The Cincinnati Reds have once again used their brains to find a loophole and sign a player that most other teams didn’t realize was eligible to be signed. Back in February of 2008 the team was able to sign Juan Duran when no other team had realized he was eligible to sign. Now it’s being reported that the organization has found another player who is eligible to sign but was unknown to just about everyone else. Jonathan Mayo says that the Reds have agreed to sign T.J. Friedl, an outfielder from the University of Nevada.
Mayo reports that the Reds have not confirmed that a deal is in place, but that’s essentially all that they can say until everything is signed, sealed and delivered (and approved by Major League Baseball). Since he was draft eligible, even though no one realized it at the time, his signing bonus will count against the draft pool even though it’s coming after the deadline. With how much money the Reds spent, they can pay him just over $700,000 without giving up their 1st round draft pick in 2017.
Friedl is a left handed hitter who posted a .401/.494/.563 line with Nevada this season. He had nine doubles, nine triples, three home runs, 13 steals, 32 walks and 26 strikeouts this past season. He only had 37 at-bats as a freshman in 2014 and he redshirted as a sophomore in 2015.
The outfielder will turn 21 in just under three weeks. He’s spent his summer playing for Team USA in Taiwan, Japan and Cuba. He’s hit .290/.362/.452 with five walks, 11 strikeouts, five doubles, a triple and a home run in 62 at-bats. He also added in four stolen bases.
From a scouting perspective I don’t have too much information on him at this point. The MLB article says he’s got plus-plus speed and good gap power to work with.