[Note by Rick House, 06/05/08 12:44 PM EDT ] Edited to add poll. -Rick
It's that time.
The time when each team is reminded how bad they were the previous season by being compensated with picks as terrific as they were terrible and horrific. We were the 7th-worst team in baseball last year, so we're rewarded with our highest pick since 2004, when we took Homer Bailey with the seventh pick. (Bill Bray went 13th in that draft. Not the 13th round; 13th.) This is gonna be a rough sketch of our possible first-round pick at No. 7. Please feel free to post draft news, including late-round selections and profiles, as there are a lot of you who know much more about amateur baseball than me.
WHEN: 2 p.m. today
WHERE: Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
TV: ESPN2, first two rounds plus compensation picks
In my non-expert opinion, the Reds should be down to Crow, Gordon Beckham, Alonso, Matusz, Lawrie or Posey at this point. The Rays will probably take Posey or Tim Beckham at No. 1, and the Pirates are probably going with Alvarez at No. 2. Kansas City should follow with Hosmer or, if available, Posey. Baltimore is likely looking at Tim Beckham or Matusz, and the Giants will pick up Posey if he's still on the board. If not, they could go with Gordon Beckham or Crow, but the pitchers' stocks seem to be falling. Florida could then take local kid Alonso or go with catching phenom Skipworth. Alonso or Smoak could still be available, and unless Lawrie really wowed the Reds in a private workout on Tuesday, from what I'm reading, I have to think we're most likely to take Yonder Alonso with the 7th pick.
I'd be disappointed if we take Kelly, worried if we take Crow, surprised if we got a crack at Posey and pretty pleased with anyone else. Gordon Beckham doesn't seem to get scouts too thrilled, but he wouldn't be a bad pick. I'm really hoping for Alonso, Posey or Matusz at this point, and since I don't see a way Posey falls all the way to 7, I'm pulling for Yonder.
Profiles and videos after the jump...
|Pedro Alvarez||3B||Junior, Vanderbilt University||Pedro Alvarez||Won't fall to us. The Bucs will probably take him at No. 2. Enjoy! Went No. 2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
|Tim Beckham||SS||Griffin (Ga.) High School||Tim Beckham||Likely won't fall to us, either. A possible No. 1 pick. Went No. 1 to the Tampa Bay Rays
|Buster Posey||C||Junior, Florida State University||Buster Posey||Would be an absolute steal if he falls to No. 7, but don't count on it. Some mock drafts have him going No. 1 to the Rays. This season he has 24 home runs in 63 games with a .468 batting average, and he's also got a reputation for terrific defense. He would fit into our system great, and wouldn't really be in competition with Devin Mesoraco (he's way ahead of Devin at this point.) He's also the ACC Player of the Year. If he falls all the way to 7, there should be no question as to who to pick. But I can't see a scenario in which he goes lower than fifth. Giants select him at No. 5.
|Kyle Skipworth||C||Patriot (Calif.) High School||Feature , Interview||Unlike Posey, he isn't a good fit for the Reds. Even though we need depth at the backstop, I can't imagine we'd take a project high school catcher two years in a row. Pass. Goes No. 6 to the Marlins.
|Gordon Beckham||SS||Junior, University of Georgia||Gordon Beckham||(No relation to Tim.) Some think he's a more natural fit for second base. Put up big offensive numbers at Georgia this season, with 24 homers and batting nearly .400. Could do a lot worse.|
|Brian Matusz||LHP||Junior, University of San Diego||Brian Matusz||One of the two top college pitchers might be available at No. 7. The Orioles reportedly are considering him at No. 4, but they also like Justin Smoak. Would likely be a candidate to fill out our rotation by next season. Goes No. 4 to Baltimore.
|Brett Lawrie||INF||Brookswood Secondary School, British Columbia||Brett Lawrie||This is who Baseball Prospectus has us taking. His legend grew when he hit 8 homers in 8 games against pros in the DR. He's also a Canadian, which the Reds seem to love. Had a special workout on Tuesday, so his slot might depend on what happened then. Like Mesoraco last season, his stock is soaring right now.|
|Eric Hosmer||1B||American Heritage (Fla.) HS||Eric Hosmer||I don't see us taking a prep bat. But according to Baseball America, Hosmer is at the top of San Francisco's draft board (No. 5), so if he and Posey don't go in the first four picks, Posey could slip to us. He's a Boras guy, so hope that Kansas City and Baltimore don't want to pay his price. Goes No. 3 to Kansas City. We have no shot at Posey.
Junior, Miami University
||Yonder Alonso||Is less versatile defensively than Votto, so should we take him he would likely be our first baseman of the future, moving Votto to the outfield. Would be looking for money well over slot, so we might have to break our signing bonus record (Chris Gruler, $2.5 million, 2002) to get him. BP has him "at the top of (the Reds') board." Got him. I think this was an excellent pick. Keith Law is now saying he's surprised we took him because of the money he's asking for. Open your checkbook, Bob, and break in your outfielder's glove, Joey.
|Aaron Crow||RHP||Junior, University of Missouri||Aaron Crow||Had a million strikeouts in 100 innings this season, making him perhaps the top arm in the draft, but some have issues with his mechanics. I don't know a lot about the topic, but the comparisons (Mark Prior, Francisco Liriano) are enough to scare me away from this pick. Still, John Sickels has us taking Crow, and he's been the guy linked to us most often.|
|Justin Smoak||1B||Junior, University of South Carolina||Justin Smoak||A switch-hitter with plus-power (23 homers in 63 games), this guy's a stud at the plate. Like Alonso, he's not a great defender, but that's not a big worry of mine for a first baseman. Several services have him falling past No. 7, but none I've seen have us interested in him. I'm not sure why; with Alonso, he looks to be the best college first baseman in the draft, and with our coming dearth in the outfield, moving Votto to left seems to make a lot of sense.|
|Casey Kelly||SS/RHP||Sarasota (Fla.) High School||Casey Kelly||His family connection (father Pat is the SaraReds' manager) seems to be the only reason we're considering taking him this high. He's a terrific athlete (he's signed to play quarterback for Tennessee next year, adding to concerns about whether he'll even pursue a baseball career), but most services have him going around 15th. Sickels originally had him going 30th to Boston. This pick would be very disappointing to me.|