Larkin, Bench among gems Reds have drafted

Larkin, Bench among gems Reds have drafted

The Reds' history of selections in the First-Year Player Draft include some of the greatest players in the franchise's history, those who had steady careers and a few that wound up having stellar careers with other clubs.

Each year at the Draft is where the professional baseball journeys for hundreds of young men begins.

The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Here's a trip down Draft memory lane with some of the more successful Reds picks in each of the first 15 rounds, dating back to the first amateur Draft in 1965:

Round 1: Barry Larkin, Michigan, 1985
One of the greatest shortstops of all time, Larkin was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. A 12-time National League All-Star and the 1995 NL MVP, Larkin was a career .295 hitter with 198 home runs and 960 RBIs. He also stole 379 bases and won three Gold Glove awards.

The Reds selected Larkin fourth overall out of the University of Michigan, where he played after graduating from Cincinnati's Moeller High School. The hometown star spent his entire career with Cincinnati, playing 19 seasons with the club from 1986 to 2004. He hit .353 in the World Series for the 1990 Reds' championship team, and was a career .338 hitter in 17 career postseason games.

In 1996, Larkin became the first shortstop to join the 30-home run, 30-stolen base club, hitting 33 homers and stealing 36 bases that season.

In 1997, Larkin was named the first captain of the Reds since Dave Concepcion in 1973, and would carry that distinction through the rest of his career until he retired following the 2004 season.

Round 2: Johnny Bench, Binger (Oklahoma) High School, 1965
Arguably the greatest catcher in baseball history, Bench was selected 36th overall.

In 17 big league seasons -- all with Cincinnati -- Bench hit .267 with 389 home runs and 1,376 RBIs. He was the 1968 NL Rookie of the Year, a 14-time All-Star, and a two-time NL MVP (1970 and 1972). Bench led the Majors in home runs and RBIs in both MVP campaigns, with 45 homers and 148 RBIs in 1970, and 40 homers and 125 RBIs in 1972.

Bench was a member of Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" clubs of the 1970s that won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. Bench was the MVP of the '76 Series, in which he hit .533 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Bench was inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 1989 with 96.4 percent of the vote.

Round 3: Aaron Boone, University of Southern California, 1994
Boone played the first 6 1/2 seasons of his 12-year career with the Reds, and spent the remaining seasons split between the Yankees, Indians, Marlins, Nationals and Astros.

Boone was a career .263 hitter with 126 home runs and 555 RBIs. He was an All-Star in 2003, a season in which he hit .267 with 24 home runs and a career-high 96 RBIs.

Round 4: Paul O'Neill, Brookhaven (Ohio) High School, 1981
O'Neill made his Major League debut in 1985 but didn't become an everyday player until 1988, when the right fielder hit .252 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs. He had his best seasons with the Reds in 1989 and 1990, when he combined for 31 homers and 152 RBIs.

O'Neill earned his first All-Star nod in 1991 before being traded to the Yankees after the 1992 season.

In a career that spanned 17 seasons, O'Neill finished with a .288 batting average, a .363 on-base percentage, 281 home runs and 1,269 RBIs.

Round 5: Jason LaRue, Dallas Baptist University, 1995
LaRue spent the first eight seasons of his 12-year Major League career as Cincinnati's catcher. In 2001, LaRue led the National League in percentage of runners thrown out attempting to steal (60.9 percent). He was a career .231 hitter with 96 home runs and 348 RBIs.

Round 6: Hal McRae, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, 1965
McRae would go on to play the majority of his career (15 seasons) with the Royals, but played for Cincinnati from 1968-1972.

McRae was a three-time All-Star and led the AL in on-base percentage (.407) and OPS (.868) in 1976. He also led the Majors in doubles in 1977 (54) and tied for the Major League lead in 1982 (46). McRae led the Majors in RBIs (133) in 1982 and finished fourth in MVP balloting that season.

McRae was a member of the 1985 world champion Royals club, and in 48 career postseason games (11 with the Reds from 1970-1972), he hit .294 with a .358 on-base percentage. For his career, he hit .290 in 19 Major League seasons, with 484 doubles, 191 home runs and 1,097 RBIs.

Round 7: Reggie Sanders, Spartanburg Methodist College, 1987
Sanders had a combination of speed and power, hitting 305 career home runs and stealing 304 bases. He was an All-Star in 1995 while with Cincinnati, hitting .306 with 28 homers, 99 RBIs and 36 stolen bases.

