Draft Picks: Rounds 6-10

Cincinnati went heavily with college players in rounds 6-10 in this year's draft and added five pitchers with those selections. Seven of their first eleven picks were college players and they've already signed top choice Phillip Ervin at his recommended slot bonus.

Cincinnati has had great success signing top ten picks in recent years and from the looks of this year's draft Reds fans can expect that to continue in 2013. They've already signed top selection Phillip Ervin at slot value and seven of their first eleven picks have nearly finished all of their college eligibility. In recent seasons the Reds have been able to bolster talent in their latter rounds by going after early round talent with sign-ability concerns and reaching into their pocket deep enough to persuade them from playing collegiately. With so many college players in their top ten this year they could conceivably sign them all and still have money left over in their bonus pool to continue that practice.

The Reds aren't bashful about selecting UCLA players. Two players of their former players, Jeff Gelalich and Beau Amaral were picked in last year's draft and are now playing in the Dayton outfield. This year Cincinnati made a reach in the sixth round, selecting Bruin Zack Weiss, a 6'1"/200# right-handed relief pitcher. He made 40 appearances this year and kept a mid-two ERA. Previous to his junior season he did have some experience starting but wasn't as effective his sophomore year has he had been as a freshman. His game is comparable to this year's Reds 4th rounder Ben Lively, a finesse pitcher that uses a fastball in the low 90's mixed into a four-pitch repertoire. He also deals a curve, slider with potential to be above average, and an occasional changeup.

The only high school player drafted in rounds 6-10 was 6'2"/175# right-hander Tyler Mahle who the Reds tagged in the seventh round out of West Minster (CA) High School. His fastball spends a lot time in the high 80's but many feel its velocity will increase as the eighteen year-old's frame fills out. His curve and changeup are both works in progress with potential to be above average pitches. Cincinnati will now compete with UC Santa Barbara for his services. The Gauchos do have extra incentive for Mahle because they would offer him an opportunity to play on a team with his older brother Greg.

In the eighth round the Reds drafted their fifth California prospect, right-handed pitcher Scott Brattvet out of Cal-St. Bakersfield. He's a little older than most in the draft, turning 22 next month, because he played a senior season with the Roadrunners. He brings a low 90's fastball and a slider that he used this year to go 9-1 for the Western Athletic Conference champs with a 2.57 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 70/42 over 98 innings. Atop his development list is improved command which is typical for many young prospects.

The Reds got creative in the ninth round when they selected 6'2"/220# left-handed pitcher Chad Jones. He helped LSU to a national championship in 2009. Actually he and one of his teammates are the only NCAA athletes that can claim to be part of national championships in both baseball and football. This year was the third time he heard his name called in the baseball draft after declining an offer from the Astros way back in 2007 in favor of attending college and passing on the Brewers' selection of him in 2010 so that he could pursue a career as a defensive back in the NFL. He was drafted in the third round by the New York Giants, but his football career was unexpectedly ended before it ever began because of injuries suffered in his left leg from a car accident. While at LSU he also played in the outfield before the Tigers moved him into the bullpen for their championship run. Now at the age of 24 he's going to dust off a fastball that tops out in the lower 90's and a biting slider and for the first time in his athletic career focus on baseball.

In the final Cincinnati pick in the first ten rounds they invested the 315th overall selection on Arkansas St right-handed pitcher Daniel Wright. This year he was a conference pitcher of the year after leading the Sun Belt with 110 innings pitched that he used to notch six wins and 96 strikeouts while keeping a 3.18 ERA. Perhaps he's a late bloomer because that ERA was around two runs less than what he put up for the Red Wolves in the previous season. That was likely helped when he added a few miles to his fastball to get it up into the low 90's. His delivery is described as inconsistent and will need some polish to avoid control issues. Though he was a workhorse in college he might be looking at a move to the pen professionally.

Cincinnati has a bonus pool around $5.6 million to use for their top ten picks. Should they manage to have money left over, it could be used to sign players in the later rounds to contracts in excess of $100,000. They probably felt they have a shot at luring fourteenth round pick Willie Abreu away from his commitment to Miami. Actually they have a second Hurricane signee on their radar in 27th rounder Zack Collins. Their 31st round pick will give them a shot at preventing Gatorade Ohio Baseball Player of the Year Andrew Benintendi from leaving the Buckeye State for the University of Arkansas.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds continued their success at Wrigley Field with a 2-1 win over the Cubs. Mike Leake picked up his sixth win by allowing only one run, three hits, and one walk while tossing eight innings with six strikeouts and brought his ERA down to 2.76. A Shin-soo Choo double and RBI-hit by Brandon Phillips tied the score in the sixth and Todd Frazier provided the go-ahead by leading off the next inning with a homer. Those three hitters were the only Reds to reach safely twice; each had a hit and a walk.

Louisville and Pensacola were idle yesterday. The Bats will resume their schedule at Norfolk on Thursday while the Blue Wahoos will return home to host Mobile.

Bakersfield allowed seven runs in the fifth and fell short in their comeback attempt against visiting Visalia in 14-9 loss. Steve Selsky had a banner day, going 4-5 with a couple doubles, a home run, and four RBI to raise his average over .300 since coming back to Bakersfield from Pensacola. Yorman Rodriguez did his job leading off with three hits (two for extra bases) and a walk. Juan Duran added two singles and walked once while Marquez Smith reached with a single and walk and Juan Perez walked twice. Jon Moscot fell to 1-10 on the year by allowing four runs in four innings.

Dayton allowed seven in the third en route to an 11-6 home loss to Bowling Green. The Dragons took an early lead in the first when they scored on a groundout that was set up by a Hot Rod error and a double steal. Three Dayton players reached safely three times with two hits and a walk each: Seth Mejias-Brean, Jeff Gelalich, and Brandon Dailey. Joe Terry added a couple of singles to the attack. Sal Romano was roughed up for six earned runs in five innings for the loss.

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