CINCINNATI — The Reds completed the 2023 MLB Three-Day Draft on Tuesday, but they don’t have much breathing time after selecting 21 players.
The process now begins with completing contracts with as many players as possible and starting their professional careers at the team’s compound in Goodyear, AZ, and then, hopefully, the juniors.
“We’re going to sign them,” said Joe Katowska, the Reds’ director of scouting. “We should have guys go to Goodyear and start the process soon. Once we catch them stepping up and getting them back in game shape, we’ll get them into active rosters very quickly.”
Here are four notes from the Reds’ draft effort.
1. Selected pitchers were appetizers or palliatives that could be made into appetizers
Cincinnati is definitely loaded on pitchers — 13 of them — just as all organizations do every year. The club mixed it up, picking righties, lefties, power throwers and those with advanced abilities with their secondary pitches—like top pick Rhett Lauder.
“We’re really trying to get to know everyone’s strengths and see how that fits in. We don’t want just all the people with pity or all the guys,” said Katuska. “We want to have a mix of them and understand where they fit in and how we can develop each individual person.”
The unifying factor that all pitchers possess is the profile of the starting pitcher.
“If we miss, we want to miss out on winning, but we really don’t like drafting relief pitchers right out of the gates,” Katowska said. “The best relievers are generally developed as rookies. You want to start with the profile of a starting pitcher, and that will be three pushes and a delivery and arm work that helps handle the workload.”
2. College athletes accounted for the most selections
Of the 21 players selected, 16 were college and five were high school students. In 2022, 18 of the Reds’ 22 draft picks have come from colleges.
There are several reasons why college players are more attractive to teams. Their signing bonuses are often smaller because high school players have negotiating leverage for a college commitment if they don’t sign. College players usually have a fast track through player development to the major leagues.
“You have to fit into the financial statements. We work with a [bonus] Katuska said, “We’re not going to get through that and lose our first player next year. A lot of them, you feel more comfortable getting them into the system and getting started in their professional careers than some of the high school guys who are going to take a little bit longer to get going.”
3. STAFURA WAS Pivotal
The Reds used their second round pick (No. 43 overall) to take on high school senior Sammy Stavura Sunday night. Stafura, who has a college commitment to Clemson, was the 32nd prospect in the draft by the MLB Pipeline. His take affected how the rest of the team’s draft board handled it.
“We were really excited to get him. We didn’t think he was going to be on the board when we made that pick, so that was a nice surprise,” Katuska said. “When you take a short stint in high school, it probably lowers the priorities of some others [picks]. You should be able to make sure that you can enjoy your gaming time all the time.
“We are always on the verge [taking the] The best player available, and [player development] Communication with us was great. They always tell us we can figure out a way, but we have to understand that they have to play in order to develop. Making sure we find guys who fit the system is key.”
4. A two-way player among the third day’s picks
When the Reds used their 17th round pick to take out Jean-Pierre Ortiz from Chipola College in Florida, they listed him as a two-way player. Ortiz, who attended the same junior college as Reds first-team starter Cam Collier in 2022, plays and runs shortstop. He was heavily scouted by the club when Ortiz played high school for IMG Academy.
“He decided to go to Chipola and maintain draft eligibility this year,” Katowska said. “He’s a really good defensive player. The bat has progressed really well over the past year. We’ve seen him play a few times. He’s very natural on the pitches for a guy who doesn’t go too far. He gets him really quick. We’re hoping we can sign him.. Absolutely no guarantees.” now “.
If Ortiz signs, the Reds will see it as a stop and prioritize that.
“It’s always easier to catch a pitcher. To develop as a hitter, you need to have those steady runs,” Katowska said. “If the match tells him playing is the best option, I think he’s open to that.”
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