Last week Major League Baseball released the bonus pools for the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft. The Cincinnati Reds will be drafting 7th overall in the first round (and each subsequent round). In the trade with the Yankees this offseason the Reds moved their compensation round pick, so that no longer exists.
The overall draft bonus pool for the Cincinnati Reds in 2019 will be $9,528,600. That is the amount for their first 10 round picks. After that, any pick that signs for $125,000 or less does not count towards the bonus pool. Any amount signed for beyond $125,000 for an individual player beyond the 10th round does count towards the bonus pool.
Teams are allowed to go over their allotment, but there are penalties. If a team spends 0-5% over their allotment they simply pay a 75% tax on the amount they went over by. Beyond that teams begin to lose draft picks AND have to pay a 75% or higher tax. No team has ever gone over the 5% threshold.
Here’s the break down of each of the 10 picks for their bonus pool:
This is the smallest draft budget that the Cincinnati Reds have had in quite a while. In 2016 and 2017 they drafted 2nd overall, giving them a huge bonus at the top. Last year they drafted 5th overall, but also had a competitive balance pick. Those two things added just over $1M to their pool by comparison to how things compare to the 2019 pool.
As every team has done since Major League Baseball implemented the bonus pools, the Reds are likely to use several picks between rounds 6-10 on college seniors and sign them for $2500-7500 and save money there and use it either earlier or later in the draft.
The Draft Board has been updated
The guys at Fangraphs have updated their 2019 Draft Board this week. There’s not a lot of movement, and only one player in the Top 10 is “up”. Left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo out of TCU is moving up and now listed at the 6th spot. Kiley McDaniel shared some notes on many of the top prospects in the draft, too. Be sure to go read all of those notes here.
At the top spot, and not even remotely in doubt, is Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman. He’s hitting .426/.580/.842 with 40 walks and 21 strikeouts in 31 games played this season. That’ll work. He’s not going to be available for the Reds to select unless something absolutely wild happens between now and June. Cal first baseman Andrew Vaughn, according to Fangraphs’ McDaniels, is the guy at the #2 spot. He’s hitting .344/.519/.708 with 31 walks and 20 strikeouts in 28 games played for the Bears.
Beyond them it’s a little more wide-open in terms of who could be available for the Cincinnati Reds at the #7 spot in the draft. What’s interesting is that there’s only one pitcher in the top 13 spots at Fangraphs, and it’s the rising Nick Lodolo. The left-handed starter has an ERA of 1.52 in 53.1 innings with 10 walks and 68 strikeouts. As the lone pitcher rated this highly, at least as things sit right now, it would be interesting if he made it to the Reds. But he could be an option there.
Baseball America published an article on Tuesday about prospects who improved their stock at the National High School Invitational that took place over the weekend. Brennan Malone, a right-handed pitcher out of IMG Academy in Bradenton was one of the guys who showed well and likely improved his stock. He was rated as the 21st best prospect by Fangraphs, and prior to the weekend, the 16th best prospect in the draft at Baseball America.