CINCINNATI -- The Reds did not select any players in the Major League phase of the annual Rule 5 Draft on Thursday but lost one of their own when right-hander Mac Sceroler was taken by the Orioles.
Sceroler pitched at Class A Advanced Daytona in 2019 but was unable to pitch in 2020 due to the pandemic. He is the nephew of Orioles broadcaster and former pitcher Ben McDonald.
Cincinnati had the 18th pick in the Major League phase and nine open spots on its 40-man roster, but "all [the players on our list] were taken before our pick, so we ended up passing,” general manager Nick Krall said.
The Reds were particularly active in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, however, selecting six players, starting with infielder Errol Robinson from the Dodgers' Double-A club.
“He’s a really good athlete. He’s extremely versatile,” said Rob Coughlin, Cincinnati’s director of pro scouting. “He can play short, he can play second, and he’s all over the field. He had a really solid Double-A season [in 2019]. He’s got some ability with the bat.”
With their second-round Minor League selection, the Reds took catcher Wilfred Astudillo, who played at the Rookie level in ‘19, from the Mets. Astudillo is the 20-year-old brother of Twins utility player Willians Astudillo.
“Google him,” Coughlin said. “He would remind you of his brother physically, for sure. He is a catcher who is pretty solid behind the plate. He's got soft hands and he can hit. His brother, obviously, plays kind of all over the field. Wilfred hasn't done that yet; we see him as a catcher right now. But he's got a chance to swing the bat and be a solid defender behind the plate, so he’s a fun one.”
With their remaining picks, the Reds took catcher Chuckie Robinson from the Astros, first baseman Yoel Yanqui and shortstop Steven Leyton from the D-backs, and right-hander Wes Robertson from the Rangers.
Cincinnati lost three players in the Minor League phase: infielder Claudio Finol (to the Pirates), right-hander Jesus Reyes and left-hander Jose Zorrilla (both to the Mets).
It was a challenge this year for the Reds' scouting department to get fresh eyes on available players for the Rule 5 Draft after the pandemic wiped out the entire 2020 Minor League season.
“Definitely, we were piecing it together more than we had to in the past,” Coughlin said. “Access to data and video was sporadic, depending on the player, throughout the year. It was definitely harder to paint the picture of what that player looks like today in certain cases."