Draft season is one of my favorite times of year. In honor of next week's draft, let's take a trip back in time to see how the Reds did with their first pick since 1992. Passed up players will only be players in the general vicinity of the Reds 1st pick.
1992: Chad Mottola is the pick, 5th overall. Some passed up were Derek Jeter (6th overall), Preston Wilson (9th), Shannon Stewart (19th) and Jason Kendall (23rd)
1993: Pat Watkins is the pick, 32nd overall. Some passed up were Scott Rolen (46th) and Jeff Suppan (49th).
1994: CJ Nitkowski is the pick, 9th overall. As a sidenote, I remember this pick very well since I played with CJ in high school. Some passed up were Nomar (12th), Paul Konerko (13th) and Varitek (14th).
1995: Brett Tomko at 54. Randy Winn went at 65, Dempster was 66th and Arroyo went 69th.
1996: John Oliver is the pick at 25. Reitsma went 34th, Marquis went 35 and Rollins went 46th.
1997: Brandon Larson at 14. Lance Berkman went 16th. How much does that hurt?
1998: Austin Kearns went 8th. Felipe Lopez went 9th, Jeff Weaver 14th, Lidge at 17 and Sabathia at 20.
1999: Ty Howington at 14. Jason Jennings went at 16 and Alexis Rios at 19.
2000: David Espinosa at 23. Aaron Heilman went at 31. Remember, this was the worst draft in recent memory.
2001: Jeremy Sowers at 20, did not sign. Bobby Crosby and Bonderman went back to back at 25-26 and David Wright at 38.
2002: Chris Gruler at 3. This one could be the worst. Just a few are Adam Loewen at 4, Prince Fielder at 7, Jeff Francis at 9, Hermida at 11 and Kazmir at 15. My Lord.
2003: Ryan Wagner at 14. Conor Jackson went 19th, Chad Cordero went 20th, Brandon Wood at 24 and Chad Billingsly at 24.
2004: Homer went 7th. Many of the other players haven't made an impact yet, but Drew and Weaver went later (signing issues) along with Billy Butler.
2005: Jay Bruce went 12th. Same as above and too early to make any judgements.
As you can see, the draft is an enormous crapshoot. But doesn't it seem like Cincy has shown an apparent ineptitude when it comes to drafting over the years? What does everyone think could be the issue? Is it shortcomings in the scouting department (partially due to Schott's cutbacks a few years back), just looking for the cheap players who will be easy signs or just pure dumb-luck? I didn't realize how bad it has been until I just compiled that list.
Here's to new beginnings in the Bob and Wayne era! Good luck in 2006!