As surprising as it sounds, we’re already to the midpoint of spring training. The regular season is three weeks away, at least for the big league team. It felt like a good time to take a look at some of the standout performances so far among the prospects that are out in Goodyear.
The right-handed starter wasn’t originally scheduled to get the nod to begin the game on Tuesday night, but when Sonny Gray was given a bullpen session to work on some things in a non-game setting, it was Vladimir Gutierrez that got the bump to the mound for the 1st inning. He took advantage of it, throwing 2.0 hitless innings with a walk and four strikeouts last night. Overall he’s now given up just two hits in 4.0 innings this spring with one walk and he’s picked up six strikeouts.
““He really has impressed us in years past, for sure,” said manager David Bell after last night’s game. “He just looks more mature, more confident. I think he’s commanding all of his pitches better. I really think there’s something about his delivery that looks smoother. It’s all working together for him. His body is all working really nicely together and I think that’s helping him command his pitches. He has everything that it takes, really. He has the velocity, he has the offspeed pitches, and when he’s commanding all of them we’re seeing what he can be. He’s definitely close. We’ve said that in the past, too, but I think he’s just taken it to the next level. It’s just a part of the development and maturity for a young pitcher.”
One of the standouts at Prasco Park last season, Jonathan India has carried that into the spring. He’s played in eight games and has doubled, homered, stolen home, and walked three times. The infielder has hit .300/.563/.700 in his handful of appearances and has impressed the team.
“We couldn’t be happier with where he is,” said David Bell last week of India. “Last year it was impressive seeing him, you could obviously tell he was a good player. But in some ways it’s been pretty remarkable the difference one year makes. I think he had a very successful time at Prasco – I think he made the most of it and it’s really showing up. The reports coming out of there – just everything about him, they way he was playing defense, the at-bats he was having. Probably more than anything that stands out is the level of toughness. He loves to play, and natural leadership qualities, just be being who he is – for a young player to stand out like that, it’s been impressive. We’re very happy with where he is.”
Known far more for his glovework at shortstop than for his bat, Alfredo Rodriguez is hitting well in the six games he’s played in for the Reds this spring. Splitting time at shortstop, second, and third base in his limited action, he’s homered while hitting .462/.462/.692.
Having only pitched in two games, and only one inning in each, the sample size for Riley O’Brien is smaller than the rest of the players mentioned here, but he’s allowed just one walk in two hitless innings and he’s struck out four batters.