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 “He’s not a base-clogger, with good instincts on the basepaths.”

Someone at 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. “


Chris from Seeing Reds is surprised by the pick.


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

About The Author

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

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21 Responses

  1. Dan

    His hitting stats are unreal (2 straight years w/ OBP over .500 and SLG over .700) which gives me hope…

    But I don’t know… a) we have Votto who is young and good, and b) Gordon Beckham was on the board! It is *so* much harder to find a SS who can hit than a 1B who can hit!!

    Based on that, I really wanted Beckham.

  2. Dan

    Just discovered that in the Cape Cod League last summer (very high-level collegiate summer league, that uses WOOD BATS by the way), the league batting average was .245… and Alonso hit .338 with an OBP of .468.


  3. Ben

    I like that the Reds took the best player available irrespective of Votto or anyone on the roster. However, I thought Smoak from South Carolina was the better option at 1B b/c of defense and being a switch hitter. I do like hearing that Alonso is ARod’s pet project and that he is a hard worker. Overall, a safe, projectable bat for our lineup.

  4. Chris

    Re: Beckham – I’d heard he doesn’t project as a SS. Heard the same about Kepp, and he’s adequate, but lacks the arm.

    Re: Smoak: I’d heard he’s a jerk, or in scout parlance, “has makeup questions.”

  5. brublejr

    They could have done worse…seems like a fairly safe pick with a real good track record.

  6. Marty the Cynic

    Most definitely future trade bait. Let your minor league system work it’s magic and trade him for something nice in a couple of years.

  7. Deaner

    I was watching Miami (FL) play and the hit an opposite field homer… I like the pick. Personally I would have rather seen them go with Gordan Beckham or Aaron Crow with the first pick, but i have no qualms with Alonso.

  8. nycredsfan

    The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced this pick means Dunn gets traded this year, or not resigned at the very least. They want Votto in left, and the big draw with this kid is that his bat is basically majors ready. So I guess it’s a good pick, unless you’re a big Dunn fan.

  9. Relient k Car

    you dont get rid of a 40 home run 100 rbi guy.
    castilini wants win now
    with this guy we wont win now

  10. Man Mountain

    Miami’s super regional game against Arizona is tomorrow night (Friday) at 7pm on ESPN for anyone who’s interested in taking a look at Yonder.

  11. Travis

    I just can’t wait to hear Marty call the following “ground ball left side, Encarnacion is up with it…and he throws it Over Yonder!”

  12. McWax

    Looks like a good fast tracker that could be sent to Dayton. There’s not a lot of reason to think he won’t continue to fare well against people in his age group.

  13. Dan

    Oh my… I had not seen that he had played some catcher…

    Can you imagine if Alonso could become a credible catcher? He might be a left-handed Piazza.

    But I think I’m dreaming…

  14. Bill

    Signability, from what I’m reading is a HUGE issue.

    Heard two different reports on his agent, one said Boros (supposedly Marty said this yesterday on the air), but I’ve also heard he has the same agent as Dunn.

    Have heard he wants $8M to sign and a ML contract.

  15. DevilsAdvocate

    Best information I’ve seen, from Marc Sheldon on the Reds’ official site, is that Alonso is represented by agent Greg Genske, who is indeed Dunn’s agent…as well as Pat Burrell’s, and Travis Hafner’s.

  16. Tom

    ML contract? Hmmmmm… I wonder if that explains the move of Drew T. Anderson off of the 40 man roster which currently is still at 39 players?

  17. Junkyard Dog

    Great, solid pick. Yonder’s bat will be in the big team’s line up within a year. First-class kid from a solid family and classy UM baseball program. Tore through tough ACC for two straight years. All of us at Miami’s International Baseball Academy wish Yonder the best in his pro career.

  18. Bill

    So, DA….you’re saying Marty was WRONG? You know better than that, he’s never wrong. 😀

    I don’t care how good this kid is, a ML contract is a bad idea. It especially makes no sense to a team with a low payroll.

  19. DevilsAdvocate

    Disregarding the effect on the team…I don’t fully understand why draft picks think that getting a major-league contract is a good idea. Putting an artificial deadline on your own development just seems like an invitation to disaster. I guess they can rationalize that they get to free agency in a maximum of 6 years that way, but seems like a huge risk that may not even have that big a reward.

    I would have liked to see how Wily Mo Peña would have turned out with a more eased minor-league progression and less time rotting in the Reds’ 25th roster spot, which was a direct result of signing a major-league Yankee contract as an amateur.