The 2023 Major League Baseball Draft began on Sunday night and ended on Tuesday evening, covering 20 rounds. The Cincinnati Reds selected 21 players over those three days, taking two pitchers in the first round and a shortstop in the second round. With all of the picks in it was time for the experts to chime in on how everything played out. Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline thinks that Cincinnati had the best draft of anyone.

In a Draft short on college arms, the Reds grabbed two of the best in Wake Forest right-hander Rhett Lowder (first round) and Louisiana State righty Ty Floyd (supplemental first), who both starred at the College World Series. Then they found a way to snare two premium high school talents far later than they should have gone: shortstop Sammy Stafura (second round) and Cole Schoenwetter (fourth).

The players have until July 25th to sign. With the new draft pool allotments in recent years, teams are not selecting players in the first 10 rounds that they aren’t nearly certain they can sign. While it does happen a few times a year for all teams combined, it’s pretty rare when a player selected in the top 10 rounds doesn’t put pen to paper and start their professional career.

Callis ranked what he felt were the best eight drafts. Cincinnati, as mentioned, came in at the top spot. Only one other team in the National League Central division made it into the top eight. Pittsburgh, which had the #1 overall pick, came in at the #8 spot on the list. They selected pitcher Paul Skenes from LSU, who some consider the best pitching prospect in the draft’s history outside of Stephen Strasburg.

The Draft Tracker Is Back

Between today and the signing deadline I will be on top of tracking the draft picks that signed, how much they signed for, and how much draft pool money is remaining over at the Reds Draft Tracker page.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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26 Responses

  1. Doc

    You might want to proof your draft tracker write up. According to what is written, rounds 11-20 draftees are no longer eligible to sign since the stated deadline of one week prior to the 2023 draft has already passed.

    • Doug Gray

      That was almost what was written. But I did fix the typo.

  2. DaveCT

    Every team has a plan going into the draft, but to have a plan then execute are two different things. And to excel in this is still another. Same as the trade deadline almost one year ago.

    I think Callis is correct in identifying the two HS draftees at 3 and 4 as one of the keys to the success of this draft. And, if you add in to the mix the club’s emphasis on drafting/trading for the right kids — meaning their intangible qualities — the picture of our strategy becomes more clear. I’m impressed. Seems like a sea change since the ”let them eat cake’ debacle just over a year ago.

    • Andrew

      I get the vibe the Reds are basically trying to emulate the Bengals culture change by focusing on the intangibles a lot more, specifically seeking out kids with high character and from winning programs

  3. MBS

    According to where some of our draftees were being predicted to go, the Reds did awesome. The Atlantic’s Keith Law’s last mock draft had Lowder at 9, Floyd at 17, and Stafura at 26.

    It’s great to see the organization doing well in the draft, and the international market.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    Ok, it is evident that the Reds made it very good picking talent up but being the #1 of all of teams according to Callis is so remarkable.
    Doug, Are you agree with Callis about this?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t have even the slightest clue. I haven’t looked at any other teams draft, and even if I did, I don’t know much about anyone who was drafted that wasn’t drafted by the Reds.

    • Stock

      I think the baseball draft is much more difficult to gage than the football or basketball drafts.

      I read one place that because the top two picks were so superior to the other choices that the Pirates and Nationals had the best draft. I also read the Giants got three 1st round picks so they had the best draft. That was also pointed out in this write up Doug attached.

      I like Callis’ point here that the Reds got two top college arms in a year where college arms were lacking. They did so without reaching. I also loved the picks of Stafura and Schoenwetter. Callis points out that they were selected far later than they should have. These first 5 picks locked in a great draft. MBS points out above that Law had the Reds first three picks going at 9, 17, 26. So per Law the Reds picks of Floyd and Stafura were fantastic. If you can open a draft with 5 great pick, rest of the draft is just gravy.

      Great job to the Reds and a compliments and thanks to Doug for covering this.

      • DaveCT

        A minor point, but the name getting skipped over here, between Lowder and Floyd, then Stafura and Schoenwetter, is another college arm Hunter Hollan. Though he could have been a bit of a reach at the 74th pick (MLB had him at 100), selecting yet another college arm with some projection just seems very savvy. He was described as “Known more for his polish than his stuff,” and that makes me think of Andrew Abbott. Of course, it also describes a great many other college left-handers, but still …

  5. Jonathan

    Its also remarkable that the Reds overhauled their development team within the last 5 years and its paying off. I remember the early 1998-2005 when the Reds couldn’t draft and develop anyone lol. Well besides Adam Dunn…

  6. Stock

    The quality drafts started in 2015. Here are the Reds 1st picks since 2015:

    Tyler Stephenson, Nick Senzel, Hunter Greene, Jonathan India, Nick Lodolo, Austin Hendrick, Matt McLain, Cam Collier and Rhett Lowder. 6 out of 7 years the Reds have been successful in having their 1st pick make the majors and become an everyday player.

    Several years ago I stated that the Reds need to draft in such a way as to create 3 players every year to add to the major league club. One everyday player, one role player and the third go back and forth, perferabbly more often than not as an everyday player. How have the Reds done?

