(Ed: This post was written by the newest member of the Redleg Nation team, Jeremy Powers.)

As the Redlegs got back on track, beating the Cubbies Monday night on the diamond of GABP, Reds’ scouting director Chris Buckley, GM Walt Jocketty, and executives were busy using the 27th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft selecting Robert Stephenson out of Alhambra High School in Martinez, Calif.

The 18-year-old Stephenson stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs in at 190 pounds. He has a commanding fastball that clocks in at 98 mph alongside a curve ball with upside, a slider and change-up. Although Stephenson has indicated plans to sign a letter-of-intent with the University of Washington, the Reds still believe they will be able to sign Stephenson to a minor league deal.

Stephenson’s high school numbers support the first round pick’s projection to the big leagues. During his senior campaign, Stephenson went 7-2 with a 1.61 ERA and started off the season with back-to-back no-hitters. With the rotation struggling this season Stephenson could be just what the club needs down the road. Just don’t expect a Mike Leake type of development with Stephenson as minor league ball should pay dividends for the promising right-hander. (Be sure to watch the Reds/Cubs series on FS-Ohio; maybe Thom and company will speak to Stephenson in the near future.)

Check out John Fay’s piece on the Reds’ first round pick on Cincinnati.com. Mark Sheldon also has his take on Stephenson (along with some video).

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 chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. The key to good drafting – choosing pitchers with unique and/or tough names. 98 is probably something he could throw once a game; I did hear Buckley say his fastball velocity had increased somewhat but that he was a mid-90’s guy and they were hoping his top end (97) could become the norm with growth.

  2. I heard he is usually 92-94, and that leaves him room to be mid-90s when he gets bigger. But I think they made a point on MLB Network that some think he is too “max effort” right now so maybe keeping him 93-94 will help him last longer in big league games.

  3. In the 2nd Round, at pick 84, the Reds selected Gabriel Rosa, a CF out of Colegio Hector Urdaneta, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He’s a switch hitter and is only 17 years old. Baseball America rated him #118 out of the top 200 available prospects in this years draft.

  4. In the 3rd Round, at pick #114, the Reds selected Anthony Cingrani, a 6’4″ 200 lbs. LHP out of Rice. He does not appear on Baseball America’s top 200 prospect list. However, neither does the pick made immediately before the Reds by the Texas Rangers nor does the pick made immediately after by the Atlanta Braves.

  5. Here is a nice report on Cingrani from last year.

    Apparently he has a fastball that tops out at 91 and relies on a deceptive change up and breaking pitch. He is said to be polished, but there are questions about his upside.

  6. Interesting. MLB.com lists Rosa as CF, but many sites seem to have him listed primarily as a SS.

    • Interesting. MLB.com lists Rosa as CF, but many sites seem to have him listed primarily as a SS.

      Well if he’s not a CF’er he can’t bat leadoff. And if he’s not a SS he can’t bat second. These things must be established early.

      BTW, Welcome, Jeremy! Good to have you aboard.

  7. @BenL: In relief Cingrani has been throwing up to 97, his fastball is his main pitch.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

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 chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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