You can call him Bob Steveson for short.
With the 27th pick in the first round of the 2011 amateur player draft, the Cincinnati Reds picked a high school starter, right hander Robert Stephenson from Alhambra High School in California.
Stephenson has a live arm with a fastball that’s allegedly touched 97 miles per hour. He’s also displayed good control, which is unusual for a young kid with such a powerful fastball. In 64 innings, he struck out 132 and walked just 23. High school numbers are ridiculous, but that kind of control is a very good sign.
One thing Reds fans may not be used to is a pick so late in the first round. I guess that’s what happens when you have a good team the year before. Enquirer reporter John Fay touched on that.
“We’re very excited,” scouting director Chris Buckley said. “He’s very outstanding high school projection pitcher. He’s got a live arm. We saw him as high as 98 this year. He’ll fill out and get strung. Curveball, slider, change-up. Very polished high school pitcher who still has good projection.”
The Reds, picking 27th overall, decided they could wait for Stephenson to develop. They are pretty well stocked in the upper minors.
That last bit is a benefit of having competent talent evaluators for several years. I hope they’ve picked a good one. I imagine that in 3-4 years, the Reds might need some pitching.