    Everyday (Starting position, player SP or Closer): Stephenson and Diaz.
    Role Player: Tanner Rainey, Jimmy Herget, Dauri Moreta and Tony Santillan
    AAAA: Alejo Lopez

    Everyday: Senzel, Friedl (argumentative)
    Role Players: Trammell
    AAAA: Kuhnel

    Everyday: Hunter Greene
    Role Players: Stuart Fairchild
    AAAA: Jeter Downs

    Everyday: Jonathan India, Josiah Gray, Noah Davis
    Role Players:
    Still Prospects: Mike Siani, Lyon Richardson

    Everyday: Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft
    Role Players:
    Still Prospects: Hinds, Callihan, Ivan Johnson

    Everyday: None
    Role Players: None
    Still Prospects: Hendrick, Boyle, Bonnin, Miller, Roa, McGarry, Spiers

    Everyday: McLain and Abbott
    Role Players:
    Still Prospects: Allen, Nelson, Torres, Farr, Parks

    In the 5 years between 2015 and 2019, inclusive, the Reds have signed 10 everyday players and 6 role players. They surprisingly already have 2 players from the 2021 draft in the majors. With so many prospects still in the system from the 2018-2021 drafts I have no doubt they will create 27 ML players from these 9 drafts and that includes the dud 2020 draft.

    • DaveCT

      To add one point, the dud 2020 draft was a weak draft in general.

      • Stock

        Great comment DaveCT. I like to think that the Reds have learned how to scout smarter than other teams. They lost their advantage in 2020 due to no baseball and hence no scouting.

        If you exclude the the 2020 draft the Reds are averaging 2 starters and 1 back up in the 6 other drafts. That is very good.

    • Stock

      I would like to add that not only are the Reds drafting great here in the USA but they seem to be doing excellent internationally too:

      2023: Duno, Lin Sheng-En, Alfredo Alcantara, Rahflmil Torres, Yeycol Soriano
      2022: Cabrera, Esmith Pineda, Carlos Sanchez, Valencia
      2021: Jorge, Balcazar, Almonte, Valdez
      2020: Not so good
      2019: EDLC (I know actually 2018 but 2020 class was moved to January 2021 and hence no 2020 class. I just moved the 2019 and 2018 class up 6 months to match 2021-2023)

    • Krozley

      The 2021 draft may end up being epic in a couple years. Of the 22 drafted, only Raffield has been released and Guilliams has yet to take the field from injuries. The other 20 seem to be seen regularly in the daily updates as contributing for their teams. Aguiar in the 12th and Dunn in the 15th stand out as great late picks.

  7. Stock

    Looking at it the way I intended when I wrote my original piece 2 or 3 years ago. The Reds need to be in a position where they are bringing up 3 prospects every year. This has happened every year beginning in 2021. I will add in the unanticipated trades for players with at least six years of control. For example Benson is not a rookie but they have him locked in for the same number of years as Steer who is a rookie. The same for Fraley/Lodolo.

    Position Players: (Offensive starters, SP, Closer): India, Stephenson
    Role Players: Santillan, Gutierrez

    Position Players: Friedl, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Diaz
    Role Players: Barrero, Moreta
    Acquisitions: Fairchild, Fraley, Gibaut, Duarte

    Position Players: Steer, McLain, EDLC, Abbott
    Role Players: Williamson (I am thinking long term here)
    Acquisitions: Benson, Lively
    Losses: Moreta
    Demotion: Barrero

    Projected 2024: Phillips, CES, Marte
    Projected 2025: Petty, Lowder, Boyle, Arroyo
    Projected 2026: Collier, Rodriguez, Jorge, Cabrera, Balcazar and Aguiar

    • DaveCT

      Gotta figure somebody will mention that Fairchild and Lively were Reds draftees, so I’ll just make it easy on them. But now that I’m here, the development of role players, both position players and bullpen pieces, is often overlooked. The Ben Zobrist’s of the world are rare as well as expensive. So, being able to plug in an Ivan Johnson or a Levi Stoudt at cost is an important thing. Also, while I usually pester Doug for his ‘sleepers,’ I’ll just go ahead and toss out a few of mine: Trautwein, as a C/OF/1B; Austen Callahan (getting a Justin Turner vibe); and Javi Rivera, who threw very well last year

  8. RedBB

    Seems to be the predominant sentiment. Keith Law at the Athletic and Kiley McDaniel at ESPN had similar sentiments although they didn’t rank them

    • Mark Moore

      If Mr. Law likes our picks, then that says something. In my experience, he’s rarely kind to our organization.

      • Doug Gray

        *looks at the history of the franchise*

        Yeah, that makes sense.

  9. MK

    Might the Dodgers be a trading partner with the Reds with Kevin Newman involved? They Signed Marisnick since they moved Betts to the infield to cover for injured Lux. Newman would certainly be an offensive upgrade to Marisnick and put Betts back in the outfield. If possible to get one of the pitchers from the Loons or better it might open a spot for CES.

    • DaveCT

      Hate to say it, but the Mariners (again) may be a good match for a trade.

      They really need middle infield help, as well as a much louder bat for DH. Wong is finished and hasn’t done anything. They have a kid Cabenellos (sp?) now at 2B, but they could use more, and their DH has been pretty useless most of the season.

      They have a good history of producing very good relievers, so a trade built around Newman for a middle reliever*, with either Reynolds or TJ Hopkins as a sweetener might emerge.

      *I know starting pitching is the immediate need but, in lieu of that, more depth in the bullpen is gonna be needed, and pretty soon, IMO.

      • Greenfield Red

        I’m with you Dave. I think the bullpen is where the Reds can improve without trading almost any of the future. A playoff hopeful team may trade a useful bullpen arm for an average SS if they really need help at SS.

        A non playoff team may trade a useful bullpen are for Jose Barrero. I believe he will be a good major league player, he just may not get another opportunity in Cincinnati.

        Get two guys who can throw 4 or 5 innings a week each with ERAs around 4 or less, and the Reds will have made a big improvement to the staff.

  10. Laredo Slider

    Saw the Reds mentioned with KC reliever Scott Barlow. Would be a solid BP addition.

  11. Jonathan

    Anyone listen to the MLB podcast or The Athletic podcast on the Draft? Lots of talk about the Reds and what they did in the draft. lots of praise – would love a Q&A YouTube video regarding draft/farm system discussion.