Coverage for the 2015 draft continues today as we preview the final group of players that are in the range for where the Cincinnati Reds will be drafting with their first pick. The outfield group has a nice array of both college and high schoolers. For looks at other groups: Right Handed Pitchers, Left Handed Pitchers and Infielders. You can also read the opening piece that looked at how the organization has drafted under the current regime run by Chris Buckley.

Kyle Tucker | High School – Florida | 6′ 4″ | 175 lbs

Tucker has been viewed as going as high as the Top 5, but has also dropped to the Reds in several mock drafts as well, being linked to the team by nearly every source out there. Scouts love his smooth swing, comparing it with Hall of Fame hitters. He’s viewed as one of the best pure hitters in the high school ranks this year with plus hitting and plus raw power. The left handed hitter is still playing center for his high school, but he’s expected to move into a corner position – likely right field – as a professional.

Ian Happ | College – Cincinnati | 6′ 0″ | 205 lbs

With Happ playing at the University of Cincinnati, the Reds have obviously been linked to the outfielder. He’s played second base in the past and some teams believe he could move back to the position as a pro. The switch hitter has a plus hit tool and average power at the plate. He’s got slightly above-average speed and an arm that rates out similarly. The 20-year-old hit .369/.492/.672 for the Bearcats this season with 49 walks and 49 strikeouts over 252 plate appearances. His 19.4% strikeout rate is pretty high for someone who is supposed to be an elite level college hitter, especially coming in the AAC and not in a power baseball conference. That’s worrisome from my standpoint, because if college pitchers in the AAC could make him swing and miss so often, what kind of adjustments will he have to make against professional pitchers to keep his strikeout rate under control?

Nick Plummer | High School – Michigan | 5′ 11″ | 190 lbs

A quick riser over the last year, Plummer brings above-average tools to the offensive side of things. With a plus hit tool and above-average raw power, the left hander is among the best bats from the high school group. He’s got slightly above-average speed, and scouts seem split on whether or not he can remain in center or will have to move to the corners where his below-average arm strength profiles better in left than in right.

Trenton Clark | High School – Texas | 6′ 0″ | 200 lbs

Clark is the best defender among the high school group talked about in this article and should be able to stick in center field as a pro. He grades out well with a plus hit tool and average power potential. Plate discipline is said to be a strong point for his game, making him ideal for a top of the order hitter. His arm is slightly below-average, but plays solid enough for center. The left handed hitter also has a good track record of performance for Team USA in international competition.

Daz Cameron | High School – Georgia | 6′ 1″ | 190 lbs

The son of Mike Cameron, Daz has been on the national radar for years. He shows a plus hit tool, something his dad never had, but his power grades out to be average. One concern brought up by some scouts is his approach. Those that have more faith think his quick bat will let him make the proper adjustments over time. He can run well and should be able to handle center field in the future, though exactly how well he can defend has been debated among front offices.

Andrew Benintendi | College – Arkansas | 5′ 10″ | 170 lbs

The Reds drafted Benintendi out of high school in 2013 with their 31st round selection. The Madeira product chose to go to college and as a 20-year-old sophomore he is draft eligible again this season. As you’d expect, the Reds have been heavily linked to Benintendi by nearly everyone. Coming out of high school the scouting reports were all about his plus hitting tool, but in two years at Arkansas he’s developed plenty of power to go with it, some even grading his power out as plus. He’s hitting .391/.492/.738 with 40 walks and 29 strikeouts in 253 plate appearances. Defensively he uses his plus speed well on the bases and it should allow him to remain in center field as well.

Garrett Whitley | High School – New York | 6′ 1″ | 195 lbs

Whitley has been a quick riser over the last year. Coming out of New York he wasn’t as known as some other guys, but with big tools to work with he began to turn those raw skills into ability during his senior season. He shows off a strong hit tool and equally above-average power. Both come with plus bat-speed and he’s shown a strong understanding of the strikezone and ability to read spin well for a high schooler. Whitley runs well, showing plus times to first base. That speed should also allow him to remain in center field over the long haul.

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