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Mocking the Draft: Why not a bat?

Last time, we took a look at the whispers about pitchers, but who are the impact bats rumored to the Reds?

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Should the Reds take Preston Tucker's little brother?
Should the Reds take Preston Tucker's little brother?
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

I've done a decent (read: minimal) amount of research into this draft, and quite honestly: this thing looks like a total crapshoot. Different sites (, Baseball America, ESPN, Sports Illustrated) have many of the same names atop their lists, but many of those names are shuffled around.

For instance, last time we took a peek two college pitchers that ESPN had the Reds digging on. But a look now, Baseball America has Tyler Jay going number 1 overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks. A look at one list has a certain player falling to the Reds at number 11, the next has the same name in the top 5.

Long story short? This whole thing is a shot in the dark. But, lets familiarize ourselves with some offensive names being tied to the Reds.

Andrew Benintendi, of, Arkansas

Our friend ArkansasRedsFan would approve, I'm sure. The 5'11", 175lbs center fielder is a Cincinnati product, graduating in 2013 from Madeira High School. In June of that year, the Reds selected him in the 31st round of the draft, but he instead took his talents to Arkansas. After OPSing a rather unspectacular .701 in his freshman year that was hampered by injuries. This year, though, he showed what he could really do, and earned himself SEC Player of the Year honors for his troubles. I'd give you some stats, but I'll be damned if I can find anything year-to-date.

But, he did do this:

The Cincinnati native and Madeira High School graduate finished the season as the conference leader in batting average (.415), home runs (17), on base percentage and total bases. He led the nation with a .771 slugging percentage.

The power breakthrough is seen as something unforeseen, as he doesn't have typical size for a home run banger. However, his plate discipline is seen as a plus tool, and his defense is expected to be serviceable if not more so on the major league level. He's a hometown kid and I'm sure the powers-that-be wouldn't hate to see someone like that patrolling the outfield of Great American Ball Park in the future.

From ESPN Scouting ($ Insider $):

He's a 55 runner who should stay in center field at least in the short term, where he'd project as at least an above-average regular thanks to his plate discipline and what should end up as at least average power. If he has to move to a corner, he'll need to maintain more of that power production to remain more than just a solid regular.

You could certainly talk me into this pick, as he seems like the best version of Billy Hamilton. He doesn't have world-class track star speed, and I don't know that he'd garner a lot of #RunBennyRun hashtags right away.  But he did swipe 20+ bags this season, so he's certainly capable of threatening in that department. But it sounds like he possesses the necessary OBP skills to actually, you know, get on base. Unlike the CF incumbent for the Reds.

Plus, we can call him Benny the Jet.


He's apparently Ohio's High School Hit King?:

Kyle Tucker, of, Plant High (Tampa, FL)

Here we have a high school bat with high, high upside. I read that his swing has already been compared to Darryl Strawberry and... Ken Griffey, Jr. The power potential is real and it is spectacular. At 18 years old, the 6 foot 4 inch frame has quite a bit of filling out to do (175lbs!!). JCH's middle schooler is as big as this guy.

The kid projects to be a prototypical right fielder at the major league level; the arm strength is adequate and the pop will make him worth it.

From ESPN:

Tucker's swing has a lot of things going for it; he has plus bat speed and his extension allows him to make hard contact with pitches at any part of the plate. My two qualms are that I don't love his finish, and there's just a bit too much hand drop for my taste. All of that being said, it's easy to see why so many have him with a plus hit tool.

He is the younger brother of one of the newest Astros, Preston Tucker, and is said to have a higher ceiling than his older brother. All Preston has done since getting called up earlier this month is post a 167 OPS+ in 51 PAs. I've seen places (such as the Baseball America link from above) projecting the Astros to take the Little Tucker with the 5th pick overall, placing the brothers in the same organization.

This guy screams "Jay Bruce" to me.