CINCINNATI—The Reds spent considerable time retracing their steps from last year’s draft to help map routes for 2002.
Cincinnati took Texas-San Antonio third baseman Mark Schramek, its 45th-round selection last year, with its supplemental first-round pick this year (40th overall).
The Reds also selected lefthander Nick Markakis from Young Harris College in Woodstock, Ga., in the 23rd round. This was the same Markakis the Reds took in last year’s 35th round but didn’t sign.
“Last year he was almost like a high school junior. He wasn’t ready to go out and play. But he made great strides,” Reds scouting director Kasey McKeon said.
The Reds followed another time-honored practice by looking in their own backyard. They grabbed righthander Shawn Aichele in the 37th round out of local Western Hills High, the same school that produced Cincinnati hero Pete Rose.
“Grant Griesser (assistant farm director) had a lot of information on him,” McKeon said. “He’s a competitor on the mound.”
Aichele was one of 20 players the Reds signed in the first two weeks after the draft.
Of the 51 players the Reds selected, 27 are pitchers, 13 are infielders, eight are outfielders and three are catchers.
With Cincinnati’s minor league teams thriving and reaping the benefits of depth the organization hasn’t had in decades, the need to draft players who can contribute immediately wasn’t as great. Instead, the Reds selected a large number of draft-and-follow candidates who they’ll follow through the summer and 2003 amateur season. Then they’ll decide whether these players are worth signing before next year’s draft.
Nevertheless, McKeon said, “You’re still wanting to get the best players.”
At least four prospects the Reds selected on the draft’s first day—righthander Glenn Kamis (15th round), catcher Trey Lavender (17th round), lefthander Zachery McCormack (18th round) and first baseman Tyler Coon (20th round)—were expected to head for or return to junior college.
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