The MLB draft is coming up in less than three weeks. The 1st night of the draft will take place on June 4th, with the draft ending with the 40th round being completed on June 6th. Day three of the draft combines rounds 11-40 and almost kills me every single year. But that’s another story for another day.
The Cincinnati Reds will be drafting 5th overall in a few weeks. It will be the lowest pick that they have had since the 2015 draft. They’ve drafted second overall the past two seasons and by all accounts have done very well in selecting Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene. The big question is, who will the organization look at for this year?
Things at the top of the draft seem all but settled. Auburn pitcher Casey Mize seems to be the consensus top guy in the draft and a virtual lock to go #1 unless he gets hurt between now and draft day. After that, though, is where things are very much up in the air. The player that the Reds have been linked the most with is Florida starting pitcher Brady Singer. He entered the year as the #1 prospect in the draft class, but he went through a stretch where his velocity was down a little bit and he fell down some draft boards. Recently it’s been back up and he’s found himself back near the top of the draft.
The Reds have also been linked to a few different high school pitchers, with Carter Stewart being the one that seems to be on their radar the most. He’s got a big fastball and arguably the best breaking ball in the entire draft. There have also been links to Matthew Liberatore, a left handed pitcher out of Arizona’s Mountain Ridge High School.
When it comes to the college bats, the class seems to leave quite a bit to be desired. Depending on where you look you are going to get a different answer for who the top bat in the college group is. Some places will list Joey Bart, a catcher from Georgia Tech. Some have Oregon State Nick Madrigal as the top hitter in the class. Other places may have Alec Bohm, a third baseman from Wichita State. A late riser that is at the top other places is Florida third baseman Jonathan India.
All of those hitters have their share of questions with them. Joey Bart has more strikeouts than walks, which as a 1st round college player hasn’t been a good sign in the past. Nick Madrigal is 5′ 7″ and 160 lbs., while also only have 7 total home runs in his college career. Alec Bohm seems to have the bat you want to see with power, hit, and discipline. But there’s decent chance he has to slide to first base as a professional, which does ding his overall value. Jonathan India is hitting for very impressive power, slugging .780 this season. A solid prospect before the year, he’s never really excelled in the past and has gone crazy in 2018.
With how the draft looks right now, any single player that’s mentioned here would make for a solid pick. But, that there are so many options can be viewed as a negative as much as it can be as a positive. Teams are starting to lock into their draft boards right about now – with most teams getting together for a pre-draft meeting to lay things out between now and the end of the week. Unlike in the past two years, the Reds will have to wait a little bit to see who will be available for them to select on day one of the draft.