FanSided 2020 Mock MLB Draft: Reds take power-hitting outfielder

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 06: A detailed view of a Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 06: A detailed view of a Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The FanSided Mock Draft netted the Reds college outfielder Heston Kjerstad.

If the actual 2020 MLB Draft breaks the way our FanSided Mock Draft did last night, then the Cincinnati Reds front office will be doing back flips. Heston Kjerstad slipped passed several teams and fell to the Reds at No. 12. Kjerstad has big-time power, which is something the Cincinnati farm system is severely lacking.

Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh, after the front office landed two nice prep bats during last year’s draft. Both Rece Hinds and Tyler Callihan, the Reds 2019 second and third-round picks respectively, bring power, but both are easily three-plus years from the majors and play on the infield dirt.

Kjerstad is a power-hitting left-handed bat that began the season on a 16-game hitting streak and led the Arkansas Razorbacks with a .448 batting average. For his career at Arkansas, which only saw the 21-year-old play 16 games in 2020, Kjerstad has 35 home runs, including 14 as a freshman.

Kjerstad had begun his college career in left field, but made the switch to right field in 2019, while also seeing some time at first base. For those thinking he could be the heir apparent to Joey Votto, don’t get too excited. He stuck in right field because of defensive shortcomings at first base, though he could likely fill in if needed.

With Cincinnati’s outfield prospects lacking any semblance of power, adding Heston Kjerstad’s bat would be a huge plus for the Reds. Mike Siani, the Reds top outfield prospect is more of a defensive-minded centerfielder and Stuart Fairchild has more of a jack-of-all-trades profile; he does a lot of things well, but nothing great.

Given that a prospect’s window to make the big leagues is typically three to four years, Kjerstad could be ready for the major leagues by the time Nick Castellanos’ contract is up. If the for Detroit Tigers slugger opts out before the end of his contract, Cincinnati would likely turn to Aristides Aquino as the team’s primary right fielder.

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The Cincinnati Reds are likely to go with a college pitcher or an outfield bat when the MLB Draft get underway tonight. Dick Williams and Nick Krall would be ecstatic to land Heston Kjerstad, but another bat like Austin Hendrick, Robert Hassell III or Pete Crow-Armstrong could be a solid addition as well.