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Reds pleased with draft picks
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2004 First-Year Player Draft
06/08/2004  9:54 PM ET
Reds pleased with draft picks
Hope some late-rounders turn out to be gems
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CINCINNATI -- After two long days in the war room, the Reds scouting department emerged pretty happy with the way things went for them in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.

"You're never going to get all the guys you wanted," said Reds director of amateur scouting Terry Reynolds. "Overall, we think we did pretty good. We're pleased with the balance not only between the high school and college players, but with the balance between pitchers and position players."

When all was said and done, Reynolds and the rest of Cincinnati's scouting department had taken 23 pitchers (eight left-handers), five catchers, four center fielders, five shortstops, two second baseman, three first baseman, three third baseman, three right fielders and a pair of left fielders.

As expected, the Reds used the bulk of their second-day picks on pitching.

"A lot of that comes the second day because you have so many spots to fill," Reynolds said. "The lower-level clubs are starting up soon and each of those clubs is going to need 11 or 12 pitchers."

With that covered, the Reds stuck fairly close with their belief of building up the middle. Only 11 of their 50 picks fit in at the four corner positions.

Of the 50 picks, 25 came from four-year colleges, 20 from high schools, four out of junior colleges and one player from no school at all. Now the Reds' scouts need to hit the road again in hops of signing the draftees.

"They're out there at it right now," Reynolds said. "We're trying to get it done quickly and get them out there. You expect to sign 25-35 of them, 50 to 65 percent. Then there's some guys you follow and maybe sign later."

While only a little more than half of this year's picks are likely to wind up signing, even fewer will find their way to the Majors. However, the Reds feel that the class of 2004 will help put their farm system on the desired path.

"How fast they can contribute at the Major League level depends," Reynolds said. "Of course, you hope the college guys are ready a little sooner than the high schoolers. It depends on the draft class, but you might start seeing guy [in the Majors] anywhere from 2 1/2 to four years."

A lot of that will be up to the individual players.

Obviously, the higher a player is drafted, the better his chances to move up. However, the Reds remain hopeful that there's a diamond in the rough.

"The plan is to get them into the system, let them play and as they progress move them up the ladder when they're ready," Reynolds said.

Of course the Reds would like to see all of their picks pan out, but they realize that baseball's draft is anything but an exact science.

However, there are plenty of diamonds in the rough, and the organization would be pretty happy if one of those late-round gems turned out to be Brandon Roberts. The right fielder is the son of former Major Leaguer and current Cincinnati minor league hitting instructor Leon Roberts.

"He's a big first baseman/outfielder from the University of Michigan," Reynolds said.

Roberts wasn't the only draftee with a Cincinnati connection, though.

The club also picked right-hander Dylan Mosely out of Arkansas High School in the 33rd round. His brother, Dustin, was selected in the supplemental round (34th overall) of the 2000 draft.

"We picked them based on talent," Reynolds said," but it's nice that it worked out that way."

It'll be even nicer if the rest of their picks work out the way they're forecasting.

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

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