A Minors Obsession

Chad Wallach out to a good start in the AFL

The Cincinnati Reds sent eight players out to the Arizona Fall League two weeks ago to begin play over the next six weeks. Several of the Cincinnati Reds prospects are out to a good start in the league, but Chad Wallach may be out to the best among the bunch.

The Arizona Fall Leauge isn’t new for the 24-year-old catcher/first baseman. When he was with the Marlins organization in 2014 the team sent him out there where he really struggled in 58 at-bats, hitting .192/.224/.231. He was traded to the Reds in the offseason, but he had a down season while playing in Daytona in the 2015 season.

The Reds followed along the Marlins plan from the year before and sent him to Arizona for the second straight year. He joined Peoria, but only played in nine games. He managed just hour hits, posting a .133/.212/.167 line in 33 plate appearances.

After missing time with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the middle of the summer after breaking a bone in his hand, he returned in the second half to play 36 games down the stretch, hitting .248/.344/.440 in Double-A with 15 walks and 27 strikeouts. To make up for the missed time the Reds sent Chad Wallach to the Arizona Fall League.

Things have gone much better in the early goings this year of the Arizona Fall League for Wallach, who has played exclusively at first base for the Javelinas. Earlier today he smacked a 1st-inning grand slam and later drew a walk as he pushed his line through seven games to .308/.379/.615 with two doubles, two home runs, two walks and six strikeouts.

Other notes

The Reds made a signing out of the Can-Am League yesterday, picking up the Independent League Player of the Year. Art Charles hit .352/.461/.699 with New Jersey, hitting 29 home runs in just 96 games.

The team also signed a 16-year-old out of Mexico. Victor Ruiz has since turned 17 (his birthday was two days after he signed) and has played for the Mexican National Team where he stood out on their under-18 team. He’s already 6′ 2″ and 195 lbs. and is being looked at as a possible catcher or third baseman.

8 thoughts on “Chad Wallach out to a good start in the AFL

  1. I don’t know enough about Wallach to get excited about this update based on expectations (and a small sample size), but any catcher in the Reds system developing into a good prospect is good for the Reds system. Go Chad. And how does a guy like Art Charles fall into the Reds lap? How does the competition in those leagues compare to high level college teams or other non-minors leagues (AFL, Cape Cod League, etc.)?

    • The competition there is probably that of Low-A ball. Some guys are certainly better, and some guys are certainly worse.

      It’s nowhere near the level of the AFL. Tough to say about how it compares to the Cape Cod League.

    • “…has played exclusively at first base for the Javelinas.”

      Prior to 2015, Wallach played exclusively as a catcher in the lower minor leagues of the Miami system. At A+ in 2015, Wallach played 53 games at 1B & 46 games at C. At AA in 2016, Wallach played 52 games at C and 13 games at 1B.

      Wallach has doubles power (minor league career .118 ISO) and good plate discipline (minor league career 12.1% BB%), but I’m not sure he has any potential as a major league catcher other than as a bat off the bench and emergency 3rd catcher. I agree that the Reds need catching prospects in their minor league system, but I’m not sure that Wallach fits that bill. Let’s hope that Stepheson and Okey can provide the needed catching prospects for the future at the major league level.

      • He’s certainly not an every day catcher right now. I do think he’s got some potential to be a good hitting back up catcher that gets 2-3 starts a week.

        Since joining the Reds organization he’s been partnered up with the crew of pitchers that’s included Garrett, Travieso and Romano – all three legit prospects that the organization has time and money invested in. Fairly or unfairly, their development is of more value and it’s why we’ve seen Wallach get less time behind the plate, as Joe Hudson has been their catcher for longer and is viewed, generally, as an outstanding defender/game caller/leader out there behind the plate.

        Wallach needs reps behind the plate, but he’s been unable to get a full share since joining the organization.

        • I think they should move on from him, he is pretty unlikely to be a MLB player. Its not like we need him to justify the Latos trade?

  2. I’m not exactly thrilled that he isn’t getting work partly because Wynns is on the roster. I have no idea how deals work out between clubs when figuring out AFL rosters though so maybe they have no choice. Still, if Wallach is going to get extra work in, I’d like it to be behind the dish.

  3. What’s going on with that (then) teen aged Aussie catching prospect the Reds signed several years ago? I think he was supposed to come to the US this just past summer to play in the Arizona Rookie League; I haven’t seen anything about how he did.

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