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Reds eye top talent with eye toward pitching

Cincinnati, picking at No. 11, likely to opt for best player available in Draft

CINCINNATI -- The 2015 Draft will take place from Monday, June 8, through Wednesday, June 10, beginning with the Draft preview show on and MLB Network on Monday at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 75 picks being streamed on and broadcast on MLB Network.'s exclusive coverage of Day 2 begins with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, with exclusive coverage of Day 3 beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.'s coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,700 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Complete 2015 Draft coverage

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Reds, whose first selection is the 11th overall pick.

In about 50 words
This will be the 10th time that the Reds have been led in the Draft by senior director of amateur scouting Chris Buckley. Since 2006, Buckley and his team of scouts have crisscrossed the country in the weeks and months before the Draft looking for potential talent.

The scoop
The 11th pick is the highest spot the Reds have had in the Draft since they used the eighth pick in 2009 to take Mike Leake. Cincinnati has never previously drafted in the 11th spot. The team will have the 49th overall pick (in Round 2) and also owns the 71st overall pick (in Compensation Round B).

The 2015 class, according to columnist Jim Callis, isn't thick with top-of-the-Draft talent or many position players, but it does have an abundance of potential first-round shortstops. Teams could challenge the four-time record of seven shortstops picked in the first round, which last happened in 2002.

Video: Jim Callis joins MLB Tonight to talk draft prospects

First-round buzz
In some of the recent mock drafts by's Jonathan Mayo and Callis, the Reds have been linked to high school outfielder Kyle Tucker. The Tampa, Fla., product is the brother of Astros prospect Preston Tucker, who was recently called up to the big leagues. Meanwhile, Baseball America likes the Reds to take a college outfielder who might bring some added local interest in Andrew Benintendi from the University of Arkansas. Benintendi is a Cincinnati native and a Madeira High School graduate.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

The Reds have 11 picks in the first 10 rounds, for a total bonus pool of $7,777,900 that ranks eighth in the league. Their 11th overall pick has a slot value of $3,141,600.

Shopping list
In 10 years of drafting, Buckley has never wavered from the policy of picking the best available player, regardless of the round of the selection. Because of the unpredictability in Drafts and the number of years often required for development, it makes little sense to pick according to the current needs at the big league level.

Video: Amsinger and Mayo on the 2015 top pitching prospects

The Reds often place a premium on drafting pitchers, since it's the position with the biggest risk of attrition in injury and performance. Last June, 23 of their 41 picks were pitchers. In 2013, 21 of Cincinnati's 41 Draft picks were also pitchers.

Trend watch
The Reds love taking talent out of college, in part because of the lower bonus value tied to most collegiate players. In the 11 picks between Rounds 1-10 in 2014, Cincinnati selected nine college players. Of the 41 players the Reds took last year, 27 were from the college level.


Rising fast
A supplemental first-round pick (49th overall) in 2012, outfielder Jesse Winker is the Reds' No. 2 prospect, according to Although Winker is off to a slow start at Double-A Pensacola, he was an invite to big league camp at Spring Training for the first time this year and could be a September callup if he turns in a strong summer.

Video: Prospect Winker gets tested early by facing Chapman

Cinderella story
Taken in the 33rd round of the 2011 Draft, outfielder Steve Selsky reached Triple-A Louisville this season and is enjoying a nice year at the plate.

In the show
The Reds have several homegrown players on the current team, including former first-rounders Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey, Leake and Devin Mesoraco and second-rounders Joey Votto, Zack Cozart and Billy Hamilton.

The Reds' recent top picks
2014: Nick Howard, RHP, Class A Advanced Daytona
2013: Phillip Ervin, OF, Class A Advanced Daytona
2012: Nick Travieso, RHP, Class A Advanced Daytona
2011: Robert Stephenson, RHP, Double-A Pensacola
2010: Yasmani Grandal, C, Dodgers

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.
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