A Minors Obsession

Breaking down the Cincinnati Reds 2014 Draft

Thursday through Saturday Major League Baseball held their 2014 draft as they powered through 40 rounds in the three days. The Cincinnati Reds had 41 picks, including two first rounders thanks to a compensation pick that came from losing Shin-Soo Choo to the Texas Rangers. This isn’t going to be a rundown on all of the picks, but if that is what you are looking for, I have scouting reports, stats and video on almost all of the picks here. This post is going to look at the draft as a whole.

The draft by the numbers

The Reds selected 23 total pitchers over the draft, with 15 of them being right handed and the remaining eight being left handed. Four outfielders, four third basemen and four catchers were selected. They mixed in two first basemen, two second basemen and two shortstops.

The team selected 14 players from the high school ranks. Seven players came out of junior college, with six of them being in their second years. There were a total of 20 four-year college players selected, with 13 of them being juniors and seven seniors.

There are two players still playing in the college world series. First round pick right-handed pitcher Nick Howard with Virgina and second round pick Taylor Sparks who plays third base for UC Irvine.

The Reds have already signed 14 picks.

Round Player POS
3 Wyatt Strahan RHP
4 Gavin LaValley 3B
5 Tejay Antone RHP
6 Jose Lopez RHP
8 Brian O’Grady 1B
9 Brian Hunter RHP
10 Seth Varner LHP
12 Montrell Marshall 3B
13 Zac Correll RHP
15 Jimmy Pickens RF
23 Ty Sterner LHP
26 Brennan Bernardino LHP
27 Jake Paulson RHP
29 Michael Sullivan LHP

History

Since Chris Buckley took over as scouting director in 2006, the Cincinnati Reds haven’t missed yet on a first round pick. The most recent pick to not have made the Major Leagues and become a starting player is Robert Stephenson from the 2011 draft and of course he is the top prospect in the system. With the Reds selecting a starting pitcher in the first round, it makes the fourth starting pitcher drafted by Buckley in his tenure with the first pick. Mike Leake was the first and is firmly planted in the rotation. The other two past selections are the aforementioned Stephenson and 2012 first round pick Nick Travieso. That makes three of the last four picks by the Reds in the first round being starting pitchers, with only Phillip Ervin breaking that streak in the 2013 draft.

Looking Forward

While not every pick is going to sign, some will head off to college and some will return to college, a majority of the players drafted will sign. Most of them will wind up playing for either the Arizona League Reds or the Billings Mustangs. One of two of them may begin in full season ball with either the Dayton Dragons or Bakersfield Blaze, though that doesn’t happen too often. The Billings team will begin play on Monday, while the team back in Arizona won’t begin their play until Friday June 20th. The Reds have had several years in a row of a starter coming out of college and dominating in Billings. Tony Cingrani posted a 1.73 ERA there in 2011. Dan Langfield posted a 2.68 ERA for the Mustangs in 2012 and just last season Ben Lively posted a 0.73 ERA. Will someone follow up this year?

10 thoughts on “Breaking down the Cincinnati Reds 2014 Draft

  1. If recent history repeats itself yet again, Wyatt Strahan should be the guy putting up numbers in Billings.

    • If I had to pick someone today that was going to be “that guy”, he would be it. Big time stuff. If he can throw strikes, he could be a steal.

  2. Great stuff as usual Doug! you do a great job man!!!
    The Reds scored a high B as reported over on Redlegsreview. I think we did pretty good and I think the biggest risk was actually our first pick. But as you mentioned Doug, Chris Buckley knows what he is doing and I”m sure that he picked the very best players available for us.

    • I gave them a “solid B” in my draft review at my site. I don’t think there is much risk in the first pick. I think the most risk was in the second rounder who had some terrible plate discipline in college. Huge tools, but he swings at everything. That needs to be fixed, big time.

  3. After looking at your reviews of the SS’s that the Reds picked up, I feel some genuine concern that they don’t have a solution to replace Cozart anywhere in the pipes. No one currently in the system looks like a long-term solution and the 2 SS’s here seem like they’ll end up at other defensive positions if they make it to the Bigs.

    Thoughts on why there wasn’t more concentration on a middle-infield-type draft?

    • Carlton Daal has a chance. He is making his fair share of errors right now in Dayton, but he is also 20 and coming into the year played only a handful of professional games in his life. Give him some time. There are also a few guys in rookie ball at shortstop worth watching for.

      Specific to the draft, it was incredibly light on guys who could stick at shortstop. There was one college shortstop that scouts seem to think can actually stick at shortstop taken in the first four rounds. There were a few more high schoolers, but all of the ones without a major question about their bat were off of the board before the Reds ever selected. In general, it was considered a pretty weak draft for middle infielders.

      The Reds made a big gamble when they chose to trade Didi Gregorius for one year of Shin-Soo Choo. They knew they didn’t have another shortstop in the system that would be ready within 3+ years when they made the deal.

  4. If I’m wrong, please tell me otherwise Doug, but everything I read said this was a super weak draft up the middle… C, 2B, SS and CF. It seems as the major talent for colleges has been drafted out of high school and it just wasn’t a particular strong crop for high school prospects that play those positions.

    • This is correct. Teams are getting better and better at identifying the high school talent and not letting them even get to college, so the college product overall has been a bit weaker in recent years.

  5. Yeah I sure wish Gregorius was still with the Reds, we’d have a solid platoon scenario at SS. No Santiago as well. Risky move.

    I love Gavin LaValley, favorite pick of the draft. I love Montrell Marshall, Jose Lopez, Strahan and Seth Varner

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