Reds land lefty Heatherly on Day 2 of Draft

Reds land lefty Heatherly on Day 2 of Draft

CINCINNATI -- After making the organization's first three selections on Monday night, the Reds' baseball operations department and their scouts gathered again at their Great American Ball Park "war room" Tuesday for Day 2 of the 2017 MLB Draft.

On Monday, Cincinnati selected high school pitcher Hunter Greene No. 2 overall, followed by shortstop Jeter Downs at No. 32 and outfielder Stuart Fairchild in the second round.

"It's a real advantage when you pick second," Reds vice president of amateur scouting Chris Buckley said. "You don't just pick second in the first round. You pick second in the other rounds. Until you're inside a Draft room, you don't realize how many players you lose. When we picked 27th, you might lose 10 players in a round before it gets to your pick."

Tuesday included Rounds 3-10. Here is a pick-by-pick look at the Reds' Day 2 Draft selections:

Round 3 (77th overall): LHP Jacob Heatherly, Cullman High School (Alabama)
Ranked at No. 45 among Draft prospects by MLBPipeline.com, Heatherly is a 19-year-old with a commitment to play at the University of Alabama. Scouting reports show a fastball that stays in the 90-93 mph range but can touch 95. However, he appeared more erratic with his control during the spring leading up to the Draft.

"It's just so hard to get left-handed pitching that you think has a chance to start," Buckley said. "He's a big, strong kid with an above-average fastball and really spins the breaking ball well. We think he has a chance to be a solid starting pitcher in the Major Leagues."

Heatherly, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, did make strides in other areas.

"Maturity. He believed in himself so much more," Cullman coach Brent Patterson told AL.com. "You could tell he felt so much more comfortable in his own skin."

Round 4 (107th overall): SS Cash Case, The First Academy High School (Florida)
Case, 18, has a commitment to play college baseball at Notre Dame, and the left-handed hitter batted .451 (37-for-82) during his senior season. Growing up in central Florida, he was exposed to Major League facilities and got to train at the Tigers' Spring Training headquarters in Lakeland.

As a youth, Case spent a lot of time in Winter Haven when the Indians trained there and befriended Hall of Famer Bob Feller. Before games, Case got to play catch on the field and got to have Feller, a war hero and pitching great, as a role model.

Off the field, Case has played the guitar, piano and saxophone since he was 6 years old. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese after studying the language for four years.

"He's a little like Hunter Greene in the fact that he's a very well-rounded man," Buckley said. "He comes from a very educated family. He's a really neat kid. We really like his bat. He's best buddies with [Reds prospect] Jesse Winker down there. He's kind of similar to Jesse. We think he can be a really good offensive player."

Round 5 (137th overall): RHP Mac Sceroler, Southeastern Louisiana University
Sceroler happens to be the nephew of two accomplished baseball players. One uncle, Ben McDonald, was a former No. 1 overall pick of the Orioles in 1989 who pitched for Baltimore and the Brewers during a nine-year big league career. His uncle Brett Laxton tossed a complete-game win and struck out 16 for LSU in the title game vs. Wichita State in the 1993 College World Series.

Scouting reports show that Sceroler projects as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter. He was originally projected to be a third- or fourth-round pick, but slipped as he struggled later in the season. The 22-year-old has four pitches, including a fastball that ranges from 91-93 mph and tops out at 95 mph.

Round 6 (167th overall): RHP Tyler Buffett, Oklahoma State University
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, the 22-year-old Buffett is a relative of business tycoon and one of the world's richest persons, Warren Buffett, a first cousin of Tyler's grandfather.

"It was cool," Tyler Buffett told the New York Times in 2016, about meeting Warren. "It was more of a conversation than me trying to talk to him."

Buffett has the Berkshire Hathaway executive's entrepreneurial spirit. His lifelong dream has been to take over the family's candy store. For now, pitching professionally will come first.

"We all wanted some investment advice," Buckley joked. "He has earned everything he's got. He's been a very good performer at a big school. The head coach there is one of my former Draft choices, Josh Holliday. He told us a whole lot of nice stuff about the kid and we thought he fit right there as a kid with a chance to be a starting pitcher."

Round 7 (197th overall): C Mark Kolozsvary, University of Florida
Kolozsvary hails from the same central Florida hometown as the Reds' fourth-round pick, Case. The 5-foot-8 backstop batted .270 with three home runs and 26 RBIs in 45 games. In SEC games, he batted .320 with 13 RBIs while throwing out five of seven runners attempting to steal.

Remarkably, Kolozsvary began the season as the Gators' No. 3 catcher on the depth chart. He spent much of the year backing up Mike Rivera, who was the Indians' sixth-round pick in this Draft. Both have more games left as Florida is Omaha-bound for the College World Series.

"Florida is a very good team. A lot of our personnel live in the state and I happen to live in Tampa," Buckley said. "It's a school we see a lot. Sometimes we've wondered why he hasn't played more, but we think he's a talented guy that can be a solid Major League catcher."

Round 8 (227th overall): RHP Connor Ryan, University of Illinois-Chicago
A mathematics major at UIC, Ryan is listed at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds and worked as a reliever in college. This season, the right-hander was 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA, 13 hits, five walks and 30 strikeouts over 29 innings.

Round 9 (257th overall): LHP Packy Naughton, Virginia Tech University
Although the 21-year-old goes by Packy, the Boston native's given name is Patrick Joseph Naughton. His numbers weren't dynamic in 2017, as he went 2-6 with a 6.24 ERA in 17 games, including seven starts. His three-year college career ERA is 6.13.

However, Naughton showed better numbers and performances during the wooden bat Cape Cod League near his hometown. He was an All-Star in that league during the 2016 season.

"We saw him at the Cape and in a number of different roles. He's a left-handed pitcher with an above-average arm and they are just hard to find," Buckley said.

Round 10 (287th overall): RHP Robby Howell, University of Central Florida
Howell was named an All-American after helping his team win the American Athletic Conference Championship and make its first NCAA Regional appearance since 2012. He was 10-1 with a 3.32 ERA in 16 starts.

In 103 innings, the 22-year-old Howell allowed 94 hits and 42 walks while striking out 94 batters for a 1.32 WHIP.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.