Reds Draft: 3 college position players Cincinnati should target in Round 1

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 02: Matt McLain #1 of UCLA swings the bat. (Photo by Andy Bao/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 02: Matt McLain #1 of UCLA swings the bat. (Photo by Andy Bao/Getty Images) /
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NCAA baseball. Reds prospect Graham Ashcraft played for Mississippi State.
CARY, NC – FEBRUARY 23: NCAA baseball. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

3. Reds should select Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo in Round 1.

This is one of my favorite players from the 2021 MLB Draft. Adrian Del Castillo was drafted in the 36th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox, but chose instead to play for the University of Miami. The choice seems to have worked out well, as the Hurricanes’ backstop seems primed to be taken in Round 1.

Del Castillo appeared in 54 games for the Canes in 2021, with 44 of those coming behind the plate. Some scouts are unsure if the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Del Castillo can stick behind the dish, but most players who show the ability to field the position will be given every chance to succeed. There were those who thought Tyler Stephenson wouldn’t make it as a major league catcher either.

Del Castillo cranked out 13 doubles and racked up 37 runs batted in during his junior season at the U, and the 21-year-old would add some much needed depth to the catcher position within Cincinnati’s minor league ranks. The Reds selected Jackson Miller with the 65th-overall pick last season, but Miller was a prep catcher, and his development may take upwards of four years or more.

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Adrian Del Castillo is a left-handed hitter who can hit for contact, and he’s shown the ability to hit for power as well, but this season he recorded only three round trippers after posting 14 during his first two seasons at Miami. With the scarcity of the talented backstops in the league, the Reds would do well to take a flyer on Del Castillo. If he doesn’t stick at catcher, he has experience playing the outfield.