CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Reds Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Chris Buckley tonight announced the selection of junior RHP Nick Howard (6-4, 215) from the University of Virginia with the team's first pick (19th overall) of the 2014 first-year player draft.
Later tonight, the Reds will select their second and third players with overall picks 29 (as first round compensation for the signing of free agent Shin-Soo Choo by the Texas Rangers) and 58 in the second round.
Howard, 21, earlier this spring was named to the 2014 Louisville Slugger All-America third team as a relief pitcher in his first season as a closer. His 19 saves are a single-season school record and tie the ACC single-season mark established by North Carolina's Michael Morin in 2012.
So far this season Howard is 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 27 relief appearances (29.1ip, 19h, 12bb, 50k). On Saturday, Virginia meets Maryland in the NCAA's Charlottesville Super Regional.
He was named to the All-ACC first team as a utility player after hitting .261 with 20 RBI in 43
games. In his 3-year collegiate career, Howard has hit .303 in 119 games.
The draft will resume tomorrow and Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET via conference call. Rounds 3
through 10 will be held tomorrow and Rounds 11-40 on Saturday.