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The Cincinnati Reds loaded up on pitchers in the baseball draft Friday and closed out the draft Saturday by selecting a hometown standout.
The organization selected seven pitchers and one shortstop in Rounds 3-10.
The Reds started the draft Thursday by taking outfielder Phillip Ervin, pitcher Michael Lorenzen and third baseman Kevin Franklin.
The organization selected Madeira High School standout Andrew Benintendi with the 945th overall pick. Benintendi, who was named the Gatorade Ohio High School Player of the Year, became Ohio's all-time hit leader earlier this season.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound outfielder Benintendi hit .564 with 33 extra-base hits (15 doubles, six triples, 12 home runs) and 57 RBI to lead Madeira to the Division III sectional final. The University of Arkansas signee also stole 38 bases and scored 63 runs.
Several other local baseball prospects were selected Saturday. Tanner Norton (Catcher/Bishop Brossart) was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 392nd overall pick. Left-handed pitcher Matthew Marksberry was selected with 463rd overall pick by the Atlanta Braves. The Glen Este grad had a strong showing this season for Campbell University in North Carolina.
The Pittsburgh Pirates nabbed Badin High School product Brett McKinney with the 569th overall pick. The 6-foot-2 senior struck out a career-high 57 batters and recorded a 2.66 ERA in first 47 1/3 innings of work in his first season working primarily out of the bullpen for Ohio State.
Louisville junior and outfield prospect Adam Engel (Loveland High School) was selected by the Chicago White Sox (573rd overall).
Princeton High School graduate Marcus Davis was chosen by the San Diego Padres (718th overall pick) after a strong showing during his first year at Florida State. Davis, a first baseman and corner outfield prospect, transferred to FSU from Walters State Community College.
Right-hander Tim Zeuch from Mason High School was also selected Sunday. The 6-foot-7 17-year-old was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 924th overall pick. Moeller High School grad David Whitehead was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies with the 1,024th overall pick.
Here are the Reds' picks over the course of the three-day draft:
Round 1 (27th overall): Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford University
Ervin, 20, just completed his junior year at Samford, where he hit .337 with 11 HR, 40 RBI and 21 stolen bases and received all-conference honors. The sociology major was a pre-season All-American and the pre-season Southern Conference Player of the Year.
At 5-10, he's not the biggest guy, but he plays with a big heart.
"He's a very complete player," Reds senior director of scouting Chris Buckley said. "We've been following Phillip since last summer up to Cape Cod League. He's what we call a five-tool player, has a chance to be a complete player and another guy who plays in the middle of the field."
Ervin was the Most Valuable Player of the Cape Cod League in 2012, reaching double-digits in home runs and steals
As a Samford sophomore in 2012, Ervin started all 64 games in center field and was selected first-team All-Southern Conference. He led the team with 18 doubles and finished third on the team in average (.327), HR (10) and RBI (52).
Ervin attended Leroy High School in Leroy, Ala.
Ervin is the first baseball player to be drafted in the first round out of Samford and the highest draft pick in the school's history in any sport.
See scouting video of Ervin below or at http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?topic_id=40395496&content_id=25489087
Competitive Balance Round A (38th overall): Michael Lorenzen, RHP, Cal-State Fullerton
Lorenzen also played center field in college and preferred that over closing, but his bat (.335 average this year) is questionable. With a mid-to-upper-90s fastball, he projects better as a reliever (1.99 ERA, 20 strikeouts in 22 innings).
Buckley said the Reds will try to develop Lorenzen as a pitcher.
"We do think if Michael wants to do that, he can get to the big leagues pretty quickly doing that. He's also a very good prospect as a (position) player, so we're going to kind of have a unique plan with him and try to let him do a little bit of both. Primarily he's going to pitch. We also think he can start," Buckley said.
"He's not really been trained as a pitcher. He's really been trained as a (position) player. It's amazing what he does, he comes out of the outfield throwing 95, 98 mph., not really being trained as a pitcher. Hopefully we're on to a good plan there."
