Reds news: First-round pick Austin Hendrick signs

The Reds signed 2020 first-round pick Austin Hendrick.

According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, the Cincinnati Reds have signed first-round pick Austin Hendrick for $4M, which is slightly under slot-value. Hendrick was the No. 12 overall selection in the 2020 MLB Draft; a slot valued at $4,366,400. Hendrick joins fellow high school outfielder Mackenzie Wainwright, as Cincinnati’s only draft signees thus far.

Hendrick, an outfield prospect from Pennsylvania, had the best power among prep players in this year’s draft. In fact, the argument could be made that Hendrick had the best power, period. The 19-year-old is most likely slated to play right field, but according to Callis, there is a chance that Hendrick could stick in center field.

The coronavirus pandemic severely effected high school baseball in Pennsylvania. So much so that Hendrick didn’t play a single game this season. However, the Reds had enough confidence to select Hendrick in the first round despite not seeing him swing the bat in 2020.

Austin Hendrick had committed to play for Chris Lemonis at Mississippi State, however, by inking Hendrick to a $4M deal, the Cincinnati Reds effectively took Hendrick away from the Bulldogs. That said, with minor and developmental leagues likely cancelled due to the coronavirus, there’s no telling when Hendrick’s professional career will get underway.

Hendrick brings power to the Cincinnati farm system. On the scouting scale of 20-80, Hendrick owns plus-power with a grade of 60 according to MLB Pipeline. Last year’s second-round draft pick Rece Hinds, has a similar power grade, but none of the Reds top outfield prospects have much of a power tool. Stuart Fairchild and Mike Siani excel in other areas.

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The Cincinnati Reds now have two of their six draft picks under contract. Catching prospect Jackson Miller and the trio of right-handed pitching prospects (Christian Roa, Bryce Bonnin and Joe Boyle) have yet to sign. The deadline to sign drafted players is August 1st.

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