The Cincinnati Reds have signed undrafted free agent shortstop Gus Steiger. The 21-year-old played for South Dakota State from 2018-2020. The infielder has never been drafted before. Steiger was rated by Baseball America as the 436th best prospect available in this years draft.
Gus Steiger Scouting Report
Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 185 lbs.
B/T: R/R | Born: 4/20/1999
In three seasons at South Dakota State, Gus Steiger hit a combined .319/.367/.435 with 35 walks and 92 strikeouts. In his 112 games the infielder hit 26 doubles, 4 triples, and had 7 home runs. He also spent two summers playing for St. Cloud in the Northwoods League. He struggled in the summer following his freshman season, posting a .584 OPS. But last summer he hit .286/.345/.406 with 11 doubles, a triple, and five home runs in 58 games played.
As far as a scouting report goes – there’s still some more limited information on him, but he’s a good defender who can handle shortstop. His plate approach seemed to improve each year, at least when looking at the numbers. He walked just eight times with 35 strikeouts as a freshman. Then as a sophomore his walk total jumped to 18, while his strikeout total went up to 43 – but he did have 40 more trips to the plate. In 2020 he only played in 14 games and had just 67 plate appearances, but his walk total was already at nine on the season when it ended, and he had 14 strikeouts.
In the summer of 2019, as mentioned, Steiger played in the Northwood League. That’s a summer collegiate league that uses wood bats. How a plate transitions from a high school or college game where they can use aluminum bats to the professional game with wooden bats is always a bit of a question. While the Northwoods League isn’t the Cape Cod League in terms of competition, it’s not your local rec league, either. Showing off some pop with a wood bat out there probably gives a little confidence in his ability to make such a transition.