The Cincinnati Reds have added three more players to the 60-man player pool today by bringing infielder Rece Hinds, outfielder TJ Friedl, and left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan into the fold and assigning them to the Prasco Park roster.
I already touched a lot on Brandon Finnegan over at Redleg Nation earlier today, but a quick recap of stuff that I wrote about here last season when he returned to the mound: His velocity was back up in the 92-95 MPH range when he came out of the bullpen for Double-A Chattanooga last season in August. That was a good sign given that he had been struggling to throw more than 90 previously. But his on-field results weren’t consistent as he posted a 6.60 ERA in 15.0 innings (with 8 of the 11 runs he allowed coming in two outings that spanned 0.2 innings).
Adding #12 prospect TJ Friedl to the player pool is something I’m surprised didn’t happen when the initial roster was announced. He’s capable of playing center field on an every day basis, and he can handle both left or right field, too. He’s had Double-A success in the past, too. At the plate he struggled a bit in 2019, but it seems a lot of that was tied to an unexpectedly low BABIP that was about 70 points lower than his career rate coming into the year. Hit walk rate was up and his strikeout rate was in line with his career rate, and he was hitting for the most power he had shown in three seasons in the minors. His 2019 season ended in early July, though, when he injured his ankle and needed season ending surgery.
The addition of #10 prospect in the organization Rece Hinds to the roster may be the first true “development” add that the team has made. The Cincinnati Reds 2nd round pick in the 2019 draft is just 19-years-old and he’s played a grand total of three games as a professional. Last season he signed and was assigned to play for the Greeneville Reds. He played for three games before a quad injury cost him the remainder of the season.
Hinds had arguably the best raw power in the entire 2019 draft, and when I got a chance to see him take batting practice in Greeneville last summer it was very clear just how different he was in that regard to anyone else on the field for either team that day. Coming out of high school there were some questions about where he would wind up on the defensive spectrum given that he was a 6′ 4″ and 215 lb shortstop as an 18-year-old. No one really expected him to remain at that spot, but whether he’d slide to second, third, or even make the eventual move to first base was all kind of up in the air. At the plate everyone believed in the power. But there were some concerns about how he handled quality offspeed stuff and the resulting ability to make contact.
It’s very unlikely that Hinds gets to the Major Leagues this season. The jump from where he was to that level is just, well, unfathomable. But it’s going to be pretty valuable for him to get to face live pitching for the next two months. It’s going to be valuable for him to get to work with the coaches out at Prasco Park to help him get back some of that otherwise lost development time.
Updated Prasco Park roster:
|RJ Alaniz||RHP||Francisco Pena||C|
|Tejay Antone||RHP||Mark Kolozsvary||C|
|Jesse Biddle||LHP||Alex Blandino||INF|
|David Carpenter||RHP||Jose Garcia||INF|
|Brandon Finnegan||LHP||Robel Garcia||INF|
|Hunter Greene||RHP||Rece Hinds||INF|
|Ryan Hendrix||RHP||Jonathan India||INF|
|Joel Kuhnel||RHP||Alfredo Rodriguez||INF|
|Nick Lodolo||LHP||Josh VanMeter||INF/OF|
|Alex Powers||RHP||Aristides Aquino||OF|
|Sal Romano||RHP||Stuart Fairchild||OF|
|Tony Santillan||RHP||TJ Friedl||OF|
|Tyler Thornburg||RHP||Boog Powell||OF|
Do note that I included Francisco Pena on this roster, though technically for roster purposes he’s on “the taxi squad” and he is traveling with the big league club at this point.
Very interested in seeing what, if anything, Finnegan can offer after an offseason and delayed opening with Boddy et al leading the way.