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Thread: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...2007&fext=.jsp

    Reds won't draft for big-league needs
    Cincinnati gets 15th pick in first round of First-Year Player Draft
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    CINCINNATI -- Endless crisscrossing of the country to take last looks at players. A cellphone is constantly ringing with scouts on the other end. When the traveling is done, hours and hours of meetings loom ahead.

    Reds scouting director Chris Buckley loves every bit of it. It just means the First-Year Player Draft is getting closer.

    "The draft is sort of like Christmas," Buckley said. "You want to make sure you see all of your presents."

    The 2007 First-Year Player Draft is June 7-8 at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. The first round will be aired on ESPN2 beginning at 2 p.m. ET. MLB.com will have every pick of the 50-round draft from start to finish.

    Based on last season's 80-82 finish, Cincinnati will draft 15th in the first round this year. Last year, the Reds used the eighth overall pick to select outfielder Drew Stubbs from the University of Texas.

    "Because we're dead set in the middle, a lot of guys we're looking at could be gone ahead of us," Buckley said. "There could be guys falling with signability issues. Last year at No. 8, you have a little better handle on it. When you're down this deep, it's kind of hard to ask the first 14 teams what they're doing."

    If they're still on the board at No. 15, the Reds could be interested in high school third baseman/first baseman Mike Moustakas out of Chatsworth, Calif., or Missouri State left-handed pitcher Ross Dettweiler. However, both players are projected as top 10 prospects by Baseball America.

    Other potential names could be high school lefty Josh Smoker from Georgia, or third baseman Kevin Ahrens out of Memorial High School in Houston, Texas.

    Unlike the counterpart drafts of the NFL or NBA, teams at the MLB draft rarely aim to select players based on immediate needs at the big-league level. Players selected even in the first couple of rounds could take up to four or five years to reach the Majors.

    All teams have organizational needs at every level, but Buckley even avoids basing the Reds' draft board exclusively on need.

    "When you're drafting out of need, you end up elevating players and pushing them," Buckley said. "I'm against drafting for need."

    The stakes are high when selecting unproven young talent, especially in the top round. Stubbs received a $2 million bonus when he signed last summer. The 2005 first-round pick, outfielder Jay Bruce, received a $1.8 million bonus.

    Last year, 15 of the Reds' first 18 picks -- and 34 of 50 overall -- were players taken out of college. Buckley felt the draft had a stronger high school crop than it did last year. Cincinnati also selected 23 pitchers.

    "I always strive for balance, not too far one way or another," Buckley said. "There is such an attrition rate with pitching. You like to sign a lot of them in order to get a few of them."

    The Reds signed each of the first 17 picks last year, and 31 players overall.

    "It's a business of assets," Buckley said. "We certainly try to put as many assets into our farm system as we can. Eventually, we might have to trade some of our assets to get things we don't have."

    Here are the Reds' past three first-round draft picks:

    OF Drew Stubbs, 2006 (eighth overall): A three-year starter at the University of Texas, Stubbs signed quickly and batted .252 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 56 games with rookie-level Billings. Although he's an exceptional athlete with speed, the organization is working with Stubbs to cut down on his strikeouts.

    OF Jay Bruce, 2005 (12th overall): At advanced Class A Sarasota, the 20-year-old is among the Florida State League's batting leaders and remains one of the organization's top prospects with five-tool talent. In 2006, Bruce batted .291 with 16 homers and 81 RBIs for Class A Dayton and was Baseball America's low Class A player of the year.

    RHP Homer Bailey, 2004 (seventh overall): The 21-year-old hard-throwing right-hander is on the cusp of reaching the Majors at Triple-A Louisville. Although many in the organization feel its top prospect has a few edges left to smooth -- namely his off-speed stuff -- Bailey's arrival to Cincinnati is a matter of when, not if.

    Rising fast: SS Chris Valaika (third round, 2006)
    In his first pro season, Valaika was the Pioneer League's MVP and set a league record with a 32-game hitting streak. Valaika is among the top Midwest League hitters this season with Class A Dayton.

