Reds go for arms in two-day draft

Reds go for arms in two-day draft

CINCINNATI -- The pitching pool in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft was considered to be a bit more shallow than in recent years, but that didn't stop the Reds from diving right in.

Of the roughly 600 players, Terry Reynolds, the team's director of amateur scouting, said he had on his board, about half were pitchers.

So it should come as no surprise that pitchers accounted for 25 of the Reds' 50 picks over the course of the two-day draft, which concluded on Wednesday.

Though the team took center fielder Jay Bruce from West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas, with the 12th overall pick, and the pitchers came fast and furious from that point.

"Overall, we got some quality arms," Reynolds said after the draft's first day, in which the Reds took 10 pitchers in 18 picks. "The arms we got are all good, and from the preliminary conversations we've had with the players and the agents, they're all looking forward to coming out and playing. So far, so good."

The Reds made five consecutive selections of pitchers by nabbing left-hander Travis Wood (Bryant High School, Ark.) in the second round, right-hander Zach Ward (Gardner-Webb University) in the third, right-hander Sam LeCure (formerly of the University of Texas) in the fourth, right-hander James Avery (Niagara University) in the fifth and right-hander Jeff Stevens (Loyola Marymount University) in the sixth.

"All these guys, with the exception of Jeff Stevens, are 90-94 miles per hour guys," Reynolds said. "Stevens is more of a control guy. Even as we got down a little further, those guys are good-armed guys, too."

The Reds drafted just four high school players -- Bruce, Wood and shortstops Mike Jones from Wayne County (Jesup, Ga.) High School and Kevyn Feiner from Sun Prairie (Wis.) High School -- on the first day.

"That wasn't by design," Reynolds said. "It just seemed like any time I had a card in my hand with a high school name on it, someone plucked it right in front of us."

But on Day 2, the team went with 10 prep players.

As far as position players are concerned, the Reds selected 12 infielders, nine outfielders and four catchers, with particular emphasis on the middle infield. The club nabbed six shortstops, not counting Yavapai College third baseman Milton Loo, who is expected to convert to short.

"You always try to look up the middle, if you can," Reynolds said.

Here's a look at the Reds' picks on Day 1:

Travis Wood, LHP, Bryant (Ark.) High School, Pick #60: Wood, 18, signed a letter of intent to play for Arkansas. He's the No. 1 ranked pitcher in the state, and throws an 89-92 mph fastball, as well as a changeup and curve.

"His second-best pitch is a changeup, and it's a real good one," Reynolds said. "He has work to do on his breaking ball. If that comes, you'll have a pitcher with two plus-pitches and one average pitch who's left-handed."

Zachary Ward, RHP, Gardner-Webb University, Pick #92: The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Ward, a native of Kannapolis, N.C., went 7-9 with a 3.63 ERA for the Bulldogs this past season. He struck out 127 batters over 109 innings by using a four-seam fastball in the mid-90s and a sharp slider.

Sam LeCure, RHP, No school, Pick #122: LeCure was ruled academically ineligible to play for the Texas Longhorns this season. He went 9-3 with a 2.34 ERA for an '04 Texas team that advanced to the championship round of the College World Series.

"His advisor put him into the wrong core classes, so he was one class short and couldn't play," Reynolds said. "We saw him through a number of workouts, and currently he's pitching for the North Woods League, which is a summer collegiate league. We've seen him in a lot of different environments."

James Avery, RHP, Niagara University, Pick #152: The 21-year-old Avery went 5-5 with a 3.42 ERA for the Purple Eagles this season. He is a native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Though he has a fastball in the low 90s, he is seen as a reliever because of his limited pitch selection.

Jeffrey Stevens, RHP, Loyola Marymount University, Pick #182: The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Stevens went 6-4 with a 3.33 ERA in his junior season, earning him All-West Coast Conference honors for the second straight year.

Brandon Roberts, CF, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Pick #212: Roberts was Cal Poly's left fielder and designated hitter before moving to center field this season. Known more for his speed than power, he hit .339 with 32 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.

Michael Jones, SS, Wayne County (Ga.) High School, Pick #242: Jones attended a workout at Great American Ball Park last week. Reynolds said the team isn't sure if Jones will stay at shortstop or move out to center field.

