The Cincinnati Reds were finally out of the penalty box on the international market in July of 2019. They spent the previous two signing periods unable to sign any player for more than $300,000 due to their punishment for going over their allotted amount in the final year under the old rules. Free to spend as much of their allotted money as they would like in 2019, the Reds went out and did just that. They spent $300,000+ on four different players, including 7-figure amounts on two different guys – Cuban power hitter Michel Triana and Dominican shortstop Braylin Minier.
Baseball America did something new today that they’ve never done (duh, Doug, that’s why it’s new). Ben Badler, the international prospect reporter extraordinaire, released the Top 100 prospects from the 2019 international signing class. There’s some “free to read” info in the article, but the actual rankings of the players and the scouting reports on the players are behind the paywall.
Cincinnati’s signing class had two players make the Top 100. Both Braylin Minier and Michel Triana made the list, though both fell outside of the Top 35. While the Reds gave the larger bonus to 16-year-old Minier, it was the recently turned 20-year-old Triana who was 26 spots higher on the list at #39.
Neither player saw official game action in 2019. Both players, however, saw time in the Tricky League. That’s basically an informal league made up of recent signees that are at the Dominican academies, as well as some of the players that just need a little more playing time than they are currently getting on the DSL teams they are on. Both are expected to play in the upcoming 2020 season. Minier is likely to be in the Dominican Summer League, while Triana is more likely to begin somewhere in the US.
While these are the same scouting reports that I posted over the summer, I’m sure that some of you missed out on them so it makes sense to repost them here since we are discussing the two players.
Michel Triana Scouting Report
Out of Cuba, Michael Triana showed up in the Dominican Republic last year and became eligible to sign for this signing period. While he’s a little bit older than the others in this class – he’s 19-years-old – he did sign a contract for the 2020 season. While he will be in the Reds complex in the Dominican and play in the Tricky League (an informal league for newly signed guys in all of the organizations), he won’t be playing in games that can be followed until 2020.
With Michel Triana, here’s the scouting report that I posted earlier this year after speaking with several scouts in spring training who had seen him at his workouts.
The first scout that I spoke with about Michel Triana noted that his team wasn’t too interested in him. But that he looked more impressive in his workout than he was expecting based on previous information. The power was there, both now and even more in the future. His take was that while he’s possibly going to see time at third base early, he’s a future first baseman. There was also some concerns about how his body could potentially get in the future if he didn’t take care of it.
Reports over the next few days were a little better. One scout noted that there’s potential there for 30+ home run power down the line if things go right for him. And that he could also be a guy who hits for a good average. No one seemed to believe that he would wind up at third base long term, but there was one person who felt that the corner outfield could be a possibility – but he also noted first base was an option.
Braylin Minier Scouting Report
Defensively he’s a quality shortstop who has plus arm strength. Offensively there’s some pop in his bat and he’s got a chance to hit for a quality average in the future.
“He’s a quick-twitch athlete, with a really good chance to stay at shortstop. He’s got really good hands and footwork. We think he’ll certainly have enough arm strength to play at shortstop,” said Trey Hendricks, the Reds Director of International Scouting. “Offensively he really swings the bat – he’s got tremendous barrel whip from the left side. Surprising power for someone his size – he’s not physically imposing, but he’s got wiry strength now and he’s going to fill out. He’s probably an average runner right now. A good combination that he’s got a good chance to stick at shortstop and he’s a left-handed bat that we think will grow into some power.”