    Cinderella story: OF Carson Kainer (14th round, 2006)
    A higher-round pick because of a kidney ailment, the University of Texas standout and teammate of Stubbs underwent a September kidney transplant. Able to begin limited workouts during Spring Training, Kainer began playing his first games in May for Class A Sarasota and hit his first home run. Although he'll have to take anti-rejection medication, he is expected to live a normal life and could become the first professional baseball player to reach the Majors after a kidney transplant.
    Jonathon Mayo's Top 20 Draft Projection

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...2007&fext=.jsp

    15. Cincinnati Reds: Kevin Ahrens, 3B, Memorial HS (Texas)
    This one falls under the category of hearing a player's name so much with one team that it's both hard to ignore and hard to not wonder if it's true. There was some talk the Reds would also be interested in Aumont should he slide here, but all of the buzz is that they've been on Houston-area infielder Ahrens all along. He plays shortstop in high school and isn't bad there, but the consensus is that he should move to third where he should profile better both offensively and defensively.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    I think I'll be happy as long as they don't select an OFer in the 1st. The draft is a crapshoot and all, but unless they have the next Griffey Jr sitting at their feet they should look elsewhere.

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Why get Kevin at 15 when he could be there at 34? GOSH! I just don't think Kevin will be the best choice at 15...

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDunn View Post
    Why get Kevin at 15 when he could be there at 34? GOSH! I just don't think Kevin will be the best choice at 15...

    So they don't have to pay him as much money as a real #15 pick would command?
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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    And then at 34, they'll take a guy they could have had at 64 and so on.....

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg View Post
    And then at 34, they'll take a guy they could have had at 64 and so on.....

    You sure you don't work for the Reds?
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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    My only hope is that if at 15 they take an arm, it's not a HS arm.

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    My only hope is that if at 15 they take an arm, it's not a HS arm.
    What's wrong with a HS arm? Bailey's worked out pretty well so far...

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    So they don't have to pay him as much money as a real #15 pick would command?
    Are the still supposedly doing that? I thought that ended with Bowden a couple years back. Maybe I'm naive.

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    Are the still supposedly doing that? I thought that ended with Bowden a couple years back. Maybe I'm naive.
    They played it straight last year. They didn't jump at the chance to overpay Boras-client drop-downs, but they didn't bargain-fish for less than slot money, either.

    Interesting that Buckley brought up guys dropping with signability issues. I wonder if they're ready to bite the bullet if that happens.
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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    I've seen him rated at 15-35, meaning there are no guarantees he'll be there when the Reds pick again.

    All the scouting reports compare Aherns to Chipper Jones. If that truly is the case taking him at 15 is fine by me.

    Plus he'll make five Texas guys in a row. Whoever scouts Texas has some serious 1st round pull in the Reds front office.

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    Whoever scouts Texas has some serious 1st round pull in the Reds front office.
    I think the late Brian Wilson was responsible for signing Bruce and Stubbs coming out of Texas.

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    I've seen him rated at 15-35, meaning there are no guarantees he'll be there when the Reds pick again.

    All the scouting reports compare Aherns to Chipper Jones. If that truly is the case taking him at 15 is fine by me.

    Plus he'll make five Texas guys in a row. Whoever scouts Texas has some serious 1st round pull in the Reds front office.
    But that's the upper half of what he could be worth... I don't want someone that COULD be worth a 15 pick. I want a Mike M. or his teammate Matt D. or a Tim Alderson.

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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDunn View Post
    But that's the upper half of what he could be worth... I don't want someone that COULD be worth a 15 pick. I want a Mike M. or his teammate Matt D. or a Tim Alderson.
    No, it's not "the upper half of what he could be worth." It's only the upper half of where a handful of prognosticators think he'll go. And they're wrong a lot. I like rankings as much as the next guy, but if I'm running a ballclub, I'll trust my guys' judgment over Baseball America's. If I can't trust them to beat Baseball America, I'd better find some other guys.
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    Re: Reds won't draft for big-league needs --MLB.com Mark Sheldon 5/30/07

    No one should ever draft "for big-league need" except in rare cases where a player might reach the big leagues within one year or something.

    You take the best player available 99% of the time. That's what trading is for. The higher your overall talent level, the easier it will be to get what you need later.


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