Cincinnati Reds have options for 2018 MLB Amateur Draft
With another high draft pick and a full minor league system, the Cincinnati Reds can go in any direction in the draft.
After picking second overall for two years in a row, the Cincinnati Reds have a slightly lower pick. In 2018 they are picking fifth overall having finished with the third worst record in the National League. That is fine with the Reds because it shows progress and they don’t have a specific need right now.
The player that is most often linked to the Reds is left-handed starting pitcher Shane McClanahan from the University of South Florida. As a redshirt freshman McClanahan made fifteen starts going 4-2. He was also a first team freshman All-American.
The other player that is often linked to the Reds is Phoenix- area high schooler Nolan Gorman. He projects as a third baseman at the big league level. If the Reds land him, they could immediately transition top prospect Nick Senzel to second base if they want.
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The Reds often draft shortstops and move them to other positions. The top shortstop in the draft class is Nander De Sedas from Montverde Academy. The Reds could take him and move him to second or leave him at short.
The Cincinnati Reds are well-positioned in a draft class that is well-balanced between pitchers and position players.
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Among MLBpipeline.com’s top 50, there are literally the same number of pitchers and position players. Right-handers make up the strong plurality at eighteen. Seven left-handed pitchers are in the top 50.
The scarcest position is second base, where there is only one among the top fifty. That is because usually professional second basemen shift from another position. There are three each at first, third and catcher.
The greatest change in this draft may be that the top ranked prospect isn’t a high school pitcher. Instead, it is Brady Singer from the 2017 College World Series champion Florida Gators. In 2016 The Oakland Athletics drafted A.J. Puk of the Gators sixth overall, so UF has the reputation for good prospects.
College athletes are usually more predictable, but have a shorter time line to get to the majors. That’s why high schoolers often go higher when the draft finally happens. In a tie teams draft the high schooler, despite the lower success rate of reaching the majors.
The Reds are in the enviable position of being able to take the best talent. They won’t rush this player to the majors. Instead, the Reds will allow him time to develop, whomever he is.