Cincinnati Reds: A Decade Of Hits And Misses In The 1st Round

by Brendan Panikkar | Posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
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Homer Bailey

Since being drafted in 2004, Homer Bailey has thrown two career no hitters in the MLB

The Cincinnati Reds are once again primed for a playoff spot. They have built their core around Joey Votto and have added some nice pieces via free agency and trade. They have also used a lot of their former draft choices to package for big name pieces, such as Mat Latos, which will be outlined throughout the article.

2013: Phillip Ervin, OF Samford University (27th overall)

Ervin is your typical athletic center fielder. He brings a great glove to the table and some blazing speed which allows for him to get to balls other outfielders may not be able too. He`s only 5`11 but for a guy his size, down the road he may be able to hit for some power. His career minor league average is .331 but that is only in  48 games for a total of 172 at bats. He does play a lot of center field but many scouts do believe he could make a solid right fielder.

2012: Nick Traveiso, RHP Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School (14th overall)

Traveiso throws three pitches, fastball, slider, and a changeup. His fastball can get up to 97 MPH because of his great arm strength and his slider is nasty. However, it is Traveiso`s changeup that has potential to be good, but as of right now, he has a tough time locating it and hitters don`t bite at it or they mash it. Currently Traveiso has made 15 starts and has a 7-4 record but has an ugly 5.22 ERA. There is potential for Traveiso to become a solid starter but the Reds will want him to master his changeup before moving up through the organization ranks.

2011: Robert Stephenson, RHP Alhambra High School (27th overall)

Stephenson has the ability to be a front of the rotation starter with the stuff he boasts. His fastball comes in with a lot of life and he can get hitters to chase with his curveball which still has room for improvement. Stephenson is a presence on the mound standing 6`2 which allows for him to throw his fastball on a straight downward plane to generate the velocity. He also throws a changeup which is improving with time but as of right now, Stephenson sits in AA where he has started two games where he has an 0-1 record but a sparkling 1.64 ERA, albeit the small sample size. Regardless, Stephenson projects to be at the top of the rotation for the Reds in the next coming years.

2010: Yasmani Grandal, C University of Miami (12th overall)

Grandal was supposed to be the next big thing behind the plate for the Reds but when the chance came to trade for a young star in Mat Latos, they did not flinch and sent Grandal to the San Diego Padres, which has paid immediate dividends for the Reds. Grandal was suspended 50 games last season for using PED`s and is currently on the 60 day DL. When healthy, Grandal does hit for a nice average and can chip in with some power, so it is easy to see why the Reds were high on him. He also handles the pitching staff well in San Diego but the Reds did well in trading away Grandal.

2009: Mike Leake, RHP Arizona State University (8th overall)

Leake rose extremely quickly through the Reds system and made his debut in the majors in 2010 where he started 22 games. Leake has put together some solid numbers with a career record of 39-27 and a 3.96 ERA. He is currently enjoying his best season sitting pretty with an 11-5 record and  a 3.12 ERA. He isn`t a top of the rotation starter but Leake is an excellent mid to bottom rotation guy who gives some solid production. Great draft pick.

2008: Yonder Alonso, 1B University of Miami (7th overall)

Another piece which was dealt for Mat Latos has worked out well for the Reds. Alonso was never going to see action at first base in Cincinnati because of Joey Votto so it made sense for the Reds to deal Alonso. He hits for a great average but being in San Diego his power is limited because of cavernous Petco Park, but had Alonso found a way to stay in Cincinnati, his home run totals would have gone up. He is a key part of the future in San Diego and was another good draft pick by the Reds, which turned into a great asset in Latos.

2007: Devin Mesoraco, C Punxsutawney Area High School (15th overall)

One reason the Reds were able to part ways with Yasmani Grandal was because they had this guy, Devin Mesoraco waiting in the wings to become the future catcher of the Reds and it has worked out. He hits for a decent average and can contribute with some power but he is a good defensive catcher and is still growing behind the plate. One of the flaws of Mesoraco is that he does not get on base a whole lot but he doesn`t strike out a ton either so he puts the ball in play and makes the defense work. The catcher`s job of the future should be in fine hands when Mesoraco is ready to be the everyday catcher.

2006: Drew Stubbs, OF University of Texas (8th overall)

Stubbs is a great defender. He has a ton of range and was a nice outfielder in Cincinnati for a few years before he got dealt to the Cleveland Indians in the Shin-Soo Choo trade. An issue with Stubbs is that he strikes out a ton, hits for a low average and has some power, which makes him a bottom of the order type hitter but his speed can help on the basepaths. The Reds got some decent production from Stubbs but are now licking their chops that they were able to replace him with Choo.

2005: Jay Bruce, OF West Brook Senior High School (12th overall)

Talk about a draft pick that has worked out nicely for the Reds. Jay Bruce supplies an excellent source of power which fits in  nicely behind Joey Votto. Bruce has developed into a 30+ home run threat and hits for a decent average, his career average in the MLB is .257. His bat does all the talking and the Reds are loving having Jay Bruce in the middle of their order to supply some big time power.

2004: Homer Bailey, RHP La Grange High School (7th overall)

It has taken a while for Homer Bailey to grasp a full time job in the rotation but as soon as he figured out how to pitch to major league hitters, Bailey reached his potential. He has thrown two no hitters in his career, one in 2012 and one this season, and in other starts he has looked close to un-hittable again. His stuff is excellent and his smooth delivery allows for his mechanics to function properly. Bailey throws a 4 seamer, 2 seamer, and 3 off-speed pitches all of which he uses effectively.

2003: Ryan Wagner, RHP University of Houston (14th overall)

Wagner is the first draft pick I can say was a complete flop for the Reds. Wagner did reach the majors in 2003, the same year he was drafted but did not enjoy a whole lot of success. The Reds got tired of waiting for Wagner to blossom into the touted pitcher he was coming into the draft so they dealt him to the Washington Nationals, who he last pitched for in 2007, where he spent all the season except for 14 games on the DL. Wagner announced his retirement in 2009 and finished his career with and 11-9 record and a 4.79 ERA.

BHC Pick of the Litter: Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce

BHC Franchise Flop: Ryan Wagner

Analysis: The Reds have done a marvellous job in the drafting department. The majority of their early draft picks (mid 2000`s) reached the big leagues and are still with the team or they have been traded for better assets. The more recent draft choices all have some strong upside and should be around in Cincinnati long term. The Reds drafting has been very good and almost every draft pick the last 10 years has benefited the Reds in some way, shape, or form.

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Brendan Panikkar
About the Author

Brendan Panikkar is a graduate of Brock University's Sport Management program. Currently, he is the Vice-President, Customer Service at North Aware. He loves all sports but baseball and football take precedent over hockey and basketball. Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Argonauts, San Francisco 49ers, Toronto Raptors

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