The Cincinnati Reds have acquired right handed pitcher Miguel Medrano from the Texas Rangers. Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer was the first to report the move. The recently turned 20-year-old was acquired in exchange for $350,000 of international bonus pool money. The Reds didn’t trade any actual money, but just the ability to spend that money on the market.

It’s an interesting move and one that I LOVE to see. Miguel Medrano has not pitched outside of the Dominican Summer League. He made just three appearances as an 18-year-old in 2016. Last season he was dominant in the league, pitching in 12 games (10 starts). He threw 59.0 innings with a 2.59 ERA, just seven walks and he struck out 61 batters. The numbers are very strong, but historically, numbers in the Dominican Summer League aren’t exactly predictive. The competition level is just so varied.

What I do love about this move, though, is that it involves a player so far down the chain. You just don’t often see players at the Dominican Summer League levels traded. You usually don’t even see players at the complex levels in the United States traded. While it’s not completely outside of the box thinking, it does stray from what normally happens. It does make it more risky because players at that level have so much more to overcome on their way up the ladder. Still, it’s a different strategy and I’m a fan of that.

Miguel Medrano Scouting Report

Miguel Medrano has a 3-pitch mix, working with a fastball, change up, and a curveball. His fastball worked in the 90-94 MPH range last season. It’s a pitch that he commands well. The change up is his best secondary offering that has a chance to be an above-average offering in the future. The curveball is a third pitch at this point, but he’s flashed good spin at times.

36 Responses

  1. Hoyce

    I know this will be about impossible, but……scouting report??
    His numbers are very interesting. I like that walk rate.

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve reached out to a few sources and am *supposed* to be getting one sent my way from at least one contact. I’ll update this article when I get it.

  2. Colt Holt

    Any idea what he signed for in 2016 with the rangers? I did a quick search and couldn’t find anything. I was curious how he was thought of when he signed.

    • Doug Gray

      The internet doesn’t have a lot on him. I’m not sure who is out there these days covering the Rangers farm system full time anymore, so I don’t have anyone to reach out to there.

  3. James K

    The Reds gain a valuable asset, not for actual money but for the OPPORTUNITY to spend money. I wonder why no one offers me a deal like that.

    • wes

      You are starting to see more and more. There were several when the Japanese pitcher came available bc teams want to be able to throw all you can at one player and with new agreement- no one will see money like Luis Robert got again- which I really don’t like but is what it is.

      What I am assuming what we will all see with new international agreement is that every team can sign a few guys vs 1 team going all out and paying more like the padres did. So another strategy is trading away the ability to sign new guys with trading for existing players like this. If Reds trade all their money away for existing players vs signing new blood they can prob get more guys signed, which imo, is better than signed 2-3 big tickets like reds did last time.

  4. Colorado Red

    No risk deal.
    The Reds where not going to spend the money, so we get a free lottery ticket per say.

    • Champ Summers

      Even if they did spend the money it would be on a younger guy with less of a track record. Seem like a good use of the allocation.

    • Colorado Red

      I doubt it at this time.
      However, he does look like high upside.
      Give him a year or so, and time will tell.

      • Clammy

        For a 20 years old who has only pitched in the DSL, would he start in AZ or Rookie Ball (Billings or the new affiliate)? If the he only speaks Spanish and has never been to the US, would this be a factor on which level the Reds place him in 2018? Do the Reds have a tutor who teaches English to these young men? Likewise are young American draftees encouraged to learn Spanish, especially Catchers?

      • Doug Gray

        I can’t speak to what the Rangers do in their Dominican academy, but the Reds have teachers at theirs that help with learning English. The Reds have only skipped one guy over the Arizona level once that I can remember, and it was last year when Jhon De Jesus did it. He was also 20 at the time. I doubt it happens again, but it’s certainly possible.

  5. Tom

    Anytime a youngster is throwing over 90 with an above average change up, I’m interested.

  6. MK

    Spent $150,000 on an international prospect without spending the money. Don’t think it was here but might this be away for teams to get around the financial penalty for signing players after they are over the limit. Let a team not in penalty phase sign a player then send them intl. pool money so they can sign someone they want.

  7. sultanofswaff

    Carlos Gomez to the Rays for $4mil, 1.8 WAR last year. Cameron Maybin to the Marlins for $3.25mil, 1.7 WAR. Billy Hamilton gets $4.25mil for 1.1 WAR.

    Better options for the same/less money were on the board and DW passed. That doesn’t even mention leveraging prospects in the 5-15 range to acquire an upgrade.

    Not a good look!

    • Doug Gray

      Those three decisions weren’t made on an even playing field. The Reds already had Hamilton, and short of trading or releasing him, he was going to come back and the Reds didn’t really have a choice in his salary, which was determined by the arbitration process (yes, they agreed to a deal prior – but the numbers were absolutely based on what they both expected him to get in arbitration).

    • Andrew

      Both Gomez and Maybin are over 30 years old. Billy is still only 27. He also put up 3.1 war 2 years ago. There is no need to sign a journeyman center fielder who may or may not provide more value

      • sultanofswaff

        For the price of a utility player, the Reds could at least have some options in case of injury (Billy’s always getting hurt) or non-performance. You could also easily argue the value of Maybin and Gomez would go higher playing at GABP.

      • MK

        And the owner said we are keeping B.Ham. Which says to me DW’s hands are tied.

        Looks like the other shoe dropped in Tampa. That makes 5 Major League outfield starters leaving the state of Florida this season, 3 2017 All Stars.

