Coverage for the 2015 draft continues today as we preview the infielders that are in the range for where the Cincinnati Reds will be drafting with their first pick. In Part 1 of the series we looked back at what they’ve done under the current regime and how the prospect rankings for the draft look with just over five weeks to go. In part two of the series we looked at the right handed pitchers and in part three we looked back at the left handed pitchers. In years past I would just jump around and write reports on several guys as I worked through the rankings, but this year I’m going to try and focus on grouping players together by position to get a better feel for how they compare to one another.
Brendan Rodgers | High School – Florida | 6′ 0″ | 195 lbs.
The odds that Rodgers falls to the Reds are slim and none. He’s the consensus #1 guy in the draft. The shortstop has been impressive with the bat all year and a majority of scouts believe he can stick at shortstop defensively. He’s showing above-average to plus raw power that will play fine in the scenario that he does have to slide over to second or third in the future.
Dansby Swanson | College – Vanderbilt | 6′ 0″ | 190 lbs.
Like Rodgers, it would be a surprise is Swanson fell to the Reds. He’s viewed as a top three pick just about everywhere that you look. Swanson looks the part of your every day shortstop at the big league level. He shows good range and a good arm at the position. Offensively he’s showing a good hit tool and plus speed. His one below-average tool is his power, but at shortstop it should play just fine. The one slight concern I have is that as someone with a strong hit tool, he’s walked 36 times and struck out 37 times. For an elite college player in the 1st round, you typically see more walks than strikeouts by a decent amount. He’s hitting .347/.438/.616 on the season.
Alex Bregman | College – LSU | 6′ 0″ | 190 lbs.
The LSU shortstop has average to above-average tools across the board, but there are also some things working against him. While he’s a college shortstop, most teams believe he will have to make the move over to second base as a pro, though he should be a strong defender there. There are also some questions about his swing, which is rather unorthodox, but has gotten strong results in college. He has hit .329/.417/.577 for LSU with 32 walks and 19 strikeouts this season.
Tyler Stephenson | High School – Georgia | 6′ 4″ | 210 lbs.
Stephenson is the top rated non-middle infielder in the group, though I guess if you wanted to count catcher as a middle infield spot you could. The prep catcher is advanced on the defensive side for a high schooler, showing good receiving skills and a big arm. He’s a real big kid at this point and there are a few teams that believe he will eventually have to move off of the position because of his size. His bat should play at other corner positions if that move does have to happen as he shows off above-average to plus raw power. The Reds have been heavily linked to Stephenson.
Cornelius Randolph | High School – Georgia | 6′ 1″ | 190 lbs.
Currently a shortstop, Randolph is going to have to move to a new position as a professional as he doesn’t have the speed to play up the middle. Most view him as a future third baseman where his arm and range will play just fine, though some believe he will wind up as a corner outfielder. His bat is his calling card though, showing above-average tools in both the hitting and power categories. The lefty has been praised for his plate discipline that stands out among his high school counterparts.