John Manuel over at Baseball America released his Mock Draft 2.0 on Thursday afternoon. Ever since the year began it seemed that Hunter Greene was the top player on the board. That still seems to be the case, but Manuel has a new player going #1 overall to the Twins: LHP Brendan McKay from Louisville.

That brings him to the #2 spot in the draft and the Cincinnati Reds.

Hunter Greene, the top prep player on the board and owner of a 100 mph fastball, has had an up-and-down spring, and the rumors of he and his family attempting to maneuver his way to the No. 3 pick with the Padres are a poorly kept secret. The Padres’ throwing program is more in line with Greene’s program, and it’s on the West Coast, among other advantages. Greene isn’t pitching this week in the Boras Classic and is widely believed to be shutting down as a pitcher in another attempt to move down to the third pick. But the Reds, who covet McKay, also aren’t afraid to call Greene’s bluff.

This is rather interesting. We have seen some players use money demands in the past to try and get their way to a desired team. Shutting yourself down, sort of, to try and get there is a new move.

The Reds have been linked heavily with Brendan McKay by just about everyone, with most thinking the team preferred him as s pitcher. A few places have made mention that the organization preferred him as a first baseman/outfielder, though. They’ve also been linked to Hunter Greene since the start, though it’s been Greene to the Twins along the way just about everywhere so we haven’t seen his name and the Reds together too often.

Landing Hunter Greene would be a big move for the organization. While their history with high school pitchers taken in the top 5 isn’t good, the way that teams have handled high schoolers and the way that Tommy John surgery recovery has changed since they last took one this early makes that history mostly a useless point. The timetable for Greene wouldn’t be on par with a college pick, but he’s got the best arm in the draft class.

22 Responses

  1. The Duke

    The Reds have had a heavy presence at a couple of Greene’s starts, and Greene will still being throwing bullpen sessions (or at least claims he will) that teams can come and watch. I’d be excited if the Reds drafted Greene, but I wouldn’t be broken hearted if they passed on him for a guy they think can be an impact hitter. The only thing that would make me mad is if they passed on him for what I think is a lesser pitcher.

    Most don’t seem to think McKay can play in the outfield. Wouldn’t he essentially be a slightly slower version of Jesse Winker with maybe a little more power? He’d be another LH bat as well.

  2. Norwood Nate

    Any concerns we’d have an Aiken situation where the Reds can’t sign Greene if he falls to them? He has the option of going to school. If he really wants the Padres he could choose to make this a difficult situation.

    • The Duke

      I doubt it. He’d be passing on a lot of money , be at risk for injury, and next years draft is fairly loaded with college bats. Best case scenario, he makes a similar amount of money three years later. That’d be a whole lot of risk for very little reward.

      • Norwood Nate

        That makes the most sense. I just wonder if it’s enough to get the Twins worried and he’s the clear 1:1 if it would be worth the headache. I wonder if his monetary demands will be higher than the Reds want to pay. As good as he is, I’d almost prefer the Reds go with one of the HS bats even if the Twins pass.

    • Doug Gray

      If he does, then you just go, fine, we’ll take the 3rd pick in the 2018 draft.

      • Doug Gray

        No. They get the same pick the following year, plus one spot. So, in theory, if the Reds couldn’t sign their 1st rounder this year (at #2) they would get the #3 pick next year.

  3. Smitty

    I would love to draft Greene @ #2. I hate to be that guy but, say we draft Greene, in 4yrs he could be in the majors. That’s 4 seasons that the Reds could finally be prime for the playoffs. That’s 4 years of this wave of young talent to get polished, pitchers and hitters. If all of Garrett, Finnegan, Reed, Stephenson workout as starters (doubtful), they will all be FA around the same time and run into the Cueto/Bailey/Latos situation and Bailey will then be a free agent in 4yrs. This would be perfect timing.

    The Reds might be thinking creatively though and take a college pitcher and save that money like they did last year to draft a prep guy like they did with Trammell which I would have no qualms with

  4. ScottyA

    How soon can a drafted player be traded?

    I had other thoughts after seeing your headline, but before reading. i.e. who would the rays covet and trade them for Jake odorizzi or who would the white sox covet and trade them a one or two others for Jose Quintana.

    Or could we draft him, trade him to san diego for their #3 pick and something in addition?

    • Doug Gray

      Can’t trade a player until after the World Series.

  5. Wes

    That guy who said he would give up his left and right one if McCay went 1st has to be feeling a little uneasy now lol! That’s who I take if I am Twins. They need most for sure thing out there and don’t have the luxury to miss. McCay is a winner that should be the 6th tool.

