Checking in on the Top Draft Prospects: Week 13 Doug Gray May 16, 2017 53 Comments We are less than a month away from the draft at this point. It seems that no matter who you read, the Cincinnati Reds pick would appear to come down to one of three players. High school pitcher Hunter Greene, college lefty/1st baseman Brendan McKay or college righty Kyle Wright. Despite that, things could always change between now and the time the draft begins. Let’s take a look at how the top prospects in the draft have performed this last week. The Pitchers J.B. Bukauskas | RHP | North Carolina It was not a good week for JB Bukauskas, who hadn’t pitched in nearly two weeks. He was charged with three runs in 3.1 innings on six hits and five walks with just two strikeouts. For the season he’s got a 1.80 ERA in 75.0 innings. He’s allowed 48 hits with 2 walks and 98 strikeouts. Alex Faedo | RHP | Florida There was some good and some bad from Alex Faedo this past week against Alabama. He allowed a run in 7.0 innings on just three hits. He also struck out eight batters. That was the good. But he also walked four batters in the game. He’s posted a 2.33 ERA in 85.0 innings this season with 62 hits and 29 walks allowed. He’s also struck out 101 batters. Hunter Greene | RHP | Notre Dame HS (CA) Hunter Greene may not pitch in games again this year. He’s throwing bullpen sessions for teams, but he will not throw in a game again before he’s drafted. MacKenzie Gore | LHP | Whiteville HS (NC) According to the Star News Online, he entered the playoff game on Saturday with a 0.27 ERA in 50.2 innings pitched, three walks and 110 strikeouts. He threw 4.0 innings in the win against Lakewood. They were no-hit innings while striking out seven more batters. Two teammates combined to finish out the no-hitter. Brendan McKay | LHP | Louisville It wasn’t a good week for Brendan McKay. He didn’t allow a run in 5.0 innings with five hits and three walks. He also struck out seven batters. The results were solid. However, the reports from the game weren’t great as he was pitching in the high 80’s after the 1st inning of the game, barely touching 90. On the season he has a 1.80 ERA in 80.0 innings with 46 hits allowed, 23 walks and he’s struck out 110 batters. Kyle Wright | RHP | Vanderbilt The dominant run for Kyle Wright continued over the weekend against Arkansas. He allowed just two hits and a walk in 7.0 shutout innings with 11 strikeouts. In 82.1 innings this season he’s posted a 3.06 ERA with 26 walks and 93 strikeouts. However, as I wrote on Monday morning, he’s been on an absolute run over the last five weeks. In that stretch he’s posted a 1.14 ERA and a 0.48 WHIP with seven walks and 51 strikeouts in 39.2 innings pitched. The Hitters Jord0n Adell | OF | Ballard HS (KY) Jordon Adell went 5-8 last week over four games and he walked seven times with three strikeouts. He would add one home run on the week. He’s now hitting .540 on the season with seven doubles, 22 home runs, 33 walks and 10 strikeouts. Adam Haseley | OF | Virginia After a week off (Virginia had the week off), Adam Haseley played in three games. He went 3-13 with a walk and two strikeouts. He only had three hits, but two of them went for extra-bases with a double and a home run. For the season he’s hitting .387/.478/.670 with 13 doubles, a triple and 13 home runs. He’s also walked 33 times with just 19 strikeouts on the year. Royce Lewis | SS | JSerra HS (CA) Lewis went 1-7 with three walks last week over three games for JSerra. He’s hitting .376 on the season with six doubles, two triples and four home runs. He’s walked 24 times and struck out just eight times. Brendan McKay | 1B | Louisville At the plate Brendan McKay went 0-7 in his first two games of the week against Vanderbilt and Clemson. He went 3-8 over the final two games of the week. On the season he’s hitting .372/.488/.703 with 15 home runs, 39 walks and 28 strikeouts. Austin Beck | OF | North Davidson HS (NC) An update from The-Dispatch.com, Austin Beck is hitting .588/.710/1.176 on the season with nine home runs, 28 walks and 11 strikeouts. He will continue his season later today in the playoffs. 