Friday morning Reds news and notes Doug Gray September 29, 2017 33 Comments Last night saw the Cincinnati Reds fall just short against the Milwaukee Brewers. While that isn’t good for the big league club, for the 2018 Major League Baseball draft, it was a good thing. The Reds are now sitting at 67-92 on the season. That record would put them at the #5 spot in the draft if the season ended today. The season, however, doesn’t end today. There are three games left. Things would have to go in the Reds favor, but they could draft as high as #3. They would have to lose out and get help from the Phillies (win out) and the White Sox (win at least one game) to jump up to #3. The White Sox are one game worse than the Reds, and the Reds hold the tie breaker (2016 record). The Reds are two games worse than the Mets. This means the Reds will be drafting between #3 and #6 depending on how things play out in the final weekend. Top 50 College Draft Prospects Baseball America’s Teddy Cahill published the Top 50 Draft prospects for 2018 from the college baseball ranks yesterday afternoon. The top player on the board is Florida right handed pitcher Brady Singer. He was a 2nd round pick of the Blue Jays in 2015 but chose to not sign and head off for pitch for the Gators. In 2017 he posted a 3.21 ERA in 126.0 innings with 32 walks and 129 strikeouts as a 20-year-old. The second prospect on the list is middle infielder Nick Madrigal out of Oregon State. What’s interesting here is that he’s listed at just 5′ 7″ and 160 lbs. That’s a rarity for a player that’s ranked so highly. The 20-year-old hit .380/.449/.532 last season for the Beavers. That came with 27 walks, just 16 strikeouts, 20 doubles, two triples and four home runs. The player who seems to be on everyone’s radar after an incredible freshman season, and probably for his name, too, Seth Beer comes in at 17th on the list. Go check out the list and start keeping tabs on all of the players that could be there for the Reds next June. Podcasting with Redleg Nation Last night I sat down at my desk and spent an hour talking Cincinnati Reds baseball with Chad Dotson on the Redleg Nation Radio Podcast. We talked about some of the good things that have happened in the 2017 season despite the struggles overall from the team, individual players and how I’m always right and Chad isn’t. You can give it a listen or you can download it here. And you can subscribe on iTunes or wherever else by searching for Redleg Nation Radio. 33 Responses Kap September 29, 2017 The draft is conveniently loaded near the top with pitchers on the college side. Take notes red legs. wes September 29, 2017 Who you like Kap? If I’m Reds management I’m initially leaning toward top college arm. Kap September 29, 2017 Pie in the sky pick is Brady singer but he’ll probably be gone by then. That kid from auburn looks good as well. Shocked chandler day from vandy wasn’t on this list. Will more than likely be their #1 next spring. Keep him in mind as well Jer-B September 29, 2017 The Phils would have to WIN out Doug. 3rd pick would be nice. I’ll settle for 4th or 5th though Keith September 29, 2017 I think #5 is fairly certain at this point. Two games back of the Mets, who are likely to win at least 1 from the Phils, and a game ahead of the White Sox, who finish against the Indians. I don’t see us sweeping the Cubs while the Mets lose all 3 to the Phillies, and it’s hard to imagine the White Sox sweeping the Indians at this point in the year, even if we get swept. Doug Gray September 29, 2017 Ooops! Thanks for the correction. I’m an idiot. The Duke September 29, 2017 As long as we’re top 5, I think next year will play out a lot like this year with a lot of the top 5 getting money that is close to each other. We may just miss out on an oversign or two later in the draft. Pretty much everyone at BA sees Beer as a 1B/DH only without a shot at playing in a corner OF spot, and this is despite an above average arm. He’s just that slow. He also wasn’t as good last year as he was his freshman year (OPS was 151 points lower). That said, 17th college only prospect still seems ludicrous. He was pitched around all last season and was pretty much all that Clemson had offensively. Beer walked nearly twice as often as he struck out and his BABIP was an absurdly low (for college) .288 after being .352 his freshman year. For context, Adam Haseley’s BABIP this year was .386 (with his .390 batting average). If the Reds feel the DH is coming sooner rather than later (I hate it, but it seems inevitable), then Beer may still be a good option. He can split time defensively with Votto at 1B and the other could DH. Billy September 29, 2017 Are you advocating taking Beer with a top 5 pick? Or are you looking at him as an option in Round 2? If the latter, I’d be fine with that. With the top 5 pick, I don’t want to select someone we know will be blocked by Votto. If we go the position player route, Turang and Gorman from the high school ranks are appealing as top 5 picks. There are also several high school pitchers that would be good picks. We should be able to get a high ceiling talent that won’t be obviously blocked with that first pick. The Duke September 29, 2017 Beer as a top 5 pick would have a very big caveat that I listed. Only if the Reds think the NL adopts the DH rule in the next 2 years. If Pavin Smith can go #7 overall as a 1B, then it’s ludicrous to think that Beer is a bottom of rd 1 to rd 2 player. Mjc September 29, 2017 Billy, I remember some years back the Astros picked a first baseman with Jeff bag well still in his prime. I couldn’t believe it, but lane Bergman turned out to be a pretty good pick. Those things work there selves out MK September 29, 2017 Tried Googling Lane Bergman can not find him. Billy September 29, 2017 Mjc, once upon a time the Reds draft Yonder Alonso pretty high too. When he was ready, Votto was a permanent fixture, and there was nowhere to play him. The Astros may have made it work with Berkman, but I don’t think it is safe to just assume it will work out. All else equal, I’d rather draft someone who fills a position of need than one who doesn’t. Of course, “all else equal” assumes that the talent level is the same, and if it isn’t, I