The guys over at Fangraphs released their latest mock draft this morning. The player they project for the Cincinnati Reds to take is Florida right hander Brady Singer. He’s been the name most linked to the Reds this year, and things have really picked up quite a bit on that front over the last 3-4 weeks. But, it’s the other names that are mentioned are what I want to focus on today.

At later picks, Cincinnati has been tied to Georgia prep righties Kumar Rocker and Cole Wilcox all spring, and the club had heat there when the pitchers matched up in the playoffs two weeks ago, a game in which Wilcox shined. Williams was among the GM/president types who were in to see Canadian prep catcher Noah Naylor earlier this spring. Naylor would also be an option if he gets to their second pick.

The first two guys may be options for the #5 pick, but seem out of place that high. Perhaps they could wind up being available in the second round. Two high school pitchers and a high school catcher. The Reds have been going to Georgia early in the draft in the last few years, picking up both Tyler Stephenson and Taylor Trammell from the state in recent drafts from the Peach State.

When it comes to Kumar Rocker, things are a bit strange. He’s ranked inside the Top 15 prospects by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. Despite that, he may wind up dropping out of the first round. The Fangraphs mock linked above has him going in the supplemental first round. When it comes to pure stuff, Rocker is among the best high schoolers in the entire draft. His fastball has reached 98 MPH, though it works in the 92-95 range. And it’s easy heat. He also flashes a plus breaking ball and a potentially above-average change up. The knock on him is that despite the stuff he hasn’t always gotten the results on the mound that you would expect.

Cole Wilcox went at #16 in the Fangraphs mock draft, but isn’t ranked that highly by either Baseball America or MLB Pipeline. It’s possible he slides into the second round, being ranked in the 30’s by both publications. He’s got strong stuff, with a low-to-mid 90’s fastball and two possible above-average secondary pitches with a slider and change up. And he’s known to be a guy who throws a lot of strikes. The drawback is that his mechanics aren’t ones that many see as a sure-fire starting pitcher, with plenty believing they could push him to the bullpen in the long run.

Prep catcher Noah Naylor is the younger brother of Padres minor league Josh Naylor. The older Naylor went 12th overall in the 2015 draft. The left handed hitting catcher shows off a power game. He’s got above-average power potential and an above-average arm behind the plate. Some reports also are quite high on his hit-tool, though some see more of an average one. The bigger question is whether or not he can remain behind the plate. The arm plays well, but the rest of his game behind the plate is behind other catchers in the class and needs to show improvement.


14 Responses

  1. greg

    Has there been any speculation anywhere on whether or not Singer could go significantly under-slot around #5?

  2. Michael B. Green

    Any chance that Nolan Garman projects as a 1B rather than a 3B? If so, perhaps he is a 5-year heir apparent to Joey.

  3. Tom

    Reads like they’re hoping to push a middle first round talent to the second round.

  4. The Duke

    Maybe in a draft thin at top end talent they are looking for a well under slot guy at 5 so they can go well over slot in round 2. 5 and 47 have a combined value of $7,466,700, so maybe try to sign someone for $4-$4.5 million at 5 and then try to get a similar value at 47 for $3-$3.5 million

    • AirborneJayJay

      I mentioned him in the game review article, Stetson’s Logan Gilbert, a RHP. If Singer isn’t interested in a below slot deal they may look just down the chart a little. He would fit just what they are looking for, a college starter who is considered one who would rise quickly. Stetson’s level of competition in conference isn’t the same as the SEC, but Stetson does play almost all of the Florida schools out of conference.
      Gilbert is being mocked at #17 to the Angels, but is mentioned in their article at #10-#14. In 3 weeks time he might be able to move higher. The draft is said to be of good quality in the #20 thru #50 or so spots. So the Reds may be looking for the deal you say at #5 so as to get a higher quality player in the second round with an above slot deal.
      He is 6’6″ and 225. He misses bats without walking many. I’d like to see more reports on him, but he is listed as one who could rise thru the minors quickly like Mize, Singer, and Kowar.
      We should keep an observant eye on Gilbert over the next 3 weeks.
      At first I didn’t get the Reds being linked to Joey Bart, the C, but the more I read on him the more I understand why. A very complete C is rare. Ty Stephenson then may become a 1B. I can see the logic. A stud C and a stud 1B in the fold at not too different of development levels.

  5. Krozley

    Robinson Cano, say it isn’t so. I wonder if Mariners would be interested in Scooter now. Selling high might be prudent for the Reds, but I wouldn’t give him away either.

    • Wes

      If they’ll sell low on Kyle Lewis- that’s a great grab for cincy! High risk high reward type players is what reds need. Outside of that their organization is a dumpster fire. Scooter is going to keep hitting and have a track record worth acquiring this season. Reds have to trade him or someone if simply due to log jam

      • Norwood Nate

        Agree their system is very bad. I do like Carlson as well though, if they were to go for a prospect that’s further away.

    • The Duke

      Scooter for Sam Carlson, Julio Rodriguez, and Wyatt Mills

  6. Hoyce

    I read that article also and thought that Rocker falling to 2nd round pick would be unlikely. But hopefully they are right!!
    Doug- how does this years draft compare to the last 2 years draft classes?
    And if u know-how does next years compare?? Since reds are likely top5 or 10 again

  7. donny

    I don’t see Kumar Rocker, Cole Wilcox, or Noah Naylor being there for the Reds. With there 47 pick.

    A guy that i hope is there but might not be there at 47 pick is outfielder Nick Schnell from Roncalli (Ind.) HS. He has a plus hit tool. I am a little bias toward him because he is from Indiana of course. But he has good tools across the board as a outfielder.

    Other guys that could be there for the Reds 47 pick that i like .

    Owen White, with a potential of 4 plus pitches . 93-95 mph with the fast ball and a projection to get stronger to add more fast ball. And no i wouldn’t say he is a Mike Leake comparison. Mike Leake sat at 91-93. Owen is already above that as a high schooler. He is a very athletic 3 sport star. The Reds seem to really like athletic pitchers.

    Adam Kloffenstein, who i like the most, but he probably won’t be there. Heard he is going to be a tuff sign. He might be one of these kids who will only sign if the money is great, or the Astros give him a call. Given the Kid is from Texas.

    Joe Gray Jr , if the Reds think he can hit enough.

    Slade Cecconi, he also could be a hard sign. The scouts liked him when he pitched, but there is concern as to why he isn’t pitching much.

  8. Nils

    Reds want/need pitchers, not Boras hype. Cecconi isn’t the answer. Throws straight fastball, gets hit hard, is one of the oldest players in the 2018 HS draft class & has been conspicuously inconspicuous since last season. Was pummeled in his last start this spring, perhaps his only one. Cincy needs college pitchers who can help them in 2 years, or sooner. They’ll do what Yanks did in the 2017 draft – take all pitchers with their first 5 picks. Pitching wins titles and are great trade bait.