PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 21: Homer Bailey #34 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of their game on September 21, 2013 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The Pirates defeated the Reds 4-2. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Barely half of Cincinnati Reds first round picks since 1965 have made The Show

How likely is Hunter Greene to make it to the big leagues with the Cincinnati Reds?

That’s impossible to predict, but the team’s history with first round picks might give us some hints.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Reds’ top 3 picks

Greene is considered a premium prospect both as a pitcher and a shortstop, but the team says it will begin evaluating him as a hurler. 

Here are some numbers to consider from looking at the 29 pitchers drafted in the first round by the Reds since 1965  (via Baseball-Reference):

*16 made it to the major leagues, be it for the Reds or anyone else (two who haven’t made their major-league debuts are still in the team’s farm system)

*11 pitched in at least 100 games (Gary Nolan, Wayne Simpson, Don Gullett, Bill Robinson, Jack Armstrong, C.J. Nitkowski, Dustin Mosely, Ryan Wagner, Homer Bailey, Brad Boxberger, Mike Leake) 

2 Aug 2000: C.J. Nitkowski #27 of the Detroit Tigers winds back to pitch the ball during the game against the Anaheim Angels at Edison Field in Anaheim, California. The Tigers defeated the Angels 5-3.Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
Photo: Staff Writer

*8 have a Wins Above Replacement number of 1.0 or better (Nolan, gullet, Robinson, Armstrong, Jeremy Sowers, Bailey, Boxberger, Leake and Michael Lorenzen, who has pitched in 98 games as of this writing)

*5 have a career ERA under 4.00 (Nolan, Gullett, Robinson, Boxberger, Leake)

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 24: Mike Leake #44 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on June 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Photo: Staff Writer

*4 won more than 50 games in their career (Nolan, Gullett, Bailey, Leake)

*3 have more than 10 saves (Gullett, Robinson, Boxberger)

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 31: Brad Boxberger #26 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches in the ninth inning for 33rd save during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 31, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Rays won 6-3. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Photo: Staff Writer

*19 were (like Greene) taken out of high school

*9 of the prep pitchers made the majors

*6 of the nine high schoolers pitched in more than 100 big leauge games, though three of them (Nolan, Simpson and Gullett) were drafted before 1970. 

A hit rate (at least in terms of making it to the majors) of more than 50 percent is somewhat surprising, but how does it compare position players drafted? 

The Reds have taken a non-pitcher in the first round 34 times (including supplemental picks), and 19 have made it to the big leagues. That is nearly an identical percentage, though it drops to an even 50 percent if we remove Phil Ervin and Jesse Winker, who both appeared briefly with the big club earlier this season before going back to Triple-A. 

Reds excited about Greene's talent, poise

The general perception is right-handed high school pitchers are the riskiest picks, but the numbers don’t bear that out, at least with the Reds. 

Here are three more to consider: 

*13 of the position players drafted have played in at least 300 games, and 13 have a positive WAR. 

*8 have posted a career OPS of at least .739, the major-league average last season, including Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin. 

So, is Greene the next Nolan, or could he some day fill Larkin’s shoes as an all-around star? 

The odds might be less different than you’d expect.   

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