This week is going to be spent looking at the various trade chips that the Cincinnati Reds could use over the next week-and-a-half as the trade deadline approaches.

The Reds have said that they are looking to be buyers. With their recent losing streak maybe that’s changed – they aren’t saying. But they’ve also noted that they aren’t looking to buy rental players. Anyone they look to acquire will need to be someone that helps now and into the future.

The Reds farm system entered the year as a top 10 farm system in baseball. But, the system has taken a hit. Nick Senzel graduated, and losing a Top 5 prospect in baseball hurts any farm system. Toss in that none of the top 10-15 guys behind him have really taken that next step forward, and some have taken a step back, and the system is down quite a bit. But, it’s not an empty farm system, either. There are certainly pieces of value, and some players have indeed improved their stock. Yesterday we looked at the infielders. Today we’re going to take a look at the outfielders.

Top 25 Prospect Outfielders

  • Taylor Trammell – #1
  • Jose Siri – #7
  • Mariel Bautista – #9
  • Michael Siani – #10
  • Stuart Fairchild – #11
  • Aristides Aquino – #18
  • TJ Friedl – #19
  • Andy Sugilio – #23

Five of the top 11 prospects in the organization are outfielders. There’s a wide variety of “types” of guys in here, though. Some are closer than others. Some are more “tools over production” at this point.

The close-to-helping group

While Taylor Trammell isn’t having an explosive year in Double-A Chattanooga, he’s holding his own. He’s walked 51 times with 72 strikeouts in 320 plate appearances. And that’s helped him post a .366 on-base percentage. But he’s also hitting .238 and slugging just .331 thanks to 12 extra-base hits in 79 games played. Not many doubt that he’ll hit for more power in the future, but right now it’s not showing up in games. Still, he’s the top prospect in the entire organization, and while his performance this year hasn’t blown anyone away – he’s still viewed as a very valuable prospect within the game. And as a guy with his raw talent and athleticism, who’s also already playing at the Double-A level, if things “click” for him at any point, he’s ready to step in.

Trammell’s teammate in Chattanooga, and the man who’s been playing center field all season, is Jose Siri. Unlike Trammell, he’s probably not able to carry a trade on his own unless it’s for a solid reliever type of guy. A team that believes in the tools is one that could value Siri more so than a team that looks more towards the stats. He’s got all of the tools you want to see. But this year there’s been some struggles at the plate – he’s hitting .261/.317/.389 in 84 games with 102 strikeouts and 25 walks. He’s also stolen 20 bases on the year. Defensively he’s capable of being a plus defender. There’s some risk with the bat that he’s an every day player, but the upside is sky high, too.

And then there’s Aristides Aquino, who I wrote about earlier today. The 25-year-old is crushing the baseball in Triple-A. And however brief it was, he’s also got Major League experience. He’s currently hitting .298/.357/.624 on the year with 12 doubles, a triple, and 22 home runs in 65 games played. The switch to the Major League baseball this year in Triple-A has resulted in the International League OPS jumping up 84 points from where it was in 2018. Aquino, though, is still nearly 200 points better than the league average in OPS this season. While he’s benefiting from the ball, like everyone else, he’s doing things that hardly anyone else in the league is. And he may be the most ready to step in and help a team among this group, too.

TJ Friedl is currently on the injured list at Double-A Chattanooga with an ankle injury. Through 65 games this season he’s hitting just .235. But his on-base percentage is a solid .347 and he’s slugging .385. His peripherals have been strong this season, but his BABIP is significantly lower than it’s ever been in his career. While he hasn’t played much center field this year, he’s a true center fielder defensively. Unlikely to carry a trade on his own, he could be a valuable second piece in a deal.

The not-as-close but upside group

Stuart Fairchild has had a very small taste of Double-A, but he was only called up as what seemed like an emergency fill-in, spending less than a week with Chattanooga before heading back to Advanced-A Daytona. He began the year slowly in April. Very slowly. But since May began, the outfielder’s shown himself to be one of the best players in the Florida State League. In 57 games since the calendar flipped, he’s hitting .303/.381/.534. The former 2nd round pick can play center field, and he’s showing offensive tools. He’s certainly been a riser this year.

Fairchild’s teammate Andy Sugilio’s had an interesting 2019. A few weeks ago he gave up switch hitting and is now hitting only from the left side. The 22-year-old has elite speed, arguably the fastest player in the organization. He’s hitting .301/.337/.368 in Daytona this season. The power isn’t showing up, and there are some questions about whether his approach will let him tap into it (he’s an extreme ground ball hitter). But, there is some power potential in there – it just likely requires a different approach/swing change to get it. The speed he shows gives him the chance to play a strong center field. He’s not likely to carry a trade, but could be an intriguing lottery ticket kind of throw in to a deal.

Dayton Dragons teammates Michael Siani and Mariel Bautista are further away than the two previously mentioned players. Siani got out to a slow start in April, but in the 58 games since he’s hit .269/.347/.374 with 18 steals. A plus defender in center field, his defense is still ahead of his bat – but the bat is starting to show some real life and he’s yet to really tap into some of the power that could come down the road.

