Back in February the rumors broke that the Cincinnati Reds had agreed to sign Cuban infielder Michel Triana when the 2019 international signing period began on July 2nd. The organization was finally going to be out of the proverbial penalty box and allowed to spend more than $300,000 on a single player for the first time since the 2016 signing period ended. When July 2nd got here the signing took place and he joined the organization.
Like nearly all of the players who were signed this signing period, he signed a contract for the 2020 season and did not play in 2019 in an official capacity. He did, however, head to the Cincinnati Reds complex in the Dominican Republic where he would play in the Tricky League with many of the other recent signees.
Michel Triana Scouting Report
Position: 1B/3B/OF | B/T: L/R
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 230 lbs. | Acquired: International FA, 2019
Hitting | There’s not much track record here in games, but his hit tool grades out as average to slightly above-average.
Power | The big selling point from a scouting perspective, Triana has plus raw power.
Running | He’s a below-average runner and could lose a step or two moving forward depending on how his body matures moving forward.
Defense | He’s a below-average defender in the sense that he’s a corner player right now who is very likely to wind up at first base in the long run.
Arm | His arm is solid-average.
He didn’t play much in the Cuban National Series (the highest level in Cuba), but he did hit .308/.455/.538 in 33 plate appearances there as an 18-year-old. In spring training I spoke with several people who had seen him play, and saw him at at least one work out after leaving Cuba. One scout noted that he looked better at his work out than he had expected based on what had heard heading into the event.
Everyone seemed to believe that the power was for real and that 30+ home runs wasn’t out of the question down the line. Most also thought that his hit tool was at least average, with some thinking it could be above-average. Defensively there were plenty of questions. Most of those questions revolved around his size and simply outgrowing positions more so than him simply being a bad fielder. There was a little more confidence from some that at least early in his career he wouldn’t have to immediately move to first base, and that third or perhaps left field could be options – but everyone seemed to think that ultimately first base was going to be his home. It was just a matter of when, not if.
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