One thing that the Reds are looking at doing is adding players who can be versatile around the field. They picked up Zach Walters on a minor league deal last week, adding another such player. The 27-year-old has some big league time in his career, playing in 85 games over four seasons, though almost all of that came in 2014 (62 games).
In 2016 Zach Walters spent most of his time in Triple-A with the Dodgers, but did play in three big league games (0-5 in those games). With Oklahoma City he hit .276/.326/.444 in the Pacific Coast League over 94 games. He had 25 walks and 63 strikeouts to go along with 18 doubles, four triples and 10 home runs. He’s never walked much in his career, but he’s been able to cut down on his strikeout recently at the minor league level.
What Walters does bring to the table where his offense may be lacking ever so slightly is his ability to play just about anywhere. In 2016, in Triple-A, he played 15+ games at shortstop, second base, third base and first base. He also saw 12 games in the outfield, including one game in center field. He’s about as “utility player” as you can be. While it’s probably not likely that he’s going to turn into a guy you can play every day at shortstop or in center field, having someone who can play there in a pinch provides good value.
It doesn’t appear that this comes with an invite to big league camp, though perhaps that information is just missing at this point. Either way, I would expect him to be in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats to begin the season and be insurance for the Reds as a bench option down the road if he’s performing and a need pops up for a utility player.