06/08/10 8:53 PM ET
Cincinnati pick boasts baseball bloodlines
Sixth-round selection the grandson of Galen Cisco
By Matt Brown / MLB.com
As he stepped into the cage and took batting practice and played catch on the Veterans Stadium turf, he dreamt about stepping into the shoes of those who make a living playing baseball in front of enormous crowds.
"Being around those guys at such a young age, you dream about playing the game in front of thousands of people for money," Cisco said.
The grandson of former Major League pitcher and pitching coach Galen Cisco -- who helped coach the Blue Jays to two World Series titles in the '90s -- Drew Cisco spent summer nights at the ballpark in the late '90s while his grandfather was on the Phillies' coaching staff.
Now, Cisco is one step closer to the dream of his childhood. The right-handed pitcher from Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, S.C., was selected 187th overall in the sixth round by the Reds in the First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday.
"Waiting around was not a fun thing to do, but when you hear your name called, it's exciting," Cisco said. "The Reds are a great organization. It's a dream come true."
Cisco signed to play at the University of Georgia, but he said the plan is to do everything possible to come to an agreement with the Reds and turn pro right away.
Not only will he be following in the footsteps of his grandfather, but his brother, Mike Cisco, is currently a pitcher in the Phillies farm system at Double-A Reading. With deep baseball bloodlines, Cisco has plenty of access to first-hand knowledge of professional baseball.
"It's awesome," the younger Cisco said. "I've been in contact with him through the whole process, and both have helped me with pitching. You face a lot of adversity in the Minor Leagues, and I'm ready for it. I learned a lot from what they've experienced, and I think that will work in my favor."
Cisco said many scouting reports have compared him to a pitcher who skipped the Minors completely: current Reds rookie Mike Leake. The comparison has become quite the compliment, as Leake continues to have unprecedented success with a 5-0 record and 2.22 ERA in Cincinnati. The two could now become part of the same pitching staff down the road.
Wando High School coach Jeff Blankenship said his command is his biggest asset, as he's able to consistently locate his low-90s fastball, along with a curve ball and changeup.
Cisco believes he has the makeup of a big league pitcher, and Blankenship agrees, describing him as someone who already had the look of a big-time college pitcher while pitching in high school. Aside from that, Cisco has the attitude of someone who is confident in his own abilities and has a strong desire to pursue his dream and win as a pro.
"He was the ultimate competitor on the mound for us and has been our ace for the last four years," Blankenship said.
Matt Brown is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.