The 2023 MLB Draft got underway on Sunday night, and as expected LSU's two biggest stars came off the board early.
While Paul Skenes (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Dylan Crews (Washington Nationals) were the first two players selected in last night's draft, there were plenty of other impact players selected as well.
With the Cincinnati Reds making three selections in the first 50 picks, Nick Krall and his scouting department had a legitimate chance to continue to build this organization from the inside. So how did Day 1 of the 2023 MLB Draft unfold for the Reds?
Grading Day 1 of the Reds 2023 MLB Draft selections: Rhett Lowder, RHP
The Cincinnati Reds decided tto play it safe in Round 1 by selecting polished right-handed starter Rhett Lowder with the seventh-overall pick. Most experts agreed prior to the draft that the Wake Forest product was the second-best pitcher in the class, and possessed the highest floor.
Lowder features a three-pitch mix that's highlighted with his plus-changeup. The 21-year-old is unafraid to throw that pitch to both right-handed and left-handed hitters, while also showing the confidence to throw it in any count.
Rhett Lowder has the abilibty to move through the Cincinnati Reds farm system rather quickly. If he remains healthy, Lowder could follow a path similar to former first-round pick Nick Lodolo and current starter Andrew Abbott. Don't be surprised if Lowder is in the big leagues two years from now.
Grading Day 1 of the Reds 2023 MLB Draft selections: Ty Floyd, RHP
With their Competitive Balance Pick at No. 38, the Cincinnati Reds double-down on their efforts to bolster the team's pitching staff by selecting Ty Floyd, a right-handed pitcher from Louisiana State University and teammate of No. 1-overall pick Paul Skenes.
Floyd shot up draft board following his 17-strikeout performance against the Florida Gators in the 2023 College World Series. According to MLB Pipeline, Floyd could profile as a No. 4 starter in the majors, but if he doesn't develop his secondary pitches, the 6-foot-2 is likely bound for a relief role.
While drafting Ty Floyd will help add depth to the Reds core, there were other more highly-rated players available at No. 38. This selection, however, will allow the Reds sign Floyd below his slot-value, which could open up the Reds to select a more highly-sought after of prospect later in the draft.
Grading Day 1 of the Reds 2023 MLB Draft selections: Sammy Stafura, SS
The Cincinnati Reds pounced on the opportunity to select shortstop Sammy Stafura out of Walter Panas High School (NY) with pick No. 42 in the second-round of the 2023 MLB Draft.
The Reds will have to go over the slotted value of this pick in order to secure Stafura's services. The shortstop is committed to play college baseball for the University of Clemson next season, and it's going to take a pretty penny to pry him away from the Tigers and head coach Erik Bakich.
The 18-year-old Stafura has shown tremendous athletic ability, speed, and raw power. There are questions about Stafura's power-over-hit potential and whether or not his hit tool will truly develop or ultimately be his undoing.
Overall, Day 1 of the 2023 MLB Draft should have seen Cincinnati Reds fans going to bed happy. The Reds mixed together polished pitching prospects with a high-ceiling high school bat at a position of extreme significance.
It's always a bit premature to pass out grades before these players reach their full potential, but the makings of a solid draft class are there. The Cincinnati Reds deserve an A- for Day 1 of the 2023 MLB Draft with two more days to come.