For a while now the Cincinnati Reds farm system has leaned heavily towards pitching over hitting. That is still the case, but the organization has made some nice additions in the 2016 draft that may help turn things around a little bit.
Entering the season the Reds top position prospects included guys like Jesse Winker and Tyler Stephenson. Neither had the best first half and both hit the disabled list that led to them missing a chunk of time.
The two of them began rehab assignments with the Arizona League Reds at the same time during the first week of July. Whatever was in the water out in Arizona seemed to work wonders for both players.
Since July 6th, Jesse Winker has gone 12-29 with three doubles, two home runs, five walks and four strikeouts between the AZL Reds and the Louisville Bats. That’s good for a .414/.500/.724 line since returning to the field from a wrist injury.
Tyler Stephenson, the Reds 1st round selection from the 2015 draft, began his rehab at the same point in time as Winker. The catcher has racked up 13 hits in 38 at-bats to go along with two doubles, two home runs and four walks. That’s been good for a .342/.395/.553 line as he’s also returned from a wrist injury.
The 2016 draft resulted in the first three picks by the Reds going the position player route. Things have gone well of late for all three players. Nick Senzel went 2nd overall in the draft and after a slow start in Billings he’s caught fire with a promotion to Dayton. Last night he went 4-5 with a triple, home run, stolen base and he drove in four runs. In 15 games with the Dragons he’s hit .322/.420/.508 with eight walks and eight steals to go along with 11 strikeouts.
Taylor Trammell was taken by the Reds with their 1st round competitive balance pick. The 18-year-old has hit well all season for the Billings Mustangs. After last night, where he went 1-2 with a double and was also hit by a pitch, the outfielder has a .318/.388/.375 line. He’s also racked up 10 stolen bases.
Over his first 12 professional games 2nd round pick Chris Okey hit just .146/.160/.188 between Billings and Dayton. He had one walk and nine strikeouts. The results, well, they weren’t good. In fact, they were downright ugly. Of course, it’s a small sample size and he had sat out between the end of his college season and the time he began playing again. Things have really turned around for him over the last two weeks. The catcher from Clemson has been on fire in Dayton, going 11-34 with two doubles, three home runs and five walks. That’s led to a triple-slash line of .324/.410/.647.