When the Cincinnati Reds drafted Austin Hendrick last summer with their 1st pick in the draft there was a lot of things to like from the high school outfielder. None of those things was more impressive than his raw power, though. Said to have arguably the best power in the entire draft class, Hendrick has big upside in this area.

Unfortunately because of what was going on in the world at the time, we didn’t really get much of a chance to see it. The Reds did invite Hendrick to be a part of their alternate site for the final week of the year. This was likely just to get him a little “tune up” so to speak before he headed out to Goodyear where he then participated in Cincinnati’s instructional league. Both the alternate site and the instructional league was closed to the public, so there wasn’t much opportunity to see much of anything that took place there. I would get reports on some guys every so often, and had some video shared with me every so often, too – but information was limited.

Spring training this year is still closed off to the public, which does still limit the information that’s coming out of Arizona. But at least we are living in the year 2021 and social media is a thing. While it always feels a bit gross and TMZ-like to be following players on social media and then writing stories about it, but sometimes that’s what we’re going to do and today is one of those days. Reds minor league hitting coach Jordan Stouffer (set to be the AZL Reds hitting coach this year) shared pictures of a busted out back windshield in the parking lot, tagging Austin Hendrick in the photo.

Curiosity got the best of me and I decided to try and do some investigating. Only one backfield in Goodyear has a parking lot that’s reachable with a hit baseball. Now it was trying to figure out where the car that was struck was parked. Fortunately the picture from Stouffer provided the evidence needed (you can click here to see the photo if you really want to see it).

Using Google Maps measurement tool, and assuming the ball shattered the windshield on the fly instead of a bounce (which is possible, but a little less likely as it would lose plenty of force after striking the ground), the ball that Austin Hendrick hit comes in at 460 feet.

That will certainly play, folks. That’s a whole lot of power for a guy who was playing high school baseball a year ago.

Christian Roa’s velocity is increasing

Last summer the Reds picked up Christian Roa in the 2nd round of the Major League Baseball draft. The right-handed pitcher was sitting 92-93 and touching 95-96 every so often as a starter. His velocity was fine, but in today’s day and age it certainly didn’t stand out.

Spring training just started a week ago, with the Reds holding their first on-field workout last Sunday. That means that pitchers are just getting underway as they prepare for the regular season that begins on May 4th. Christian Roa threw on Saturday and the righty was sitting 95-97 MPH during his live session according to a source I spoke with.

11 Responses

  1. Schottzie

    I know you said it’s hard to know but was this in a simulated game/intra squad of some sort? Or are these guys still revving up and doing batting practice, etc. before the minor league season gets closer?

    • Doug Gray

      I do not know the situation this took place in. Guys are certainly still taking BP – that happens every day. But I don’t know if this is where that happened, or if there was some live batting practice (very different than normal BP) or simulated game of some sort happening.

  2. kevinz

    Nice to see the uptick for Roa.
    Love these reports Doug.
    Wonder about Hendrick’s setup and approach at the plate.
    Sticking to a approach, could help him a lot.

  3. Michael P

    Lots of potentially solid contributing tools in the minors. I think the farm is a little underrated due to less exposure in 2020. Lodolo & Greene Look to fill voids in the rotation soon and Hendrick appears to be a middle of lineup power hitting corner outfield. The Reds Need Garcia to take a step forward along with further development of Hinds, Richardson and Callihan. With these improvement and a 2021 draft, I think this will be a top 10 system by the end of the year.

  4. MK

    Has there been any communication on when the Goodyear Reds Rookie level team will begin their season and is it expected to be a full season team or half season like the rookie level teams have been in the past?

    • Doug Gray

      I haven’t heard anything, but the assumption I’ve been under is that it’ll be treated just as it has in the past – a short season league. Now, whether that means starting mid-to-late June still, or maybe pushing it back to July to better coincide with the pushed back draft, and having the season extend into September instead of ending on roughly August 25th like it used to – that much I don’t know.

  5. Billy

    Is no one tracking how the alternate site scrimmages are going? Are there box scores or anything?

    • Doug Gray

      Unfortunately it doesn’t seem that anyone’s really doing that. I’m sure someone has that information – the Reds most certainly do, of course – but no media at all in Louisville seems to be caring one ounce about it. I’ve searched and there’s nothing out there in terms of coverage. I’m not ready to be doing any traveling yet, so I can’t get down there to do any of that myself. It sucks.

      • Billy

        Understandable, Doug. We all certainly appreciate the effort you put in to keeping us in the loop. The conditions are definitely not ideal.