The Cincinnati Reds continued to churn their 40-man roster this afternoon. Less than two weeks after picking up outfielder Patrick Kivlehan off of waivers from San Diego the team has moved on, designating him for assignment to create room on the roster to pick up Arismendy Alcantara from the Oakland Athletics after he was designated for assignment.

If the name sounds familiar it’s because Arismendy Alcantara is a former top prospect from the Chicago Cubs organization and has seen playing time in the big leagues with them (and a very small amount with the Athletics). After 2012 he was their #10 prospect and after the 2013 season he was their #7 prospect and the #100 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America. He was ranked as highly as #83 that season by Baseball Prospectus.

He lost his prospect status in the 2014 season, so he never showed up on another list. In that 2014 season at the Major League level with the Cubs he hit an abysmel .205/.254/.367 in 300 plate appearances. He went back to Triple-A the next season and barely hit much better, posting a .231/.285/.399 line (after hitting .307/.353/.537 two years earlier in the same league).

In 2013 he played in Double-A Tennessee and that’s where he really had a breakout season. He had 36 doubles, four triples and 15 home runs to go along with 31 stolen bases in 133 games. He drew 62 walks and had 125 strikeouts that year. He was praised for an improved approach at the plate and his walk rate was easily a career best that season. Unfortunately he’s never come close to matching it since he left Double-A and his low walk rate combined with his high strikeout rate has led to big time offensive struggles.

Defensively he’s got the ability to play shortstop as a super-sub, but probably isn’t an every day player there. He does profile as a good defender in both center and at second base, giving him plenty of position flexibility. Toss in the speed that can play on the bases and you’ve got a nice base for a utility player.

The real questions all revolve around his bat. He’s been an atrocious hitter in the big leagues – he’s got a career .195/.249/.337 line in 351 plate appearances with 22 walks and 112 strikeoutsĀ  (that’s a 35% strikeout rate). He really struggles to hit anything with a wrinkle to it. He’s got the tools to hit, but he doesn’t seem to be able to distinguish between the fastball and anything else, so those tools simply can’t play right now.

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