Baseball America has released their latest mock draft. John Manuel has generally been one of the best, if not the best in the business when it comes to projecting where players are drafted. This week he’s projecting the Cincinnati Reds to take Louisville left handed starting pitcher Brendan McKay with the #2 overall selection. Vanderbilt righty Kyle Wright is projected to go #1 to the Minnesota Twins.

Depending on where you’ve looked over the last six weeks it seems that there’s been some division on how the Reds view Brendan McKay. While every outlet believes the Reds are very high on his talents, some believe they are higher on his abilities as a hitter than as a pitcher.

The Reds have been consistent. They’ll either pick Greene or McKay at two and lean toward McKay as a pitcher, even if his velocity has been iffy when Cincinnati’s front office has rolled deep in to see him. The Reds are still in on Greene heavily, but are thought to lean McKay.

As I wrote earlier, Brendan McKay just doesn’t quite fit the normal profile of a #2 overall pick. He seems more like a guy you can usually grab in the 10-20 range. His numbers have been outstanding, but his stuff just doesn’t jump out like the typical #2 overall pick does from pitchers.

There could be a silver lining, though, if the draft plays out the way the Baseball America mock draft suggests. They project the first round through the compensation picks and at pick #32 the team is selecting high school outfielder Jordon Adell. He’s arguably a Top 10 caliber player in his own right, and it seems that Manual believes he could work his way down the draft like Taylor Trammell did last year and go to Cincinnati.

Jordon Adell may be the most toolsy player in the entire draft with big time power and speed. Landing him and Brendan McKay could make for a very interesting draft.

John Sickels also released a mock draft today. It was his first of the year and as he notes, it’s just educated guesswork. He has the Reds taking Vanderbilt right hander Kyle Wright, with the Twins taking Brendan McKay at the top. At the #32 spot he has the team taking high school outfielder Bubba Thompson (who went 16th in the Baseball America mock draft). He represents another toolsy outfielder with a good speed and power combination. Kyle Wright would be the #1 guy on my draft board as things sit currently, so this would play out very well in my opinion.

46 Responses

  1. Dan

    Why isn’t Brent Rooker projected to be picked higher? Dude is 4th in batting average with 20 home runs. I know he is a bit older but he has been raking the past 2 seasons.

    I wouldnt be mad if the Redlegs picked him with the 2nd pick.

    • Doug Gray

      With the 2nd pick, or with their 2nd pick? Because that’s a huge difference. He’s the #64 prospect in the draft according to Baseball America. That’s like a 3rd round talent. His age doesn’t help. He’ll be 23-years-old before the next season starts. It also doesn’t help that he’s likely a first baseman only on the defensive side of the ball. The numbers in college seem to be better than what he projects as.

      • The Duke

        Eh, I think Rooker could handle a corner OF spot. I’ve seen him play it for MSU and not look terrible. I don’t think he goes at 38 or before or lasts until 77, so I doubt we get him.

      • Doug Gray

        Don’t insult people. First and last warning.

  2. KyWilson1

    If the Reds can get Adell at 32, they can play way safer at #2. I just don’t see anyway that he slides that far without a team like the Cubs/Sox/Yankees drafting him. Too much upside for teams to just pass on him without taking a chance.

    That said, I still wouldn’t touch McKay at 2. He wouldn’t break my Reds top 10 prospects if he was their selection. He reminds me of David Holmberg.

    • Kindell

      I agree that McKay is not what you hope for at number 2, but he is on another level than Holmerg. David Holmberg was a guy that had always sat in the 87-89 range with his fastball.

      Mckay sits low 90’s and I have seen him hitting 94. He also has a really good breaking ball. If we do end up with him, I rather have him as the pitcher because there is a little more upside there.

  3. DanD

    It’s amazing that I said about 2 months ago that McKay would go in the 8-15 range and I do not remember who replied back but I got blasted big time. I sure hope that the Reds don’t select him.

