Earlier this week there were 21 Cincinnati Reds minor league players who elected free agency. You can see that entire list here. Baseball America now has up the list of every player in baseball who declared free agency in the minor leagues. The list is 520 players long, and it’s broken down by the last organization a player was in, and by position.
Minor League free agency can be used for multiple purposes. The first, of course, is to try and find players who can not only help you in the minors, but ones who may be able to contribute in the Major Leagues for you, too. Players such as Dylan Floro, Mason Williams, and Rosell Herrera were signed as minor league free agents last offseason and spent time in the big leagues last year for the Reds (and in the case of Floro and Herrera, other teams).
The other side of minor league free agency is to try and fill gaps in the system. While the hope is that the players can develop into the types who can one day help at the Major League level, sometimes you just need a shortstop for your Advanced-A team. Or a backup catcher at Double-A. Perhaps you need someone capable of throwing 100 innings at a stop along the way.
With all of that said, I went through every single player on the list provided by Baseball America. Many of the looks were of the cursory variety. If a guy was born before 1989, I dismissed them. Guys who had terrible numbers in 2018 were generally dismissed, too. But there were hundreds of guys that I did actually spend more than 5 seconds looking at. For some guys, I had a little bit of scouting information. For others I simply saw their numbers and couldn’t find much in a quick look beyond that. Yesterday I covered the pitchers. You can see that list here.
The Position Players
Yesterday we looked at 19 pitchers. The list is a bit shorter today. We will look at 12 position players that the Cincinnati Reds should look into.
Aderlin Rodriguez | 1B/3B | 26-years-old
Over the last two seasons, both with Double-A Bowie in the Orioles organization. Aderlin Rodriguez has topped 20 home runs. In 2017 he hit 22 homers with 25 doubles. In 2018 he hit 23 homes and had 20 doubles. There’s some pop in his bat. He’ll be 27 next year, so he’s got age working against him as far as the Majors go. But with the ability to play both corner infield spots, coming off of a .286/.335/.478 line, he could be a quality addition to the organization.
Anthony Garcia | OF | 26-years-old
The 26-year-old spent his entire season in Triple-A Nashville. He showed off plenty of pop, hitting 31 doubles, a triple, and he added 25 home runs. Garcia also got on base, drawing 65 walks on the year with 107 strikeouts. All of that led to a .254/.357/.479 line in the Pacific Coast League. He’s split his time in the outfield corners, and has some limited experience at first base, too. Adding some real pop and a little position flexibility at the upper levels would certainly be beneficial.
Cristhian Adames | Shortstop | 27-years-old
True shortstops are tough to find. Cristhian Adames is a true shortstop, and he’s one with some big league time. He’s played in parts of four seasons with the Rockies, racking up 343 plate appearances. The bat didn’t do much in the Majors – he hit .206/.283/.278. Last year he spent his entire season in Triple-A New Orleans where he hit .269/.324/.370 with 38 walks and 67 strikeouts.
Christian Bethancourt | Catcher | 27-years-old
The catcher has spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues, though 2013 and 2017 were only for a combined nine games and eight plate appearances. But the three years in the middle he played in 30+ games in each year. Bethancourt has long been known as a strong defensive catcher, and in 2018 at the Triple-A level he threw out 44% of opposing baserunners. In the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League he hit .297/.328/.506 with 22 doubles and 20 homers in 418 plate appearances. Quality catchers don’t grow on trees, and he’s got big league experience. If nothing else, the depth would be nice to add.
Christopher Bostick | Utility | 25-years-old
He has some big league experience, though limited. He’s hit .256/.360/.326 in 50 plate appearances with the Pirates and Marlins over the last two seasons. In the minor leagues in 2018 he played in 97 games at the Triple-A level. He played some second base, third base, left filed, right field, and a majority of time in center field during the season. During his minor league time he hit .295/.354/.414. Versatility is nice to have, and he’s generally hit in the minors.
Dylan Moore | Utility | 26-years-old
The “has gloves, will travel” Dylan Moore split his season between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018. He played every spot on the infield except catcher, and also saw limited action in the outfield. Between his two stops he hit .299/.363/.522 with 31 doubles, 9 triples, and 14 home runs. He also stole 23 bases. He’ll be 26 next season and has the look of someone who can provide some minor league depth and possibly fill out a big league bench.
Harold Ramirez | OF | 24-years-old
A former Top 100 prospect, Harold Ramirez is still on the young side for a free agent. He’ll be 24-years-old next season. In 2018 he was in Double-A New Hampshire all season and he hit well. Over his 505 plate appearances he hit .320/.365/.471 with 37 doubles and 11 home runs. He also stole 16 bases in 18 attempts. More of a corner outfielder than center fielder, he can still cover you in a pinch up the middle.
Jacob Scavuzzo | OF | 24-years-old
In 2018 Jacob Scavuzzo spent most of his time in Double-A, but saw 16 games in Triple-A as well. With Tulsa in Double-A he hit .266/.317/.550. The power played very well. After adding a double and two more homers in Triple-A he finished the year with 26 of each. He’s got an aggressive approach that led to just 26 walks and 108 strikeouts in 111 games. But there’s plenty of pop in his bat and that’s not always easy to find.
Jeffrey Baez | OF | 25-years-old
In 2018 Jeffrey Baez spent the entire season in Double-A Tennessee. In 88 games he hit .262/.346/.414. He also stole 16 bases, and has stolen as many as 38 in the past (2016). He has some tools, beyond his speed, too. There’s some raw power to tap into in his game. He’ll be 25 next year and has performed at the Double-A level. Could make for an intriguing flier kind of pick up.
Jhoan Urena | 3B/OF | 24-years-old
In 2018 Jhoan Urena spent most of his time was spent in the outfield for the first time in his career. Previously he was mostly a third baseman, but he struggled to post fielding percentages that were barely above .900. That led the Mets to move him to the outfield last season where most of his time came in right field. As a 23-year-old in Double-A he hit .261/.324/.418. The year before he hit .282/.364/.437 in the Florida State League with 34 doubles, 2 triples, and 11 home runs before adding another triple and three more homers in 13 games at the Triple-A level. There’s a little bit of pop in his bat, he’s got a strong arm, and he can play a few positions. He could be a solid addition in that Double-A/Triple-A range.
Lane Adams | OF | 28-years-old
He’s seen action in parts of three Major League seasons. For his career he’s a .263/.333/.467 hitter over 154 plate appearances for the Braves and Royals. He didn’t play much in 2018, racking up 199 plate appearances in Triple-A for the Cubs and Braves. And when he did play, things didn’t go well. He hit just .166/.251/.229. In 29 plate appearances with the Braves he hit .240/.345/.520. The 2018 season was not one that went well, but his history suggests he’s a very different player. One with a little bit of speed, some defensive versatility, and a little bit of pop.
Peter Mooney | SS | 28-years-old
Shortstops don’t grow on trees. Peter Mooney has never played in the Majors, and he’ll be 28 next season. But he’s shown the ability to play shortstop throughout the minor leagues. If nothing else, he could provide some depth, defensively, up the middle. But in 2018 he showed signs of life with the bat for the first time in his career. In 75 games with Triple-A New Orleans he hit .297/.374/.423 with nearly as many walks, 27, as strikeouts, 32.
There may have been a few guys that I happened to overlook on accident. With 500 players to look at, there’s always a chance that several guys links simply didn’t open up when I clicked on them. I went team-by-team and opened up all of their player links at once, so missing someone out of the 20 players would have gone unnoticed on my end. It’s worth noting that I didn’t look into the Reds players, or former Reds players. You guys tend to know who they are and what they bring.