Reds make savvy selection with catcher Logan Tanner in Round 2 of the 2022 MLB Draft
By Drew Koch
Drafting baseball prospects is an inexact science. There are so many variables that exist, and it's hard to forecast how well a young player is going to develop three-plus years down the road. But the Cincinnati Reds appear to have some assurances with their second-round draft pick Logan Tanner.
Tanner played three full seasons at Mississippi State and was a key contributor for the Bulldogs during their run to through the College World Series in 2021. While his hitting may have taken a downturn in 2022, there's every reason to believe that Tanner can be an above-average receiver at the highest level.
Tanner was dominant during the 2021 season. The right-handed hitting backstop slashed .287/.383/.525 with 28 extra base hits including 15 round trippers to go along with 53 RBIs. This season, Tanner experienced similar results with his batting average and on-base percentage, but his power numbers dropped off a bit.
The Reds have done a good job developing catchers in the past.
You needn't look very far to see how good of a track record the Cincinnati Reds have when it comes to developing catchers. Current backstop Tyler Stephenson looks he has the potential to be an All-Star for years to come.
The Reds have also developed top catchers like former All-Stars Devin Mesoraco and Yasmai Grandal and current Detroit Tigers catcher and two-time Gold Glove Award-winner Tucker Barnhart.
Logan Tanner looks to have an elite arm. The 21-year-old was a former two-way player in high school and had a fastball that hit the mid-90s. That could be a weapon at the next level. Keith Law of The Athletic (subscription required) had Tanner ranked as the 37th best player available in the 2022 MLB Draft and called him the best pure defensive catchers in the draft.
Catcher is one of those rare positions where your hitting can lag behind your defense and yet you'll still find a place on the 26-man roster. The Reds are hoping that Tanner's bat can develop enough to where he may eventually become more than just defense-first backstop.
MLB Pipeline foresees Logan Tanner being able to smack 20 home runs per year if he's able to lift the ball into the air, so the the power is there. If the Reds can unlock Tanner's potential, he could be a force on both sides of the ball.