By Manny Randhawa, MLB.com
CINCINNATI — The Reds loaded up on pitchers and infielders in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, selecting right-hander Nick Howard out of the University of Virginia with their first-round selection (No. 19 overall) and shortstop Alex Blandino out of Stanford at No. 29, and they didn’t deviate much from that blueprint thereafter.
Cincinnati stayed true to form based on its early-round Draft selections in recent years, looking for a power arm, which it’s getting in the 21-year-old Howard. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound hurler has been a closer and utility infielder for Virginia, which faces Maryland in the NCAA Super Regional. He has posted a 2.15 ERA, along with a school-record 19 saves in 27 appearances (29 1/3 innings).