I know it's very, very early to be judging the draft but I'm going to anyway. The Reds 2007 draft is looking like it has a chance to be one of the Reds best drafts in a long, long time. I loved this draft on day one and I'm still loving it right now. There may not be a Jay Bruce type prospect in this draft but there are plenty of guys who I think will be major leaguers. Let's take a look:
#15 overall, Devin Mesoraco, HS catcher... was the Reds first selection with the 15th overall pick. I was hoping for Jason Heyward here but the Braves grabbed him one pick ahead of the Reds. Mesoraco was OPSing up around .840 a while back but has gone through a slump. Scouts compared him to Russell Martin out of HS but he's obviously got plenty of things to work on before getting to that point. He's supposed yo have good defensive tools and some raw hitting ability. It will take some time and patience but he's got a chance to be a solid catcher someday.
The Reds next pick was at #34 overall where the Reds stole SS/3B Todd Frazier from Rutgers. I absolutely loved this pick. Frazier isn't a big toolsy guy but he can hit. He looks like a potential Kevin Youkilis type hitter to me with his solid above average power and the ability to draw a walk. He's already reach High-A and is hitting well at .301/.374/.498 between Dayton and Sarasota. He could reach Double-A before the end of this season and possibly reach the majors sometime late in 2009.
The Reds next selection was Kyle Lotzkar with the 53rd overall pick, a RHP from Canada. He may have the most potential of anyone in this Reds draft. Only 18 years old, he's more than holding his own against tougher competition in the Midwest League with a 3.81 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 26 innings (13.2 K/9). With a fastball in the 91-96 area and a good curveball, with a little work from Soto on the changeup he could really take off.
Zach Cozart was the Reds second round pick at #79. He may be the best defensive shortstop in the organization but his bat is nothing special at this point. He was compared to Adam Everett out of college because of his great defense and poor bat. He'll most likely never be a starter due to his bat but could make the majors with his glove.
Scott Carroll was taken at #104 and is currently putting up fringey numbers in High-A Sarasota. He's currently starting but his future is probably as a reliever.
Neftali Soto was taken five picks later with the 109th overall selection. This pick here is looking like a huge steal. I loved his scouting report from day one and he's showing why. Soto is only 19-years old and is currently hitting .390/.420/.720 - 1.140 OPS between Billings and Dayton. Soto has enormous power potential and uses all parts of the field. He could develop into the Reds best prospect by the end of the season. Along with Lotzkar he probably has the most potential of anyone in this Reds draft.
It's not just those top three round guys who are going well, it's some of the lower picks too. 6th rounder Evan Hildenbrandt from Canada currently has a 1.16 ERA in 23.1 innings in the GCL. He throws in the low 90's and has a good curveball. 7th rounder Brandon Waring is hitting .275/.356/.495 and has 15 homeruns in 273 atbats. He needs to work on some things but he's got huge power in his bat. 9th rounder Alexis Oliveras, a center fielder, and like Nefi Soto, was drafted from Puerto Rico. He's currently hitting a robust .405/.488/.514 - 1.002 OPS in the GCL as a 19-year old.
Others doing well include Shea Snowden, a 19-year year old HS lefty with a 0.90 ERA and 4 BB/16 K in 20 GCL innings. 15th rounder Matt Klinker is pitching well in Dayton. Jeff Jeffords, Jeremy Horst, Derrick Conatser, and Joseph Krebs are relievers taken in late rounds who are performing well. 48th rounder Michael Henry was selected from Canada and is pitching well so far in the GCL with eight scoreless innings. He reportedly throws in the low 90's and has a projectable body.
This has the makings of being one of the best drafts by the Reds in a long time. I see two or three hitters who could become everyday major league starters and a pitcher with top-of-rotation stuff in Lotzkar and others who could make it as relievers. This was a very, very good draft IMO.