Welcome back to our MLB Draft coverage. Thank you for all the kind comments last night. You warm a turtle's heart. Today, we'll recap the three picks Cincinnati made yesterday, then follow pick by pick made by the team today. Chime in with your excellent questions and analysis. You make this a great deal of fun.
1. Phil Ervin-CF-Samford.
One of the more interesting position players available, Ervin is a tale of two prospects. Having torn knee ligaments in high school, Ervin wasn't drafted out of high school. Some scouts doubt the undersized (5-foot-10, 205 pounds) junior can stick in center and project him to move to LF, while others see him as solid-average patrolling the big yard. Ervin has performed well against strong competiton in and out of the Southern Conference, where he was a three-time all-league selection. Ervin features plenty of qualities to like. Several scouts consider Ervin, 20, not only as a safe bet, but a sure thing. He has enough speed for CF and enough arm (he pitched 7 innings this season) to handle RF. A native of Leroy, Ala., Ervin has few holes in his compact swing and above average raw power. A sociology major, Ervin could be a fine combination of power and average, as his 11-40-.337/.459/.557 line this season suggests. His speed plays better defensively than on the bases, although he was 21-for-23 in stolen base attempts. A hard-working, confident player with excellent makeup, Ervin is a favorite of scouts who value work ethic. Reds Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Chris Buckley told the media Ervin is "a very complete player." Buckley called Ervin a "five-tool player." Baseball America ranked Ervin the top college CF available and No. 3 overall at the position. John Sickels of minorleagueball.com called Ervin a "very good value pick for the Reds." Ervin was the most valuable player in the Cape Cod League last summer, posting an impressive line of 11-31-.323 against top-notch competition. Ervin stole 10 bases in 12 tries on the Cape. BA calls Ervin "a steal as a quick-twitch center fielder." BA calls Ervin Cincinnati's second-best OF prospect after Billy Hamilton and wrote that his package of tools is greater than Low-A standout Jesse Winker.
S1. Michael Lorenzen-RHP-Cal State-Fullerton.
Most figured the 6-3, 195-pound junior to be drafted as a CF, where he plays amazing defense and takes advantage of a howitzer arm. The Reds, though, liked that strong arm on the mound, where Lorenzen went 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA and 19 saves in 22 tries. In 22 innings, he allowed 17 hits, struck out 20 and walked four. As a hitter, Lorenzen put up a line of 7-53-.335/.415/.523 and was hit by 15 pitches. A native of Anaheim, Lorenzen was named the College Baseball Writers stopper of the year. He played two years on the U.S. National team and had a save and a 0.00 ERA last summer. Tampa Bay took him in the seventh round out of high school. His nickname is Cowboy. Lorenzen is a high-character individual. His favorite player, though, is Ryan Braun. Lorenzen is one of the premier athletes in the draft and could move quickly as a reliever. He and Buckley said the Reds plan to allow him to hit, as well as pitch, but pitching will be the focus. Lorenzen consistely delivers 95-98 mph fastballs. His curve is fringy now, but projects as above average as he develops better command of the pitch.While some scouts question whether Lorenzen can start, Buckley said he thinks the Titans' star can and that having spent most of his time in the outfield, pro pitching coahes can work with Lorenzen's athleticism to potentially make him an outstanding hurler. As a position player, Lorenzen has above average raw power and is a slightly above average runner. BA ranked Lorenzen the No. 4 CF overall, behind Ervin. A finalist for the "Stopper of the Year" Award, Lorenzen has showe dup on various All-America teams each of the last three seasons.
Lorenzen was ranked 52nd overall in the draft by Baseball America and No. 12 in California.
2. Kevin Franklin-3B-Gahr HS.
Franklin brings enourmous power, but with it comes contact issues. Franklin is a hard worker with a great attitude and is willing to learn. He appears signable away from Arizona State. Franklin (6-2, 220) is thick, but not unathletic by any means and scouts think he can remain at third base, at least for now. Buckley was impressed with Franklin's athleticism. First base and corner outfield slots are other destinations. Franklin's mechanics can use some work, especially in trying to hit breaking balls. The Reds might need to be patient in developing Franklin, a high-upside selection, and because of his prodigious power he could be worth the wait. BA ranked Franklin No. 232 nationally and No. 44 in a loaded State of California.