    Getting Greene at 2 and Adell at 32 would be great.

      • DanD

        you are probably correct that he will be drafted in the top 5, but even if healthy I do not think he will have a career of a top 5 pitcher.

        I do appreciate your insight.

        Do you know anything about Tristen Lutz or Drew Waters? possibly interest in him at 32 or 38?

      • The Duke

        I like both those guys at those spots for the Reds. Toolsy prep hitters. Lutz is a corner guy with plus power potential and a strong arm. Waters is a potential 5 tool CF except there are some questions about his hit tool. Waters is a toolsy prep bat from Georgia, so that fits right in with people we took in Tyler Stephenson in 2015 and Taylor Trammell in 2016.

      • Mike

        McKay was not very good vs Florida State last night . FSU is a good hitting team. U of L’s outside conference schedule has been very weak this year , driving Mckay’s pitching numbers . He is a good hitter and/or maybe a MLB starter in my mind. I root for the U of L Cards , but am a bigger Reds fan. I find it difficult to believe the Reds would take him at #2 . Anyone have an opinion on U of L Third baseman Drew Ellis?. He looks like a MLB potential regular player to me

  4. Randy in Chatt

    Doug, do you think Wright is a 1A pitcher? What makes him a TOR type starter if so? Does he have better make-up, stuff than RSteve, Amir G and Romano?

  5. Kindell

    I really feel like the Twins are going to take Kyle Wright and that doesn’t bother me. I want Greene over both Wright and McKay.

    If we got Adell at 32, I think that would be as big of a win as it gets.

  6. Kap

    If Wright is the 1st overall pick, I think the Reds should go Greene. Like you said Doug, he shouldn’t get drafted that high.

    As far as the comp pick and the 2nd rounder, there are a few players I would highly consider. For the comp pick, any of Jordan Adell, Blaine Enlow, Bubba Thompson, and Evan White and for the 2nd rounder, any of Brent Rooker, Mark Vientos, or Greg Deichmann. Or any combination of those players if available at certain points. I’ve read reports on all of these players from different outlets and they stick out to me. I feel they need some more solid hitting prospects whether they’re high school or college.

  7. The Duke

    Getting Jo Adell at 32 would be unbelievable. Frankly, I’m kind of mad at BA for toying with my emotions like this, because I just don’t see him falling out of the top 15 at the very worst. In my Mock I have him going #7.

    I easily take Wright or Greene over McKay.

  8. Cameron

    I hope they pick Jeter Downs with their 2nd or 3rd pick. I think he’s gonna be very good.

    • The Duke

      Nick Allen is undersized at 5’8″, but is supposed to be the best prep defensive SS in several years and has surprisingly decent pop despite his size to go with good contact skills. Sort of like Shed Long, but with plus plus defense.

      • Cameron

        I don’t think Nick Allenis gonna hit very well in pro ball, he can pick it though for sure.
        David Peterson is someone they could be interested in at 32.
        I think Pavin Smith is the best hitter in the draft, but he’s LF/1B only. If I thought they could get anything in return for Votto, I’d like them to pick him at 2. But neither of those are realistic.

  9. john

    sorry dan! (doug we actually know each other I was just goofing around – hence mispelling idiot)

  10. fromcubawithluv

    If they are drafting McKay for a lower bonus so they can overpay for Adell at 32 and if that works, I’m ok with that. BUT, I would still rather have Greene or Wright at #2 and whoever is still available at #32 than McKay plus Adell.

    If we draft McKay and get a normal #32, that would be a train wreck, and I would be incredibly disappointed in our front office.

    • fromcubawithluv

      Kyle Wright plus Bubba Thompson > Brendon McKay plus Jordan Adell


      plus, we likely have spent less on the former

  11. Norwood Nate

    If Greene or Wright is there at 2 I’d be excited for either. If McKay is the pick I’d be really disappointed. Just don’t think there’s enough there to warrant the number 2 overall. No chance for upside, only downside.

