After the Reds chose Jonathan India (3B, UF) in the first round last night, they returned to the Sunshine State and selected Lyon Richardson in the 2nd round, the #47 pick overall. Richardson is a right-handed high school pitcher in the Tampa area. In his senior season, in 48 innings he struck out 90 batters, had an 0.58 ERA and allowed only 16 hits. He is rumored to have hit 97 mph on the radar, although pitched regularly in the 92-94 mph range. Richardson had committed to the University of Florida. Here’s a local Tampa paper report on Richardson:

“Lyon Richardson, who signed with the University of Florida, is a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder with an athletic build and a plus-fastball that sits in the mid-90s. He’s touched 98 on the radar gun. He also has an impressive breaking ball and changeup.”

From Doug Freeman of Prep Baseball Scouting Report (Florida):

From Richardson’s high school coach: “The thing that makes Lyon so special to me is his consistency,” Jensen Beach coach Corey Cooke said in a text. “We have had some dominant pitchers come through Jensen Beach in the past, but the thing that stands out is his ability to throw strikes at all times. “Additionally, he wants to pitch in the biggest moments. I’ve seen him on the ropes — 2017 at Vero in extra innings stands out — and deliver a knockout. He was our closer in years past because he wanted to pitch in the toughest situations. He lives off that.”

Doug Gray on Richardson: Second rounder who can hit 98 MPH and is extremely athletic? Yeah, sign me up for that all day long. He’s considered a bit raw as a pitcher, and the pick reminds me of Tony Santillan. Or maybe even Nick Hanson. This is one of those big upside picks, and while it is likely he’ll move a little slow, especially early in his career because of his experience, the arm strength is on a different level.

Lyon Richardson, Jensen Beach HS

In their final pick last night, the Reds selected Josiah (Jo Jo) Gray, the top Division II pitcher in America, in the B-Flight Competitive Balance Round. Gray was the #72 pick overall. Here’s a really good post on Gray from Baseball America.

From Gray’s manager: “Everyone knows about his velocity,” Cassidy said. “What people don’t realize is that he has such great command. He throws a ton of strikes. He doesn’t walk hitters, he attacks the strike zone. When he came here he didn’t really have too great of off-speed pitches, but he’s really worked hard. Now he’s got a really good slider. His changeup, which is his worst pitch, is really improved from last year. It is a serviceable pitch. Is it going to be a lights-out, strikeout pitch for him? It’s not right now, but very well could be.”

Josiah Gray  Photo: The Lower Hudson Journal News

Cincinnati Enquirer report on Richardson and Gray from Bobby Nightengale.

“Lyon is a converted shortstop, just like Josiah is,” said Chris Buckley, the Reds’ Vice President of Amateur Scouting. “They are both very athletic. They’ve not pitched a ton. We always like to start with that athlete with the pitchers.”

In the third round this afternoon, the Reds selected Bren Spillane, third baseman from the University of Illinois. Spillane just finished a historic season for the Illini, winning honors as the Big Ten Player of the Year, winning the Big Ten Triple Crown, making Baseball America’s All-American team and named National Player of the Year by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Here’s a good article on Spillane’s record-setting season (he slugged .903!) including comments from his teammates.

In Illinois’ last regular season series of the year, a 2-1 series win over Nebraska, Spillane struggled — relatively. He went 3-for-11 with three strikeouts. But when he connected, he made a big impact, hitting two home runs that brought loud roars out of the crowd at Illinois Field. For Spillane though, it was a weak series. “He hit .300 (against Nebraska) and we were like, ‘Oh he’s having a bad weekend’, with two homers,” Dickinson said. It’s been that kind of year for Spillane.

Bren Spillane Photo: Austin Yattoni, The Daily Illini

In the Fourth Round, the Reds selected high school centerfielder Mike Siani, from William Penn Charter School in Pennsylvania. Here’s a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about Siani.

