#REDS BASEBALL OPS DRAFT PLAYERS, MEDIA RELATIONS DRAFT PRESS RELEASES

Thursday, June 5, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reds Select Righthanded Pitcher With First Pick Of 2014 Draft
Take University of Virginia’s Nick Howard 19th Overall

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 firstround 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.

For the second straight season 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.

…..

Thursday, June 5, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reds Select Infielders With Second, Third Picks Of 2014 Draft
Take Stanford’s Alex Blandino 29th Overall, Cal-Irvine’s Taylor Sparks 58th

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Reds Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Chris Buckley tonight announced the selections of junior IF Alex Blandino (6-0, 190) from Stanford University with the team’s second pick of the 2014 first-year player draft (29th overall as first-round compensation for the signing of free agent Shin- Soo Choo by the Texas Rangers) and junior IF Taylor Sparks (6-4, 210) from the University of California- Irvine in the second round (59th overall).

Blandino, 21, this season for the Cardinal is hitting .312 with 13 doubles, 12 home runs and 42 RBI in 58 starts. He is on the 2014 Gold Spikes Award watch list and was named a pre-season All-America selection by Perfect Game, Baseball America and Louisville Slugger.

Beginning tomorrow, Stanford plays Vanderbilt in the NCAA’s Nashville Super Regional.

Sparks, 21, this season for Cal-Irvine is hitting .297 with 14 doubles, 8 triples, 5 home runs, 34 RBI and 7 stolen bases and has been named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America third team. He leads the team in doubles and is ranked among the NCAA leaders in triples.

A 3-time Big West scholar-athlete majoring in sociology, Sparks was voted academic all-district earlier this month and was UCI’s 2014 Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He also earned Big West Player of the Week honors.

The Anteaters are playing at Oklahoma State in that Super Regional.

The first-year player 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.

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