In 2010, Lorenzen was drafted in the seventh round out of high school by the Tampa Bay Rays. With a Ryan Braun like body type, Lorenzen can flat out play center field, but he didn't have a great numbers in 2012 for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team, hitting .171 with no extra-base hits and two stolen bases.
See scouting video of Lorenzen below or at http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=25488887
Round 2 (67th overall):
Kevin Franklin, 3B, Gahr High School (Calif.)
The powerful F ranklin produced towering home runs and lots of strikeouts. He hit .448 with a .546 on-base percentage this year. He is a capable defender at third base with a solid arm, though a move to first base may be in his future. He is committed to Arizona State.
Buckey called Franklin "a very good athlete for a big guy. We've seen him a lot. We saw him all last summer. Really athletic kid for his size and has corner power. He really, really likes to play."
See scouting video of Franklin below or at http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=27704261
Round 3 (104th overall): Mark Armstrong, RHP, Clarence High School (NY)
While his present stuff is good, it isn't as enticing as his upside. Armstrong has three major league-average offerings. His fastball sits around 90 mph and he mixes in a hard, downer curveball and changeup. Scouts think he has the potential to improve thanks to clean mechanics and his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame. He also played football and hockey in high school, just outside of Buffalo. He is committed to Pittsburgh.
See scouting video of Armstrong below or at http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=27580373
Round 4 (135th overall): Ben Lively, RHP, Central Florida
Lively has never wowed scouts with his raw stuff, but he has quietly put together a solid college career. He isn't afraid to attack hitters with his four-pitch arsenal even though he doesn't feature a plus pitch. Lively's fastball sits in the low-90s and his slider is his best secondary offering. Listed at 6-foot-4, 211 pounds, Lively has ideal size for a right-hander. He commands all four of his pitches well and his delivery creates some deception. Lively has performed well in a few high-profile matchups this season, beating Jacksonville's Chris Anderson and Marshall's Aaron Blair.
See scouting video of Lively at http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=27519447
Round 5 (165th overall): Cory Thompson, SS, Mauldin High School (S.C.)
A legitimate two-way prospect, Thompson has presented scouts with a challenge this spring. There is still a split opinion about what position he will play as a professional. On the mound, Thompson throws in the low-90s with a good curveball and changeup. But at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Thompson is undersized for a right-hander. Thompson has good hands at shortstop and a good arm. Offensively, he makes consistent contact and has good speed. Thompson is committed to South Carolina, where he would continue as a two-way player.
Round 6 (195th overall): Zack Weiss, RHP, UCLA
Weiss, a reliever, combined with two other UCLA pitchers for a one-hit shutout in the regional finals against San Diego State this week. He's 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 41 appearances.
Round 7 (225th overall): Tyler Mahle, LHP, Westminster High School (Calif.)
Teams love projectable lefties and Mahle definitely fits this description. Right now his fastball will sit in the high 80s but he should see an uptick in velocity as he fills out his 6-2, 175-pound frame. His curveball and changeup need a lot of work at the next level but both have the chance to be average or better. He has very smooth mechanics and a repeatable delivery, leading many to believe that he will have good command in the future. Mahle also has a great feel for pitching and is very aggressive on the mound. He is committed to play at UC-Santa Barbara where his brother Tyler plays.
Round 8 (255th overall): Scott Brattvet, RHP, Cal State-Bakersfield
Brattvet worked out for the Reds in Cincinnati last week. He went 9-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 15 starts in 2013.
Round 9 (285th overall): Chad Jones, LHP (no school listed)
Round 10 (315th overall): Daniel Wright, RHP, Arkansas State
Wright was the workhouse of the staff this year, finishing 6-5 with a 3.18 ERA in 110.1 innings, He struck out 96.
Round 11 (345th overall): Ty Boles, LHP, Quartz Hill High School (Calif.)
