|Jim Callis' Quick Take|
|Pennsylvania high schooler Devin Mesoraco was mentioned with several teams ahead of the Reds, and the all-around catcher was an easy pick for them at No. 15. Cincinnati also grabbed Rutgers third baseman Todd Frazier (supplemental first round), one of the best power hitters in college baseball; Canadian prep righty Kyle Lotzkar (supplemental first round), who has a huge ceiling; and Mississippi shortstop Zack Cozart (second round), the best defensive shortstop in the college game. Frazier and Cozart have to hit, and Lotzkar needs polish, but all could be very good if that happens.|
CINCINNATI--Devin Mesoraco became the first catcher picked by the Reds in the first round since they took Dan Wilson in 1990.
But Mesoraco is aiming beyond Wilson.
"I've always followed Johnny Bench," Mesoraco said. "He's what everyone tries to be. I'm like that, too. He's the best catcher of all time."
"It's a great honor to go to an organization that has great catching."
The Reds picked Mesoraco with the 15th pick overall. He's 6-foot-1, 195-pounds and rates as a good defender and hitter. He's hitting .467 with four home runs and 21 RBIs for Punxsutawney (Pa.) High.
"He's a big, strong, athletic guy," scouting director Chris Buckley said. "He's little bit better athlete than you usually get at catcher. He runs extremely well, plus arm, good pop in his bat. We're excited to have him."
Mesoraco played in the state playoffs quarterfinals with his Punxsutawney High team Thursday in Altoona, Pa. He went 0-for-1 with three walks as Punxsutawney beat Lewistown 7-0.
After the game, he and his teammates headed to Zach's Bar and Grill to watch the draft.
Mesoraco was expecting an early call, probably in the first round, possibly from the Reds.
"I knew there was a chance," he said. "The Reds were actually the only team that had a scout there today.
"It's a dream come true."
Mesoraco had Tommy John surgery Aug. 31, 2005. He spent all of last year as a DH while he recovered from it, but he's caught all this season.
"That's not even as issue," he said. "I probably recovered from that three months ago. I was 100 percent. (Throwing) is one of my strengths right now.
"The recovery and everything helped me as a person. It taught me to work hard."
Mesoraco, a 3.61 student, has signed with the University of Virginia.
"That's in the background," he said. "Being a Cincinnati Red is in the foreground. I want to get out and play. Hopefully, as soon as we can do it, that's when it's going to be done."
He grew up a Pirates fans. He compared his game to Jason Kendall--an athletic catcher who can run. Mesoraco hit leadoff for his high school team.
"But I've always followed Cincinnati," he said. "Now, (the Reds) are definitely my favorite team."
Mesoraco's team could play through next week in the Pennsylvania playoffs.
"As soon as I can, I'd like to get to Cincinnati," he said.