With the eleventh overall pick in the draft, the Reds have selected catcher Tyler Stephenson from Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw, Georgia. Stephenson, who was projected to be chosen in the mid-to-late teens, was also in consideration to be the top overall pick by the Diamondbacks, who were rumored to be looking for an under-slot deal with the first overall pick in order to free up slot space for other selections. He was also linked to the Braves and Phillies in recent reports.
Stephenson, 18, is thought of as the best catcher in the entire draft, and is looking to become the first Kennesaw Mountain graduate to reach the major leagues. The ex-pitcher hit .403 with three home runs during his junior season at the school, and has seen his stock rise rapidly throughout his senior season.
According to his scouting report on MLB.com, Stephenson has a strong arm and the potential to be an excellent defensive catcher in the pros. The Georgia Tech commit is known to have a significant amount of raw power from the right side and bat speed that may translate to the ability to hit for average in the pros. He is most often compared to Orioles' catcher Matt Wieters, though some scouts are worried about his ability to hit pro pitching.
For the Reds the addition of Stephenson is a curious one due to the team's long-term commitment to Devin Mesoraco that was signed over the winter. The top catcher in the Reds' farm system is Chad Wallach, who is ranked twentieth in their system.