Reds 2014 MLB Draft
1st round, pick 19
RHP Nick Howard, Virginia
Virginia bio HERE
CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Reds Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Chris Buckleytonight announced the selection of junior RHP Nick Howard (6-4, 215) from the University of Virginia with the team's first pick (19th overall) of the 2014 first-year player draft.
Howard, 21, earlier this spring was named to the 2014 Louisville Slugger All-America third team as a relief pitcher in his first season as a closer. His 19 saves are a single-season school record and tie the ACC single-season mark established by North Carolina's Michael Morin in 2012.
So far this season Howard is 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 27 relief appearances (29.1ip, 19h, 12bb, 50k). On Saturday, Virginia meets Maryland in the NCAA's Charlottesville Super Regional.
He was named to the All-ACC first team as a utility player after hitting .261 with 20 RBI in 43 games. In his 3-year collegiate career, Howard has hit .303 in 119 games.
The draft will resume Friday and Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET via conference call. Rounds 3 through 10 will be held Friday and Rounds 11-40 on Saturday.
Nick Howard adds heat to Virginia baseball
Catcher Nate Irving will brace himself behind the plate, the bruises of the regular season sufficient proof of what’s coming. “A few times I left the game and I couldn’t feel my left hand,” Irving said this week.
Video Nick Howard HERE K's all four batters faced
1st round, pick 29 (Compensation for Shin-Soo Choo)
SS Alex Blandino, Stanford
Stanford bio HERE
Reds do see Blandino as a SS, at least for now. Did similar thing with Todd Frazier who started at SS, eventually moved,.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 6, 2014
19) Reds: Nick Howard, RHP, University of Virginia:Howard had a great season as a closer: 2.15 ERA, 50/12 K/BB in 29 innings, 19 hits, 19 saves. However, scouts think he can start since he is very athletic, has four solid pitches (93-95 fastball, slider, curve, change) and was closing only due to team needs. Command and stuff combination could move him up quickly once he gets his stamina back up.
29) Reds: Alex Blandino, INF, Stanford University:Blandino had late helium and was being rumored later in the first round after entering the spring as more of a second round type. Blandino hit well for Stanford this year at.312/.399/.540 with 12 homers, 29 walks, 30 strikeouts in 215 at-bats, following up a strong run with wooden bats in the Cape Cod League. He has a solid glove at third base but could also be developed at second. The relative paucity of reliable college bats helped moved his stock up.
Reds 2nd round pick
Taylor Sparks, 3B, UC Irvine
(Courtesy UC Urvine baseball)