Here is an abbreviated scouting report on Yonder Alonso:
Strengths – Strong plate discipline and lots of power.
Weaknesses – Limited to first base.
Comparison – Adrian Gonzalez.
My opinion: I have no problem with this pick. His bat is absolutely legit. He has 30 strikeouts this year and 69 walks to go with average and power. He plays first base and is limited there, but if our guys tell us he was the BPA then I am with them. While the pick caught me off guard with Gordon Beckham still on the board, there is nothing wrong with this pick at all. The talks of a MLB contract is interesting, but tells me the Reds are serious about taking the BPA and not going for a ‘signability pick’.
What they are saying about the pick:
The Reds took Yonder Alonso in something of a surprise, but Alonso is a heck of a hitter. He’s short to the ball, quick through the zone and has a polished approach. This really is the first case where a team took a college first baseman and decided he was just too good to ignore, no matter that they have a young first baseman in Joey Votto. But Votto has played left field in the past and some scouts believe he actually could be better defensively in left field. Alonso might be part of a post-Adam Dunn team in Cincinnati and should go off in the Great American Ballpark.
Alonso is a solid run producer who is also patient at the plate and doesn’t mind using the whole field. His strength right now, though, is going the other way, which helps him hit for average. He projects to hit 25-30 homers annually. Alonso came to America from Cuba as a child. He is nothing special defensively, but Alonso can make all the plays that are hit directly at him. The Twins drafted him in the 16th round of the 2005 draft. Alonso has excellent makeup. (posted by Marc Hulet)
“We’ve been following Yonder probably since the 11th grade,” Reds senior director of scouting Chris Buckley said. “Two of my better scouts I’ve worked with for a long time have been following him for quite a while. It’s really his body of work. He had three outstanding years at the University of Miami — one of the top programs in the country. We like what he did last summer in Cape Cod with the wood bat. He’s a high on-base percentage guy. Every time we go in there, the guy performs.”
Alonso will be represented by agent Greg Genske. There have been reports that Alonso and Genske have demanded an $8 million signing bonus and a Major League contract, which would mean Alonso would have to be put on the 40-man roster.
“Ownership and [general manager Walt Jocketty] were totally supportive,” Buckley said. “Myself and the rest thought this was the best guy. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him out there quickly, but maybe we don’t. We’re feeling pretty good we’ll get him signed. We had contact with his agents. We had to touch base and go over certain things. We wouldn’t have picked him if we didn’t think we could sign him.”