Reds Draft

Cincinnati Reds Select Pair of Pitchers in Second Round of 2015 MLB Draft

By Matt Wilkes
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The Cincinnati Reds’ pitching-rich farm system just got a little more deep, as two pitchers were selected in the on the first day of the 2015 MLB Draft after taking catcher Tyler Stephenson in the first round.

Antonio Santillan was the 49th overall pick out of Seguin High School in Texas. The 6-for-3, 195 pound right-hander has electric stuff, throwing up to 98 mph, but battles control issues. He’s currently committed to Texas Tech University, but I would imagine the Reds won’t have any issues signing him (his agent is Scott Boras, though, so that could be interesting).

Here’s a scouting report and video of Santillan in action (check out that slider!):

Clearly, Santillan is a risky pick given his inability to throw strikes at times, but as you can see in the video, he has some truly nasty stuff. Plus, he’s only 18 and has plenty of room to grow. If the Reds can fix the issues with his mechanics, this will turn out to be a steal of a pick and I think it will be fascinating to watch his development. Based on his scouting report, he reminds me a bit of former Reds prospect Daniel Corcino. Let’s just hope that Santillan’s stint in Cincinnati turns out better than Corcino’s.

The Reds grabbed another pitcher with their next pick in, selecting right-hander Tanner Rainey from the University of West Alabama in the Competitive Balance Round B.

Rainey is seemingly very similar to current Reds starter Michael Lorenzen in that he was a hard-throwing reliever in college, but was also quite adept with the bat, hitting .386/.491/.842 and slugging 17 home runs in his senior season (in Division II, albeit). On the mound, Rainey has a fastball in the mid-90s and an “above-average slider,” per Baseball America. He made 29 appearances in 2015, going 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA, 50 strikeouts, and 14 walks in 28.1 innings.

Like Lorenzen and last year’s first round pick Nick Howard, it seems likely that the Reds will convert Rainey into a starter. I was expecting the Reds to take at least a couple of position players in the first two rounds, but it never hurts to have more pitching.

I couldn’t find any video of Rainey pitching, but here’s a video from a bit over a month ago in which Rainey hit three home runs against Delta State University (jump to 0:39 to see his first home run):

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