In August 2013, the Cincinnati Reds signed Reydel Medina, a toolsy 20-year-old (now age 21) Cuban outfielder, for a cool $400,000. Due to signing so late in the year, he was unable to play until 2014, when he debuted in the Arizona League after starting the season in Extended Spring Training.
Perhaps feeling the pressure of signing a lucrative contract, Medina started very slowly, as he collected just three singles in 22 at-bats over the six games in June, with an alarming 11 strikeouts. The left-handed hitter began July well, as he hit safely in three of his first four games, including two multi-hit games. After going hitless over his next three games, Medina broke out in a big way on July 10th, hitting for the cycle, while crushing a grand salami and driving in seven runs. Starting on July 17th (the birthday of yours truly), he went on a five-game multi-hit tear, hitting .435, while smacking four doubles, two triples and a bomb. Medina showed off his above-average raw power during the month, slashing .267/.275/.535, but he continued to struggle mightily with his plate discipline, striking out 27 times and only drawing two walks.
Medina started August slowly, due to contact issues, as he fanned in 37.5% of his first 56 plate appearances, while hitting .189/.204/.321 over 14 games. However, the 21-year old finished the final four games of the season red-hot, as he laced seven hits in 15 at-bats, including a double, triple, and homer. Throughout August, he continued to show some pop hitting .250/.271/.441, but his poor plate discipline (23/2 K/BB ratio), dragged down his stats, for the month.
During 2014, Reydel Medina displayed some impressive power, but unfortunately his unrefined approach at the plate plagued him all season, as he slashed .244/.265/.449. One particularly surprising struggle for Medina was the fact that he was only successful on three of his eight stolen base attempts, despite having above-average speed. He will look to improve all facets of his game, especially his selectivity at the dish, in hopes of allowing his tools to stand out more in 2015.
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