Reds reportedly sign top two draft picks

The Reds will look to utilize Nick Howard, playing infield here, as a pitcher.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Two potential pieces of the Reds future will soon be able to get started in the organization’s farm system.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports the Reds have signed first-round pick (No. 19 overall) pitcher Nick Howard and second-round pick third baseman Taylor Sparks.

The deal with the Virginia closer Howard is reportedly for a $1,990,500 bonus, while Sparks’ will be $972,800.

Sheldon writes the Reds will look to develop Howard as a starter. Howard had an ERA under two in 37 2/3 innings last season.

The UC Irvine product Sparks hit over .300 with 5 HR and 37 RBI this past season.