With the 2010 MLB draft less than 48 hours away, I thought it would be interesting to go back and look at the Reds last six drafts and see how they have fared. I went back to 2004 which is the first draft since Jim Bowden was fired by the Reds. IMO the Reds have drafted well since then.
Number of players who have appeared in majors: 3
1st rounder Homer Bailey has a 5.46 ERA in 245.2 major league innings but has shown some progress over the last year. He posted a sub 2.00 ERA in his final nine starts of 2009 and finished the season with a respectable 4.53 ERA in 113.1 innings. This season he got off to a slow start but threw a complete game shutout and followed it up with 7 IP, 2 ER in his next start before going down with an arm injury. He's expected bakc in less than a week. He's still very young (turned 24 last month) and has shown signs of developing into a league average starter with a chance to be much more.
Two other players from this draft have reached the majors - 3rd round catcher Craig Tatum and 5th round SS Paul Janish. Janish looks to have a big league futute ahead of him as a backup infielder who cna provide Gold Glove caliber defense.
Also in this draft was LHP Philippe Valiquette who is currently 23 years old and pitching in Double-A. He's been clocked at 100 mph this season and has a chance to contribute to a major league bullpen someday.
Number of players who have appeared in majors: 6
This is the best draft by the Reds in years.
1st rounder Jay Bruce has a career .780 OPS and 50 HR in 951 major league atbats, including an .818 OPS this season. He's also one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. He has all the tools to be a superstar in this league, and at age 23, he's off to a great start.
4th rounder Sam Lecure made his major league debut just last week and is 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA in two big league starts.
6th rounder RHP Jeff Stevens was traded to the Indians for Brandon Phillips in what proved to be a great trade for the Reds. Stevens in currently pitching in the major leagues with the Cubs.
Three other players have played in the majors. 11th rounder Carlos Fisher has a 5.40 ERA in 50 games, 12th rounder Adam Rosales has a .647 OPS in 417 atbats and 13th rounder Logan Ondrusek has pitched in 10 games with a 11.88 ERA.
2nd rounder Travis Wood was the Reds pitcher of the year in the minor leagues last season and is currently pitching well in Triple-A. He's got a chance to be a solid major league starter and will become the 7th player from this draft to reach the majors when he's called up.
Number of players who have appeared in majors: 4
Though the Reds passed on Tim Lincecum in the first round, 1st rounder Drew Stubbs has played well in the major league so far. In 358 MLB atbats, he's got a .748 OPS with 15 HR and is one of the best defensive center fielders in all of baseball.
The other major leaguers:
7th rounder 2B Justin Turner was traded to the Orioles in the Ramon Hernandez trade. He posted a .327 OPS in 27 atbats before being designated for assignment. 10th rounder RHP Josh Roenicke was traded to the Blue Jays in the Scott Rolen deal and has a 5.40 ERA in 38 games. 17th rounder OF Chris Heisey has a 1.059 OPS in 27 atbats with the Reds and projects as a 4th outfielder at worst, and possibly a solid regular.
No one from this draft has appeared in the majors yet for the Reds but it looks promising. 1st round catcher Devin Mesoraco has a 1.018 OPS this season between High-A and Double-A. Supplemental first rounder Todd Frazier has been bad this season but hit well in the past and is rated as a top 100 prospect in the minor leagues. 2nd round SS Zack Cozart is in Triple-A and projects as an everyday major league SS. 3rd rounder Neftali Soto is making the transformation from a 3B to a catcher in High-A. 15th rounder RHP Matt Klinker dominated in Double-A and is now in Triple-A. 20th RD 2B Jake Kahaulelio is in AA and 21st RD LHP Jeremy Horst is in AA as well.
No one from the 2008 draft has reached the majors but 1st rounder 1B/LF Yonder Alonso is currently in Triple-A. He broke his hamate bone last season and is struggling but he still has the tools to be an above average hitter in the major leagues. The Reds didn't have a 2nd round pick in this draft but 3rd rounder Zach Stewart has pitched well in the minors (save for a few bad starts this season) and was traded to the Blue Jays in the Scott Rolen deal. There's a few other players from this draft who have a chance to pitch in the major leagues, namely: 30th rounder RHP Juan Carlos Sulbaran and 17th rounder LHP Mace Thurman, plus 9th rounder OFer David Sappelt. A few more interesting names include Tyler Cline and Cody Puckett.
The 2009 draft is already paying huge dividends for the Reds. First rounder RHP Mike Leake completely skipped the minor leagues and jumped straight to the majors and is 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 73 innings. I should also mention he's 10-for-24 as a hitter. Besides Leake, there's also a few other players in the draft who have a chance to play in the major leagues. Supplemental first round RHP Brad Boxberger has a 3.47 ERA and 10.4 K/9 in 49.1 innings in High-A. 2nd round SS Billy Hamilton is extremely raw but has incredible upside. 3rd round LHP Donnie Joseph is dominating the minor leagues with a 0.66 ERA and 15.8 K/9 this season between Low-A and High-A. He projects as a dominant bullpen arm. Other notables include: RHP Daniel Tuttle, RHP Mark Serrano, OF Josh Fellhauer, OF Juan Silva, RHP Brian Pearl, and OF Josh Garton.
Maybe other will disagree but I think the Reds have drafted fairly well over the last six years. Four of the Reds last six first round picks have played in the majors with the Reds this season while the other two are in Double-A and Triple-A. I look at guys like Jay Bruce and Mike Leake, and even Homer Bailey and see them as future All-Stars. Then you have other draftees like Zach Stewart and Jeff Stevens who were traded to bring in key pieces in Scott Rolen and Brandon Phillips. Then there are some guys in the lower minors who are a ways off but have the ability to be key pieces on a major league team, and then's role players like Rosales, Fisher, and others. All in all, I'm pleased with the way the Reds have drafted lately and I hope it continues this year.