With the 27th Pick in the MLB Draft, the Reds Select…


May 20, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; (Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2013 MLB June Draft is tomorrow, June 6.

Delving into numerous sites which create mock drafts can lead to bloodshot eyes, drinking massive amounts of coffee (or any other caffeine alternative) and getting up to stretch on numerous occasions seem like ordinary daily routine.

To get some info, I sauntered over to DC Prospects Report where they have a listing of such sites. How’s 50+ grab you? I focused my attention to those that had a mock draft that was published no later than the end of May. Fresh info.

I had the good old standby of Baseball America, but there are others…and some interesting observations. Among the nearly 20 sites I visited, there are three names that were linked multiple times to the Reds pick at #27.

1. Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State

Name an offensive category and the chances of Judge leading the Bulldogs in that category are exceptionally high…including stolen bases. Not bad for a guy that goes 6-7, 255. Over his first two seasons, he didn’t have the power stroke you would assume for a guy of his stature would possess. Um, he found it this season. Baseball America rates Judge as one of the draft’s top three college athletes.

And the term “howitzer” has been used to describe his arm.

BA Rank: #30, #8 OF; MLB: #24

2. Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS, OK

A little over a week ago, I didn’t see a single mock that had any mention of Denney going to the Reds here. Or even with their competitive balance pick at #38. Denney does own good defensive skills and has some power. For this season, he is hitting .459 with 11 HR and 46 RBI. Max Preps has Denney as the country’s #12 prep player.

He has committed to Arkansas.

BA Rank: #25, #3 C; MLB: #20

3. Hunter Green, LHP, Warren East HS, KY

Green has committed to Kentucky, but that may change. He can hit the low 90’s and is considered a good athlete. The velocity on his fastball is expected to rise as he develops due to owning a loose, fluid arm. Baseball America lists Green among its top three prep pitchers as far as command is concerned.

And there’s always something about lefties…

BA Rank: #31, #6 LHP, #14 P; MLB: #48

Others mentioned:
– Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga (BA: #28, #5 LHP, #13 P; MLB: #14). Part of Team USA’s rotation over this past summer.
– Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State (BA: #11, #4 OF; MLB: #28). Raw power, good runner and good arm which profiles as right fielder.
– Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford (BA: #29, #7 OF; MLB: #27). Must shake stigma of Stanford players being unable to hit professional pitching.
– Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys HS, NC (BA: #33, #16 P, #10 RHP; MLB: #22). Has MLB bloodlines being the son of Bryan Harvey and owns a mid-90’s fastball, curve and change.
– Michael Lorenzen, OF, Cal State-Fullerton (BA: #52, #10 OF; MLB: #45). Excellent makeup and defender but needs to further develop offensive game.

Watch these guys:
– Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph Regional HS, NJ (BA: #21, #11 P, #4 LHP; MLB: #38). Fastball and breaking ball are both plus pitches.
– Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS, CA (BA: #20, #10 P, #7 RHP; MLB: #26). A consistent mid-90’s fastball with sink. Has slider and change, but aren’t as reliable.
– Billy McKinney, OF, Plano West HS, TX (BA: #27, #6 OF; MLB: #34). Considered by some as one of the top high school bats in draft and projects as corner outfielder.

The Reds have selected a high school pitcher in the last two drafts (newly named MWL All-Star Robert Stephenson in 2011 and Nick Travieso in 2012). A pair of power arms. The last college player they selected was in 2010 when the tabbed catcher Yasmani Grandal.

It is interesting that Judge, Wilson and Lorenzen are mentioned as potential landing spots at #27 since the outfield was once considered a bit thin at the minor league level. It could be due to those doing a specific mock think the Reds will take the top guy on their board at that pick, which isn’t always a bad thing.

Jesse Winker’s emergence may have dismissed some of those fears. There’s also Donald Lutz, Ryan LaMarre and Jeff Gelalich as well. And you can’t mention outfielders and leave out Billy Hamilton.

The most intriguing mention is that of Denney, and it has only been recently this has occurred. In fact, his name was the most linked name among the mocks I viewed. Could it be that the Reds feel the current crop of catchers within the system does not adequately address the position?

Can you honestly ever have enough pitching? Sure, there’s some nice arms within the system – namely Tony Cingrani and the aforementioned Stephenson to name a couple – but taking a pitcher almost always makes sense because you have the time to develop that arm. Add the recent struggles of Daniel Corcino and Ismael Guillon may make this pick even easier for the Reds to go with a pitcher.

Last year the Reds surprised some with the Travieso pick. As the very last pick of the first round for this year (not including the supplemental and competitive balance picks), reaching for a certain player at the #27 spot cannot be ruled out of the equation. This draft will be one that comes to them, not the other way around.

Also, the Reds have a competitive balance selection at #38. With 10 picks in between, that could make the #27 pick even more likely to be a pick where the Reds can go after a certain player and not take the best player available. Some of the names already mentioned should still be on the board at #38.

In other words, the Reds can be cautiously creative.

I have eleven names listed here. Lorenzen may be more fitted for the Reds if they wish to nab him at #38, but not at #27.

That leaves ten. A catcher (Denney), four outfielders (Judge, Wilson, Renfroe and McKinney), three lefty arms (Green, Kaminsky and Gonzales) and a pair of righties (Bickford and Harvey). Do you go with need or best talent?

A lot could hinge on the previous pick at #26, a pick held by the New York Yankees. In the multiple mocks I viewed, both Denney and Kaminsky had been slotted there, mostly Kaminsky. If both are available at #26, I think the Reds will take the player the Yankees don’t. That would most likely be Denney as the Yankees are reportedly enamored with Kaminsky due to not only his talent and ceiling, but his local ties, too.

Although I must admit that if Judge is still on the board, might be too much there on which to pass. Same for Kaminsky. Most mocks have Judge as a definitive first round choice and not among the supplemental selections. Not so with Kaminsky as a few mocks have him as a Yankees supplemental pick.

What say you?