This Reds first-round draft pick was the biggest bust in team history

2014 MLB Draft
2014 MLB Draft / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

For the last nine years, the Cincinnati Reds have selected productive players in the MLB Draft. In that span, the Reds have made 13 picks in the first round. These picks include current the likes of Matt McLain, Nick Lodolo, Jonathan India, Hunter Greene, Nick Senzel, and Tyler Stephenson.

But in 2014, the front office whiffed. With the19th pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, the Reds selected pitcher Nick Howard.

The right-hander only reached Triple-A after spending eight seasons in the minor leagues, and has since been released. Howard never making the Reds roster.

Reds 1st-round draft pick Nick Howard was the biggest bust in team history.

Nick Howard was selected out of the University of Virginia, where he was a dominant relief pitcher, totaling over 140 innings with 20 saves and 11 wins. But the success seemed to end once he made the leap to professional baseball.

After a few years of struggles within the Cincinnati Reds farm system, Howard suffered a shoulder injury that would require surgery, promptly ending his 2017 campaign before it could get started. Howard's previous two minor league seasons weren't all that productive anyway, as he posted an ERA north of 6.00 in back-to-back seasons at High-A Daytona.

When Howard returned, he suffered through every pitchers worst nightmare. He had developed a case of the "yips." The yips are a mental block that prevents a player from being able to accurately and efficiently do the one thing that got him this far - throw the baseball. It usually stems from having too much knowledge of where your body is in space, but Howard's case isn't very specific.

Howard was never able to fully recover. After his surgery, Howard proceeded to walk more hitters than he would strikeout. After a disappointing start to the 2022 season at Triple-A, the Reds were forced to cut ties with the former first-round pick, ending the eight-year stint that he had spent in the Cincinnati farm system.

Nick Howard remains the biggest bust in Cincinnati Reds history. The 30-year-old is currently working out of the Gwinnett Stripers, an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, bullpen. Selected after Howard in the 2014 MLB Draft were All-Star third baseman Matt Chapman and current Reds pitcher Luke Weaver.

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