After-Draft Accounts: Kyle Waldrop (#138)

Last night I had a startling realization. It’s already January 9th! That means I need to get into gear on these ADA’s in hopes of finishing this project before the 2011 season starts. When I started this series I envisioned each profile coming in at around 250-300 words with maybe the longest pushing 500. Instead 500 has been the “regular” length.

You will start seeing these profiles far more rapidly in the next several months, and I’m really hoping to hit my original goal in terms of length on each. When it comes to BA’s 2010 pre-draft prospect #138 I once again went over 500. I had to because of what I think of this player’s future and also the potential event that could occur if he reaches the majors in a few years.

138. OF Kyle Waldrop (18), HS – Florida

A case of two Kyle Waldrops …

Steven Kyle Waldrop – who goes by Kyle – was a first round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2004 draft and just finished a successful season pitching for the Twins Triple-A affiliate (Rochester Red Wings). Based on his 2010 season, his minor league resume and the fact his is a reliever, he’s most likely going to make his major league debut very soon.

Will we be able to say that about the “other” Waldrop in a few years?

The Cincinnati Reds selected Kyle Michael Waldrop the in the 12th round of the 2010 MLB draft and signed him to a well-above slot bonus of $500,000. The two sides reached a deal on August 7th and since Waldrop qualifies as a two-sport athlete under MLB guidelines, the Reds will be able to spread his signing bonus out over several years. The Reds will also pay for his college education as a part of their agreement.

He played both baseball and football in high school. The latter of which took away from his progress in the former as injuries sustained in football caused him to miss time during the baseball season. His inability to focus on his craft as a baseball player year round – I also found mention that he played basketball – naturally held back his development. As a result, he’s far from a polished player but he has natural bat speed, drives the ball to all fields and has at-worst average tools across the board.

Based on offensive projection and natural athleticism he figured to be selected in the first 2-3 rounds but a scholarship to South Florida muddled the picture. In addition to the scholarship, Waldrop’s family are USF football season ticket holders and his brother is currently enrolled at the university. Signability was certainly a factor here.

After signing he was sent to the AZL Reds to get a brief taste of professional baseball. While there he hit 0.214/.241/.250 with 1 BB and 9 SO but the sample size (7 games and 29 PA) renders that completely irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that the Reds landing Waldrop in the 12th round is a bit of a coup.

Early on in his career he will have to play “developmental catch-up” and adjust to life focused on just one sport. Still, I anticipate he will hold his own in 2011 before having a breakout season in 2012. By 2013 or so, fans of other teams will be wondering how their team’s passed on him so many times in the draft.

Reds fans, on the other hand, will feel like their team hit the lottery most days they watch him play.

All baseball fans just might get the chance to witness Kyle Waldrop pitching to Kyle Waldrop.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds Kyle Michael Waldrop Minnesota Twins Steven Kyle Waldrop

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