Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Best first round picks in Reds history

In honor of the draft taking place this week, I've compiled who I feel to be the best first round draft picks made by the Reds in franchise history. Here they are:

RHP Gary Nolan (1966)
- With the 13th pick in the '66 Draft, the Redlegs pegged Nolan from Oroville High School in Oroville, CA. He played a crucial role in the success of the Big Red Machine in the 1970s.
Career stats: 10 yrs, 110-70, 3.08 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 45 CG

LHP Don Gullett (1969)
- Cincy plucked the southpaw out of nearby McKell High School in South Shore, KY with the 14th overall choice. Like Nolan, Gullett too was a pivotal piece in the Big Red Machine in his stay in the Queen City from 1970-76 and would return to serve as the pitching coach years later.
Career stats: 9 yrs, 109-50, 3.11 ERA, 1.227 WHIP, 44 CG

SS Barry Larkin (1985)
- The Reds pegged Larkin with the 4th overall pick out of the University of Michigan, and the rest as they say is history. Larkin, born and raised in Cincinnati, was a 12X All-Star, 8X Silver Slugger, 3X Gold Glover and the 1995 NL MVP. He's to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in mid-July. In my opinion, he's the unanimious choice for the best first round pick in club history.
Career stats: 19 yrs, 2180 GP, .295 BA, .371 OBP, 198 HR, 960 RBI, 379 SB

OF Jay Bruce (2005)
- A stout left-hander out of Beaumont, TX fell to the Reds at 12th overall in '05 -- that kid was Jay Bruce. The All-Star slugger is still writing his legacy, but it's a safe to include him as one of the better first round picks the club has ever made.
Career stats: 5 yrs, 565 GP, .257 BA, .330 OBP, 112 HR, 311 RBI, 39 OF assists

Could 2012 first round draftee Nick Travieso join this list of Cincinnati elite down the road? Only time will tell.

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