Welcome back to the Draft, everyone. Last night was fun. I'm enthused about the Robert Stephenson pick and am looking forward to today's portion of the Draft -- rounds 2 through 30.
I'll post information and comments on all of the Reds picks. I won't post something on every team's pick as I did for the first round and the supplemental round. I will, however, make comments on selected players as they come off the board.
The picks come rapid fire, so please excuse any typos and the somewhat haphazard method I'll use when posting comments. On Thursday, we'll wrap it up into a cleaner, more in-depth post.
The Draft begins at noon. Let's start today, however, with a look at what some are saying about the Reds' selection of Stephenson, the big righty from Alhambra HS in Martinez, Calif.
From Baseball Nation:
When scouts see an 18-year-old pitcher who stands 6-2 and can reach 98 miles an hour with his fastball but weighs only 180 pounds, the word "projectability" almost always comes to mind. If he can throw 98 now, what happens in three or four years when he's 6-3 and 220? Well, he's probably recovering from Tommy John surgery. But you makes your picks and you takes your chances, and you hope you're getting Dr. Jekyll rather than Mr. Hyde. Health-wise, anyway.
Stephenson, who like Joe Ross hails from the East Bay area, throws a devastating curveball and is considered highly intelligent, with a good chance of taking his big arm and his 4.12 GPA to the University of Washington. However, it is unlikely that the Reds would use a first round pick on him without a good read on his signability. In some drafts, he could have been a top ten pick.
From Reds Scouting Director Chris Buckley:
"He's an outstanding high school projection pitcher with a very loose, live arm," Reds senior director of amateur scouting Chris Buckley said. "We saw him as high as 98 [mph] this year. He's going to fill out, get stronger.
"I was out there about two weeks ago and he lost a no-hitter around the sixth inning," Buckley said. "I saw him pitch three times this year. To get him in the first round, we obviously liked him a lot. He's got very good upside, good projection to his frame. He throws hard now. He should throw a little harder as most high school kids do as they get bigger and stronger.
"He might have an arm similar to Homer's, but not as polished," Buckley said. "Homer went way up at the top of the first round, and Robert is down towards the bottom."
From Baseball America:
"Stephenson has a long and loose 6-foot-2 frame, and he's not done growing yet so scouts see projection as he matures. He had a busy summer on the showcase circuit and then started off his senior season by throwing back-to-back no-hitters. His fastball sat in the the 90-92 mph range last summer, and he took things up a notch this spring, sitting 93-95 and touching 97. Stephenson has a smooth, athletic delivery and produces good hand speed. This has helped his curveball improve along with his fastball, and he's now throwing the pitch in the 78-80 mph range and commanding it well. He also mixes in an occasional changeup. Stephenson is just as gifted in the classroom as he is on the pitcher's mound, and he's Washington's biggest recruit in a long time. He has been working with Huskies assistant coach Jordon Twohig since he was 13, but the program's recent struggles and Stephenson's status as a possible first rounder make it unlikely he winds up on campus."