"The thing we really like is his bat and his athleticism," Reynolds said. "There are questions whether his arm is strong enough to play short."

Milton Loo, 3B, Yavapai (Col.) College, Pick #272: The 19-year-old Loo hit .404 with five homers and 38 RBIs at Yavapai. The Reds actually drafted him last year as well. The team will follow Loo, who will most likely convert to shortstop, through another season of junior college before signing him, Reynolds said.

Bo Lanier, RHP, University of Georgia, Pick #302: In three years with the Bulldogs, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound Lanier has gone 10-4 with two saves and a 5.69 ERA in 56 relief appearances.

Carlos Fisher, RHP, Lewis & Clark (Ca.) State College, Pick #332: Fisher went 4-2 with a 3.36 ERA in 15 appearances, including 11 starts, in his senior season at Lewis & Clark.

Adam Rosales, SS, Western Michigan University, Pick #362: Rosales, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior, hit .309 with six homers and 31 RBIs for the Broncos this season.

Logan Ondrusek, RHP, McClennan (Texas) Community College, Pick #392: At 6-foot-8, 205 pounds, Ondrusek is the tallest of the Reds' draftees. He just completed his sophomore season at McClennan.

Michael Griffin, 2B, Baylor University, Pick #422: As a senior starter on a Baylor team that has advanced to the NCAA Super Regional, Griffin has hit .289 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs this season.

Michael DeJesus, 2B, Coastal Carolina University, Pick #452: DeJesus is the brother of David DeJesus of the Royals. The junior appeared in all 66 games for Coastal Carolina this season, batting .346 with nine homers and 72 RBIs. He was a first-team All-Big South selection.

Jason Vecchio, RHP, University of Texas-San Antonio, Pick #482: In 20 appearances this season, mostly in relief, Vecchio, a junior, went 2-4 with a 6.12 ERA and seven saves.

David Wilson, LHP, Lander University, Pick #512: The senior from Gray Court, S.C., went 9-4 with a 3.84 ERA this season. He had 70 strikeouts and just 15 walks in 84 1/3 innings.

Kevyn Feiner, SS, Sun Prairie (Wis.) High School, Pick #542: The 6-foot, 170-pound Feiner, 17, signed a letter of intent to play at Illinois.

The Reds' picks on Day 2 were as follows:
• Eric Eymann, SS, Kansas State University
• Ben Mummy, 1B, University of Reno-Nevada
• Ben Blumenthal, C, Erskine College
• Robbie Nickols, LHP, Pima Community College
• James Morris, LHP, University of Illinois
• Kyle Ginley, RHP, St. Petersburg Junior College
• Taylor Johnson, OF, University of Washington
• Ryne Salmon, OF, South Aiken (S.C.) High School
• Kenny Smalley, RHP, St. Charles (Ill.) High School North
• Judson Smith, RHP, Phoenix College
• Russell Haltiwanger, RHP, Newberry College
• Mark Rodriguez, C, University of Texas-Pan America
• Abe Woody, RHP, Baylor University
• Chris Denove, C, UCLA
• Leroy Hunt, OF, Linden (Calif.) High School
• Brandon Camardese, LHP, University of Miami
• Angel Colon, 3B, Iowa Wesleyan College
• Lorenzo Douglas, RHP, Sachse (Texas) High School
• Jake Long, C, Modesto Junior College
• Kuyaunnis Miles, OF, Russell County (Ala.) High School
• Edwin Quirarte, RHP, Oxnard (Calif.) High School
• Angel Cabrera, SS, Connors State College
• Justin Tordi, SS, University of Florida
• John Axford, RHP, University of Notre Dame
• Clayton Long, RHP, Chipola Junior College
• Jason Erickson, RHP, White River (Wash.) High School
• Andre Lamontagne, RHP, Righetti (Calif.) High School
• J.W. Brown, 1B, Howard College
• Matt Garrett, OF, Grand Rapids Community college
• Gary Poynter, RHP, Marcus High School
• Cody Allen, OF, Coleman (Mich.) High School
• Jake Christensen, OF, Lockport Township (Ill.) High School

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.