MLB Draft: Breaking down the Reds’ final-day picks

Brad Meador interview: July 13, 2021

Reds drafted only one high school player in 20 rounds

From 2011-20, the Cincinnati Reds drafted more than 370 players. Forty six of them — a number that will grow when the likes of Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene earn promotions — have made it to the big leagues either with the Reds or other franchises.

Twenty six players from that group heard their names called in the first 10 rounds. That doesn’t mean the later rounds should be overlooked.

Amir Garrett, now in his fifth season in the big leagues, was a 22nd-round pick in 2011. Alejo Lopez, who made his Reds debut on June 28, was a 27th-round pick in 2015.

There are diamonds deep in the draft, though it will take some time before the Reds know if they found any Tuesday in the final 10 rounds of the Major League Baseball draft.

“I don’t know if there’s one guy that stands out,” said Brad Meador, director of amateur scouting for the Reds. “We didn’t have a big chunk of money to run after someone that we thought was a second or third rounder or anything like that. It’s Day 3. It’s a lot of the area guys that have done a lot of the work and a lot of the gut-feel guys that people are really fighting for and standing up for. When we came in today and even leaving yesterday, we said, ‘Who are the guys that we really want and are fighting for? Let’s put them up here, and let’s go through them one last time and see which ones stand out the most.’ Some of those guys ended up going pretty quick in the 11th, 12th and 13th round. You don’t get to all of them.”

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Here’s a quick glance at the Reds’ final 10 selections:

• 11th round (330th overall): Shawn Guilliams, right-handed pitcher, University of Central Florida.

• 12th round (360): Julian Aguiar, right-handed pitcher, Cypress College (Calif).

• 13th round (390): Michael Trautwein, catcher, Northwestern University.

• 14th round (420): Carter Raffield, right-handed pitcher, Clemson University.

• 15th round (450): Blake Dunn, outfielder, Western Michigan University.

• 16th round (480): Owen Holt, right-handed pitcher, Alvin Community College (Texas).

• 17th round (510): Dennis Boatman, right-handed pitcher, Sacramento Community College (Calif).

• 18th round (540): Austin Callahan, third baseman, Hutchinson Community College (Kan.).

• 19th round (570): Ryan Cardona, right-handed pitcher, Marist College (N.Y.).

• 20th round (600): Javi Rivera, right-handed pitcher, Florida Atlantic University.

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The Reds drafted 22 players, starting with UCLA shortstop Matt McLain, the 17th overall selection. All of them came from college baseball, except their second pick, high school outfielder Jay Allen.

“It’s certainly not something we planned,” Meador said. “It just ended up that way. You know you’re not going to be able to get high school players today unless you just have a lot of extra money, which we didn’t. So coming into the day, we knew that was the case. But at the same time we took high school guys last year, and we have some really talented exciting young players in our system.”

In the past — the five-round draft during the pandemic in 2020 being an exception — the draft has lasted 40 rounds. This draft lasted 20. That meant there were still players available who the Reds liked.

“We still had guys at the end that we were trying to pick between in those last couple of rounds, so it’s definitely different,” Meador said. “We’ll see what happens after the draft. There’s still some guys that we’d like to sign if we can, but it’s going to be tough with the cap after the draft so we’ll see.”