    • Doug Gray

      I know that I’ve been a little tough on McKay, particularly at the #2 spot in the draft. But, I do wonder if perhaps focusing solely on pitcher, or solely on hitting, wouldn’t get more “upside” to show up.

      • The Duke

        I believe he has more upside as a hitter than a pitcher.

      • Wes

        All I know is if you are management you have a preference and you want him to do one or other long term but don’t have to make that decesion before draft. Let his skill set play out a bit in minors then pick

      • Norwood Nate

        At number 2 I want someone who has the chance to be a TOR pitcher. I don’t see that with McKay. I remember someone here once described him similarly to Mike Leake. If the Reds were drafting in the same spot they drafted Leake, I’d be ecstatic about McKay. Greene and Wright both have TOR potential. Let’s go for the best case scenario, not the safe scenario here. Don’t know how much longer we’ll be in position to nab these super early picks, so take the chance when you can.

  12. MK

    If you look at some top of draft history, they picked Lorenzen who was also a college outfielder, they picked Howard who was also a college third baseman. Same guys are making this pick which makes McKay look more logical, from their perspective.

    • donny

      MK, i don’t think the reds drafted Lorenzen and Howard because they thought they could go back to a position player if they don’t succeed as a pitcher. I believe they drafted them because they really believed they could start because of there athletic ability, and if not could go to the pen . As of today it looks like they have been wrong on that idea and i hope they have learned by now on that front or change there thinking a little bit anyway.

      • donny

        Trying to convert a reliever into a starter or thinking they could start anyway. Keyword [relievers] into starters.

  13. Andy

    Sadly, Shohei Otani won’t be able to prove the hybrid pitcher/hitter type works in MLB before the Reds pick. I’d love to see them take McKay or Greene and try them in both positions, but until Otani forces a team to let him try, there doesn’t appear to be any MLB teams willing to give the concept a shot. This is a pet peeve of mine. I would love love love to see someone shine in a hybrid role. I really hope Otani goes to American League (or Reds!… OK, I’m done dreaming…), because whoever signs him will become my second favorite team to watch.

  14. Hoyce

    Adell at 32 would be a huge win for reds. I agree w the above fellow. Don’t like them messing w my emotions about it. Because when he’s gone by #15. I’m gonna be severely disappointed.
    No McKay #2 please. Greene is risky too. Wright would be perfect.

  15. donny

    Looks like Cody Reed finally pitched a good game as a starter today for Louisville.

    Player IP H R ER BB SO HR
    Cody 7.0 4 2 2 3 9 1

    Still walking batters, but promising showing anyway.

  16. Kap

    Watched some of the Kentucky Florida baseball game. Nice to watch a baseball and a starter go more than an inning or two…

    Anyways, watched a Alex faedo Evan white duel. Faedo won while only needing 3 pitches. Struck white out with a NASTY slider down and away. I wish he could have kept the fastball velocity consistent throughout the season. His name might have been mentioned at pick #2 for the reds

  17. Alex Reds

    I’d like either Greene or Adell with our #2 overall pick.
    Might be able to get some good savings with Adell at our first pick.
    No way Adell makes it to our comp pick. Some team will pick him anyways in late first round to call his bluff.
    I would only want McKay as a hitter but I just don’t think it makes much sense as a 1B. I’d rather Adell than McKay by far. Reds should take Greene, it’s an easy choice unless you overthink it or try to get bonus savings which just isn’t worth it in this draft.

  18. mike

    Mckay not good again last night 5ip 5hits 7r’s 5er 4bb’s 6k’s

  19. dan

    I want jo adell and brent rooker. Hopefully Dick Williams reads this and likes guys named Dan

    • The Duke

      I’d rather get Haseley and Adell, using the savings from Haseley to push Adell to 32. Give each one $5 million.