No more Monday-morning QB. I wanted to look back on Reds drafts vs. who I liked at the time. The rules are eligible players had to either be available when the Reds picked, or were taken just a couple picks before the Reds choice (ie Strasburg and other Top 3 picks were not an option). Some of it's pretty, some of it's pretty ugly, but here goes:
I wanted: Jered Weaver, Homer Bailey, Stephen Drew (in that order)
Reds Draft: Homer Bailey
I was one of the few posters at the time that defended drafting a HS pitcher this high, as for those that remember, this was at the peak of Moneyball and drafting a HS arm in the Top 10 was seen as a cardinal sin. Admittedly, I preferred Weaver who came with a much higher price tag, but I was fine with Bailey or Stephen Drew. This was one of the few years where everyone I liked turned out well.
I wanted:Cameron Maybin, Jay Bruce
Reds Draft: Jay Bruce
I was fine with drafting Bruce, but the guy I really wanted was Maybin. Thankfully in hindsight, he went off the board two picks before us.
I wanted: Andrew Miller, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum
Reds Draft: Drew Stubbs
While many (correctly) pined for Lincecum, the guys I really wanted came off the board just before the Reds picked. I really liked Andrew Miller in particular, who appeared to be close to a sure thing. The Stubbs vs. Lincecum call for me was ho-hum. I much preferred Miller and Kershaw.
I wanted: Rick Porcello, Matt Dominguez, Jason Heyward
Reds Draft: Devin Mesoraco
I wasn't thrilled about this pick, even though Dominguez and Heyward were both taken immediately before the Reds drafted. Ditto for Wieters, who was never too realistic. Heyward really broke my heart as I thought we had him. I liked Dominguez even better, and had him pegged as a future star 3B. I guess there is still time for that, although Mesoraco has obviously blossomed. Porcello, who was clearly the best (and most expensive) arm in this draft, started off great but has since regressed. Looks like a good call by the Reds.
I wanted: Brian Matusz, Buster Posey, Justin Smoak, Gordon Beckham, Yonder Alonso
Reds Draft: Yonder Alonso
Like many Redszoners and draft pundits alike, I never understood drafting Alonso over Smoak and Beckham. Smoak seemed like a better all-around 1B prospect, and Beckham seemed to fit a need (although he proved that he couldn't stick at SS). While both Smoak and Beckham started off with a bigger spark than Alonso, both have regressed and it remains to be seen which of the three will be the best player. Posey is clearly the gem of this draft, and while I liked him, I liked Matusz's arm even more.
I wanted : Grant Green, Tyler Matzek, Aaron Crow
Reds Draft: Mike Leake
So far, this looks like another instance of the Reds being right and me being wrong. Green has since moved to CF, and Matzek has struggled in the low minors. Crow has been converted to the bullpen, while Leake has enjoyed the most big league success of any player in this draft so far. Mike Trout, who has emerged as the best prospect (not including Strasburg), was not on my radar- although the Angels' other first round pick Tyler Skaggs, who was later dealt for Dan Haren and has become quite a good prospect, was.
I wanted: Drew Pomeranz, Josh Sale, Yasmani Grandal
Reds Draft: Yasmani Grandal
I was content with this pick, especially when it looked like Mesoraco would be a bust. So far Grandal has yet to disappoint. Pomeranz was off the board by the time we picked, but he has already returned value to the Indians in the form of Ubaldo Jimenez. Pomeranz looks like a future ace-in-the-making. Probably too early to tell on Josh Sale.
I wanted: Josh Bell, Daniel Norris, Robert Stephenson
Reds Draft: Robert Stephenson
Bell had signability issues, although he was clearly my preference. Norris and Stephenson were the two best HS arms on the board at the time, and both signed for the same amount. Only time will tell who is better, and while I was rooting for Norris, I'm content with the Reds choice of Stephenson over what else was out there.
Overall, it looks like the Reds have done a pretty good job with their first round selections in the post-JimBo era. I still wish they would go for more high-priced, high-ceiling guys after the first round, but it's hard to argue with their success in the first round over the last 8 years. I'd be curious if others were willing to identify who they really wanted at the time.