The 2019 season is barely over for the Cincinnati Reds and most of Major League Baseball. But with that, it also means that we know the draft order for the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft. The Reds finished the season with a record of 75-87, an improvement over last season, but still nowhere near where they wanted to be in the win-loss columns.

The Cincinnati Reds 75-wins, a low number that would usually get you inside the Top 10 of the draft, places them with the #12 overall pick in 2020. With the “haves” and the “have-nots” in 2019, you had to lose 100+ games to even land a spot in the top four of the draft. Baseball is broken and needs fixing.

Baseball America released it’s “super early but fun to look at mock draft” yesterday (sub required). Their mock, however, only goes to the #10 spot in the draft, so we don’t get to see exactly who it is that they believe would go to the Reds if the draft were held today. The list is a bit different than the one they put out immediately following the 2019 draft, as a preview for next year. The player at the top of the new mock draft was not among the 10 players listed in the one from June.

Sitting at the top spot is Vanderbilt shortstop/outfielder Austin Martin. This past season he hit .410/.503/.619 for the Commodores. That line also came with 18 steals and more walks (38) than strikeouts (31). And while it doesn’t seem like it will have any bearing at all on his draft status, he was actually a pretty good pitcher as a freshman, posting a 3.46 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 52.0 innings for Vanderbilt – but didn’t pitch in 2019.

In the mock draft that Baseball America released right after the most recent draft, the Reds were mentioned (sub required). At the time they would have been selecting 10th overall and they were slated to take Jared Kelley, a right-handed pitcher out of Refugio High School in Texas. He’s moved up in the latest mock draft, though.

If you are ready to start taking a deep dive into your draft coverage already, Baseball America does have up the Top 50 college draft prospects, as well as the Top 50 high school draft prospects ready to browse (sub required for both lists). There are a few “sort-of-local” players on the lists. Left-handed pitcher Reid Detmers from Louisville is the highest rated player in the area. Teammate and right-handed pitcher Bobby Miller also made the Top 50 on the college list. Rounding out the college list is Seth Lonsway, a left-handed pitcher from Ohio State. The high school side of things is missing any sort of local flavor at this point.

If you are looking for some free draft rankings, as well as some reports on some players, Fangraphs has you covered. You can check out “The Board”, and choose a lot of different options. This link should get you there, but in case it doesn’t, once you click on the draft tab, you can then select which year of the draft you want to see.

The rankings at Fangraphs has Georgia right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock rated at the top. And not that the rankings always line up, the player at #12 is right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli. The starter from Oklahoma was a bit of a 2-way player in his first two years. As a freshman he racked up 193 at-bats, but struggled to hit and make any sort of contact. He struggled on the mound in limited action, too. Last season he made 12 starts as a pitcher and posted a 3.28 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 60.0 innings. His time as a hitter was cut back as he had just 72 at-bats. He struggled to make contact again, but did damage when he did, posting a 1.004 OPS.

It’s still far too early to have any sort of feel for who could be there for the Reds. That would be true even if the Reds were drafting in the top two or three spots, but at #12 there is so many variables out of their control today to really know. There’s a ton of baseball to be played still between now and the draft. Some players will improve their stock and others will drop off. The good news is that the 2020 draft is considered deep – particularly in the college class. Drafting in that middle part of the 1st round, for the Reds, hopefully that holds true.

9 Responses

  1. AirborneJayJay

    Never too early for some draft news. Some interesting names being bandied about in the first round.
    I believe the RHP pitcher from UGA, Emerson Hancock, will be the #1 player going into the college season. But UGA has another RHP with mid-1st round projections in Cole Wilcox, 6’5″ 220. Former Reds draftee RHP Tommy Mace will be eligible for this draft. The UF pitcher is 6’6″ and 220, a possible bookend with 6’6″ Nick Lodolo maybe? There is also RHP JT Ginn whom the Dodgers drafted 30th overall in 2018 and didn’t sign. He went to Miss. State.
    Hitters have UCLA CF Garrett Mitchell, 6’3″ 205. There is also high school 1B and Miss. St. commit Blaze Jordan. 2020 could be the year to draft a high school 1B and start to groom them for the post-Votto days. Blaze Jordan could be that, or they could move him to a corner OF spot. He is a RH hitter. He has some big, big power. It is said that he is going to play some 3B next spring to give him some versatility. If he can play 3B he can play LF.

    • mac

      It’s too late to draft a Votto replacement. Need one a lot sooner than what anyone in this draft will offer on arrival time.

      • Gaffer

        You never need to draft a 1B, anyone who can hit can play there. Bad defensive Players are relatively cheap in free agency too.

  2. Brad

    I’m curious at what impact Kyle Boddy has on draft process. Do Reds pick more pitchers higher based on his recommendations? Do they go even heavier on bats and rely on him to develop later round pitchers and Free Agents?

  3. Redsvol

    I’m hoping for a toolsy outfielder. We haven’t drafted one with our first pick in quite awhile (sorry but I don’t consider Ervin tools). Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs worked out ok.

    Brad – I would think Boddy’s value lies i the later rounds, not the first round. Any team can figure out a pitcher to draft in 1st round (well ok, maybe not any team). Drafting those hidden gems in the 4th thru 20th round and acttually developing 1-2 per year is the key to success for small market. Reds have to do better in this area.

  4. Tom

    Baseball is broken and I can fix it. Go to 4 wc teams per league. Those “ Final four“ call play to get in. Play for seeding advantage in August and September. You get the point. Adding four more teams to the postseason mix Will give fans more to cheer for and pull some of those tankers up from the bottom.

  5. D Ray White

    My issue isn’t who the Reds draft per se. Rather, it’s will the organization come up with a clear, well-thought out strategic plan for the kind of pitchers and hitters they need to fit the team’s overall strategy. The last few years have seemed lacking. The minor league pitching development is terrible. Pitchers are not being drafted/groomed with an eye towards pitching in GABP. Everyone coming up should be keeping the ball down, have a sinker, and be drilled relentlessly on changing speeds on all pitches. The Cardinals have an organizational plan, and it serves them well. If the Reds are ever going to compete consistently the management has to improve the organizational approach. On the surface it appears as if they’re doing so, but they have miles to go.

    • Seat101

      I wish they’d hired you for years ago. We all hope that the moves they’ve made this year and last year are steps towards achieving this

      • D Ray White

        Sarcasm aside, it’s not arguable that a team like the Cardinals is well run, and has an organizational approach that is both successful and repeatable. They churn out young arms to replace the guys that leave and augment them with shrewd signings. The Cardinals-hitters have a professional approach, and the organization does not sign flailers in the Peraza mold. The Reds haven’t developed a homegrown, top-end starter since Cueto, and Soto before that. Not a Cards fan, just wish the Reds would develop a solid strategy and stick to it. The front office has been scattershot for too long, and the team has suffered. There’s a reason they’re lucky to draw more than 20k unless it’s bobble head night.