would always take the best player available. DaveCT September 29, 2017 Lance Bergman DaveCT September 29, 2017 Disagree. Always take the best player available. If you want, debate whether Alonso was the best player, which given his real lack of speed and athleticism is debatable. With talent, like pitching, you can’t have too much. terry m September 29, 2017 MK You know who he is talking about.. Reaganspad September 29, 2017 Yes MK I think it is Lain Bergmen DaveCT September 29, 2017 Lance Bergman MK September 29, 2017 Was thinking maybe Alex Bregman but he was not drafted when Bagwell was around but did not think of Lance Berkman, thanks Dave. Arnold Ziffle September 29, 2017 The Reds play the Cubs this weekend. The Cubs are not playing for anything, their playoff seeding is set. Maddon will rest most of his regulars some this weekend. Reds could take 2 of 3 if not all 3. The White Sox play Cleveland. Cleveland is playing for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Cleveland at 100 wins Houston at 99. The White Sox could very well get swept. The Reds will get that 5th draft spot for 2018. I don’t think there is any way around that. If Oregon State 2B Nick Madrigal is there at #5, go for it. It would be an incredible pick. He is very Jose Altuve-like, and not just because he is listed at 5’7″. Very good offensive player, very good defensive player. Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Take a gander: http://www.osubeavers.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=4097 Some of his 2017 achievements: • Baseball America All-America First Team. • D1Baseball.com All-America First Team. • ABCA All-America First Team. • Perfect Game All-America Second Team. • NCBWA All-America Third Team. • Collegiate Baseball All-America Third Team. • Pac-12 Player Of The Year. • Pac-12 Defensive Player Of The Year. • ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove (second base). If Singer isn’t there, which he won’t be, this is the guy we want at #5. Hopefully the Reds can steal that #4 spot, but it just isn’t in the cards. It is also possible to look at him as a CF candidate too, if the Reds would dare move him to the OF. Nick Madrigal is one to keep a close eye on come February to May. He is my pick, one that could advance rather quickly. A very solid bat and glove. Reaganspad September 29, 2017 He is toying with the Pac 12 As good as his strikeout to walk ratio is, he will majorly expand the strike zone at times and swing for the fences. As good as Nick is, the catcher Rutchman who will be in this conversation next year might be better wes September 29, 2017 He could also be the next Dustin Ackley. Remember him? Undersized former 2nd pick who destroyed the ACC and never accomplished anything as a pro The Duke September 29, 2017 If the Reds end up with one of Brady Singer, Nick Madrigal, Brice Turang, Nander De Sedas, or Jared Kelenic, we’ll make out just fine. I’m not opposed to a college hitter having an Andrew Benintendi-esque rise next year either. If we do get a hitter, I hope they continue the trend of finding guys with high upside and good plate discipline. I want pitchers to fear the Reds with patient hitters like Votto, Winker, Senzel, Suarez, Trammell, and hopefully a few more. Grind out those at bats, run up pitch counts, and punish mistake pitches from tired pitchers. Hal September 29, 2017 So, the Reds may sweep the Cubs while facing Quintana, Lester and Arrieta?!? I love the confidence but my goodness. Doug Gray September 29, 2017 Given that they are in the playoffs and locked into their spots, I wouldn’t expect those guys to go more than a few innings just to stay on schedule. So, yeah, it’s certainly possible. Arnold Ziffle September 29, 2017 Arrieta not making his last start. 2 of 3 is possible. all 3 are possible but not very likely. Quintana probably goes 5 innings and Lester about the same. Several Cubs regulars will be rested some this weekend. It won’t be their regular lineup in any of those 3 games I am presuming. DaveCT September 29, 2017 Off topic, Reed threw a pitch last night I haven’t seen from him, a 92 mph pitch that tailed away from the right handed batter. Was that a cutter. Erstwhile Thom called it a change. Sorry dude, not at 92. The pitch was filthy. Doug Gray September 29, 2017 Reed’s slider is more of a cutter than a pure slider, but assuming that the radar reading was accurate, the only pitch he threw at 92 last night was a fastball. The sliders/cutters were in that 86-88 MPH range. MK September 29, 2017 Reed has given up just one unearned run in 5 appearance in September. He is still walking to0 many, Just 5 innings but maybe this will be a little confidence boost for him moving into off season. DaveCT September 29, 2017 It will be fun to watch the continuing contest between high upside guys like Reed and Garrett vs. the lower upside but more reliable guys like Romano and Mahle. Almost like prospective playoff starters vs innings eaters. Besides being a CT kid, my money’s on Romano, as I’m kinda partial to those sinker/slider guys. Especially at 96 mph. Nate Adams September 29, 2017 a left-handed cutter would tail into a right handed batter. it was most likely a two-seam fastball. Though, it could have been a 4-seam fastball where he left his wrist be lazy and got on the side of the ball Doug Gray September 29, 2017 It’s certainly possible – he was throwing two different fastballs on the day. Alex Reds September 30, 2017 Reds might pass Phillies as the Phillies have a real shot at taking two vs the hapless Mets. The Reds will now finish ahead of the Mets and have at least secured the #5 spot. Unfortunately, Reds will likely win one so that will be a moot point. I hate to share this, but ex-Reds prospect Ben Lively dominated for the Phils tonight and put up a better rookie season with a low 4 ERA that any Reds starter not named Castillo or Mahle’s short stint. CP September 30, 2017 With the Reds losing I think that guarantees the 5th draft pick. The worst the Mets can do now is a 69-93 record and the best the Reds can do is that too. Reds get the tie breaker with having the worse record last year. Now we just need those White Sox to find a couple wins to close out the season!