The Cincinnati Reds have signed a new player to a minor league contract. First baseman Art Charles just signed with the organization after spending the season in independent league baseball, playing for the New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian-American Association.

Art Charles was drafted three different times – once out of high school in 2008, then each of the next two seasons out of Bakersfield College. He signed in 2010 as a 20th rounder for the Blue Jays.

In his affiliated career he hit .236/.332/.432 between the Blue Jays and Phillies organizations, reaching Double-A with the Phillies in 2015. He really struggled in Advanced-A and Double-A, posting a .303 and .304 on-base percentage at the two levels.

After being released by Philadelphia he signed on a different indy-ball team before being traded before the season to New Jersey and the 25-year-old tore through the league. He hit .352/.461/.699 with 26 doubles, five triples and 29 home runs in 96 games. His 1.160 OPS easily led the league (teammate Daniel Rockett – what a name! finished second with an OPS of 1.111, while only two others in the league topped .900). Obviously the quality of the play is in question, though many of the players in the league are former minor leaguers. Still, only two of the hitters on the baseball-reference leaderboard for offensive players in the league have any Major League experience and only three of the pitchers can say the same.

What we do know is that among that level of competition, Art Charles stood out like a sore thumb. He won the triple crown in the league and just obliterated the opposing pitching for New Jersey. He was named the Baseball America Independent League Player of the Year for his efforts.

Listed at 6′ 6″ and now 260 lbs. he is a massive human being (his baseball reference page lists him at 220, but that’s an old weight). The left handed hitter has big time raw power and he finally began to show that in 2016. It’s likely that he’s just added depth to the organization that is short on true first basemen – but that power could play quite well and if the rest of his game translate a little bit this could prove to be an interesting signing.