Originally Posted by medford
Extend it back a little further, though I'm not sure if Buckley was in the organization at this point:
2007 they got Mes, plus Frasier & Lotzkar in the sandwhich round
2006 brought Drew Stubbs
2005 gave them Jay Bruce
2004 provided David Homer Bailey
2003 flashed Ryan Wagner
That's a pretty solid track record for the top of the draft. Throw in some other low round picks like Votto and it gets even better.
Of course the 14 years prior the Reds #1 picks looked like this:
Scott Bryant, Dan Wilson, Pokey Reese, Chad Mottola, Pat Watkins, CJ Nitkowski (no pick in 95 1st round), John Oliver, Matt Mclendon, Brandon Larson, Austin Kearns, Ty Howington, David Espinosa, Dustin Mosely, the punting of Jeremy Sowers, Chris Gruler and Mark Schramek. That's a big ol' chain with only a few above average ML seasons to show for it.
When Pokey Reese (or would you argue Kearns or Dan wilson) is your most successful 1st round pick over 14 years, you're bound to struggle.
IIRC Buckley started at the helm in 2006, which was clearly his worst draft (but still not bad considering it produced Stubbs and Heisey, as well as fringe major leaguers Turner, Valaika, and Roenicke.) 2010 may be rivaling it, as the only two looking like major leaguers at this point are Grandal and hopefully Drew Cisco.
But when praising how awesome these guys have been (and they have been awesome drafters), don't forget a few of the better picks after the first round (Cingrani, Winker, Hamilton, Stewart, etc.)