The Reds selected college players with each of their first three picks, each of whom comes with their fair share of question marks. Nick Howard, a RHP out of the University of Virginia, was taken 19th overall as a projected starting pitcher, and while he's got an arm that can run a fastball up to 98 mph, he's spent the entire 2014 season as the Wahoos' closer. The Reds then followed that selection by taking IF Alex Blandino with the 29th pick, a Stanford University product who isn't projected to stick at SS, doesn't have the power for 3B, and has yet to spend much time at either of the positions some analysts think he'll potentially play (LF & 2B). Finally, with their 2nd round pick, the Reds nabbed 3B Taylor Sparks 58th overall, and while the rangy UC-Irvine product has a cannon arm and big-time power potential, he already has the kind of iffy plate discipline that would make him fit right in with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos lineup.
It was odd. A conservative approach, really, that seemed to favor drafting guys that have a reasonable chance at maybe being decent big leaguers while taking no lottery-ticket young players who could potentially become stars. Perhaps that was because the Reds felt they could sign each to below-slot contracts, thereby saving cash to throw at talented high school players today in hopes of persuading them to sign instead of attending college. Perhaps they were enamored with several players who came off the board right before their pick and had to scramble down their board to find a player they liked.
Perhaps they just know a heck of a lot more about what they're doing than you, me, and many of the draftniks evaluating these players do. Let's hope that's the case.
Anyway, Rounds 3 thru 10 will take place this afternoon, with the first pick of Round 3 coming at some point shortly after 1 PM EST. If you've got MLB.tv, you can watch the draft there, and you can also watch it through the MLB At-Bat app on your iPhones & Androids if you're a subscriber. You can also follow along with MLB.com's Draft Tracker, which updates pretty rapidly and includes video of each player drafted (if available) as well as vitals, some stats, and the upcoming draft order.
It will also be televised on MLB Network, so if you're all old-fashioned and actually have a television and a remote control handy you can tune in that way. Have a Crystal Pepsi & wear a hypercolor shirt for me while you're at it.
We'll have updated picks & analysis on the site in this thread and additional posts throughout the day, so stay tuned.