Cincinnati Reds 2018 MLB Draft Grades
Best Pure Hitter: 3B Jonathan India (1) has all the ingredients of a well-balanced hitter. He has good power and a feel for the strike zone, which helps him to drive the ball all over the field. He hit .350/.497/.717 for Florida last spring and made it to low Class A Dayton in his pro debut.
Best Power: 1B/OF Bren Spillane (3) smacked 23 home runs for Illinois before being selected by Cincinnati in the third round. He has a big frame and has leverage in his swing, featuring future plus power. The swing creates excellent power to the opposite field. Scouts were worried about his strikeouts at Illinois, and those fears were realized in his pro debut, as he struck out 75 times in only 47 games.
Fastest Runner: OF Mike Siani (4) features plus speed that helps him be a threat on both sides of the ball. He has excellent foot speed and a very good feel for stealing bases.
Best Defensive Player: Athletic, excellent speed and a good throwing arm create a plus defensive profile for Siani. His routes and reads are advanced, and he will remain in center field moving forward.
Best Athlete: Siani makes the most of his athletic body, profiling as a quick-twitch outfielder. His athleticism helps him to provide value defensively in center field, on the basepaths and at the plate.
Best Fastball: RHP Lyon Richardson (2), a converted shortstop, has plenty of velocity. In high school, he touched 97 mph with his fastball. It has good plane and is a future plus pitch.
Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Josiah Gray (2s) showed advanced feel for a changeup. Another converted infielder, Gray throws his changeup with sink and fade. It projects as a plus pitch.
Best Pro Debut: With his advanced changeup and plenty of fastball, Gray (2s) dominated the Appalachian league. The 20-year-old struck out over a batter per inning, giving up just 29 hits across 52.1 innings.
Most Intriguing Background: While many prospects do come from bigger schools, Gray comes from Division II Le Moyne (N.Y.) College. The righty burst onto the scene in the Cape Cod league, striking out 21 batters in 12 innings for the Chatham Anglers the previous summer.
Closest to the Majors: The 2018 Southeastern Conference player of the year, India (1) comes with a polished skillset. With an advanced feel for hitting and the ability to move around the diamond as a polished defender, he should fly up the minor league levels, much like other recent SEC top draft picks like Alex Bregman, Dansby Swanson and Andrew Benintendi.
Best Late Round Pick: Selected in the 27th round, RHP Eddy Demurias (27) looks the part of a future bullpen piece for Cincinnati. The aggressive pitcher throws his fastball in the low to mid 90's with a quality slider that should hold value in the bullpen.
The One Who Got Away: OF Josiah Sightler (12) opted to head to South Carolina. Sightler can pitch as well as play first base and outfield. He has a plus arm, good hit tool and profiles well as a corner bat.