53 Responses Seadog May 16, 2017 Not a good year to have the #2 pick. There are no dominant players. Hunter Greene is a statue. People need to watch his defense. Never pick a high school pitcher first. It never works out. McKay would be the safer pick. He will never be a pitcher at the major league level. He has a hard time getting outs in college. I think he can be a corner-outfielder/1st baseman at the next level. Reply Wes May 16, 2017 Seems like everyone on that list is dominating. You just got to find a guy who can continue to do so. Greene and McCay and wright should all be top 50 prospects after draft. Not sure what your looking for? Universal consensus is rare in MLB draft Reply icehole3 May 16, 2017 I would like to see the Reds draft 5 pitchers with the first 5 picks they have. Reply Jer-B May 16, 2017 Of the pitchers Wright seems like the safest bet. Beck & Adell both intrigue me though. Both have star potential. Reply Norwood Nate May 16, 2017 I’ve come around on Wright after reading the scouting report here and his late season dominance. He and Greene are my clear top two at this point. With Beck, Adell, and Gore to follow. I’d absolutely avoid McKay at 2. No upside at that spot. Reply The Duke May 16, 2017 That’s about how I feel as well. I wouldn’t mind them rolling the dice on a high upside power bat like Adell or Beck, but I think it’ll be one of Greene, Wright, or McKay. Reply Bill May 16, 2017 McKay may be an example of just how hard it is to be a two-way player in baseball. As the season has worn on, his performance on both sides of the ball have regressed. It gives some optimism for how he would play if he concentrated on pitching or 1B. Unfortunately, he’s playing himself away from the top of the draft board. Reply Seat101 May 16, 2017 You make a great point! I wonder if Hunter green is still on scholarship. If it’s an athletic scholarship for baseball he’s cheating the University. Reply RobL May 16, 2017 Greene is in high school. Kevin May 16, 2017 “as he was pitching in the high 80’s after the 1st inning of the game, barely touching 90” I think a lot of that had to do with him throwing nearly 40 pitches in the 1st inning. Even though he didn’t have his best stuff he showed he was capable of working out of jams and showed great resolve against the #7 team in the country. Full discretion, I’m a huge Louisville fan. I don’t however, feel like we should draft McKay at #2. He is the safest pick in the draft imo but like many of the other posters and Doug I think we should shoot for the moon at #2. Greene falling to #2 would be a godsend imo. Reply The Rage May 16, 2017 My guess Wright goes number 1 then Greene to the Reds. For all the hype of this class, last years looks better. Reply The Duke May 16, 2017 I’ve followed the draft pretty heavily the last two years, I’d take this year over last year by a fairly wide margin. Similar at the top (albeit I think this top 5 is better than last years), but the real separator is I think there is a ton more talent 15-60 in this years draft. Reply terry m May 16, 2017 Greene or Wright would take either one. I do think that Adell could be a surprise pick by the Reds. Reply Greenfield Red May 16, 2017 The Luis Robert domino will fall before the draft. I think what the Reds do will depend on what happens there. If the Reds get him, I think they will take a pitcher. If they don’t, I think it will be a position player. Thoughts? Reply The Duke May 16, 2017 I think irregardless of what happens with Robert, the Reds are taking one of Wright, Greene, or McKay. Reply The Rage May 16, 2017 Sounds like the White Sox are making a outrageous offer for Robert. But I still bet the Reds would take Greene. Reply Doug Gray May 16, 2017 Link? The Duke May 16, 2017 I’ll believe it when I see it. They wasted the rest of this signing period if it’s true as they stayed away from the elite talent earlier and all they would get is Robert and then be in the penalty box along with the Reds until July 2, 2019. But, maybe they like him that much. I won’t count us out until he’s signed elsewhere. The Duke May 16, 2017 The only chatter I’m seeing using my Google Fu is that the Braves have bowed out and the bidding is in full swing. Doug Gray May 16, 2017 All I’ve seen is that Heyman speculates that because the White Sox are interested, and they need an outfielder, and are a big market team, that they are likely to get him. The Duke May 16, 2017 …and that was in April, the article today from CBS Chicago (no bias there I’m sure) just references what Heyman said in April. Wes May 16, 2017 I think to sign Robert you have to have the reputation of wanting to win. When has white Sox ever done that? Their farm system is also stacked with top end talent- strike 2. And this may be a stretch but they are actually winning this year and a lot of prospects are still in lower leagues – management may feel like it’s a luxury vs necessity. I doubt he ends up a white sock Doug Gray May 16, 2017 Whoever writes the biggest check is going to get him. Nothing else is going to come into play. George Miller May 16, 2017 I hope they take either Beck or Adell. high school arms scare me i.e.Chris Gruler,Ty Howington. I would hate to miss out on an almost