The ESPN Mock Draft version 1.0 has been published (ESPN+ required), and it’s got a familiar feel to it, at least for the Cincinnati Reds. Keith Law has the team selecting TCU left-handed starting pitcher Nick Lodolo with the #7 overall pick. That’s the same thing that the guys at MLB Pipeline had for the Reds with the pick. It’s also the same thing that Baseball America had last week, too.

It seems that the belief, pretty much everywhere, is that if Nick Lodolo is there, the Cincinnati Reds will take him. That, of course, comes with some caveats. If he’s there, it seems he’s the pick because the other guys they want won’t be. But there was something interesting in the ESPN article about a possible different option, too.

This is probably a best-case scenario for the Reds, who seem like they’ll get one of the two top college starters here. I’ve also heard them linked to Shea Langeliers, but that would have to be well under slot.

Shea Langeliers entered the season near the top of the draft prospect rankings. But that changed quickly after games began as he broke his hamate bone in his wrist in February and missed plenty of time before returning to the lineup. Not that his season hasn’t been bad. The catcher has hit .318/.388/.493 for Baylor this season in 35 games. But that’s also worse than he hit as a freshman in 2017, too. The injury may have plenty to do with that, but he hasn’t taken that “junior season” step forward that you want to see guys take – and plenty of them do.

What selecting Langeliers would do, though, at least in theory, is allow them to sign him to a lower bonus and use the money saved later in the draft. And that certainly could be something the team is considering. Kiley McDaniels of Fangraphs noted two weeks ago that the Reds had some interest in right-handed pitcher Jackson Rutledge as an overslot second pick.

Piecing together those two reports, perhaps the strategy could be taking Langeliers, getting him to sign under slot, hope his wrist comes back to full strength and you get a Top 5 talent to sign under slot at #7, then have Rutledge float a big number to push him down the board and sign him over slot with your 2nd round selection. It’s a risky strategy, but it’s one that pops up almost every year for some organization.

17 Responses

  1. Michael P

    Interesting strategy. Are teams allowed to suggest a player ‘float’ a certain number? Seems as this strategy puts the Reds at risk.

  2. RobL

    The talk about Rutledge being in play in the second round for overslot should be done. When Kiley mentioned that, Rutledge was rated in the twenties. Now he’s firmly in the teens if not higher. There are teams with multiple picks before the Reds get to use their second. Those teams will easily be able to match any number the Reds could pull off. It seems more likely now that the Reds would have to select Rutledge at 7 if they like him.

    I am on board with selecting someone below slot and pushing someone down. But it would need to be someone like Siani again. A high school player with tools, but question marks that make it hard to give big money to.

    And while in theory, taking Langliers at below slot money makes sense, I don’t like it for the Reds. Tyler Stephenson is continuing to be a solid player in AA. I wasn’t a fan of taking India because of Senzel, and I’m not a fan of this scenario.

  3. donny

    My dream scenario would be too sign Rutledge in underslot and have Gunnar Henderson float down and be given a big overslot value with the reds second pick.

    But i am ok with Lodolo, i still think he will get stronger and add to his fastball.

    • donny

      Blake Walston is another guy i hope the reds are considering for there pick 49

  4. Brad

    The proposed allocation strategy would be much more interesting if Reds still had their CB-1 draft pick.

  5. AirborneJayJay

    That is a poor strategy to go with if it is Langoliers at 7. A .318 average is OK in college, but not for the 7th overall pick. Langoliers has fallen to the 30’s in some draft boards.
    I would like to see the Reds make a trade before the draft with a team recoup that Comp. Bal-A pick they traded to the Yankees. The ones with a CB-A pick are
    35. Miami
    36. TB
    37. PIT
    38. NYY
    39. MIN
    40. TB
    41. TEX
    Minnesota traded their CB-A pick last year and a couple of years before that so they have a history. With the Twins in 1st place in the AL Central they may want to bolster their lineup early to keep CLEV at bay. TB has 2 picks and are in 1st place by 2 games over NYY. Maybe they would like to bolster their lineup early because they will be in a battle royal with NYY and BOS all season.
    Trading Tanner Roark or Yasiel Puig could possibly bring back that CB-A pick as both players could be sought after in late July. A little salary $$$ would have to be included in a trade Peraza maybe could. Why wait if a deal could be made before the draft? If not a veteran to trade, the make it with a prospect or 2.
    The Reds front office should be working the phones every day with those 6 teams to see if they could work out a trade. This is a good draft to have a CB-A pick.

    • Cguy

      I just don’t see re-acquiring a CBa pick to be that important to the organization this year. I thought we had just determined that the Reds weren’t capable of developing their draft picks. I say let’s package Roark, Puig, possibly D. Hernandez or Dietrick & try to find a trading partner with a young sp & sp prospect to offer in return. The Reds are not that far away from having a reliable, young pitching staff . Adding to their rotation with a quality young sp is job #1 in my estimation.

  6. haven

    Speaking of first round picks, where is Nick Travieso and Nick Howard? Between them and Ervin that was a rough 3 years span.

  7. Tom

    Honestly I am equally intrigued by paying over a slot at seven to pull a top for talent down. Has anyone ever tried that?

    • Doug Gray

      No, because the gap isn’t enough to push someone down. I also believe the Cincinnati Reds are the only team to ever go over slot value in the top 5, when they signed Hunter Greene.

  8. Bill

    Doug, do you have any information on the two IFA the Reds recently signed, Jefferson Lopez and Nestor Lorant?