In January the Cincinnati Reds signed Angelo Gumbs to a minor league deal for the 2016 season. The former New York Yankees second round draft pick had struggled for the previous three seasons, all coming in Advanced-A ball. The signing went mostly unnoticed and was unheralded because of the struggles he had gone through.
When I arrived in spring training in March, Gumbs was one of the players that I noticed that I didn’t recognize. That led to me paying a tad more attention to him, and in that it also made me notice that the coaches were showing some interest in him as well. You could see some of the tools on display in Arizona.
The good showing in Arizona carried over for Angelo Gumbs into the 2016 season. The 23-year-old outfielder spent the entire year with the Daytona Tortugas where he put up the best season of his professional career. In the Florida State League he went out and hit .298/.342/.460 with 25 walks and 48 strikeouts in 403 plate appearances. Improving his pitch recognition skills was vital to turning his career around, which I wrote about back in August after returning from my trip to Daytona in late July.
Baseball America also reports that the Reds have signed right handed pitcher Hawtin Buchanan. The 23-year-old was a 20th round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2014 out of the University of Mississippi. He was released following the 2016 spring training. He struggled with his control in both of his minor league seasons, walking 62 batters in 71.2 innings pitched, but also struck out 98 batters and posted a 3.64 ERA.
Obviously his control will have to improve for him to find future success, but the stuff is certainly there as we can see by the high number of strikeouts. His velocity has reportedly jumped up to 94-96 MPH, topping out at 98 MPH. The article notes that he improved his control, but his numbers in the USPBL where he played show serious control problems as he walked 25 batters in 25.2 innings.