Mariel Bautista is another 5-tool caliber player. The 21-year-old is holding his own in Dayton, but hasn’t stood out statistically – hitting .246/.312/.357 on the year so far. He’s got plus speed and can play any spot in the outfield. There’s power potential in his bat, too, though he’s struggled at times to have it show up in games this season. Neither Bautista or Siani carries a trade, but both would be a very strong secondary piece in a trade.

Will the Reds look to move anyone from the group

As noted yesterday with the infielders, it’s nearly impossible to say a team will move a specific player. With that said, this group has some players in it that could certainly be intriguing for an opposing team. And depending on what the team is looking for (close, high-end prospect, long-term play) – the Reds may have something for them among the outfielders.

9 Responses

  1. Gaffer

    This team being buyers is not just silly it’s utterly ridiculous. Even if they suddenly go on a huge winning streak, they have to hope that any one of 4 other teams don’t. That is so unlikely. Let’s go crazy and say that happens, so what as it would basically put us in a one game playoff. The price would be not unloading future free agents and loosing future players?

    • Bill

      Buying for this year would be silly … buying for next year and beyond is appropriate and the trade deadline may present some opportunities. Given the standings, selling should also occur, albeit on a limited scale.

      • Gaffer

        I don’t know who is available to get but reds have to restock. Cant repeat getting nothing for guys who are leaving anyway.

        Must trade:

        Should trade but can’t given salary and performance:

  2. Simon Cowell

    I’m thinking one of winKer or Senzel should be used for trade material as well considering the number of outfielders coming up in our pipeline. So far neither is displaying Allstar material so maybe another team will want to capitalize on their youth

  3. Frank Barton

    The Reds should be willing to offer ANYONE in order to improve. They should listen to any offer and let it be known that any offer will be considered. This franchise seems to be stuck in permanent last place. I would traje their front office too – but that is not going t happen.

  4. whiffer

    Suggest Reds continue to think outside the box; look for established players that have value yet currently cast aside by their respective teams. Trade example:

    Trade: Rasiel Iglesias & DeScalafani to Atlanta for Inciarte & Foltynewicz

    Inciarte – 28 yrs old, would play CF; move Senzel to 2B. Gennett traded or released since Reds not paying 10M plus for his future services.
    Foltynewicz – down year, currently in Gwinnett, needs revival by Red’s pitching coach. Past two years stats put him in same situation as Sonny Gray.
    Braves need relief help and a 5th starter for playoffs.

    Lucas Sims/ Alex Wood backfill. Roark moved, maybe back to Nationals who seek 5th starter. If Reds interested after 2019, they can decide whether to sign him to multi year contract.

  5. Gilbert Keith Chesterton

    They may not be smart enough to be real sellers, but I don’t think they are stupid enough to be buyers. That’s likely just talk to get fans to keep coming out to games.

    When the calendar is flipped to August, I think most of us realize that Puig, Wood, Roark, Hughes, Jose Iglesias, Gennett, etc… will all still be on the roster.

    The Castellini crew has shown a tendency that if it comes down to going 75-87 with losing all impending free agents with nothing to show for it, vs going 69-93 with getting at least something in return for the impending free agents … the preference is going to be for forsaking the future in an attempt to be mediocre (instead of bad) today.

  6. AirborneJayJay

    Bring in a couple of more OF for 2020.
    1. RHP Tanner Roark, OF Yasiel Puig and RHP Raisel Iglesias to the Houston Astros for OF Kyle Tucker and LHP Framber Valdez and RHP Josh James.
    2. RHP Anthony DeSclafani and RHP Jared Hughes to NY Yankees for OF Clint Frazier and RHP Michael King.
    3. SS Jose Iglesias to Milwaukee Brewers for C Jacob Nottingham.
    Loaded up for 2020.

    • Doug

      I’d be all for those deals, but I don’t see the Astros or Yankees accepting either one. Maybe just as unlikely, but what would it take to get Gavin Lux (SS) & Will Smith (C) from the Dodgers? Lux has Seager and Hernandez/Muncy blocking him at SS/2B, though Muncy could be JT’s heir apparent at 3B. Smith is a good catching prospect who’s seemingly ready for the bigs but overshadowed by top catching prospect Ruiz. Both guys could be immediate contributors for the Reds.

      The Dodgers are loaded so the only thing I could see them wanting from the Reds is bullpen help, and maybe a fifth starter type to eat innings while they cruise through the rest of the regular season. Would Amir + Raisel get it done? I’m not sure they’d want Roark as they’d be forced to DFA someone from their 40-man.

      There’s probably little incentive for the Dodgers to deal those guys, but if they think two dynamic arms could get them over the hump, maybe they’d deal once more with their favorite trade partners. I love Amir and we’d be trading low on Iglesias, but SS & C are two huge needs for next year and the future.