mid-90s in relief role, but needs a better breaking ball. Unusually good upside for a college senior.
4) Kyle McMyne, RHP, Villanova: Low-90s fastball, decent curve and slider, control needs work. Possible fourth starter but might be more dominant if used in bullpen.
5) Ryan Wright, 2B, Louisville: Average tools but excellent college statistical performance, great makeup. Nice value pick in the fifth round.
6) Sean Buckley, 3B, St. Petersburg JC: Power hitter with a strong throwing arm. No four-year college commitment, and he is the son of the Reds' scouting director, so he is about as signable as you can get.
7) James Allen, RHP, Kansas State: Successful college reliever, hits low 90s, sharp slider, sound mechanics, could move quickly through the system.
8) Jon Matthews, RHP, St. Petersburg JC: Teammate of Buckley. Raw athlete, strong throwing arm, also runs well but will pitch as a pro. Could turn into anything. No four-year committment.
9) Cole Green, RHP, Texas: Fourth round pick in 2010 for the Tigers, but went back for his senior year. Stuff is average to just slightly above, but he knows how to pitch and is very polished. He reportedly turned down $400,000 last year. He's a senior now and will be lucky to be offered $100,000.
10) Brooks Pinckard, RHP, Baylor: Outstanding running speed, hit .295/.401/.426 with 36 steals in 39 attempts this year. Scouts prefer him on the mound due to mid-90s fastball but like most two-way players he needs more polish. Interesting pick.
OTHERS OF NOTE: RHP Vaughn Covington (11th round, British Columbia HS) is big and throws hard but is recovering from Tommy John surgery. LHP Chris Joyce (19th round, Santa Barbara CC) has outstanding statistics but his fastball varies between 84 and 94. LHP Amir Garrett (22nd round, Nevada HS) is a high-profile basketball recruit to St. John's but is a highly-projectable lefty who already throws in the low 90s.
SUMMARY: Stephenson is the headliner here and could make or break the draft by himself. The rest of the class seems focused on affordable players with a mixture of upside (the junior college guys) and polish (Wright, Green). It would be a real coup if they can sign Covington and/or Garrett.