    I will be excited to see greene go to reds at 2. I am hoping they have a bat they like more than the rest and pick him but I’ll still be pretty stoked w Greene. He should be a top 20 prospect right away.

  6. Arnold Ziffle

    After Duke shared this yesterday, I was a little surprised, but then not so much. I have listened to the Twins GM and other front office personnel on MLB Network Radio several times since spring training started. The Twins are going with pitching at #1. Their system has a few good pitching prospects, but not many. Not very deep. They need a front line starter. The only question is whether they will go with a college or high school pitcher. It certainly looked like Greene was going to be their pick. However, McKay keeps having solid outing after solid outing. And if UF’s Faedo has a couple of more outings like he had last night, he might get himself back into the conversation for #1 overall.
    If Greene is the pick at #2, then I highly doubt the Reds will be able to sign him below slot and be able to use that extra money on the #32 or #38 selection. Like they did last year with Senzel and Trammell.
    A sense of entitlement and privilege and attitude might come with Greene. That should be avoided like the plague, if he is going to come with attitude baggage, or create a long hold out.
    On Greene, the scouting is going to have to go beyond the numbers.

    • Fromcubawithluv

      I’m not sure entitlement is the issue. He and his fam are just doing what they think is best for them, even if it seems strange to us. Give this a read, kid works hard. How many young men think this way and Attack their dreams like this? You can wonder about their judgment but not sure you can say entitled.

      If available at 2, reds do what’s best for them and draft Greene and close the deal. I personally hope it works out this way.

  7. Jim

    I been wanting McKay. He just seems like ballplayer with a I want to win attitude. Maybe he is a everyday player who can be closer. That would be something or a SP who can be a superb PH/DH.
    Can we get a non Gruler guarantee with Greene?
    Who I drafted would depend on if we sign the Cuban.

  8. MK

    Does this guy have a Trevor Bauer mindset ,(my way is the only way)? I have always preferred McCay and really do now that I hear Greene wants, almost threats,

    • Doug Gray

      They all make some sort of “threat”. It’s all about using some leverage.

  9. RobL

    Let’s face it, this appears to be a pretty weak draft. McKay’s pitching scouting report sounds a lot like Eric Lauer’s from last season. Lauer went 25th. Yes, McKay is pitching against better competition, but the ACC seems to be down this year. I believe that the fact that he has top 10 potential as a pitcher and top 20 as a hitter has given McKay helium. The fact is, there are no two-way players because you want a player to maximize his best ability. So he should be drafted on just pitching or just hitting. Last year, there is no way McKay gets talked about at the top of the draft. He may be a fine pitcher, but at the top of the draft, I believe a player with true star potential should be taken. Greene has that ability.

    However, if Greene is a questionable sign, I wouldn’t mind taking a guy further down the board and cutting a deal. A player like Gore or Adell with a lot of potential and then signing a guy or two later to above slot deals. The best way to win the lottery is to buy more tickets.

  10. terry m

    Like Doug said take Greene and if he doesn’t sign u get the #3 pick the next year. On paper next years draft is stronger than this years with guys like Beer, Singer, Baker and HS arms and bats.

  11. Brad

    Too bad MLB teams cannot trade draft picks. Would trade #2 to Padres for #3 overall and Comp B pick.

  12. RichD

    Had a thought that if Greene is avail. at 2 couldn’t the Reds contact the Padres and say we won’t draft Greene if you trade us your comp. pick because I believe comp picks are tradable but I’m not sure on the deadline if any.

  13. Hingle McCringleberry

    Enough of picking who everyone think we should pick. After watching minor league ball the last week or so, we need to find the next Kyle Schwarber. A quick compact bat. We have enough pitchers. As a matter of fact, we’ll be better to just trade for somebody else’s minor league arms since we aren’t that good in finding a good horse out there on our own for the most part.

    If i’m the reds, Im looking for contact hitters with short compact swings with low to medium power. No more swing and miss guys hoping they can fix themselves . Quite frankly, they might do ok with drafting, but the development program just isn’t there. Our minor league development program is atrocious. We didnt have a Duvall anywhere and he projected horribly enough to just thrown him in a deal. We didnt have a Perazza, or a Suarez. Amir is a rarity here. Most of your best pitchers here are from outside of organization, and I’m not impressed with whats down below because its the typical 89-93 mph with zero control and bad location to go along with 2 pitches.

    Also, get as many left handed pitchers from college as i can get. Putting scouts in Cali should help, but they need to hit canada hard. Sorry about the morning rant. Still upset with the loss last night.