The Cincinnati Reds selected 7th overall in this week’s MLB Draft, a far cry from the back to back #2 overall selections they had in 2016-2017, and even further down the pecking order from their #5 overall selection last year. On top of that, they did not have a Competitive Balance Round pick - a pick in the mid 30’s overall - thanks to their winter trade with the New York Yankees, and therefore just as importantly had their overall draft bonus pool shrunken to its smallest total in years.
In other words, this draft class was always going to be a bit smaller than in recent years, and barring some incredibly team-friendly deals, the writing was on the wall for it to end up very, very top-heavy.
That already feels as if it’ll be the case, as the early word is that 3rd round selection Tyler Callihan has already agreed to a $1.5 million bonus, some $800K over his slot value. Considering early whispers had #7 pick Nick Lodolo looking for his entire $5.43 million slot value to sign and the obviousness of 2nd round pick Rece Hinds needing a huge bonus to forego his commitment to attend powerhouse LSU for college, the Reds are going to have to work quite hard to get all three of their top selections signed.
Of course, there are very good reasons to put in that hard work, since the draft class headlined by that trio seems to be quite well regarded post facto. In fact, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis included the Reds on his list of 7 MLB teams that had the best overall draft classes, something the front office certainly deserves a tip of the cap for pulling off. Of course, if they can’t find a way to free up money to get Hinds signed alongside Callihan, the overall reputation of the class will certainly take a hit, so cross your fingers that they find a way to make all of that math add up.
In other news, MLB.com has a few potential under-the-radar All Star candidates for each division, and for anyone who has watched more than a minute of Reds games this year, their sneaky Reds pick shouldn’t really come as any surprise.
Speaking of the All Star Game, The Athletic’s Jonah Keri listed his early attempt at naming the rosters, including just two current members of the Reds (with one starting).
Also from The Athletic comes C. Trent Rosecrans and his discussion with Scooter Gennett on a wide range of topics, including from his injury to his rehab, spending time in Cincinnati again, and the emergence of Derek Dietrich. It’s a good read, as well as a reminder that the Reds are about to have some very, very difficult roster and lineup decisions to make in the coming weeks.
(On a related note, Alex Blandino bashed a pair of dingers at AAA Louisville last night, in case you’d missed that earlier. He’s about to enter the very, very crowded active roster mix, too.)
Finally, Derek Dietrich spoke about the idea of hitting in the Home Run Derby during All Star week, something he said he’d welcome if given the opportunity, according to The Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale. The game and derby are both in Cleveland, of course, and that’s Dietrich’s home town, so there certainly would be a level of intrigue outside of getting to watch him belt 450 foot mashers with 44 lbs of gold flopping around his neck on each swing.