You can never gauge the success of the MLB Draft until three to five years later, however, the Cincinnati Reds made some impressive selections on Day 2.
There is so much risk involved in the MLB Draft. Very rarely will you hear the words “sure thing”. However, what the Cincinnati Reds did on Day 2 was add power to their farm system and acquire some valuable assets that will hopefully contribute at the big league level in the future.
The Cincinnati Reds picked up the consensus best pitcher in the draft on Day 1 when they selected Nick Lodolo with the No. 7 overall pick. With the 49th overall selection on Monday, Cincinnati went with a power-hitting infielder in Rece Hinds.
Lodolo is expected to fly up through the Reds’ minor league system fairly quickly and will likely begin his professional career at either Class-A Dayton or Advanced-A Daytona. Hinds on the other hand, being just 18 years old, will likely head to either Billings or Greenville.
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While the most impactful players are usually taken on Day 1, the players selected on Day 2 can be equally important to one’s organization. Current Reds’ pitcher Amir Garrett was selected in Round 22 back in 2011 and Tyler Mahle was a 7th round pick back in 2013.
Two names really stick out for the Reds after Day 2. Tyler Callihan, Cincinnati’s third-round pick, had the potential to go in Round 1. The Reds got great value with that selection. Also, eighth-rounder Quin Cotton could be a factor down the road. Cotton was taken with the 173rd overall pick, but ranked in the Top 200 draft prospects according to MLB.com.
Callihan and Cotton offer different skillsets, but both could be valuable pieces in the future for the Cincinnati Reds. Callihan is a hitter without a position. Drafted for his bat, Callihan doesn’t have the best defensive profile, though he’s played second and third base and seen time behind the plate as well.
Cotton, on the other hand, doesn’t have a particular skill that stands out more than another. The Grand Canyon University product has some untapped, raw power and above average speed, but a fringe arm may hold him back from playing center field at the next level.
The Cincinnati Reds grabbed some power arms on Tuesday as well. In the sixth round, the Reds chose to take right-hander Graham Ashcraft. The UAB product was no doubt drafted to be a reliever, as his fastball can touch the upper-90s and he has a wicked slider to boot.
The Redlegs also grabbed another powerful right-hander with their final pick on Day 2. Jake Stevenson of Minnesota, who can hit the mid-to-upper 90s on the radar gun, was the 294th overall selection in the 2019 MLB Draft. Stevenson is viewed as more of a starter than reliever, but he has to develop at least a second quality pitch.
The Cincinnati Reds also picked up second baseman Ivan Johnson (114), pitcher Ivan Kravetz (144), catcher Eric Yang (204), and center fielder T.J. Hopkins (264) on Day 2 of the MLB Draft. The draft wraps up today. Perhaps, if the Reds are fortunate, they can find a player like Tanner Roark late on Wednesday. Roark was taken in the 25th round in 2008.