Yesterday the Cincinnati Reds took Mike Leake out of Arizona State University with the 8th overall pick in the first round of the amateur draft.
Leake, 21, is the first pitcher selected by the Reds in the first round since RHP Homer Bailey in 2004. He is the first collegiate pitcher selected by the Reds in the first round since RHP Ryan Wagner (2003). The Reds had selected a position player with their first pick in each of the previous four drafts.
Leake was named 2008 PAC-10 Pitcher of the Year and is a finalist for the 2009 Golden Spikes Award. He is 16-1 with a 1.36 ERA after going 11-3 with a 3.49 ERA last season. The righthander also has been named a semifinalist for the Pitcher of the Year Award presented by the College Baseball Foundation. His 40 career wins at Arizona State are tied for the most in school history. Leake is set to appear in the 2009 College World Series with the Sun Devils.
Leake is 6 feet 1 and 180 pounds. Sounds like Roy Oswalt a little bit. He better turn out to be Oswalt. The Crow kid that the Reds passed over was the better pick, but the Reds were worried about signability issues with Crow and not with Leake.
In all honesty, this is a guy who you’re supposed to be able to say we’re going to put with Votto, Bruce, Cueto, Volquez, and eventually Todd Frazier and Yonder Alonso and hope that we’re going to have a pretty nice core there. But it’s a crapshoot. There’s no guaruntee that this guy ever makes it to the Major Leagues (see Chris Gruler) and even if he does there’s no guaruntee that he’s ever going to be able to have any success at all (see Homer Bailey).
But I’m glad the Reds took a pitcher. And I’m glad that he wasn’t a lefty. Having our own Roy Oswalt might be really nice in a few years.