The Reds took Tanner Rainey with their last pick of the first day, in the Lottery B round, whatever that is. Rainey pitches at West Alabama, a Division II school, and pitched out of the bullpen there.
Rainey spent the first two years of his college career at Southeastern Louisiana, where he got just 31 at-bats and 29 innings, before transferring to West Alabama. He went undrafted as a junior, when he doubled as the Tigers' first baseman and closer, but could be the first senior picked in 2015. Though Rainey ranked among the NCAA Division II leaders with 17 homers and an .827 slugging percentage entering regional tournament play, he'll get selected as a pitcher. After topping out at 95 mph with his fastball a year ago, he's now working at 93-95 mph and reaching 97. His 82-86 slider gives him a second plus pitch at times, though it can get slurvy. Rainey has a physical, durable frame that allows him to maintain his velocity even when he pitches on consecutive days. He has a decent delivery that he repeats well, allowing him to throw strikes. He'll probably be a late-inning reliever in pro ball, though he flashes an average changeup in bullpen sessions and could get a look as a starter.
Interesting that he's such a good hitter, and it'll be interesting to see what the Reds do given his repertoire. He looks pretty safe as a reliever, but with the bat and the Reds' track record of converting college relievers to starters, who knows what the Reds see in him.
Here's his video:
What do we think? We'll pick up right here tomorrow.