Round 12 (375th overall): Shedric Long, C, Jacksonville HS (Ala.)
Round 13 (405th overall): Evan Mitchell , RHP, Mississippi State
Round 14 (435th overall): Willie Abreu, RF, Mater Academy Charter School (Fla.)
Abreu possesses a number of quality tools, but his power is what stands out. MLB scouts say the 6-foot-3 teen "creates good loft with his left-handed swing and has the ability to drive the ball to all parts of the ballpark." Abreu, who is committed to the University of Miami (Fla.), still needs to improve his hitting ability, but probably will always hit for more power than average. Scouts project him to project him to be a corner outfielder due to his arm strength.
Round 15 (465th overall): Jarrett Freeland, C, Parkview High School (Georgia)
Round 16 (495th overall): Fabian Roman, RHP, Lubbock Christian University
Round 17 (525th overall): Michael Carter, CF, Winder Barrow High School (Georgia)
Round 18 (555th overall): Joe Mantoni, RHP, Merrimack College
Round 19 (585th overall): Alex Krupa,
CF, Greenwood Community High School (Ind.)
Round 20 (615th overall): Morgan Lofstrom, C, Mount Boucherie Secondary School (Canada)
Round 21 (645th overall): Eric Dorsch, RHP, Kent State
Round 22 (675th overall): Layne Somsen, RHP, South Dakota State
Round 23 (705th overall): Narciso Crook, RF, Gloucester County College
Round 24 (735th overall): Brett Morales, RHP, King High School (Fla.)
Scouts say Morales is slightly more raw than some prep pitchers from Florida, but he has a quick arm and can throw a fastball in the 92-94 mph range. At 6-feet tall, he's not the biggest guy in the world, but scouts like his arm strength and clean delivery. His secondary pitches are a work in progress and he lacks a true breaking ball, which some believe kept him from climbing into the upper echelons of the high school pitching crop.
Round 25 (765th overall): Eduardo Garcia, RHP, Alexander High School (Texas)
Round 26 (795th overall): Eli White, SS, Wren High School (S.C.)
Round 27 (825th overall): Zack Collins, C, American Heritage School (Fla.)
Scouts say Collins' bat is ahead of his glove at this point. He has a "pure stroke and a professional approach at the plate, giving him a chance to hit for average and power at the next level," according to the MLB.com scouting service. The 6-foot-2 prospect has some skills as a backstop, showing some agility with his strong, powerful frame. However, he is still a project behind the plate and some doubt whether he will ever develop enough as a defender to be an everyday catcher. Regardless of his performance on defense, teams will find a place for him to play because of his bat.
Round 28 (855th overall): Carter Austin, 1B, Maine-Endwell High School (N.Y.)
Round 29 (885th overall): Alex Greer, CF, Iowa Western Community College
Round 30 (915th overall): Taylor Terrasas, 3B, Louisiana Tech
Round 31 (945th overall): Andrew Benintendi, OF, Madeira High School
Round 32 (975th overall): Logan Uxa, 1B, Arkansas State
Round 33 (1,005th overall): Matt Blandino, RHP, Wolcott High School (Conn.)
Round 34 (1,035th overall): Luke Bolka, LHP, Atlee High School (Virginia)
Round 35 (1,065th overall): Conner Simonetti, LF, Fairport High School (N.Y.)
Round 36 (1,095th overall): Taylor Hearn, LHP, San Jacinto College North (Texas)
Round 37 (1,125th overall): Alec Byrd, LHP, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (Fla.)
Round 38 (1,155th overall): Dan Grauer, RHP, Liberty University
Round 39 (1,185th overall): Manny Cruz, SS, Wolcott High School (Conn.)
Round 40 (1,215th overall): P.J. Cerreto, RHP, Ramapo College
MLB.com contributed to the profiles in this report.
Watch a livestream of the draft at http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2013/draftlive_app.jsp
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