    • Tony

      Gomez is a head case who has worn out his welcome everywhere he’s been and Maybin is a decent part time player who has peaked.
      Billy is just entering his prime now and if he stays healthy I will guarantee you that his WAR is > 1.8 this year. WAR doesn’t do Billy justice IMO for a number of reasons. People go to the ball park just to see him play (nobody goes to the park to see Gomez or Maybin play), he’s an outstanding CF (invaluable to a young pitching staff) who’s fielding metrics to me are a bit underrated and when he gets on base pitchers absolutely melt down. If Billy can raise his OPB to .325 this year he’ll be an all star. I’d take Billy at his salary over the others everyday.

      • sultanofswaff

        We have 4 years of data on Billy that says he is who he is.

        That the Reds aren’t even exploring alternatives is very disappointing.

      • Tony

        We have 4 years of data that says who he was. As he approaches 2000 plate appearances I believe the best is yet to come from Billy. Why would a non-contending team with a glut of young outfielders under team control look for more outfielders when they don’t know exactly what they have?

      • Alex

        The fact that the reds were looking to trade Billy tells me they definitely were looking at other options. Just because we don’t know what the other options were doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening.

      • Wes

        I’d be surprised if billy got better but I wouldn’t give up on him for Maybin or Gomez. Also I take ownership comment w a grain of salt- I think they are ready to replace billy if right circumstance comes about.

        Siri is old for his league- if he hits like last year he maybe ready for trial in September.

  8. The Duke

    Medrano’s listed measurables are 6’0″ 165 lbs. If that was accurate last year, I wonder if maybe he doesn’t get a little more velo as he fills out. Nice lottery ticket for free. Have to like that control.

  9. CP

    This is a creative way to take advantage of what would otherwise be considered a disadvantage. Still using our international money allotment to acquire an international prospect, without ever spending a dollar.

  10. Michael B. Green

    The key for Hamilton is to increase his GB%. If he could attain Dee Gordon’s GB rate, he would become the spark plug that the Reds need and want out of him.

    There is no reason for him to hit fly balls ever. Some folks insist that he should just bat left-handed and ditch batting right-handed but if he increases his GB%, it probably doesn’t matter.

    Hamilton is already among the leaders in Soft% thus if he can covert soft fly balls (also known as cans of corn) into ground balls, it will put enormous pressure on the defense to throw him out. Good luck with that on a consistent basis.

    I hope to see Hamilton with an improved approach and swing this year. He had 5 bunt hits in 2017 compared to Gordon’s 18. Hopefully that improves too.

    Billy has the opportunity to significantly spark the Reds for 3 more years. He is a game changer….if he gets on base. Pitchers do not worry about nibbling on edges with him. They go right after him. That just means he needs to hit slow rollers and beat them out a la Gordon. When he bats left-handed, he needs to hit those slow rollers to the opposite field. That is one other difference between Gordon and Hamilton.

    That small ball approach should lead to more contact and a lower K%. No reason to think that Hamilton’s K% cannot approach that of Joey V. if all he is focused on is looking for a pitch to push on the ground.

    An indicator of a bad sign for continued stagnation is the number of 3B’s hit by Hamilton. He almost led the league last year. That means he is hitting the ball hard. He does not need to do that. Infield singles turn into triples for him after two stolen bases.

    Bases loaded, swing away. Otherwise, team ball – Billy Ball. That is the formula for success for Hamilton and success for Hamilton is significant for CIN. If he can take his -18.1 offensive war equivalent (Fangraphs) and convert it to something like 2.1 (Gordon), that could make CIN a playoff team this year rather than 2019.

    I’m a big fan of Billy and if he is on base at a .325-.350 clip, he’ll score 120 runs and Votto will walk away with the MVP by just driving him in.

    C’mon Billy! Cheering for you, man!

    • victor vollhardt

      Some good thoughts on Hamilton by Michael B. Green. With Hamilton”s speed –he needs to chop down on the ball and go for grounders , because anytime a fielder has to handle the ball Hamilton’s speed makes them hurry and that causes mistakes. Today everyone is uppercutting the ball to get in the air—Hamilton needs to do the opposite and yes- bunt more —even a called third strike on a bunt that goes foul is a better deal than a lazy fly ball to a short outfield spot. If he can learn to chop down on the ball—then the grounds crew can help by making the area in font of home plate as hard as possible for with any kind of bounce combined with his speed he is on base. This worked in Pittsburgh not so long ago as they four (or more ) players with speed and very little power.

    • DX

      What is Billy Hamilton’s average when he hits the ball on the ground?

      • Doug Gray

        .224 last year on ground balls. That doesn’t include bunts. .115 on fly balls.

    • Alex

      I thought I remeber reading that even billys GB avg was lower than his flyball avg. Maybe Im wrong though?

    • Optimist

      This is all too accurate. I’m almost concerned that he’ll have an excellent age-27 year and convince ownership it’s for real. I still trust the front office to take advantage of that, since speed declines with age, and there’s not much offense there after that. There may still be big market/big outfield teams willing to give up a lot if it seems BHam has a breakout year. If Siri and Trammell progress, this could be the transition year.

      Otherwise, I expect Billy stays a 4th OFer, or goes FA in a few years as a specialist/defender to a contender willing to pay.

  11. Knuckleballer

    Just was reading the MLB traderumors chat and there was talk about Arrieta to Phils and that would make them a wild card contender……I was just thinking 1 thru 8 were better and a number 1 shores up our staff….It’s a buyers market wonder if th FO has kicked the tires on that approach why wait if an opportunity itself? Just saying why wait?

    • Doug Gray

      I guess it depends on the money. If he gets $25M for 1 year, that’s a lot easier for the big market Phillies to handle. Not that I think it would crush the Reds or anything, but it’s less of a risk for the Phillies. Not that projections mean a ton, especially because of where the Reds are sitting at with their pitching, but most places have the Phillips 4-6 games better than the Reds right now and 6-7 games out of the final wild card spot. He moves them a lot closer to the “if a few things go right, we’re in” territory.