Mike Trout type talent as Beck has been called. HI believe having that type player playing 5 times a week is more valuable than a guy pithing every 5 day. Reply Jonathan May 16, 2017 I think Ty Howington was injured after playing well in Rookie and A ball. I’m not 100% though… The Chris Gruler draft was bad….wasn’t he drafted #3? Reply DanD May 16, 2017 I totally agree with you, the Reds don’t do to well picking pitchers in the first round. Off the top of my head I can only think of Bailey in the last 15 years or so where the Reds selected a starting pitcher that has done anything in the majors. Please correct me if I am incorrect. I prefer Beck and Adell. Would have loved Sale from another post instead of Grandal. Jonathan May 16, 2017 Mike Leake?? Scott Williamson?? Doug Gray May 16, 2017 This isn’t 2000 anymore. Teams treat high school arms very, very different than they did back then. High school arms shouldn’t scare you THAT much. The best pitcher in alive was a high school pick. Reply Jonathan May 16, 2017 That’s a great point Doug…has anyone done any numbers that suggest that high school arms have produced at a higher rate since 2010 than before 2010? Doug Gray May 16, 2017 Well, that’s probably not going to be a good comparison because high school pitchers taken in 2012 are just now turning 23-years-old. Seat101 May 16, 2017 Do you like the number 12 pick better than the number 13 pick? http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2010/drafttracker.jsp Reply DanD May 16, 2017 #11 is now in the Reds organization Reply Chris B May 16, 2017 It’s crazy to look at that draft and see all the misses. Obviously there were some studs in there but it looks like 20 of those guys are guys I’ve never heard of. Reply The Duke May 16, 2017 On average about half of first round picks never even make the big leagues. It’s why Doug constantly defends Drew Stubbs. He had his flaws, but he was a productive big league player for a few years, and that’s more than most. Doug Gray May 16, 2017 Just a reminder about Drew Stubbs. The guy, still, to this day, is the 6th most valuable player taken in the first round that year. Fact of the draft is, if you get an everyday player from the draft, you did a good job. Stock May 17, 2017 I like him a lot more than the 4-11 picks though. Reply KyWilson1 May 16, 2017 I would still go Beck or Adell. There seems to be plenty of pitching depth to get a big arm with the comp pick. Wright is the only other player I would consider. Greene feels like a bust without a plus #2 pitch, McKay doesn’t have much room to elevate his game, and Lewis is falling off. Reply JBrashaber May 16, 2017 With less than a month left until the draft, hopefully some things begin to get a little more clear at the top as far as what the Twins will do. As for how the prospects are performing right now, it does like the Reds have some options at two. Once actual signing bonus numbers start emerging to the surface, I would be interested to see if the Reds would consider doing what the Braves did at #3 last year and cut a large deal to provide savings for their next two picks when they floated two other top HS arms down. I do realize that the new CBA and lower difference in slot values changed some of the Reds ability to do this, but for fun, who do you guys think the Reds could actually take at #2 while saving enough to float another top player down to their competitive balance pick? Reply Doug Gray May 16, 2017 I think you take the guy who is the top guy on your board and don’t worry about hoping someone falls to you later. Get the best talent at #2 and it’s not going to matter what you do 30 picks later. Reply Hoyce May 16, 2017 If the Reds don’t love someone at the top. Pick Greene. Offer him less than $2million. With a sweetheart deal promising the Padres a trade that obviously would be a win for reds. If he wants to go to San Diego bad enuf, he signs If not reds get #3 next year. With the savings tell Jordan adell to say he is absolutely going to college. Offer him way over slot $5-6 million. Reds get him at #32?? Or do same w beck. Thinking outside box. Reds walk away w a top pick regardless. Possibly 2. Reply Doug Gray May 16, 2017 To get the pick you need to offer WAY more than $2M for the #2 pick. Also, this is a business. You can’t go to the #2 pick and offer him $2M. I mean, you can, but that’s terrible business, sets a bad precedent and it’s not going to help you in any way, shape or form. You’d have to offer him something like $5M+, and he’d have to turn it down. Reply Hoyce May 17, 2017 The whole point of offering Greene $2 million at #2 is so u can offer adell or beck $5 M at 32. Plus get the # 3 next