The Cincinnati Reds need to sequence their drafts the next few years to get players who will develop quickly.
The Cincinnati Reds need to find players to support Jesse Winker in the near future so the rebuild is a success. In the current timeline Billy Hamilton, Adam Duvall, and Devin Mesoraco will be gone due to high salaries. Joey Votto will be on the tailend of his career with Eugenio Suarez or a yet to be promoted partner covering first base.
That’s a potential catcher, a defensive center fielder and the power of an All-Star that the Reds will need to replace. The Reds think that they have the catcher in Tyler Stephenson and the power hitter in Aristides Aquino, their 2016 minor leaguer of the year. That leaves them a center fielder short, if everything falls into place.
So maybe the Reds need to draft the best college defensive centerfielder they can find this year. That gives them two years to teach him how to play MLB center field. They could let the other two outfielders pinch the lines forcing the center fielder in training to cover more ground.
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Or maybe the Reds should draft a second baseman. They are not sure yet that Dilson Herrera is the answer, but they need to be ready to support Senzel for the six years before he is a free agent. They have shortstop covered with Jose Peraza set as the future starter and Alfredo Rodriguez coming up as the defensive back-up.
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The Cincinnati Reds have backed themselves in a corner and have to decide how to balance the then with the now.
Obviously, the Reds cannot draft exclusively to gather bench players to go around Senzel and Winker. They also need to draft players for the future, including the potential replacements for Senzel and Winker. That is the way MLB baseball works.
A team has to be managing a big league club and the next two generations of players. That was apparent with the Dan Straily deal. While most people notice pitcher Austin Brice, the key piece in the deal is Jesse Winker’s replacement in left, Isaiah White.
They want to have a successful rebuild in the generation that is about to start. However, for that to work the Reds need to look at the next draft as a source of bench players. The Reds have taken most of the starting pitchers and potential starting position players in first five rounds. No team in the National League Central has fewer low round draft picks on their roster than the Reds.
The Reds need to look at rounds 11-20 as the bench player rounds. They need to draft the players with certain bench skills, like pinch hitting and defensive prowess. In so doing, they may yet have a long term successful rebuild. Instead they will be constantly restarting as they have since 1990.