Monday, June 9, 2014

Reds receive grade for 2014 draft class

I would like to preface this post by saying that grading any professional sports draft immediately after it occurs is ludicrous. But trying to immediately evaluate an MLB Draft is downright idiotic. These assessments take time and lots of it.

The truth is we won't fully know how well teams did in the 2014 draft until 10-15 years down the road. And it means we are just know gaining clarity on how well (or poorly) teams did in the early-2000s drafts. With that being said, it's still fun to try and this is why I present to you the grade given by the Bleacher Report's MLB Prospects Lead Writer Mike Rosenbaum of the Reds draft class.

Here's what Mr. Rosenbaum had to say about giving Cincinnati a "B" grade for its 2014 draft class. Note: Let's store this away in the archives and revisit it come 2025, eh?

As they were last year, the Cincinnati Reds were all-in on college players on Day 1 of the draft, selecting Virginia closer Nick Howard(who they will likely develop as a starter, a la Tony Cingrani and Michael Lorenzen) with their first-round pick, followed by a pair of high-floor college infielders in Alex Blandino and Taylor Sparks with subsequent selections.

The Reds landed several power arms on Day 2 of the draft, including USC RHP Wyatt Strahan (third), junior college RHP Tejay Antone (fifth) and, interestingly, Seton Hall RHP Jose Lopez (sixth), who missed the entire season with an injury.

The Reds also found great value with their fourth-round pick, prep third baseman Gavin LaValley, who was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Oklahoma after batting .554 with 18 bombs.

The Reds' final day of the draft was relatively quiet, though they did make a few interesting upside picks in prep third basemen Montrell Marshall (12th) and Robert Byckowski (22nd), as well as catcher Jose Lopez (33rd) and CF Brandon Vicens (35th).

For what it's worth, the lowest grade Rosenbaum handed out was a "C+" to the Rays and Cardinals, both of which have reputations of scouting and drafting well. Most every other franchise received a B or an A-. Perhaps I'm not too knowledgeable of the grading scale, but doesn't this mean that every team was "above average" for the most part? This is not logically possible. Surely there had to be at least a handful of teams who drafted below average or poorly, right?

I suppose time will tell.

In case you're curious, the Bleacher Report also took the time to re-rank the 30 MLB farm systems based on the results of the draft. The Reds entered the draft around the middle of the pack and that's precisely where they stand post-draft as well (No. 20).

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