Brandon Larson was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 1997 MLB June amateur draft. Larson was taken in the same round that produced future MLB stars Lance Berkman, J.D. Drew, Troy Glaus and Jayson Werth.
Larson attended Louisiana State University, where he won the MVP for the 1997 College World Series. Larson put up videogame numbers for LSU that season, batting .381 with 40 home runs and 118 RBI in just 69 games.
Larson was taken 14th overall, the highest pick used on an infield prospect by the Reds since they drafted future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin with the fourth overall pick in 1985.
The Texas native started his professional career with the Chattanooga Lookouts in 1997, then Double-A affiliate of the Reds. Larson made it to Triple-A Louisville by 2000, where he debuted for the RiverBats late in the season.
Larson's best seasons as a professional came in a Louisville uniform, making the International League All-Star Game in both 2002 and 2003. He earned Cincinnati Reds Minor League Player of the Year honors in 2003.
In 316 career games with Louisville, Larson batted .297 with 149 extra-base hits, 70 home runs, and 227 RBI, all of which rank second-most in Louisville history behind only Kevin Barker. He hit a career-high 25 homers for the 2002 Bats.
Larson made his major league debut for the Reds on May 4, 2001 in a home game against the San Diego Padres. He hit his first career home run off New York Mets reliever Bobby Jones on July 21, 2002.
He would play 109 games with the Reds from 2001-04, hitting eight career homers with 37 RBI. He last played professionally in 2008 for the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League, hitting 30 home runs in 111 games.
While Larson never attained the level of major league success that was attached to his name, he will go down as one of the greatest Louisville Bats of all-time.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.