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Reds sign draftees Nick Howard, Taylor Sparks

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The Cincinnati Reds have now inked each of their picks from the first 10 rounds of the 2014 draft..

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The Cincinnati Reds locked up the last two unsigned players from the first 10 rounds of their 2014 draft class this evening, as both 2nd rounder Taylor Sparks of UC-Irvine (58th overall) and 1st rounder Nick Howard of the University of Virginia (19th overall) signed tonight.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Taylor Sparks, 2nd rounder, has a deal with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/reds?src=hash">#reds</a>. the UC-I 3B, a top defender &amp; pick No. 58 overall, agrees for $972,800.</p>&mdash; Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/statuses/483807015924293633">July 1, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>In addition to landing 2nd-rder Taylor Sparks for $972,800 (h/t <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS">@JonHeymanCBS</a>), <a href="https://twitter.com/Reds">@Reds</a> agree w/1st-rder Nick Howard on $1,990,500. <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBDraft">@MLBDraft</a></p>&mdash; Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) <a href="https://twitter.com/jimcallisMLB/statuses/483812016033779712">July 1, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Both Sparks - a rangy 3B who has displayed power potential and solid defense alongside a lot of K's - and Howard - a power RHP who closed in college this year despite projecting as a future starter - played in the College World Series for their respective universities, so it's no surprise that they were signed later than several other high picks.

Alex Blandino, a SS from Stanford University and fellow 1st round draftee of the Reds, signed earlier in June and has already reported to the Billings Mustangs to begin his first foray into professional baseball.  Given the similar ages and college histories of recent draftees like Michael Lorenzen and Phillip Ervin, among others, it's likely that both Sparks and Howard will get a taste of Billings very soon, too.

I'd wager that we'll find out where they'll be reporting to at some point in the next two days, so keep your eyes on the daily Farmer's Only.