The Cincinnati Reds have acquired catcher/first baseman Hendrik Clementina and minor league outfielder Scott Van Slyke from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two are coming over in the trade that sent reliever Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers. Zach Buchanan on the Cincinnati Enquirer had this first.
Sources: Reds will receive OF Scott Van Slyke and a prospect for Tony Cingrani
— Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) July 31, 2017
Joel Sherman was the first to report that Clementina was coming over.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2017
Hendrik Clementina is a 20-year-old who has spent his 2017 season behind the plate, but has split time between catching and first base as recently as 2016. He’s having a bit of a breakout season so far with the Ogden Raptors in the Pioneer League (the same league where Billings plays). In 24 games he’s hitting .370/.439/.554 with 10 walks and 16 strikeouts. He’s also hit five doubles and four home runs in that span.
The Dodgers signed Hendrik Clementina out of Curacao in December of 2013. He spent the 2014 season in the Dominican Summer League before coming stateside. In both 2015 and 2016 he was with the Arizona League Dodgers. I’ll do some more digging to see what I can find on him from a scouting perspective and update this post later. He will join the Billings Mustangs.
My quick thoughts after watching about 25 at-bats on MiLB.tv of Hendrik Clementina:
He looks bigger than he’s listed at. Well, let me rephrase that, he looks thicker. He’s listed at 160 and I’d have to guess he’s bigger than that. Looks strong. Not that his bat is slow, but it didn’t come off as overly fast either. Power seems to come from strength and barrel than pure bat speed like some guys. Couldn’t get much of a feel at all for the defensive stuff because the video quality was poor.
Update: C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer just shared this on twitter about Hendrik Clementina:
Another scout on Clementina: ‘he can really hit. and with power’ but noted he ‘doesn’t really have a position’
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) July 31, 2017
Scott Van Slyke is a 30-year-old who has spent parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues, so he’s definitely not a prospect. The right handed hitter was playing with Oklahoma City in the Pacific Coast League. He was hitting .242/.332/.390 in 55 games played. He also played in 29 games with the Dodgers this season, though he only amassed just 48 total plate appearances. He hit just .122/.250/.293 there.
Update: Baseball America has chimed in with some quick scouting reports on the players involved. Their report on Hendrik Clementina go well with what I noted in the comments after watching some video on him at the plate. Behind the plate they’ve added some information that I didn’t have.
Clementina is a hitter first and foremost. He’s a slow-twitch catcher with some stiffness to his body. He’s raw behind the plate with plenty of work to do as a receiver. But he has good hands and hand-eye coordination that give him a chance to hit. He needs a lot of work to clean up his catching and he’ll have to stay on top of his conditioning and flexibility to stay behind the plate.