06/09/10 8:11 PM ET
Reds find plenty of talent in college ranks
Cincinnati focuses on best available players in Draft
By Matt Brown / MLB.com
It was business as usual for the Reds, who stuck to their best-player-available philosophy early and took pitchers with more than half of their picks."Hopefully it went well, but like I say all the time, it takes a long time for this stuff to unfold," Reds director of scouting Chris Buckley said. "But hopefully we filled some needs, organizational needs, and again, we're always trying to get the best talent every time we come around." The Reds again leaned heavily toward college players, taking 36 of 50 from the college ranks, including six from junior colleges. The majority still have eligibility remaining, as only a quarter of those are college seniors. The trend includes first-round pick Yasmani Grandal, a junior catcher from the University of Miami. Their first four picks were college players before taking a trio of high school pitchers in the next three: Wes Mugarian of Pensacola Catholic in Florida, Drew Cisco of Wando in South Carolina and Jose Amezcua of Bellflower in California. Cisco, who was selected No. 187 overall, is someone Buckley said probably fell a little bit because of signability concerns. As a backup plan if he can't reach a deal with the Reds, he has signed on to play at the University of Georgia. The potential of not signing several picks is something teams like the Reds are always prepared for. Draft picks have an Aug. 16 deadline to sign. "You never draft 50 players thinking you're going to sign 50 players," Buckley said. "Most Drafts you sign 25 to 28 guys. Sometimes 10 or 12 of those guys are really organization players to help us play the games, and you hope some of those guys surprise you and come on. It happens all the time. Hey, don't we wish we had [Albert] Pujols over here? He's a 13th rounder. And we all saw him. So, tough business." Wednesday's 20 Day 3 picks had several similarities to Day 2, as the Reds took seven high school prospects on each day and grabbed more right-handed pitchers than any other position. Of the 50 picks total, three were local prospects. The Reds took pitcher Joel Bender of Cincinnati's Oak Hills High School in the 27th round Tuesday, and they followed with Springboro, Ohio, native Chuck Ghysels -- a pitcher at Lincoln Trail College -- in the 36th round and Lakota West High School shortstop Jacob May in the 39th. As the rounds progress, Buckley said the most important thing is simply forming the basis for the organization's Minor League teams that start playing soon. If some of the late-round picks pan out and develop into Major League players, all the better. "We have two teams that start next week, and you've got to get some guys out there to help the guys and whatnot," Buckley said. "We'll be filling some needs, and I tell everybody, 'If you get 50 chances, you should take 50.' There's a lot of low Draft picks in the big leagues."
Matt Brown is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.