Last week I spent seven days out in Goodyear, Arizona watching the Cincinnati Reds play baseball on the backfields. For the most part, it was almost entirely the minor leaguers, but since it’s been my job to cover that aspect of the organization, it was time incredibly well spent.
Hunter Greene is an impressive, impressive dude. I was only able to see him pitch once while out in Arizona, but to say it was a good showing would be an understatement. You can watch the entire outing at this link if you’d like, and I’ve also got a scouting report written up at that link.
In the time since I last wrote this column the Reds placed infielder Dilson Herrera on waivers and he went unclaimed, so the team was able to outright him to Triple-A Louisville. It’s likely that you already saw that news. What that meant for me was that I had a chance to see him on the backfields working with the minor leaguers. He was taking some grounders at third base during infield practice, but he only played at second base during the games. What it was that I was left thinking to myself though, was how I can’t believe a team didn’t claim him. That guy can hit. He’s going to hit. And while I understand that you just don’t know how that shoulder is going to respond in the long run, I’m of the belief that the Reds lucked out that no one put in a claim on Herrera. How he fits into the Louisville lineup with all of the other talent is still up in the air, but I’m confident that he’s going to hit and he’s going to be a Major Leaguer again, and probably soon. Whether that’s with the Reds or another team is perhaps the bigger question.
The Reds haven’t exactly had a good recent history of producing big leaguers from Latin America. Heck, they’ve struggled to get a decent amount of their own signees into Double-A and Triple-A out of Latin America for quite a while. One of the things that stood out to me is just how many young Latin American guys they have with impressive tools at the lower levels. It’s a very long way from rookie-ball to the Major Leagues, and some of those guys will fall by the wayside along the way, but there’s an impressive group of guys that are under 21-years-old that could potentially change the struggles that the team has had in this market. Andy Sugilio is the guy who stood out to me the most. That shouldn’t be too surprising given that he hit .345 in Billings last season. But, being that I was the only place that even ranked him as a Top 30 Reds prospect this offseason, I’ll say that I felt a lot better after getting another in-person look at just how impressive he is.