Cincinnati Reds 2019 MLB Draft Report Card
Every year at the conclusion of the regular season, Baseball America revisits each teams' most recent draft class. Each class has its no-doubt, high-profile names to keep an eye on, but our annual draft report cards highlight the best tools, best debuts, late-round steals and more. Here are the names you need to know from every organization's 2019 draft.
Best Pure Hitter: 2B Tyler Callihan (3) shows plus bat speed from the left side, smashing 20 extra-base hits in 52 games in the Rookie-level Appalachian League before receiving a promotion to short-season Billings. He is an advanced prep bat who is mature enough to use the whole field and features developing power in his swing.
Best Power: Near top-of-the-scale raw power is what SS Rece Hinds (2) brings to the table. His bat speed is plus and his swing has considerable loft, both of which should help him develop plus in-game power down the road.
Fastest Runner: He isn’t a double-plus runner, but OF Ashton Creal (21) has plus foot speed and wreaks havoc on the bases. Creal stole 50 bases in his junior college career, including 38 bags his final season with John A. Logan (Ill.) JC.
Best Defensive Player: 2B Ivan Johnson (4) shines at second base and has enough of a skill set to make shortstop work as well. He has a lively body with good footwork and a plus arm. His athleticism and glove should allow him to be a plus defender at second base.
Best Athlete: Hinds played shortstop at IMG Academy despite his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame. Even if his size pushes him to third base or the outfield, Hinds has a good arm and runs well underway. His athleticism should help him acclimate nicely to any positional changes in the future.
Best Fastball: LHP Nick Lodolo (1) has a plus fastball and throws plenty of strikes with it. He works it comfortably in the low 90s and has natural angle on the pitch due to his 6-foot-6 frame.
Best Secondary Pitch: Coming in with an advanced collegiate pedigree, Lodolo’s slider is plus and he has good command of it. The key to his slider is that he can manipulate its break—Lodolo can spin it to have a large break or throw it with a shorter break.
Best Pro Debut: Lodolo carved up hitters in the Rookie-level Pioneer League and then made two starts in the low Class A Midwest League. The lefthander consistently threw strikes, not walking a batter in his 18.1 innings. On the infield, Callihan was one of the youngest hitters in the Rookie-level Appalachian League but showed promise at the plate.
Most Intriguing Background: C Luke Berryhill (13) not only had success as a catcher at South Carolina, but he is also a talented singer. He takes an interest in country music and could carve out a career in the field after baseball.
Closest To The Majors: Lodolo’s collegiate pedigree and advanced feel for how to pitch should allow him to climb to the big leagues quickly. His excellent control and three-pitch mix should push him along quickly.
Best Late-Round Pick: Creal shows excellent athleticism in the outfield and has value as a late-round pick. RHP JC Keys (23) showed plus arm strength and a quality slider that could translate well in the bullpen.
The One Who Got Away: Instead of signing, CMaxwell Romero (38) chose to play college baseball at Vanderbilt. He shows good power to all fields and has a solid arm, which should help him continue his development as a catcher.