The Cincinnati Reds took high school pitcher Nick Travieso with their first-round selection (No. 14 overall) in the 2012 MLB draft.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Travieso is a right-hander whose fastball has been clocked as high as 99 MPH, and regularly sits in the 92-95 range.
“I’ve hit it (99) a few times, not just once,” Travieso told Reds.com
Travieso is from McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches, Fla. He wasn’t projected to go this high by draft experts, but the Reds might have found a hidden gem. According to several reports, the main reason Travieso flew a bit under the radar was the fact that his father was protective of his arm. Travieso didn’t attend showcase camps, which is how most high school players get lofty ratings.
Also, it turns out the Reds have been following Travieso for a long time due to a family connection. Travieso is high school teammates with Nicholas Arias, who is the son of Reds director of Latin scouting, Tony Arias.
Travieso is expected to receive a signing bonus around $2.3 million and will likely pitch this season for the Reds’ low-rookie ball team (the AZL Reds). Travieso has the option of attending the University of Miami on a baseball scholarship, but has already said he will sign with the Reds.
As for last year’s first-round pick, Robert Stephenson, he is expected to begin this season at high-rookie ball playing for the Billings Mustangs. Stephenson, also a right-handed pitcher that was drafted out of the high school ranks (No. 27 overall) didn’t sign until extremely close to the deadline last year and still has not made his professional debut.
Staying In The Prep Ranks
The Reds had two picks in the supplemental round (between the first and second round) and with the No. 49 overall selection they took high school outfielder Jesse Winker. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Winker is from the Orlando area, and has signed a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Florida. Winker (who bats and throws left-handed) was very good value for the Reds, but now the question is whether they can sign him. Chances are good that they will.
With the No. 57 overall pick, the Reds took UCLA outfielder Jeff Gelalich. He’s 6-1, 205 and is also a left-handed bat (throws right-handed). That was the Reds’ final pick of the first day.
The second day began with the Reds taking shortstop Tanner Rahier from Palm Desert High School in California in the second round (No. 78 overall). Wow, three out of the first four picks from the prep ranks. Hey, I’ve learned to trust Reds scouting director Chris Buckley. The man knows what he’s doing. Rahier (6-2, 205) is already being touted as one of the biggest steals of the draft. ESPN.com’s Keith Law had Rahier going to the Atlanta Braves in the first round (No. 21 overall) in his final mock draft. Rahier bats and throws right-handed, and might be a third baseman down the line.
The Rest Of The Picks
The draft lasts 40 rounds (which is actually down a full 10 rounds from previous years). I’m not going to list every player selected, but here’s the rest of the Reds’ picks within the first 10 rounds.
* In the third round (No. 109 overall), Cincinnati selected Memphis right-handed pitcher Dan Langfield (6-1, 205).
* In the fourth round (No. 142 overall), the Reds took Pepperdine right-handed pitcher Jon Moscot (6-4, 205).
* In the fifth round (No. 172 overall), the Reds returned to the high school ranks to nab left-handed pitcher Mason Felt (6-2, 195). He’s from Georgia and is committed to play college baseball at Oregon State.
* In the sixth round (No. 202 overall), the Reds took Notre Dame catcher Joseph Hudson (6-1, 205).
* In the seventh round (No. 232 overall), Cincinnati drafted UCLA centerfielder Beau Amaral (5-11, 180).
* In the eighth round (No. 262 overall), the Reds took Arizona third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean (6-2, 210).
* In the ninth round (No. 292 overall), the Reds selected Florida OF Daniel Pigott (6-2, 205).
* In the 10th round (No. 322), the current National League Central leaders took right-handed high school pitcher Jeremy Kivel (6-1, 200) from Spring, Texas.
So, three of the first four picks were high school players, but six of the next eight were college players. Through the first 10 rounds (12 picks overall), the Reds took seven college players and five high-schoolers.