The Cincinnati Reds will be selecting 7th overall on Monday night in the 1st round of the Major League Baseball Draft. There’s been plenty of talk that the Reds would prefer to draft a bat, but the ones they like at their spot all appear like they will be off of the board when it’s their turn. That’s left them linked heavily to a handful of pitchers.

With that said, teams don’t always do what you expect. Making deals to save money for later in the draft happen and guys slide down. We’ll find out how it all plays out on Monday night. For now, here’s my personal Top 20 draft board.

1. Adley Rutschman – Catcher – Oregon State

Strengths: Above-average to plus tools across the board on both offense and defense.

Weaknesses: None.

2. Bobby Witt Jr – Shortstop – Colleyville High School (TX)

Strengths: Can stick at shortstop, has an above-average to plus future power grade.

Weaknesses: There has been some concern about his hit-tool in the past – grades out as average in the future even after improvements.

3. Andrew Vaughn – 1st Base – California

Strengths: Elite bat with plus hit, plus power. Top bat in the draft.

Weaknesses: Limited to first base defensively, a bit undersized. Rare profile as a RHH, short first baseman.

4. CJ Abrams – Shortstop – Blessed Trinity Christian High School (GA)

Strengths: He’s got elite level speed, a potential plus hit-tool, and solid power by most accounts.

Weaknesses: Tough to find one, but there are some scouts who rate his power as below-average if we’re nitpicking.

5. Nick Lodolo – Left-handed Pitcher – TCU

Strengths: Big left-handed pitcher with some physical projection remaining who has above-average stuff across the board.

Weaknesses: Track record of strong performance is limited to just this season. Was average as a freshman and sophomore.

6. Alek Manoah – Right-handed Pitcher – West Virginia

Strengths: Big, tall starting pitcher body, plus fastball, plus slider, above-average curve.

Weakness: Change up needs work.

7. Bryson Stott – Shortstop – UNLV

Strengths: Plus hit tool, can stick at shortstop by most accounts, slightly above-average power.

Weaknesses: Some scouts aren’t thrilled about his throwing mechanics from shortstop.

8. Corbin Carroll – Outfield – Lakeside High School (WA)

Strengths: 5-tool player, with speed being plus, true center fielder.

Weaknesses: He’s only 5′ 10″ and 170-pounds.

9. Jackson Rutledge – Right-handed Pitcher – San Jacinto JC

Strengths: Plus-plus velocity on his fastball, plus slider, above-average curveball.

Weaknesses: He’s showing out, but it’s against weak competition.

10. Hunter Bishop – Outfield – Arizona State

Strengths: Plus-plus raw power, plus speed, may be able to play center.

Weaknesses: He’s struck out more than he’s walked – generally a big red flag, and his fringy arm could push him to left field.

11. J.J. Bleday – Outfield – Vanderbilt

Strengths: Plus power to go with an above-average hit-tool.

Weaknesses: He’s got as many strikeouts as walks as a junior. Defensively he’s a corner outfielder only.

12. Riley Greene – Outfield – Hagerty High School (FL)

Strengths: Potential plus hit-tool with potential plus power.

Weaknesses: There have been some swing-and-miss concerns in the past. Defensively he’s a corner guy.

13. Quinn Priester – Right-handed Pitcher – Cary-Grove High School (IL)

Strengths: Outstanding moving fastball, can flash plus velo. Plus curveball. Plenty of projection remaining.

Weaknesses: Considered a bit raw, change up needs work.

14. George Kirby – Right-handed Pitcher – Elon

Strengths: Above-average fastball, plus curveball, has walked just 6 batters this season.

Weaknesses: Overly reliant on his fastball, secondary offerings are inconsistent at times.

15. Matthew Allan – Right-handed Pitcher – Seminole High School (FL)

Strengths: Above-average fastball velocity, plus curveball.

Weaknesses: Change up needs to improve. Some scouts think he needs to clean up his mechanics.

16. Zack Thompson – Left-handed Pitcher – Kentucky

Strengths: Has 4 pitches, with all being average or better – Slider and curve flash plus.

Weaknesses: He’s struggled with control at times. Has an injury history.

