The Cincinnati Reds have added several players to their 40-man roster today, as Major League Baseball has today as the last day in which teams have the chance to protect players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft in December.
Here are the players who were added to the 40-man roster and will not be subject to the Rule 5:
- Aristides Aquino – OF
- Barrett Astin – RHP
- Phillip Ervin – OF
- Keury Mella – RHP
- Jackson Stephens – RHP
- Nick Travieso – RHP
- Jesse Winker – OF
Some of these guys were absolute locks to be protected. Jesse Winker headlines that list. The former supplemental first rounder (2012) was the easiest guy to predict being added. He’s hit everywhere he’s played and spent all of 2016 in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats where he hit .303. His power was down, likely due to a wrist injury that cost him several weeks of the season, but he walked as often as he struck out, while posting the lowest strikeout rate of his career.
Aristides Aquino was also another guy who seemed like a 100% lock to be protected. While he’s never competed above Advanced-A, what he did in the Florida State League this year was impressive as he took home league MVP honors for his efforts. The outfielder racked up 26 doubles, 12 triples and 23 home runs on the season in an incredible power display for the league. He also had an insane 28 outfield assists for the Daytona Tortugas.
After those two players though, things got a little less certain. Former first rounders Nick Travieso and Phillip Ervin both had a strong set of reasoning to believe that they would be protected, as I wrote last week. It was the grouping of Barrett Astin, Keury Mella and Jackson Stephens that had a little bit more doubt around whether they would make the cut or not. They, along with about seven or eight other players were on that “will-they-won’t-they” part of the list.
Kourage Kundahl and myself sat down just now to discuss some of those guys, including all of whom made the roster and several of the players who didn’t and will be at risk for selection in three weeks at the Winter Meetings.