While the Cincinnati Reds have never selected No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft, they have taken a few players with the second overall pick.
The Cincinnati Bengals will be selecting No. 1 overall during tonight’s NFL Draft. While the Cincinnati Reds have never been granted the first-overall pick, they have selected in the No. 2 slot on several occasions. Let’s look back at the three Reds who were selected with the second-overall pick in the MLB Draft.
The first-year player draft is Major League Baseball’s yearly event in which high school seniors and eligible college players are selected by teams to begin their professional careers. The first amateur draft was held in 1965. That year, the Reds selected Bernie Carbo with the 16th overall pick. Johnny Bench was selected by Cincinnati in the second round that year.
Cincinnati has drafted one Hall of Famer in the first round over the years, and that would be shortstop Barry Larkin. Larkin was selected with the fourth overall selection in the 1985 draft. That year marked the only time in team history in which the Reds selected fourth overall.
The Reds do have a history of selecting second overall. In fact, it’s happened three times in franchise history. To this point, it’s been kind of a mixed bag of results with the No. 2 overall pick. In 1983, Cincinnati sleeted Kurt Stillwell in the first round. Stillwell was an infielder attending high school out in California.
Stillwell made his big league debut in 1986, playing 104 games and hitting just .229 during his rookie season. Stillwell played 80 games at shortstop, earning 64 starts. The following season, Stillwell split time between shortstop and second base, while also playing 20 games at third base.
Kurt Stillwell was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 1987 along with reliever Ted Power. The move enabled Cincinnati to elevate Barry Larkin to the status of an everyday player and the rest is history. One of the players the Reds received in return, Danny Jackson, turned in a phenomenal performance in 1988.
Jackson earned a trip to the All-Star Game and almost won the Cy Young Award, falling to the eventual winner, Orel Hershiser. Both Jackson and Hershiser tied for the league lead in wins that season with 23. Looking back, considering that it paved the way for Larkin to excel, trading Stillwell may have been one of the better trades in club history.
Another former No. 2 overall pick is last year’s rookie Nick Senzel. I’ve seen two different camps when it comes to the 24-year-old. There are those who think he’s a bit overhyped and would prefer to see him traded, while others are very bullish on the former Tennessee Volunteer and want to see him given every opportunity.
I’m of the opinion that the best is yet to come for Senzel. Injuries are certainly part of his story to this point, but he’ll have plenty of opportunities to change that narrative. More than anything, Nick Senzel needs stability. Brought up as a third baseman, the former first-round pick was moved to center field last season.
With the signing of Shogo Akiyama and Nick Castellanos during the offseason, Senzel may have some stiff competition if he hopes to reach the lofty ceiling that comes with being a first-round pick. I, for one, hope he’s up for the challenge and am excited to see what he can do in 2020.
Cincinnati selected No. 2 overall in back-to-back drafts. While Senzel was the team’s first-round selection in 2016, Hunter Greene was taken No. 2 overall in the 2017 MLB Draft. A two-way player in high school, the Reds hope that Greene’s arm is his ticket to the big leagues. Greene can routinely reach triple-digits on the radar gun.
Greene is one of Cincinnati’s top prospects, though he’s coming off Tommy John surgery last season. The hope is that Greene can return to the field this season and be a big part of the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation for years to come.
Many fans and pundits expect the Cincinnati Bengals to select Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in tonight’s NFL Draft. Hopefully Burrow will help guide the Bengals back to the playoffs. The Cincinnati Reds are hoping for similar success this season, having missed the postseason every year since 2013.