The Baseball America first round June draft projections (subscribers only) predicts the following for the Cincinnati Reds with their #12 pick in the first round.
The Reds have been hot on the trail of Florida righthander Chris Volstad, the best high school arm in the draft. But they have a more pressing need for a catcher or third baseman, with Clement and Braun the most likely players still on the board who could fill those holes.
PROJECTED PICK: Jeff Clement.
Some information on the players mentioned from the BBA Draft Index:
Rank Player Hometown High School B-T HT WT Commitment
7 Chris Volstad, rhp Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Palm Beach Gardens R-R 6-7 195 Miami
John Manuel: Volstad is tall, power stuff that is still inconsistent at times, performs best against better competition. For some, he lacks the killer instinct to be a front-line pitcher down the line, more of a 3rd starter type, even though his stuff may be better than that down the line.
Pre Mid Player, Pos., Col Cls B-T Ht. Wt. AVG OBP SLG AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB
5 4 Jeff Clement, c, USC Jr. L-R 6-1 205 .308 .471 .600 65 16 20 4 18 15 12 1
27 16 Ryan Braun, 3b, Miami Jr. R-R 6-2 190 .471 .519 .847 85 37 40 8 33 11 16 13
Allan Simpson: Clement is the premier catcher in this year’s draft, but not everyone is sold he’ll hit for a high average or be an above-average defender. The power and makeup are unmistakeable, and he’s improved a lot defensively at USC this year, working with Chad Kreuter, But catching is probably the most difficult position to project with any certainty. Don’t be surprised if the Brewers at 5, the Rockies at 7 and the D-Rays at 8 don’t make a big run at him.
Allan Simpson: Braun’s the third best college third baseman in this draft, but I’d be very surprised if he’s not picked in the first half of the first round. A lot of teams have shown interest, but we’ve got him going to the Indians with the 14th pick. I don’t see any way he lasts to the Padres. Though he’s a third baseman now, most teams see Braun moving to the outfield.
I’m sure many will be thrilled to see that they are showing so much interest in a high school pitcher yet again. Volstad ranked as the third best RHP in the draft, and the top two are college pitchers.
Clement is ranked as the best catcher in the draft. Braun is ranked number 5 at 3B.
The June draft will be interesting as usual. Hopefully, it won’t be disappointing as usual.