From that article: “A hard-hitting and speedy leadoff man who covers a lot of ground in the outfield, Siani was named Gatorade state baseball player of the year on Tuesday.Siani batted .361 with 25 runs scored, 19 stolen bases, five doubles, two homers, and 11 RBIs in his senior season. He had a .509 slugging percentage, a .495 on-base percentage, and a 1.002 OPS. A two-year member of USA Baseball’s 18-and-under national team, Siani batted .405 in Inter-Ac League action.”

Chad might have mixed emotions about this selection. Siani had committed to play at the University of Virginia. Siani was listed at the top of many lists of best remaining players after Day One of the draft. Plenty of comments like this one from Carlos Collazo of Baseball America:

You can follow the rest of the draft here.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 16 Comments

  1. Seems like a pretty strong class so far. Safe, solid first round pick. Lots of upside in the next few rounds. One consistent theme in Reds selection in recent years is athleticism.

  2. Fortunately, hope does spring eternal.

  3. Really like the Spillane and Siani picks in the 3rd and 4th rounds. Very solid.
    With Spillane, can we nickname him Mickey? Because he can Hammer the ball.
    On MLB.com pre-draft show today they had some highlights of Siani making BHam type of catches in CF. I was very hopeful the Reds would select him. Good pick. Will the Godfather of RLN mind that the Reds are taking away from UVA?

  4. It looks questionable if Siani signs. He may want to go to college for a couple of years and hold out for a higher draft slot and more bonus money.

    Another third baseman in Bren Spillane? How many do the Reds need ? (sarc)

    No wonder they call it the hot corner. I think India will end up playing some shortstop at Billings. I hope the Reds try that.

    • I think the Reds will have some financial wherewithall to sign Siani to an over-slot contract.

      • And ‘a bird in the hand’ logic applies here to Siani. This isn’t like taking Benitendi in round 31. The slot is still pretty lucrative.

    • Reds announced him as a RF. Don’t think he will be an INF.

    • Doug brought this up in his YouTube qa yesterday. Every high school contract comes with provisions for college education. At that point if you know school will be paid for and you are starting at $750,000 plus (i know after agents and taxes its half that) you have to take the money imo.

    • Spillane played 1B for Illinois and was first team all B10 at 1B. He is pretty mobile big guy, stole 16 bases in 24 attempts this past season. And seemed pretty agile on defense at 1B. No reason for him not to be tried in the OF from games I watched in the past B10 season and tournament.

  5. From what I read about projections Siani looks like BH great speed, no hit and Spillane may be AD home run or nothing. Hope there wrong.

  6. Is there any chance that India moves through A & AA ball as quickly as Senzel did? It’d just be nice if he was in that Trammel, Siri, Friedl, T. Stephenson, Santillan , etc. group that could graduate to ML in 2020.

    • It’s anybody’s guess but their profiles are very similar. One big difference is Senzel’s walk/strikeout ratio was much better in college than India’s. Otherwise India has similar, usually better numbers.

  7. Lyon Richardson was born in the year 2000. Let that sink in for a minute. I feel old now.

    I like how the Reds are drafting.

    • C Trent reporting he’s agreed to terms already and will report reds on Friday.

      C Trent also has lineups . Looks good .

  8. any “rumors” why teams skipped on Brady Singer, ace pitcher from Florida? That is who I was hoping Reds was going to select instead of India. Seemed to be a surprise fall from multiple sites having him in top 5 to drop to 18. Was he making big $$$ demands?

    • Heard money and injury concerns, but all rumor only. KC may, MAY, have struck gold on their first two picks. They got the previously (before spring) best college SP and the best high school LHP, while not picking in top 10. Nuts.

      They have to sign them and then we have to see if Singer does have any injury issues, but KC was aggressive and had alot of picks as well. I’d be fairly stoked if I were a Royals fan (though it does bear mentioning that it might be a few years away for you actually see any benefit from this draft).

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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