Reds jump to No. 2 overall pick in 2024 Draft Lottery

December 6th, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Reds made a huge and lucky jump in the order on Tuesday when they learned at the MLB Draft Lottery that they will have the second overall pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. They moved up from what would have been the 13th spot in the normal order.

“That was a surprise," Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall said.

Cincinnati, which finished the 2023 season 82-80, only had a 0.9% chance of winning the top pick at the start of the lottery. The Guardians were the lottery winners and will have the No. 1 selection. The odds of Cleveland receiving the top overall pick and Cincinnati getting the No. 2 pick were approximately 5,000 to 1 (0.02%).

Former Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco represented the club on the lottery stage during the MLB Network broadcast. Country music superstar Brad Paisley revealed each pick in reverse order with cards at a podium.

“First, I’d like to thank Devin Mesoraco," Krall joked. "His hard work really helped us move up in the Draft. I definitely want to attribute that to him.”

This year, 17 of the 18 non-playoff teams were eligible for the lottery. Last year at the lottery, Cincinnati was less fortunate, as it fell from fourth to seventh in the Draft order.

This will be the fourth time the Reds have had the No. 2 overall pick in the MLB Draft. It previously occurred in 1983 (Kurt Stillwell), 2016 (Nick Senzel) and 2017 (Hunter Greene). Cincinnati has never owned the first pick.

“Our goal is to not have a lottery pick again," Krall said. "We want to continue this momentum and continue to move forward. This is great. I’m really happy for our staff. This is a lot of fun. I just want to keep adding players to our system and keep continuing to progress our big league club.”

Currently an assistant coach for the University of Pittsburgh's baseball team, Mesoraco was picked to represent the Reds, in part, because he was a former first-round pick of the organization in 2007. 

“He was so serious in there," Reds general manager Brad Meador said. "Someone asked him if he knew all the other guys that were going to be in there. He said, ‘I don’t care. I’m not talking to anyone. I’m going in there to win.'"

Much of the Reds' baseball operations department had assembled in its Winter Meetings suite watching the lottery show. Afterwards, Mesoraco returned as a conquering hero.

“When he came into the room, it went berserk," Meador said. "It was great. He was telling us stories. It was pretty funny.”

Krall, who missed the lottery because he had a meeting, was getting text updates from Meador during the broadcast.

“I’m getting, ‘We’re in the top five [then], four, three, two ...'" Krall said. "That’s what I got from Brad. I was like, ‘What the hell is he counting down for?’ I wasn’t paying attention to it because I was in the middle of another meeting.”

Tuesday's lottery success boosted what has felt like another quiet day at the Winter Meetings. Cincinnati did sign a pair of free-agent infielders -- and -- to Minor League contracts. Both were invited to Spring Training as non-roster players.

Either via free agents or trades, the Reds are still seeking to add rotation help during a Winter Meetings that has lacked major transactions as of Tuesday evening. Speculation around the hotel is that clubs are waiting to see where free-agent superstar Shohei Ohtani signs. Although the Reds are not trying to get Ohtani, the starting pitcher market can't be fully established before the other teams who lose out on him pivot to other options.

“No one is saying that we ‘have to wait for this,’ or ‘we have to do this.’ Whether they’re privately thinking it, I can’t speculate on that," Krall said.