The Cincinnati Reds have signed their 2nd round pick in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft – right-handed pitcher Christian Roa. Jim Callis of MLB.com reported that he got full slot value for his signing bonus of $1,543,600. Roa was one of two draft picks that was still unsigned, but with his contract now on the books it’s just Jackson Miller, the 2nd round competitive balance pick that is still without a deal. The catcher will have until August 1st to make up his mind when it comes to signing.
Christian Roa, a right-handed pitcher out of Texas A&M, had struck out 35 batters in 20.0 innings this spring through four starts for the Aggies before the college baseball season ended. He only threw a total of 82.2 innings in his college career – never starting for a full season.
Despite not having a lot of starting under his belt in college, making just 15 starts in his three* seasons, there’s some upside for Christian Roa as a starting pitcher. When he’s at his best he’s showing three above-average pitches with his change up being a potentially plus offering, to go with a slider that’s an average offering. Four average or better offerings, and a track record of throwing strikes – that’s a pretty solid starting pitcher profile.
One of the interesting questions to follow is whether or not the Reds will add Christian Roa to their 60-man player pool or not. Some teams have signed college pitchers out of the draft this year and placed them there. Cincinnati to this point has not done that – sticking with their original spring training invitation list with the exception of four players. But you can certainly make the argument that not only could it make sense for the organization to add Roa just to get him on the mound in some “live” action and let him work with the Reds coaches, but that he could provide some actual value and depth to the roster later in the season.