It bothered me at the time the Reds took Wagner in the first round of the 2003 draft that they had selected a relief pitcher with the 14th overall pick. I had heard all about how good his stuff was, and that he had closer potential, but this was the team that always seemed to find good closers easily with guys like Brantley, Shaw, the Williamson/Graves two headed monster. At the time, it just seemed like closers were easy to find, and that you shouldn't spend a first round draft pick on one. I had heard there was a brief moment where they considered making Wagner a starter, but that it didn't last very long.
Now, three years later, with nothing really left to learn, Wagner is down at Louisville, and the Reds bullpen is perhaps more of a question than the starting rotation. I decided to go back and look at some of the guys the Reds passed over for Wagner.
15th pick in the first round: Brian Anderson, Centerfielder, White Sox
18th pick in the first round: Brad Snyder, Outfielder, Indians
19th pick in the first round: Conor Jackson, Thirdbase/Firstbase, Diamondbacks
20th pick in the first round: Chad Cordero, Relief Pitcher, Nationals
23rd pick in the first round: Brandon Wood, Shortstop, Angels
24th pick in the first round: Chad Billingsley, Starting Pitcher, Dodgers
32nd overall pick: Matt Murton, Outfielder, by Boston, now with the Cubs
With the 14th pick in the second round, the Reds took Thomas Pauly
21st pick in the second round: Scott Baker, Pitcher, Twins
24th pick in the second round: Chuck Tiffany, Pitcher, Dodgers
7th pick in the third round: Chris Ray, Pitcher, Orioles
The Reds took Jose Ronda at #14 in the third round
At #14 in the fourth round, they picked Kenny Lewis, who is now pursuing football
17th pick in the fourth round: Jonathon Papelbon, Pitcher, Red Sox
1st pick in the thirteenth round: Chad Orvella, Pitcher, Tampa Bay
28th pick in the fifteenth round: Anthony Reyes, Pitcher, Cardinals
9th pick in the seventeenth round: Ian Kinsler, Shortstop, Rangers
I realize the baseball draft is a crapshoot more than in any other sport, but a lot of these other guys would look really nice in the Reds organization right now.