year. Getting multiple top picks. If Greene really wants to be in San Diego. He accepts $2M and the guaranteed trade. Reds win win or win. I don’t think u followed my logic. Doug Gray May 18, 2017 There’s rules against that. I don’t think you followed my reasoning. If the Reds offered $2M, it wouldn’t meet the requirement to get the pick the next year if he turned it down. MLB has new rules with the new CBA. Assuming that the player can pass the team physical, the team has to offer at least 40% of the slot value – in this case, $2.74M, to get the spot the next year. With pitchers, it can be even more than that. MLB has set up a situation where the top 50 pitchers (as deemed by them) can submit to an MRI before the draft. If they do, and then the team also has an MRI done and the results match up, the team then has to offer at least 60% to the player to keep the draft rights to that spot next year if the player doesn’t sign. That’s $4.11M in this scenario. On top of that part, if Greene doesn’t sign, their draft pool drops to $6.18M for their remaining picks. You’d essentially be signing one guy, then drafting college seniors the rest of the way to make up for it. Aside from all of that, it’s just terrible business to do that. No team would even try it. Bill May 18, 2017 Hoyce, if the Reds fail to sign their pick at 1-2, they lose the $7.2M from their signing pool. System is designed to encourage teams to make a good faith effort to sign draftees, and to encourage drafted players to sign contracts around slot value. Reply reaganspad May 16, 2017 Well, I did not get to see the best pitcher in the country in 2017 Luke Heimlich on Thursday night as he and his #1 ranked OSU Beavers beat the hated ducks in eugene, but he did. Luke now 8-1, 13 starts, 94 innings, 56 hits, 20 walks 106 K’s with a Zero.76 era. Luke had an off night wet, 48 degree game as he gave up a run in 6 innings but still got the win. He was ranked at #31 in the recent Baseball America Mock He was to face #16 rank Josh Peterson from those hated ducks, a 6-6, 235 pound lefty, but the ducks moved Peterson to Friday to try to salvage a win. They got swept however. Peterson was not the best pitcher on the field on Friday, throwing much slower than the 94-95 that I had read about. He had 20 strikeouts in a gave 3 weeks earlier so I was expecting some stuff, but he looked like a soft tossing lefty, he got rattled and did not control the running game. The Beavers only had 4 hits off of him but scored 5 runs. The better pitcher on the mound was a draft eligible secret, Drew Rasmussen. He is a redshirt Soph who had TJ last year. Thew a perfect game as a freshman. Drew was very good for his second outing this year. Again cold and wet for both pitchers 49 and rain came on in the 6th inning. But Drew got 3 innings in and was 95-96 (a little wild) money at 91-92, had no feel for his breaking stuff in upper 80’s and Change in the upper 70’s. Without his TJ last year, this is the guy we would be talking about at #2. He is the best pitcher on our staff and would be the Friday starter ahead of Heimlich. Draft the stud bat at #2 and grab Drew with the supplemental or 2nd round pick. Between now and Omaha, this will be a great story Reply The Duke May 16, 2017 Rasmussen isn’t a secret. He was a projected 1st rd pick before his injury and likely still goes in the top 2-3 rounds now, similar to how the Reds drafted Scott Moss, except Rasmussen has more of a track record. Hemilich’s a command and control guy. Command and control guys can dominate hitters who won’t be professionals or won’t advance beyond A ball. He’s essentially Wennington Romero. Reply reaganspad May 16, 2017 Makes sense Duke, Thanks for the color Kap May 16, 2017 I just hope they make the Wright selection… Reply redleggingfordayz May 16, 2017 I mean the Reds are probably going to go with either Wright, Greene, or Beck. All of which seem to have tremendous upsides at this point. Pretty great problem to have sitting at #2 in my opinion :) Reply The Virginian May 16, 2017 I don’t understand why no one is taking about Bukausas from UNC. He has done nothing but dominate in the ACC that includes some pretty tough teams. His only bad outing was this past week after two week layoff Reply Doug Gray May 16, 2017 Because most teams think his mechanics are terrible and he’s going to wind up in the bullpen. Reply The Virginian May 16, 2017 Thanks I haven’t seen him just looking at the results. I appreciate your work. DanD May 16, 2017 Any chance that Mark Vientos, Drew Waters or Tristen Lutz will be available at 32 or 38? Just a few bats that I see in the 30-40 range. 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