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Cincinnati Reds draft high school outfielder with first-round pick

The scene at Great American Ball Park before the Reds play the Pirates on Sunday, July 22, 2018, in Cincinnati.
The scene at Great American Ball Park before the Reds play the Pirates on Sunday, July 22, 2018, in Cincinnati.

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Austin Hendrick is from the Pittsburgh area

The Cincinnati Reds selected Austin Hendrick, an outfielder from West Allegheny High School in Imperial, Pa., with the 12th pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft on Wednesday.

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Baseball America rated Hendrick, who committed to Mississippi State in November 2017, the ninth-best player in the draft, while MLB.com ranked him 13th. Hendrick turns 19 on June 15. His high school is just west of Pittsburgh.

"You can make the argument that Hendrick is the best power hitter in the draft period, high school or college," MLB.com draft analyst Jonathan Mayo told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Hendrick did not get to play in his senior year of high school because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Some people are trying to dig up last year's stats, but mainly it's about what kind of kid he is and how he is as a teammate," his high school coach Bryan Cornell told TribLive.com. "They're just final checks to make sure that they've done their due diligence."

The Detroit Tigers drafted Arizona State third baseman Spencer Torkelson with the first pick. The first seven players drafted were college juniors.

The Reds had the No. 7 pick last season, picking right-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo, and had a top-10 pick in four of the last six seasons.

The last time the Reds had the No. 12 pick, they drafted catcher Yasmani Grandal in 2010. In 2005, they drafted Jay Bruce with the 12th pick.

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The draft was shortened from 40 rounds to five rounds this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The final four rounds start at 5 p.m. Thursday, and they will be televised by the MLB Network and ESPN2. The Reds have five picks Thursday: the 48th, 65th, 84th, 113th and 143rd picks.

In all, there will be 160 players drafted. There were 1,217 players drafted in 2019.