Reds Draft: Round 3-10

After using their first two picks on high school players in this year’s draft Cincinnati figures to free up some money to go over slot for them after picking three college seniors in the first nine rounds. By the end of the second day they picked up six right-handed pitchers along with a couple of shortstops and two centerfielders.

As Day 2 of this year’s draft got started teams picked through the top talent leftover from the first day and moved into the “college senior rounds”. In Cincinnati, anyone looking at the sizes of their first three selection and did not know they were baseball players might think someone was staffing a bouncer crew for a bar. As they proceeded the average sizes went down as they went heavily into the college ranks.

Third rounder Blake Trahan is a 5’9”/180# shortstop out of the University of Louisiana Lafayette. The first thing that pops out when checking out this prospect is great speed. In a draft heavy with shortstops Cincinnati got good talent for a third round pick because he was one of the top ones in the NCAA and has defensive skills to stick at the position. Offensively he hit over .300 and got on base north of .400 this season for the Ragin’ Cajuns. He’s a tough out, but will need to develop plate discipline as he climbs the ladder against professional competition.

After that they went back to the high school ranks for their next couple of picks starting with fourth-rounder Miles Gordon, a 6’1”/185# centerfielder out of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic (ON) Secondary School. In addition to baseball, like many Canadians the 17 year-old grew up also playing hockey, but two years ago he gave it up to dedicate himself on the diamond. He has an opportunity to play collegiately at San Francisco, but initial comments suggest he’ll forego that to go into the minor leagues. He has one similarity to another Canuck currently in the Reds organization; he bats left-handed and throws right-handed like Joey Votto. Gordon was the first player drafted from his native country and projects as a speedy top-lineup hitter, ala Denard Span.

After going across the border in the fourth round Cincinnati left the mainland in Round 5 for 6’1”/185# RHP Ian Kaholoa out of Campbell (HI) High School. They will compete with the University of Hawaii for his services next season. He brings mid-90’s heat off the mound with good movement and also flashes a solid slider. He’ll be on the same track as most young pitching prospects: improve command and develop a third pitch. In Kaholoa’s case he’s shown glimpses of picking up a changeup.

In Round 6 the Reds went back to college for RHP Jimmy Herget (6’3”/175#) out of South Florida. He’s got a extensive repertoire on the mound including a fastball that he varies from high-80’s to low 90’s and has good command of all of his pitches. Herget reminds of Kent Tekulve, though he uses a three-quarter delivery instead of an underhand one like the former Pirate reliever. He gets good sink on his pitches and is a good candidate for a fast track to the MLB level working out of the bullpen.

In the seventh round the Reds picked their fifth RHP of the draft, Jordan Ramsey out of UNC-Wilmington. He throws a low/mid 90’s fastball along with a slider and changeup with good command on all three. He’ll likely be an easy sign after using up his senior season with the Seahawks and exhausting his college career. During that season he moved from the rotation to the bullpen, but still led his team with eight wins along with seven saves. Over his career he’s consistently struck out around seven and a half hitters per nine innings while holding walks to three or less per nine each season.

They went the JUCO route in the eighth round with Mitch Piatnik, a 6’0”/170# shortstop out of State College of Florida Manatee. He originally signed to play with Stetson before going to junior college where he hit over .300 this year and earned a spot on the all-Suncoast Conference second team. Should he opt to stay in college he’ll be moving to LSU. Piatnik is a switch hitter that sprays the ball all over the field without much power. He moves well enough to stick in the middle infield, but that may include a move to second base.

Ninth rounder Sarkis Ohanian, a RHP out of Duke, was the third college senior drafted by the Reds this year. He stands 5’11”/195# and throws a low-90’s fastball, solid breaking ball and cutter. One good thing about his return for a senior season was that he showed significant improvement to his command compared to previous years. Should he maintain that he’s another candidate for a steady rise up the pipeline as a reliever.

Cincinnati’s final selection on the first day of the draft they went back to UNC-Wilmington to select junior centerfielder Zach Shields. He’s a 6’2”/160# left-handed hitter who played only one season with the Seahawks after transferring from Spartanburg Methodist College. He’s another prospect with good speed, swiping 35 base his final JUCO season, and moves well enough to stick in center. This season he cracked the .350 AVG/.400 levels at the plate and though his frame still has room to fill out, he doesn’t figure to have much power at the plate.

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