A Minors Obsession

Entering the minor league offseason

The Major League Baseball playoffs began last night. Hopefully you watched at least some of the four hour game between the Twins and Yankees last night. The Yankees won, for those of you who didn’t. Playoff baseball is tough to beat, so if you aren’t watching, you really should be. With all of that said, the minor league season has been over for a month now for most teams. With the offseason schedule for me here at Redleg Nation now being every other Wednesday morning instead of every Wednesday morning, I thought I would run down a few things that will be old news by the time my next post shows up on these pages.

Three fall leagues will begin play next week. The Arizona Fall League, Mexican Winter League and Dominican Winter League all begin next week. The Arizona Fall League roster for the Reds will have these players:

  1. RHP Wendolyn Bautista
  2. RHP Jake Ehret
  3. LHP Joel Bender
  4. LHP Brennan Bernardino
  5. C Chad Tromp
  6. 2B Brantley Bell
  7. 3B Taylor Sparks
  8. SS Blake Trahan

Their league will begin play on October 10th. That’s next Tuesday. Mark your calendar. The Mexican Winter League will also begin the same day. The rosters aren’t official for the league yet, though last season only one player was in the league from the organization – Sebastian Elizalde. The Dominican Winter League will begin on Friday the 13th. Watch out for Mr. Vorhees, guys. The rosters aren’t official for those teams, either – though  we should see more than a few players show up as the season progresses.

The Puerto Rican winter league and Venezuelan winter leagues may not happen this year for various reasons. Puerto Rico is facing a rebuild of essentially the entire country. If you have the means or ability to help out in any way, please look into it. The people there can use anything that can be offered. Venezuela is on the verge of collapse and it’s gotten to the point where the Reds are among a few teams around baseball that have offered to help their players from Venezuela if the players were to choose to remain in the United States (the players would have to go through the legal process to do so, but if they do and are allowed to remain, the Reds have offered to provide them with some assistance to make it feasible for them to do so).

Yesterday afternoon word  came out from Josh Norris at Baseball America that it seemed likely that the Reds would take over the Greeneville affiliate in the Appalachian League. That meant it was time for me to send some emails and make some phone calls. I was able to talk with multiple sources about the situation, and while it is not official yet, it sounds like it’s very likely to come to fruition. There’s more information here if you’re interested in reading about it.

While it doesn’t directly relate to the Reds, if you follow minor league baseball at all, the reasons behind Atlanta Braves General Manager John Coppolella resigning could be right up your alley. Major League Baseball began investigating his dealings with international free agents and players in the draft and how he and the Braves were trying to work around the rules that were in place to sign players. There were also a few other things that he is being investigated for. More than a few people in baseball believe it’s going to lead to one of their top prospects, Kevin Maitan, becoming a free agent.

With the offseason truly upon us, there are five months before spring training really gets back underway. Even writing something every other week here at Redleg Nation – I will still be writing every day at my own site and try my best to not cover everything as a recap of sorts from things I’ve written there, over here. So I’m asking for things that perhaps you’d like to see me explore here at Redleg Nation over the next few months. I can’t promise I’ll be able to do it, but I am certainly open to ideas if you have any.

16 thoughts on “Entering the minor league offseason

  1. That is good news that the Reds will have a second advanced Rookie level team in the Appy League. I bet Chad Dotson is stoked on this news as he is right in the middle of the Appy League footprint.
    The Braves are in a world of hurt. If all that happens is that they lose Maitan, then they will get off lucky. Draft picks and international pool money could also be forfeited if they are as guilty as some say.
    Article suggestion, maybe an in-depth interview with the Reds scouting director, Chris Buckley, and all they have going on leading up to the draft.

    • I second the interview suggestion with Chris Buckley. Or if he is unavailable, maybe a round table with former scouts/front office people about how they approached the draft, monitoring prospects in the offseason, how advances in sabermetrics have affected in-person scouting, etc.

  2. Article suggestion: I’d love to see a position by position rundown of the prospects in the Reds pipeline. I know there’s a logjam at second base, and Senzel is knocking on the door, but who are, realistically, the future Reds at each position?

    • I cover this during the winter at my site in a feature called “State of the Farm” and I do one each week, usually starting in November. So, keep your eyes peeled.

      • Excellent. Will do Doug. And thank you as always for your insights on the state of the Reds farm system and prospects. I don’t have a sense for the quality of equivalent sites to RLN for other franchises, but I have a feeling we’re spoiled here at RLN and in particular by your knowledge and coverage of the minor leagues.

  3. A listing and review of all the players who must be protected (added to the 40-man roster) from the rule 5 draft, who will likely be added to the 40-man roster, who will not be protected and who will be DFA’d to create the necessary space on the 40-man roster.

    Likely rosters for the minor league franchises heading into 2018.

    Review of the top Reds prospects from 2017 coming out of the Arizona League, Pioneer League and the Midwest League.

    Review of prospects in danger of losing their luster as prospects.

  4. The 40-man roster purge has gotten underway.
    The Reds outrighted RHP Asher Wojciechowski, RHP Alejandro Chacin, and RHP Nick Travieso. RHP Luke Farrell didn’t pass through waivers and was claimed by the Chicago Cubs.
    Reds 40-man roster at 36 now.

    • Plus you have Disco and Finnegan who will have to come off the 60 Day DL.
      So, it basically is at 38.

  5. As for the Reds putting a team in the Appalachian league, can anyone confirm it will be in Greenville TN? The reason I ask is the ballpark if it is Greenville is on the campus of Tusculum College my Alma mater and a wonderful little ballpark.

  6. I would like to know how much leaway Price and the coaching staff will be given if the Reds are 10 under at the all star game.

  7. How do the Reds decide who to send to the Arizona Fall League? They always seem to send fringe prospects, while other teams send their top young players.

  8. A few things:
    1. A season summary on the top prospects’ 2017 seasons. Did they progress/regress, what are their prognoses?
    2. a little more background on non-top 30 guys who made jumps in 2017 or may be able to help the big club eventually
    3. who is at risk for the Rule 5 draft, are there any prospects on other teams worth mentioning?

    Thanks!

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