Sanders would play his first eight seasons with the Reds before having stints with the Padres, Braves, D-backs, Giants, Pirates, Cardinals and Royals before he retired following the 2007 season, his 17th.

Round 8: Eric Davis, Fremont (Calif.) High School, 1980
Davis was a phenomenal all-around player, able to hit for average and power, while also displaying speed on the base paths and in the outfield. In his first full season, 1986, Davis hit .277 with 27 home runs, 71 RBIs and 80 stolen bases. The following season he earned his first All-Star selection, hitting .293 with 37 home runs, 100 RBIs and 50 stolen bases.

Davis would be named an All-Star again in 1989, and helped the Reds win the 1990 World Series, but injuries hampered him throughout the rest of his career, which would include stints with the Dodgers, Tigers, Orioles, Cardinals and Giants.

In 17 big league season, Davis hit .269 with 282 home runs, 934 RBIs and 349 stolen bases.

Round 9: Tom Browning, Tennessee Wesleyan College, 1982
Browning spent all but the final season of his 12-year career with Cincinnati, and went 20-9 with a 3.55 ERA in his rookie campaign, finishing second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1985. He was an All-Star in 1991, and finished his career with a record of 123-90 with a 3.94 ERA.

Round 10: Ray Knight, Dougherty (Georgia) High School, 1970
Knight made his Major League debut with the Reds in 1974, and played for Cincinnati from 1977-81, earning his first All-Star selection in 1980, when he hit .264 with 14 home runs and 78 RBIs.

The Reds traded Knight to the Astros after the 1981 season, and he was named an All-Star in 1982 when he batted .294 with 36 doubles and 70 RBIs for Houston. He was then traded by the Astros to the Mets in 1984, and two seasons later hit .391 with five RBIs in the 1986 World Series, being named Series MVP for the world champions.

In a 13-season career, Knight hit .271 with 266 doubles, 84 homers and 595 RBIs.

Round 11: Trevor Hoffman, University of Arizona, 1989
Hoffman is second all-time with 601 career saves and is known as one of the most dominant closers in baseball history.

Hoffman was drafted from Cincinnati by the Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft, and in June 1993 was traded by the Marlins to the Padres in the deal that sent Gary Sheffield to Florida. In San Diego, Hoffman became one of the league's premier closers, earning six of his seven career All-Star nods and racking up 552 of his 601 saves.

Hoffman led the Majors with 53 saves in 1998 and led the NL with 46 in 2006 before signing with the Brewers as a free agent in 2009. He retired following the 2010 season, his final campaign in what is sure to be a Hall-of-Fame career.

Round 12: Jay Howell, Fairview (Colorado) High School, 1973
Howell was chosen by Cincinnati in the 12th round of the June 1973 amateur Draft, and was the 286th pick overall, but did not sign. The Reds selected him again in the 31st round in June of 1976, and he signed with the team that year. The right-hander appeared in five games for Cincinnati in 1979 before being traded to the Cubs in 1980.

Howell would go on to become a three-time All-Star and save 155 games in his career, which spanned 15 seasons and included stints with the Yankees, A's, Dodgers, Braves and Rangers.

Round 13: Logan Ondrusek, McLennan Community College, 2005
Ondrusek, a right-handed reliever, has been solid in his first four-plus seasons with the Reds, though he has struggled so far in 2014.

Round 14: Scott Ruskin, Sandalwood (Florida) High School, 1981
Ruskin was Cincinnati's 14th round pick in June of 1981 and the 353rd overall selection in the amateur Draft that year, but did not sign. The right-handed reliever eventually signed with the Pirates in the secondary June draft of 1986, and had a four-year big league career split between the Bucs, Expos, and eventually, the Reds. He made his way back to the organization that first drafted him when he was traded to Cincinnati by Montreal after the 1991 season.

Ruskin posted a 3.95 ERA in 192 big league appearances.

Round 15: Gary Redus, Athens State University, 1978
Redus, outfielder/first baseman, was fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting in 1983, when he hit .247 with 17 home runs, 51 RBIs and 39 stolen bases for Cincinnati. Redus played four seasons with the Reds before being traded to the Phillies in 1985.

Redus would have stints with the White Sox, Pirates and Rangers in a 13-year career during which he hit .252 and stole 322 bases.

Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.