CINCINNATI -- Since the MLB Draft was instituted in 1965, the Reds have selected and developed many players who went on to become superstars for the team.
Here are the best five homegrown players for Cincinnati who were drafted, developed and blossomed as members of the Reds:
1. Johnny Bench
Second round, 1965
Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989, Johnny Bench is one of the best catchers to ever play the game. He posted the second-highest bWAR in club history, 75.2, during a 17-year career from ’67-83 -- all with Cincinnati. Bench was the National League Rookie of the Year in ’68 and earned NL MVP Awards in ’70 and ’72. He made four World Series appearances, in ’70, ’72 and the championships of ’75 and ’76.
Bench slugged 389 home runs, won 10 Gold Gloves and was a 14-time All-Star.
2. Barry Larkin
First round, fourth overall, 1985
Barry Larkin played his entire 19-year career for his hometown team and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. The shortstop was part of the 1990 World Series championship club, a 12-time All-Star, the 1995 NL MVP, the winner of three Gold Glove Awards and nine Silver Slugger Awards.
Larkin’s mark of 70.5 bWAR ranks third in franchise history, and he posted a .295/.371/.444 career slash line with 2,340 hits, 1,329 runs scored and 379 stolen bases.
3. Joey Votto
Second round, 2002
With his career still in progress heading into 2021, first baseman Joey Votto ranks fifth in franchise history at 62.1 bWAR. His .419 on-base percentage is tops in franchise history.
In 2010, Votto hit 37 home runs with a .324 batting average and an NL-leading 1.024 OPS helped to earn the NL MVP Award. He is a six-time All-Star.
4. Eric Davis
Eighth round, 1980
The first Major League player in history to hit at least 30 homers and steal 50 bases in the same season (1987), Eric Davis did it despite playing only 129 games. He slugged a career-high 37 homers with 100 RBIs while slashing .293/.399/.593.
The center fielder was a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and a two-time All-Star. Davis hit 203 homers for the franchise in two tours. He also hit one of the biggest home runs in Reds history when he connected against A’s ace Dave Stewart during Game 1 of the 1990 World Series.
5. Gary Nolan
First round, 13th overall, 1966
Right-hander Gary Nolan was 110-67 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 seasons from 1967-77 after he debuted as an 18-year-old. (He missed the ’74 campaign.) Nolan had four seasons of at least 15 wins, including 15-5 with a 1.99 ERA during his ’72 All-Star season. His bWAR total for the club was 26.2.
Although the hitters of the Big Red Machine got the most notice, Nolan pitched on four World Series teams for Cincinnati and won two rings, 1975-76. He had a 3.34 ERA in 11 postseason starts.