The Cincinnati Reds selected shortstop Jeter Downs with the #32 pick overall. He comes out of Pace High School in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Jeter Downs Scouting Report

Jeter Downs has potential average of better big league tools across the board. He’s a potential 5-tooler who is a shortstop now, but may slide over in the future. He’ll likely begin his career at shortstop, though where his above-average arm strength plays well. He’s got good glove work that would play well at either second of third base if he does need to slide over to either of those positions in the future.

At the plate he’s got some pop in his bat with a chance for 15-20 home runs in the future thanks to his quick wrists and bat speed. He was impressive in his senior season, hitting more home runs than he had strikeouts during the year. He’s got above-average speed now, but he’s not a burner.

He was a fast riser his senior season, projected more as a 4th rounder in the the winter. However, his tools started to show better in the spring, particularly in regards to his bat speed and power projection.

Initial thoughts on Jeter Downs

You’re never going to hear me complain about toolsy shortstops, and that’s what Jeter Downs is. Even if he does eventually move as a pro down the line, the tools should play if that move is needed. He’s one of the older high school players in this draft class, and he’ll turn 19 during the summer. There’s not much to read into there, but it is worth noting. His range at shortstop seems to be the area where scouts are split on why he can/can’t stay at the position, but his hands and arm work very well there and that gives him a chance to remain up the middle.

The Reds on Jeter Downs

Chris Buckley had this to say about Jeter Downs:

He’s very advanced with is bat, even though he’s in a high school uniform, he’s a little more like a college player – he’s really really advanced.

Dick Williams had this to say about Jeter Downs:

Lot of upside, young high school up the middle, polished offensive player.

For information on all of the other Cincinnati Reds 2017 Major League Baseball Draft Picks, click here.

24 Responses

  1. Wes

    Sooo Doug you see the reds taking a short stop day 1?!?

    I had a feeling ; )

    Safe to say the reds aren’t sold on either alfrod or the other young kid they just signed. Glad to see them continuously try to fill that void- it’s a huge one and we have several shots at it now.

    I like the pick!

    • Shawn

      This pick don’t mean the Refs are down on their other young SSs

    • RDriesenUD

      That has nothing to do with the pick. Nothing.

    • Keith

      Downs is a SS now. Doesn’t mean he’ll still be one in 2 years. I think this pick means the Reds want more talent in the organization. Nothing more.

    • Jim H

      If you have 7 guys starting in the field capable of playing SS, you have the potential for the rare plus-plus-plus defense. Keep drafting best player available. It sorts itself out.

    • Mac624

      This kid screams 2nd basemen too me. Good pick.

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      Pretty sure Doug said he could move over from SS so I wouldn’t say they’re down on the other prospects they signed. You did read where Candlestick thinks Garcia is a first round talent and you have seen how AlfRod’s been hitting, right?

    • Wes

      Alfrod is performing better than I expected and I believe Dick Williams when he said the kid they just gave 5 mill to is a top 15 talent in this draft. That being said we know who’s going to play 1st and 3rd. We have 4 options at 2nd base 4 at catcher. A bagillion pitchers and atleast 6 outfielders. Short stop is our 1 true need.

      Great pick!

    • RFM

      The thing about shortstops is that they’re good athletes. Todd Frazier was a shortstop. Billy Hamilton was a shortstop. Peraza and Suarez are/were shortstops. Nominal shortstops spread out all over the field.
      -Fast? Send them to CF (Hamilton)
      -Good arm? Send them to third
      -Not quite as good as the OTHER shortstop, send them to 2b.

      Stockpiling young shortstops is very different from, say, stockpiling 1b or LFs.

    • Doug Gray

      Don’t read into draft picks and thinking it tells you how the team feels about anyone in the minors or the Majors.

      Shortstops in high school and college aren’t always professional shortstop. Even the ones that are, sometimes guys move to other spots because they’ve got the ability to do so, athletically.

  2. Wes

    Making up for passing on the other jeter 20 some years ago

  3. RDriesenUD

    Love the pick. He “looks” like a 2B to me. I love how we have been getting athletes and high quality kids recently. You win with that.

  4. Colt Holt

    Money saver pick? Hopefully saving money for the next TJ Friedl! …maybe Otani secretly enrolled in junior college in Alaska and is available as an undrafted free agent!

    • Colt Holt

      Before the onslaught…sarcasm should be assumed above.

  5. kevin z

    like the pick a lot surprised me which is good ..
    thought for sure would not pick back to back hs players

  6. RobL

    Kid has thick legs and a big bubble butt. Harold Reynolds almost said it, but stopped at big! He compared him to Jean Segura, so I guess that body type could work at short. But it tells me the pop is real. Not who I was looking at, but I like him.

    • Hingle McCringleberry

      Bubble but and thick thighs in this setting means he can get around on the pitch and drive it.

      I thought I would never say those two in speaking about a man (ewww)

  7. The Duke

    I was pulling for Tristen Lutz and that plus power, but I’m happy with Downs as well. I have to think the Reds give him every chance to stick at SS. Get him working with Barry Larkin and see if that range can be coached up by getting better/quicker reads, because that bat could be huge if the defense is at least average at SS. No complaints about the Downs pick, and with how they are speaking about how advanced they think he is offensively, I think they may start him in Billings along with Hunter Greene.

    • kevin z

      yea wanted Lutz or Waters but for sure like Downs think will surprise all..
      keep hearing how advanced he is all around as a hitter as well as a person
      needs work but a lot to work with which is key

  8. Hingle McCringleberry

    I think wright was the pick. We missed that one.