Angelo Gumbs signed with the Cincinnati Reds late in January, less than 10 days after he had been released by the New York Yankees. Gumbs was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft and had an up-and-down career in their system.

In 2010 he barely played after being drafted, getting just 26 at-bats for their Gulf Coast League team. In 2011 and 2012 he performed well for rookie league Staten Island and Low-A Charleston. Here are his stats from those two levels:

Year  Lev  PA  2B  3B  HR  BB  K AVG OBP  SLG 
2011 A- 220 11 4 3 20 57 .264 .332 .406
2012 A 278 14 3 7 18 60 .272 .320 .432

A strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3-to-1 at both levels was something that could have used improving upon, but his numbers were solid across the board. He showed good tools in those years, and after that 2012 season he was ranked as the Yankees #7 prospect by Baseball America. At the time he was a middle infielder, though he’s since moved to the outfield. The scouting reports noted his foot speed and his potential with the bat.

The pitch recognition issues that led to the 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio in 2011 and 2012 would become a much larger issue over the next three seasons as he struggled to make the adjustment to the Advanced-A level. Angelo Gumbs would play for the Tampa Yankees in all three seasons. Here’s a look at how he performed in that span:

Year  Lev  PA  2B  3B  HR  BB  K AVG OBP  SLG 
2013 A+ 170 10 2 0 8 31 .214 .265 .302
2014 A+ 354 15 3 5 18 97 .224 .267 .332
2015 A+ 202 4 0 1 11 45 .176 .224 .213

The transition was a real struggle for Gumbs. The Florida State League is known to cause problems for most hitters, though that’s usually reflective in their power numbers, and a little hit to their batting average as a result. That wasn’t the case here as things took big steps backwards and it’s likely due to a 4.7-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. The tools remained there to see on occasion for Gumbs, but the glimpses were limited as he struggled to get the most out of them because of the struggles with the plate approach.

The Reds jumped in quickly after he was released by the Yankees, hoping that they could work with him and get more use out of the outstanding tools that he displayed. Things probably couldn’t have worked out better for the Reds and Angelo Gumbs. He’s hitting .303/.347/.467 for the Daytona Tortugas this year. His previous 4.7-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the league now sits at 2-to-1 as he’s really cut down his strikeout rate and improved on his walk rate.

With the improved pitch recognition and pitch selection skills, Gumbs has thrived in the pitcher friendly Florida State League this season. The production has certainly been there. What do the tools look like at this point of his career?

Angelo Gumbs Scouting Report

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Ever since he was drafted, Angelo Gumbs has been touted for his bat speed and it’s certainly still present. He can generate plenty of it and it’s leading to very good power production in 2016. 15-20 home runs in the near future wouldn’t be surprising in the slightest. He’s got the bat speed, he’s got the strength and he can get some loft on the baseball.

While he was once a plus runner, he’s more of an above-average speed guy at this point in his career than a pure burner. He’s still very athletic and you can see it in action.

On the defensive side of the ball he’s got some good range in left field where he’s been playing.

The jump to Double-A is considered the biggest in the minors, and it’s where pitchers really start showing the ability to throw offspeed pitches in the zone. With his history, until Gumbs goes out and shows he can handle things at that level, there will be some questions. What he’s done this year though gives you hope that the Reds have landed a very toolsy player who is putting things together.

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