When the 2012 MLB Draft slogs along in the later rounds and I'm typing a report on the Reds' latest phenom from Opossum Hollow Junior College, you might be tempted to go do something else. Ah, but should you stick around, you might be the first RRer privileged to see info on a future big leaguer.
OK, it's not likely, but it could happen, as evidenced by what you'll see after the jump. Since this year's Draft, which takes place June 4-6, is 40 rounds, I've looked at the Reds' best pick in each round 1 through 40 since the Draft began in 1965. The stipulations are that the player had to make the major leagues and had to have signed with Cincinnati. There are plenty of Otis Nixon and Chris Chambliss types whom the Reds picked but didn't sign.
I used WAR as the rough determination as to who was the best player in each round, but an occasional Turtle's Take overruled WAR a time or two.
With that, let's have a gander at the Reds' all-time best draft selections per round:
1. Barry Larkin-SS-Michigan, 1985. You make the Hall of Fame, you're the pick. Larkin won the spot at the top over Don Gullett (1969) and Gary Nolan (1966).
2. Johnny Bench-C-Anadarko HS. You make the Hall of Fame, you're the pick. The greatest second-round selection of all-time, Bench gets the nod over Joey Votto (2002), Chris Sabo and Joe Oliver (both 1983) and Adam Dunn (1998).
3. Danny Tartabull-2B-Carol City HS (1980). Tartabull was worth nearly 21 wins above replacement in a 14-year major league career, none of it with the Reds. He edges Aaron Boone (1994), Rawley Eastwick (1969) and Mike LaCoss (1974).
4. Paul O'Neill-OF-Brookhaven HS. (1981) O'Neill easily gets the nod over LHP Joe Price (1977).
5. Jeff Russell-RHP-Wyoming HS. (1979) Russell was more productive with Texas. He edges C Jason LaRue (1995) and OF Steve Henderson (1974).
6. Hal McRae-OF-Douglas HS (1965). A great hitter, mostly with the Royals, McRae's only competition for this slot was C Eddie Taubensee (1986).
7. Reggie Sanders-OF-Spartanburg Methodist (1987). Sanders easily gets this spot over SS Tom Foley (1977), 1B Dave Revering (1971) and RHP Bill Dawley (1976).
8. Eric Davis-SS-Fremont HS (1980). One of the greatest Reds ever, Davis overwhelmingly outdistances LHPs Ray King (1995) and Will McEnaney (1970).
9. Tom Browning-LHP-Tennessee Wesleyan (1982). WAR says LHP Charlie Liebrandt (1978), but you throw a perfect game against the Dodgers, you get the Turtle's nod. Homerism? Nope, or I'd have picked Marshall RHP Jeff Montgomery (1983). 2B Ron Oester (1974) and RHP Scott Williamson (1997) were good, too.
10. Ray Knight-3B-Dougherty HS (1970). Knight had no competition.
11. Trevor Hoffman-SS-Arizona (1989). Hoffman carved out a great career as a reliever but not with Cincinnati.
12. Scott Terry-OF-Southwestern (1980). Converted to pitcher, Terry beat out SS Adam Rosales (2005).
13. Logan Ondrusek-RHP-McLennan CC (2005). The first current Red on the list had no real competition.
14. Bill Risley-RHP-Truman College (1987). What? You prefer Scott Ruskin?
15. Gary Redus-SS- No school.(1978). The talented speedster became an outfielder and beat out RHP Butch Henry for this spot.
16. Chris Dickerson-OF-Nevada (2003). A RR favorite for a while, Dickerson wins by default.
18. None. OF Oscar Brown (1965) made it but not until after the Braves drafted him in 1969.
19. Pat Zachry-RHP-Richfield HS (1970). A part of the Big Red Machine, Zachry beat out OF Chris Denorfia (2002) and RHP Jerry Spradlin (1988).
20. Jeff Jones-OF-Iowa (1979). No real competition.
21. Eddie Milner-OF-Central State (1976). No competition, but a good pick this late.
22. John Riedling-RHP-RHP-Ely HS (1994). Riedling had no rivals for this spot.
23. Chad Fox-RHP-Tarleton State (1992). Fox beats out former Reds minor league player of the year OF Stephen Smitherman.
24. Jeff Sparks-RHP-St. Mary's (1995). No other Reds' 24th-rounder ever made it to the bigs.
25. Kurt Kepshire-RHP-New Haven (1979). Kepshire is unrivaled.
26. None. Pitchers Mac Scarce and Paul Reuschel were drafted, but didn't sign.
27. None. Four little-known guys received cups of coffee, but none signed with the Reds.
28. Milt HIll-RHP-Georgia Perimeter (1987). Another winner by default.
29. Ken Griffey-OF-Donora HS (1969). Griffey was headed to Marshall to play football when the Reds came calling. Had he not opted for baseball, he'd likely have been on the ill-fated 1970 plane that crashed.
30. None. Rob Mackowiak was drafted, but didn't sign.
31. Jay Howell-RHP-Colorado (1976). Brad Salmon was a 31st-rounder, too, but didn't sign. The Reds drafted him again out of junior college a year later.
32. Scott McRae-RHP-Valdosta State (1995). Maybe you prefer RHP Mo Sanford (1988).
33. None. The Reds drafted C Tim Laudner, but he didn't sign.
34. Scott Pose-OF-Arkansas (1989). The Marlins selected him away from the Reds in the 1992 Rule 5 Draft.
35. Scotti Madison-SS-Gonzalez Tate HS (1976). Ah, if the Reds had just signed Nick Markakis in 2001.
36. Pat Sheridan-OF-Wayne Memorial HS (1976). Mike Maddux, Andy McGaffigan and Rich Hill didn't sign, so you get Sheridan.
37. None. No Reds' 37th-rounder ever has made the majors.
38. None. Chad Allen, an OF with Minnesota, didn't sign.
39. None. Mike Konstanty-1B-Albany was the subject of a few jokes around here in 2008, but that's as exciting as it got.
40. None. In 1991, the Reds drafted Stephen Larkin, but he didn't turn out quite as good as Barry.