Reds' Draft Review

Hey guys, I've posted a review of the Reds' draft over at MLB Bonus Baby. There's comments on all 51 picks. I thought you might be interested in the read.

Here's an excerpt for you, this being the size of each year in my draft previews before the draft:

1. Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona State, #8 overall, 6’0’’/180: I have to start this out by saying that I’m a big Mike Leake fan. Where most people jump on Leake’s lack of physical projection, I see his athletic frame as a slight plus, as he has the ability to repeat his delivery with consistency, and his mechanics are clean. His advanced command of multiple offerings is quite scary, and though his fastball is average in velocity, he more than makes up for that with movement and command. I see his ceiling as quite a bit higher than some media outlets will tell you, though I don’t think he’s a number one guy. However, he looks like a good number two to me, probably in the mold of Tim Hudsonduring his Oakland years. Leake’s negotiations have hit a bit of a snag, but I fully expect him to sign. DOB: 11/12/87.

1s. Brad Boxberger, RHP, USC, #43 overall, 6’2’’/200: Earlier in the season, I was also a big Boxberger fan, as he showed many of the characteristics that Mike Leake did. He dabbles with three pitches that have good consistency, and his pitches themselves actually have better pure potential than Leake’s. However, Boxberger lacks the precision command of Leake, and he showed he was prone to physical slowdown late in games during the year. I do like this pick at this spot, though, as it’s good value for talent, draft position, and signability, though he hasn’t signed yet. DOB: 5/27/88.

2. Billy Hamilton, SS, Taylorsville HS (MS), #57 overall, 6’1’’/160: I thought this was a very interesting pick, considering it came after a pair of relatively safe college arms went to the Reds. It makes for a very interesting blend of high-ceiling talent with high-floor talent, a good combination. Hamilton himself isn’t one of my favorite ballplayers, as he’s just so raw. He’s got blazing speed to go along with great defensive quickness, and his arm is plus at short, too. However, in the areas where experience shows, Hamilton is most raw. His hitting and fielding tools are lacking greatly at the present time, and he might have to move off short due to that. This is a high-risk, high-reward pick, and even though I thought a couple other prep shortstops would go before him, this isn’t a bad pick. He signed pretty quickly and is hitting .229/.292/.314 in 118 ABs in the GCL. DOB: 9/9/90. Signing bonus: $623,600.

3. Donnie Joseph, LHP, Houston, #88 overall, 6’3’’/190: Joseph is a bit of a polarizing figure in scouting circles, as some say he has the pure stuff to be a late-inning reliever, while others say his lack of a history of command will keep him from getting very far with his stuff. I tend to think Joseph will succeed in pro ball, having developed a fairly consistent breaking ball to go along with an improved fastball out of the bullpen. I think he has the ability to be a CJ Wilson-like reliever, meaning he could probably close on some teams, but not most. I like this pick for draft position, it’s about average for talent, and he signed quickly. He breezed through the Pioneer League in 11.2 innings with a 0.77 ERA, and he’s only allowed three earned runs in 11.1 innings (2.38 ERA) with Dayton in the Midwest League so far. DOB: 11/1/87. Signing bonus: $398,000.

4. Mark Fleury, C, North Carolina, #119 overall, 6’1’’/200: I wasn’t a big Fleury fan for most the spring, simply because he had no track record of catching a full college season and handling the dominating stuff thrown by most UNC pitchers. While I’m still not high on Fleury, I’m much more so than I was four or five months ago. I like his patience at the plate, but I loathe the bunches of strikeouts he rang up. I think his bat is quite questionable. I heard mixed reviews about his handling of the pitching staff, and that makes me wonder whether he can continue to be a full-time starting catcher. This is about where I thought he’d go, but I don’t necessarily liken him to fourth round talent. He signed quickly and is hitting just .175/.284/.286 in 63 ABs with Billings in the Pioneer League. He’s 0-for-14 against lefties. Ouch. DOB: 5/4/88. Signing bonus: $249,300.

The cutoff point in the Reds' draft in terms of transitioning to unsignable or organizational players is after the Jamie Walczak pick in the 15th round.

Direct link here.

What do you guys think?

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