17. Josh Jung – Third Base – Texas Tech

Strengths: Above-average hit and power, good strike zone understanding.

Weaknesses: He’s likely going to wind up at first base down the line – some think very soon.

18. Brett Baty – Third Base – Lake Travis High School (TX)

Strengths: Potential above-average hit tool, potential plus-plus power.

Weaknesses: He’s beat up on much younger competition. He’ll be 20 in November, but is still in high school.

19. Will Wilson – Second Base – NC State

Strengths: Average or slightly better tools across the board except speed.

Weaknesses: He’s walked less than he’s struck out – a general red flag, no stand out tools. Below-average speed.

20. Shea Langeliers – Catcher – Baylor

Strengths: Potentially elite defensive catcher who can do it all defensively. Potential average hit and power.

Weaknesses: He’s struck out more than he’s walked every season. He’s never stood out with his bat.

Overall Thoughts on the 2019 Draft

This draft doesn’t look good today. That’s not a surprise – it’s been considered a weak draft for quite a while now. The guys in the second half of the first round profile like a lot of mid-to-late 2nd rounders in past years. The depth isn’t good, and even the top guys beyond Rutschman and Witt don’t hold up to most drafts. With that said, there is some intriguing talent in that 3-15 range. But there’s also some real question marks on some of the higher upside guys in that range, too. There doesn’t seem to be many “safe” players in this group.

14 Responses

  1. donny

    Sense when does Manoah have a curveball ? He has basically been a 2 pitch pitcher all season with very questionable athleticism.

    • AirborneJayJay

      You gave been reading articles one-year old I would assume. Plus fastball that can reach 100, plus slider, and above avetage change up. Has a 4th pitch but rarely uses it. Good bat for a pitcher. Great in the lockerroom and great leader. Great intangibles. Nothing erong with athleticism.

  2. Tom

    I think Kirby, with an effective FB, could be much like a Reds success story from the past (Mahle, Leake, Cingrani). Not a bad safe underslot pick. I do think there is plenty of development potential among the 15-75 ranked players, so here’s hoping the Reds can pick a good one to float to the 2nd round.

  3. Tom

    Stott really fills a need in 2023 after Peraza and Iglesias are old news. Love a SS with a plus hit tool. Hard to see him pass by to the Giants at 10.

    Lodolo and Manoah feel like good value at 12-18 in most drafts.

  4. donny

    The baseball draft is my favorite time of the season . I follow it all the way to the end.
    I’m ready.

    • victor vollhardt

      What really needs to be known(especially in the case of the Reds)—is the name of the agent for each of the top 20 picks/guesses. Anybody out there that has this information?

  5. LB

    It’s times like these that I wish draft trades were allowed in MLB (though with the bonus pools it would create wacky perverse incentives)…I’m all in on Lodolo/Manoah, but I wish the Reds could get their hands on Josh Jung as the 1B of the future, and that 15-20 range would be ideal….maybe hope Michael Busch from UNC falls to 49 (not likely)?

  6. Denis

    Do we take Bishop? At what point do you focus on what happens when contact IS made. All these guys are have questions & many prospects/big leaguers K a lot. If Bishop is a Pederson/Bellinger/Bruce type, that would be a win in this draft @ 7.

  7. Michael

    Thompson’s injury history worries me but I really like his potential as a middle of the rotation guy. I think he’s being undervalued by most in a weak draft.

  8. B-town fan

    Doug, I found it interesting that you have both Bleday and Greene outside the top ten, even below Bishop, when most of the other draft rankings that I have seen, have them both in the top six.

    • RobL

      I believe that it reflects their being lower on the defensive spectrum. That is the only reason to have Bleday after Bishop despite everyone saying that Bleday is a better hitter.

  9. Beard

    Doug based on your list CJ Abrams at #4 seems like a solid player with no major weaknesses listed. It is certainly a position of need as well. Any chance he falls to #7? And do you think the Reds would be happy to take him?

  10. MK

    I prefer a pitcher Lodolo 1st or Manoah. If both gone my favorite position player is Bleday who like Senzel was, is the closest to being ready.

  11. donny

    For me it’s Jackson Rutledge, Nick Lodolo or Bryson Stott.