A Minors Obsession

Previewing the AZL Reds roster

Last week we looked at the Billings Mustangs roster. Today we will take a look at the Arizona League Reds roster. You can see the entire roster here.

Top Pitching Prospect

There are a few interesting pitchers on the roster, and Hunter Greene may begin his career there when he does sign. For now, though, the top pitching prospect would seem to be Jacob Heatherly.

The 19-year-old lefty was the 3rd round in the 2017 draft. He struck out 116 batters in 69.2 innings this past season in high school as a senior to go with a 1.11 ERA. When he’s at his best he can hit the mid-90’s with his fastball. He also a good curveball that can be a swing-and-miss pitch.

Top Position Prospect

The Reds are full of intriguing position prospects. The top guy for me, though, is outfielder Mariel Bautista. I wrote about my impressions on him from my time in Arizona during spring training if you want a more in depth report.

In 2016 he spent the year with the Dominican Summer League Reds and hit .333/.408/.473 as an 18-year-old. He’s only played in two games this season (the AZL Reds have only played three), but he’s out to a strong start, going 4-7 with a stolen base.

Another guy that is very intriguing is Edwin Yon. He’s just 18-years-old and is coming over from the Dominican Summer League. He’s played there each of the last two years. He hasn’t exactly hit well, but he was also 16 and 17-years-old at the time. The Reds clearly like him, bringing him stateside despite lackluster performance and he’s just 18.

He’s already a very tall kid. He’s listed at 6′ 5″, but after seeing him in the spring, that might be underselling him slightly. There’s plenty of power potential here. His height may ultimately be an issue, as guys with such large strikezones have historically struggled to hit. We will have to see how it plays out over the years in this case.

The last guy I want to mention is Victor Ruiz. He’s a 17-year-old catcher/third baseman out of Mexico. As a note, if you happen to look him up on any statistical website, just know that he’s not actually 5′ 1″. That’s a typo on MiLB.com, which is where other sites are pulling their data from. He’s listed at 5′ 10″ in the Reds Media Guide. He’s got some tools, but at just 17-years-old, there’s a lot of work to still be done. Keep an eye on him, though.

9 thoughts on “Previewing the AZL Reds roster

  1. Now that McKay has agreed to sign, Hunter Greene and the Reds are on the clock. Ten days before the deadline to sign him. I would bet he is signed by this weekend and it won’t drag out to the deadline.
    McKay’s signing of only $7,500 more than Kyle Wright’s $7M is a little surprising. That leaves some hope the Reds can get Greene in around the $7.2M to $7.3M range. They might still go over pool limit. Every little it helps so as to keep any penalties down. No way should they let this signing cost them next year’s first round pick as a penalty.

  2. I am a little ignorant. How are penalties determined and what amount would cost the reds to lose their #1? This would be a huge penalty as it is likely to be a very high pick.

    • Doug will probably have to correct me, but I think the Reds total draft pool allotment was about $12M, which is determined by the position you are drafting. Each round and each pick has a draft slot assigned $$ value. The total of all the rounds $$ is your pool. You can sign players for above slot value, to the slot value or below it. Teams are allowed to go over their slot pool, but by whatever mount they go over, they also owe MLB a penalty of the same amount. That is up to 5% I believe. Once a team goes over that 5% threshold, they will have to forfeit their 1st round pick in the following year’s draft. And pay the fee too I think. That can be a steep penalty.
      So take that $12M figure as an example, and 5% would give the Reds about $600,000 room to go over pool before losing a 1st round pick. And plus the same amount of overage to MLB.

      • The Reds draft pool this year is $13,658,400. They have already spent $6,275,300 with Greene and 7th rd pick Mark Koloszvary left to sign. Koloszvary plays for Florida who just won the CWS last night, so I expect we’ll sign him in the next day or so. His slot value is $218,800, although most seem to think we can get him under slot. If we could sign him for, say $100,000, that’d open up some more pool room leaving us $7,283,100 of pool money left with only Hunter Greene left to sign.

        However, you can go up to 5% over your pool without losing anything except paying the league a 75% fine on every dollar over your pool. We did this last year to sign TJ Friedl. If the Reds are willing to go that high again, that’d give them another $682,920.

        If we can sign Koloszvary for $100,000 and Greene for something like $7,100,000, that’d leave us potentially up to $866,020 of pool money left to try to sign Tommy Mace or Seth Lonsway, which after round 10 you don’t count the first $125,000, so really we can offer as much as $991,020. I offer Tommy Mace and Brady McConnell the max amount we can, and if they both pass on that to go to Florida, then we should turn our attention to other high schoolers. I think we can get Lonsway cheaper than that to sign away from Ohio State, a school not exactly known to pepper the first couple of rounds in the drafts with players.

        If Mace, McConnel, and Lonsway all pass, we did take some other high schoolers we could try to buy away from their college commitment, but there is also the chance they don’t go over their draft pool as well. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next 10 days.

  3. Don’t forget about the All Name Team 4th rd pick Cash Case on the roster. Francis Azcona could also be interesting, although both he and Case profile more as 2B than SS.

  4. Doug, where do the first couple rounds of guys the Reds drafted slot into the systems top 30 prospects? How high up is Hunter Greene?

    • You’re just going to have to wait and see when the new rankings come out. They will be released the day after Hunter Greene signs, or July 8th. Whichever comes first (the signing deadline is July 7th at 5pm – hence the July 8th date).

Comments are closed.