Not a bad pick, as far as I’m concerned:
With the seventh overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, the Reds selected first baseman Yonder Alonso out of the University of Miami.
A left-handed power hitter in his junior season, the 21-year-old Alonso is batting .370 with 21 home runs and 66 RBIs in 58 games for the Hurricanes.
A second-team All-American by Louisville Slugger and Baseball America, Alonso was also rated the No. 2 prospect last summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, a wooden bat amateur league.
A native of Cuba who moved to the United States at 9 years old, Alonso attended Coral Gables High School in suburban Miami and stayed in his hometown for college.
Miami is still alive in the College World Series, so we may get a chance to see Alonso in the next week or two.
From Alonso’s scouting report at MLB.com: “He’s not a base-clogger, with good instincts on the basepaths.”
Someone at MLB.com has a sense of humor.
More on Alonso: “Alonso is a hitter, period, with a great approach and power, especially the other way right now. Defensively, he’s no great shakes, but it’s the bat that teams will dream about putting in the middle of their lineup to produce plenty of runs in the future.”
He’s reported to have “great plate discipline and plenty of power.” That’s good news. He’s also friends and workout partners with Alex Rodriguez, so he keeps good company.
On the other hand, the word is that Alonso wants an $8 million bonus, and a spot on the 40-man roster.
Alonso says he’s excited to be a Red:
“I’ve been following them for a while,” Alonso said. “They’re a great team. I just can’t wait to go meet [Ken] Griffey [Jr.] and [Adam] Dunn.”…
“We’ve been following Yonder probably since the 11th grade,” Reds senior director of scouting Chris Buckley said. “Two of my better scouts I’ve worked with for a long time have been following him for quite a while. It’s really his body of work. He had three outstanding years at the University of Miami — one of the top programs in the country. We like what he did last summer in Cape Cod with the wood bat. He’s a high on-base percentage guy. Every time we go in there, the guy performs….
The Reds already have a left-handed power-hitting first baseman in rookie Joey Votto. Undeterred, the club stuck to its guns about selecting what it viewed as the best player available despite the reported contract demands.
“Ownership and [general manager Walt Jocketty] were totally supportive,” Buckley said. “Myself and the rest thought this was the best guy. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him out there quickly, but maybe we don’t. We’re feeling pretty good we’ll get him signed. We had contact with his agents. We had to touch base and go over certain things. We wouldn’t have picked him if we didn’t think we could sign him.”
Alonso can also play catcher and third base, but first base is considered his primary position. Scouting reports about his defense aren’t overly enthusiastic, however. “
Finally, fellow RN Editor Chris found this interview with Alonso. It’s pretty entertaining, especially the clip of the big guy performing ballet:
So, what are your thoughts on the pick?
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.