The Reds should avoid drafting a pitcher all together in Round 1 of the 2022 MLB Draft

McQueen's Robby Snelling is seen pitching.
McQueen's Robby Snelling is seen pitching. / JASON BEAN/RGJ / USA TODAY NETWORK

The MLB Draft, maybe even more so than the NFL Draft, utilizes the "best player available" model more often than not. Why? Because the large majority of draftees, if they do make it to the major leagues, will take at least three to four years to actually develop.

So, just because the Cincinnati Reds might need outfield help now, it doesn't mean that an outfielder should be the team's top draft choice. In a couple of years, one of the Reds current prospects could be an All-Star right fielder or perhaps the front office would swing a deal for a top free agent. Who knows?

The point is, it's usually not the wisest move to target a specific position group based on a current need. However, in this year's draft, perhaps the Cincinnati Reds should make an exception.

The Reds should avoid a drafting a pitcher in Round 1 of the 2022 MLB Draft.

I'm not only suggesting that the Cincinnati Reds should avoid drafting a prep pitcher out of high school, but I'd like to see them avoid drafting a pitcher all together in Round 1.

First, the Reds farm system is loaded with potential arms. Now, I know I just said that you typically don't see teams drafting based on need, and I stand by that. I'm not suggesting Cincinnati should target a shortstop or an outfielder or a catcher. I would advocate for the Reds to take the best "position" player available.

But Cincinnati has so many young and talented arms in their farm system at the moment. We've just witnessed Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, Reiver Sanmartin, Tony Santillan, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Alexis Díaz debut in the last two years.

The Cincinnati Reds also have Lyon Richardson, Andrew Abbott, Christian Roa, Bryce Bonnin, Joe Boyle, Connor Phillips, Brandon Williamson, and Chase Petty down on the farm. That's a lot of pitchers who have less than two years of major league experience.

Furthermore, so many college pitchers are coming into the 2022 MLB Draft having already undergone major surgery or missed time during the season. Blade Tidwell (shoulder), Connor Prielipp Tommy John surgery), Carson Whisenhunt (suspension), and Peyton Pallette (Tommy John surgery) all missed time this past spring.

Top prep pitcher Dylan Lesko is recovering from Tommy John surgery as well. Lesko was seen by many as the first pitcher likely to be selected in the 2022 MLB Draft, but that seems unlikely now.

There's just so much risk when it comes to drafting a pitcher in Round 1. The Cincinnati Reds did well to land Nick Lodolo in 2019, but he was a mature and polished pitcher. Were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic slowing his progress, we have seen Lodolo debut last year.

Brock Porter, ranked as the 11th best prospect in the draft according to MLB Pipeline, might be one of the few exceptions. Kumar Rocker is another to keep an eye on after failing to come to a contract agreement with the New York Mets last year.

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