Today, dreams are realized, careers begin, and goals are achieved. Also today, the Reds pick a player who will not make an impact for, at the bare minimum, two years.
The MLB draft is a stark contrast to that of the other big three American professional sports. Basketball and football rookies can be evaluated, practically, the moment they put on the team hat. Rookies in Major League Baseball, however, take time.
Oh sure, there will be Mike Leake’s who go from draft call to getting the ball. Let’s go ahead and count the number of players like Leake the Reds have had in organizational history – it isn’t many.
Even the phenomenon known as Hunter Greene will take, at minimum, three years to make it to Great American Ballpark. Props to the 18-year-old though, as he just won his first game in a Dragons uniform yesterday. He’s dropped his ERA in Single-A Dayton down four runs in his last four starts. It sits at 6.32. Baseball prospects need time to grow into their stirrups, and even franchise-changing kids like Greene are no exception.
With that being said, let’s take a brief look at the bevy of talented prospects the Reds have available to them with the fifth pick in the draft:
Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Oregon State – The Beavers have been a talented bunch this year, notching 47 wins, and Madrigal has been the leader. This season he’s slashing .406/.470/.586 while only striking out five times in 32 games. Also of note, he hasn’t committed an error. In 2015 the Indians took Madrigal in the 17th round, but he declined. Looks like that was a good choice as now he’s a virtual lock to go top-5 tonight.
Brady Singer, RHP, Florida – This talented hurler was selected in the second round of 2015 only to spurn the Blue Jays offer and go play for the Gators. Only three of his 14 starts this year have lasted less than seven innings as Singer boasts a 2.27 ERA with an 11-1 record. In 95 innings he has 98 strikeouts compared to 19 walks. He has a plus fastball that hits 95-96 and is a sturdy dude at 6’ 5”, 180 lbs. Fun Fact: he is one of three ‘Bradys’ on Florida’s roster.
Jonathan India, 3B, Florida – The position may put some people off to the Reds picking this kid with their first pick, but it’s not like he is married to third base. According to mlb.com, India took a big step in his maturity as a hitter this year. He improved his plate discipline and took pretty ho-hum statistics and made them into the best in the country. India has hit .346 this season with 18 homers and 45 RBIs. To quantify his plate discipline, look no further than his walks (49) compared to strikeouts (48).
Per this morning’s mock draft from MLB.com, the Reds will just miss Madrigal and Singer and will get India. You may in the same boat with me in thinking this, but mock drafts are typically a crap shoot, so maybe the Reds get someone completely different. These are just a few names to keep an eye on for the Redlegs at number five.
Could he? Would he? May he? Things looking slightly up for the Reds prospects of getting Dallas Keuchel.
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