Reds draft UCLA shortstop McClain with first pick
MILWAUKEE — The Cincinnati Reds were the only team with three picks on the first day of the Major League Baseball free agent draft on Sunday and they filled three different positions.
The Reds first pick came at No. 17 overall and UCLA shortstop Matt McLain was the choice.
The Reds got a compensatory pick at No. 30 for the Los Angeles Dodgers signing of free agent pitcher Trevor Bauer and went with high school catcher Jay Allen.
Cincinnati capped their picks at No. 35 by choosing Florida State catcher Matheu Nelson.
Here is a rundown of the Reds first day draft selections:
17. Reds: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
This is actually the second time that McLain has been a first-round pick. He went No. 25 overall to the D-backs in 2018 out of high school but decided to go to UCLA instead of signing with Arizona. McLain is one of the best college bats in this class, and it was rumored he could have gone as high as No. 5. He can really hit, he’s got more pop than you’d think for a guy his size and the biggest thing he showed this year is that he has a very good chance to stick at shortstop.
30. Reds: Jay Allen, OF, John Carroll Catholic HS (Fla.)
Allen is an athletic and toolsy outfielder from Florida who can do a lot of things well; he played three sports in high school and could have even played football in college had he wanted to. Allen has a chance to hit and add power as he adds to his 6-foot-3 frame. The righty hitter did a better job this spring at staying balanced at the plate, which allowed him to make more consistent contact. His athleticism should give him the chance to at least start his career in center field.
35. Reds: Matheu Nelson, C, Florida State
The Reds bookended their three-pick night with two college bats, getting Matt McLain in the first round and Nelson here. (In between, they got Jay Allen, a Florida prep outfielder, with the No. 30 overall pick.) The Reds believe Nelson can remain behind the plate with a strong arm, but it is his power bat that allowed him to be among the collegiate leaders in home runs, and that’s the aspect Cincinnati looked at most with this pick.
Major League Baseball
2021 Free Agent Draft
Sunday, July 11
1. Pittsburgh Pirates, Henry Davis, C, Louisville.
2. Texas Rangers, Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt.
3. Detroit Tigers, Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall School, Oklahoma City.
4. Boston Red Sox, Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake H.S., Chula Vista, Calif.
5. Baltimore Orioles, Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston St.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks, Jordan Lawiar, SS, Jesuit College Prep, Dallas.
7. Kansas City Royals, Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic H.S., Manchester, Conn.
8. Colorado Rockies, Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land H.S., Lewisberry, Pa.
9. Los Angeles Angels, Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio).
10. New York Mets, Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt.
11. Washington Nationals, Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow H.S., Winder, Ga.
12. Seattle Mariners, Harry Ford, North Cobb H.S., Kennesaw, Ga.
13. Philadelphia Phillies, Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian Academy, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
14. San Francisco Giants, Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi St.
15. Milwaukee Brewers, Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College.
16. Miami Marlins, Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest H.S., Wake Forest, N.C.
17. Cincinnati Reds, Matt McLain, SS, UCLA.
18. St. Louis Cardinals, Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara.
19. Toronto Blue Jays, Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Mississippi.
20. New York Yankees, Trey Sweeney, SS, E. Illinois.
21. Chicago Cubs, Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas St.
22. Chicago White Sox, Colson Montgomery, SS, Southridge H.S., Huntingburg, Ind.
23. Cleveland Indians, Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina.
24. Atlanta Braves, Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest.
25. Oakland Athletics, Max Muncy, SS, Thousand Oaks H.S., Thousand Oaks, Calif.
26. Minnesota Twins, Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional H.S., Linwood, N.J.
27. San Diego Padres, Jackson Merrill, SS, Severna Park H.S., Severna Park, Md.
28. Tampa Bay Rays, Carson Williams, SS, Torrey Pines H.S., San Diego.
29. Los Angeles Dodgers, Maddux Bruns, LHP, UMS Wright H.S., Mobile, Ala.
30. Cincinnati Reds, Jay Allen, OF, John Carroll H.S., Fort Pierce, Fla.
Competitive Balance-Round A
31. Miami Marlins, Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East H.S., East Amherst, N.Y.
32. Detroit Tigers, Ty Madden, RHP, Texas.
33. Milwaukee Brewers, Tyler Black, 2B, Wright St.
34. Tampa Bay Rays, Cooper Kinney, 2B, The Baylor Schools, Chattanooga, Tenn.
35. Cincinnati Reds, Matheu Nelson, C, Florida St.
36. Minnesota Twins, Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee H.S., Fredonia, Wis.