Florida’s Michael Byrne against the LSU Tigers in the eighth inning during game one of the College World Series Championship Series on June 26, 2017 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Reds like balance of 2018 draft class

Reds take 21 pitchers, five catchers among 41 picks

Chris Buckley, the Reds’ vice president of amateur scouting, called the Reds’ group of 41 players a balanced draft class. The Reds now have three rookie-league teams in Greeneville, Tenn., Billings, Mont., and Goodyear, Ariz., so they needed all the help they could get. The Greeneville Reds, of the Appalachian League, were added this year.

“We got 19 right-handed pitchers, two lefties, five catchers, two first basemen, one second basemen, shortstop, third baseman and 10 outfielders,” Buckley said. “It’s a little different than some of the years because there is that third rookie team. Five catchers is probably more than most years. It’s something that’s a big advantage for us because we’ll be able to sign more people and putting more people in always helps. There’s always going to be injuries or guys that don’t reach their potential.”

The third team will also give the Reds a chance to sign undrafted players this summer. In the past, they might not have had room for extra players.

“In certain years, you can’t take a catcher if you don’t have a spot to play him,” Buckley said.

Among the interesting names taken on the third day was Connor Curlis, a left-handed pitcher from Ohio State and Findlay. The Reds drafted him in the 24th round. He was 7-4 with 3.55 ERA in 16 starts.

The Reds also drafted a college teammate of first-round pick Jonathan India, selecting right-handed pitcher Michael Byrne, of the Florida Gators, in the 14th round.

Matt Harvey (1-4, 5.79 ERA), Luis Castillo (4-6, 5.64) and Anthony DeSclafani (0-1, 7.20) will start for the Reds against Luke Weaver (3-5, 4.41), Michael Wacha (7-1, 2.41) and Carlos Martinez (3-2, 1.83).

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