Cincinnati Reds 2013 Mock Draft: Projecting Their Top-5 First-Round Targets

Alexander YorkContributor IMay 23, 2013

Cincinnati Reds 2013 Mock Draft: Projecting Their Top-5 First-Round Targets

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    The 2013 MLB draft is only a few weeks away. And even though the MLB doesn’t bring as much hype to the event, there’s plenty of fans still anxious to see who the Cincinnati Reds will take in Round 1.

    Many experts believe this first round will be heavily filled with pitching and catching prospects. MyMLBDraft.com has 17 pitchers going in the first round along with three top catching prospects.

    The Reds might follow suit with their two previous drafts and pick a young hurler again.

    Here are the five past overall first-round picks by the Reds (per baseball-reference.com): 

    2012: Nick Travieso RHP (14th overall pick)

    2011: Robert Stephenson RHP (27th overall pick)

    2010: Yasmani Grandal C (12th overall pick)

    2009: Mike Leake RHP (eighth overall pick)

    2008: Yonder Alonso 1B (seventh overall pick)

    This year, the Reds will start with the 27th overall pick in the first round, 38th pick in the Competitive Balance Round A, 67th in Round 2 and 104th in Round 3.

    With the least to most likely, here are the projected top five first-round draft pick targets for the Cincinnati Reds.

5. Reese McGuire

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    Position: C

    Ht/Wt: 6’1”/190 lbs

    Team: Kentwood HS (WA)

    Even with the young catching potential in Devin Mesoraco and Tucker Barnhart already in the system, the Reds could go with another catching prospect.

    At the top of the list of catching prospects sits Reese McGuire. MyMLBDraft.com has McGuire projected to go 14th overall and be the first catcher to be drafted in 2013.

    This is definitely the Reds' long shot for first round choices. His stock would have to drop drastically to be acquired by the Reds.

    However, McGuire is known for his defensive capability. He’s likely to stay a catcher with his powerful arm and smooth defensive play (per Coast2coastprospects.com).

    His ability to hit from the left is a bonus and he could become a power hitter down the line.

4. Nick Ciuffo

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    Position: C

    Ht/Wt: 6’1”/200 lbs

     Team: Lexington HS (SC)

    Nick Ciuffo is Keith Law’s top catching prospect and is projected as the No. 1 overall catcher with the best arm in the draft.

    Ciuffo is another high school catcher with a powerful arm that bats from the left side. He’s currently a power hitter and doesn’t necessarily hit for average.

    With his strong defense and bat, Ciuffo could be on the Reds' radar.

3. Billy McKinney

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    Position: OF

    Ht/Wt: 6’1”/195 lbs

    Team: Plano West HS (TX)

    The Reds could go with possibly one of the best outfield hitters in this year's draft with Billy McKinney.

    He’s an above-average hitter that continues to make solid contact. McKinney’s speed isn’t his strong suit, but playing a likely corner position shouldn’t be an issue (per BaseballAmerica.com).

    He’s another prospect who hits from the left side with tremendous bat speed. His swing is smooth and he has the potential to feast on minor league pitching.

2. Matt Krook

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    Position: LHP

    Ht/Wt: 6’2”/190 lbs

     Team: St. Ignatius Prep (CA)

    Matt Krook is a young left-handed pitcher with great off-speed pitches that will likely not fall too deep in the draft.

    Baseball America reports that Krook had one of the best breaking balls in a recent tournament where he struck out three in two innings.

    His breaking balls have a very tight spin in the 78-82 mph range. His velocity is around 88-91 mph with the ability to throw 83-85 mph cutters.

    He’s one of the best left-handed pitchers the Reds could go for deep in the first round. However, Krook has a commitment to Stanford currently and might be difficult to sign.

    If the Reds feel confident in obtaining Krook, he could be the first choice in the draft.

1. Phil Bickford

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    Position: RHP

    Ht/Wt: 6’4”/185 lbs

    Team: Oak Christian HS (CA)

    Phil Bickford is a name climbing the ranks of top high school players. He’s a right-hander with a high-ceiling arm (per bigleaguefutures.net).

    His fastball hits 97 mph and he controls a great mid-80s off-speed pitch that keeps a lot of hitters guessing.

    Bickford hides the ball well in his delivery, which will likely give him a high strikeout rate.

    He’s projected by MyMLBDraft.com to fall a little deeper in the draft, but the Reds could pick him up earlier if he’s the best arm still available.