Reds go heavy on college pitching on Day 2

Cincy gets righty from same school as its top pick, Collier

July 18th, 2022

CINCINNATI -- For the second year in a row, the Reds' amateur scouting department seems to be focused on players on college campuses.

Monday marked Day 2 of the 2022 MLB Draft and covered Rounds 3-10. All eight players taken and 11 of the 12 overall so far were from colleges. Last year, 21 of the 22 players the Reds selected were college players, with only outfielder Jay Allen, the 30th overall pick, coming from a high school.

“We’re not trying to slant it in any one direction,” Reds director of amateur scouting Joe Katuska said following the 10th round. “It lined up that these were the guys that we thought were the best fits at each pick.”

As is often the case during Drafts, the Reds went heavy on pitching, with six more arms added on Monday. A couple of pitchers stood out among the group.

Right-handed pitcher Kenya Huggins, Cincinnati's fourth-round selection, is a 19-year-old out of Chipola Junior College, the same school attended by the organization's 18th overall pick, third baseman Cam Collier.

Huggins is also a product of the MLB Breakthrough Series and the New Orleans Youth Academy. He was committed to Louisiana Tech out of high school but switched to Chipola after he went undrafted last year.

“We obviously got to see him a bunch because of being a teammate with Cam,” Katuska said. “Then we saw him up on the Cape too. He just pretty much keeps getting better every time out. We’re excited about the ceiling there. It’s going to take a little bit of time to develop him, but we have that time given his age and relative level of inexperience.”

In sixth-round pick Zach Maxwell from Georgia Tech, the Reds got a 6-foot-6, 275-pound right-handed pitcher with a power arm.

“Zach has both pitched out of the bullpen and been in a starting role at Georgia Tech,” Katuska said. “Big arm up to 98, 99. Power slider. Still working on that third pitch, but we’ve seen him in both that starting role and a relief role. We think he has potentially multiple avenues of development there.”

Throughout the Draft, Katuska has mentioned analytical profiles of many of the selections.

“We’ve always used it. I don’t think we’ve publicized it quite as much as some other clubs do,” he said. “It’s always good to develop questions from the analytics side seeing things a little differently than the scouts do, and then there are times you feel really comfortable because everything lines up.”

The Draft will conclude on Tuesday with Rounds 11-20. The selections resume at 2 p.m. ET.