Reds look to duplicate recent draft success
Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 06:07 PM EST
It's a staggering thought -- if Jay Bruce had chosen to go to Tulane instead of signing with the Reds in 2005, he'd be eligible to be drafted on Thursday, instead of playing at Philadelphia.
Homer Bailey, the team's first-round pick a year earlier, will be on the mound for the Reds on Thursday.
These two players have been tabbed as the team's future since they were drafted. A new Red of the future is expected to be picked at about 2:30 on Thursday, a half-hour after the First-Year Player Draft begins on ESPN2.
The Reds have the seventh overall pick, and in a relatively deep draft. Bruce was the 12th overall pick in 2005 and Bailey was taken with the seventh pick in 2004.
"The talent is different every year," said Chris Buckley, the Reds senior director of scouting. "The year (Bruce) came out, Terry Reynolds took him 12th. In 2006, he could have been the No. 1 pick."
The Royals took right-handed starter Luke Hochevar No. 1 overall in 2006. In 2005, the Diamondbacks took outfielder Justin Upton No. 1. Also taken before Bruce were Alex Gordon (Royals), Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals), Ryan Braun (Brewers), Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies), Cameron Maybin (Tigers) and Andrew McCutchen (Pirates).
Even this early, the 2005 draft looks to be one of the most productive drafts in recent history. According to Buckley, 2008 has an impressive amount of talent, even if there is no clear-cut No. 1 overall pick.
Although the Reds pick seventh, there are as many as five players the Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly looking at with the top pick. From there things could be shake up depending on who the Rays pick.
While Buckley said some players could slide based solely upon their choice of agents, Buckley said the Reds haven't crossed anyone off their list because of their representation. Scott Boras represents Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez, California high school right-hander Gerrit Cole and Florida high school first baseman Eric Hosmer.
While the on-field scouting is done, he said, the Reds are determining certain players financial demands. That could influence the pick, but won't be the deciding factor, Buckley said.
"(Genral manager) Walt (Jocketty) and Bob Castellini have told me everyone's in play," Buckley said. "(Thursday) when we have the last piece of information, they may hear some thing that changes their mind."
Buckley was hired by former general manager Wayne Krivsky, but said the team's draft approach hasnt changed under Jocketty.
"I think they had pretty similar philosophies, bring in as much talent as you can, you get the best guys with the best make-up," Buckley said. "Walt's been in and out, just like Wayne was. (Jocketty) is totally up to date. He's looked at a lot of films, he's heard a lot of scouts. They're very similar in their approach."
Last year the Reds took high school catcher Devan Mesorasco in the first round, in 2006 they took University of Texas outfielder Drew Stubbs. Buckley said there's no set rule they use to make their selections.
"The best talent, what we're looking for," Buckley said.
Whether or not the Reds select the best talent on Thursday may not be apparent for several years. Three years after the 2005 draft, the Reds feel good about their selection -- Jay Bruce will have his name called at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday instead of during the draft.
"Now tell me who won," Buckley said.
Possible Red selections
1B Yonder Alonso, University of Miami
The first baseman led the Hurricanes to the Super Regional this weekend against Arizona. Alonso is hitting .370 with 21 home runs and 66 RBIs.
SS Gordon Beckham, University of Georgia
Beckham is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given to college baseballs best player. Beckhams Bulldogs advanced to the Super Regionals last week. The unanimous SEC Player of the Year is hitting .397 with 24 home runs, 85 runs scored, 189 total bases and 65 RBIs.
RHP Aaron Crow, University of Missouri
Crow is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given to college baseballs best player. Crow set a school record with 13 wins and had a streak of 43 scoreless innings. He finished the season 13-0 with a 2.35 ERA and his 127 strikeouts were the sixth-most in the NCAA.
RHP/SS Casey Kelly, Sarasota (Fla.)
The son of Reds Gulf Coast League manager Pat Kelly, the younger Kelly could play shortstop or pitch or he could end up playing football. He signed a letter of intent to play quarterback at Tennessee. Kelly hit .473 for Sarasota High School.
LHP Brian Matusz, University of San Diego
Its unlikely Matusz drops to seven, but stranger things have happened. He was a fourth-round pick of the Angels in 2005. He has a 90-93 mph fastball with plus off-speed pitches. Matusz was 12-2 with a 1.71 ERA, striking out 141 batters in 105 innings.
7th overall picks
2007 OF Matthew LaPorta, Brewers
2006 LHP Clayton Kerswhaw, Dodgers
2005 SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
2004 RHP Homer Bailey, Reds
2003 OF Nick Markakis, Orioles
2002 1B Prince Fielder, Brewers
2001 LHP Chris Smith, Orioles
2000 RHP Matthew Harrington, Rockies
1999 RHP Kyle Snyder, Royals
1998 OF Austin Kearns, Reds
1997 RHP Dan Reichert, Royals
1996 RHP Matt White, Giants
1995 RHP Jonathan Johnson, Rangers
1994 LHP Doug Million, Rockies
1993 OF Trot Nixon, Red Sox
1992 OF/3B Calvin Murray, Giants
1991 OF Joseph Vitiello, Royals
1990 C Dan Wilson, Reds
1989 1B Frank Thomas, White Sox
1988 OF Willie Ansley, Astros
Reds first-round picks (overall pick)
2007 C Devan Mesorasco (15)
2006 OF Drew Stubbs (8)
2005 OF Jay Bruce (12)
2004 RHP Homer Bailey (7)
2003 RHP Ryan Wagner (14)
2002 RHP Chris Gruler (3)
2001 LHP Jeremy Sowers (20)
2000 SS David Espinosa (23)
1999 LHP Ty Howington (22)
1998 OF Austin Kearns (7)
1997 SS Brandon Larson (14)
1996 OF John Oliver (25)
1995 No 1st round pick, RHP Brett Tomko (54)
1994 LHP C.J. Nitkowski (9)
1993 No 1st round pick, OF Pat Watkins (32)
1992 OF Chad Mottola (5)
1991 SS Pokey Reese (20)
1990 C Dan Wilson (7)
1989 OF Scott Bryant (20)
1988 No 1st round pick, INF Jeff Branson (45)