Reds Draft Report Card




QUICK TAKE
Finances played a part in the Reds' decision to draft Leake eighth overall, but he should bolster the Cincinnati rotation in short order. If Hamilton gets his bat going, he could give the organization a dynamic leadoff man and shortstop.
POSITION PLAYERS
BEST PURE HITTER:: While several of the Reds' top draft choices struggled with the bat in their pro debuts, OF Josh Fellhauer (7) went directly to low Class A Dayton and hit .280/.351/.453. Fellhauer doesn't have a standout tool, but he does a little of everything and doesn't have a glaring weakness. >> BEST POWER HITTER:: 1B Dave Stewart (22) has a lot of strength and leverage in his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame, though a wrist injury short-circuited his pro debut. OF Josh Garton (12) puts on a show in batting practice. >> FASTEST RUNNER:: SS Billy Hamilton (2) can get from the right side of the plate to first base in less than 4.0 seconds, and he covers 60 yards in 6.3 seconds. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Hamilton covers a lot of ground and has a well-above-average arm. He also led Rookie-level Gulf Coast League shortstops with a .955 fielding percentage.
PITCHERS
BEST FASTBALL: RHPs Brad Boxberger (1s) and Daniel Tuttle (5) can pitch at 94-96 mph in short spurts, though the Reds aren't ruling out using Boxberger as a starter. RHP Mike Leake (1) doesn't have that kind of velocity, but his ability to sink, cut and command his 88-92 mph fastball make it play up. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Oral Roberts coach Rob Walton is noted for his ability to teach his pitchers a slider, and RHP Mark Serrano (6) is his latest star pupil. LHP Donnie Joseph (3) also has a nice slider, while Leake baffles hitters with his changeup.
ODDS AND ENDS
BEST PRO DEBUT: Serrano went 3-1, 2.11 with 65 strikeouts in 55 innings, mostly at Dayton, where Fellhauer also performed well. RHP Brian Pearl (9) tied for the Rookie-level Pioneer League lead with eight saves, and he fanned 43 in 29 innings. >> BEST ATHLETE: Hamilton had a scholarship to play wide receiver for Mississippi State. Puerto Rican OF Juan Silva (8) has good all-around tools and was more advanced with the bat than expected. RHP Jason Braun (29) played three seasons of basketball at Corban (Ore.) before committing to baseball full-time as a senior. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:: Boxberger's father Rod was the College World Series MVP and an Astros first-round pick in 1978. SS Deven Marrero's (17) brother Chris was a Nationals first-rounder in 2006. Unsigned 2B Matt Valaika's (20) brother Chris is one of the best position prospects in the Reds system. >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Leake is so polished that he should be the first player from this draft to reach Cincinnati, even if Boxberger and Joseph move quickly as relievers. Serrano is already 24, so the Reds will push him. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: OF Dayne Read (37) has drawn comparisons to Ryan Freel because he has plus speed, some pop and versatility to play center field, second base and possibly catcher. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: A smooth defender, Marrero drew some draft interest late in the first round. He made good on his commitment to attend Arizona State.