On Monday we saw the Arizona Complex League Reds and the Dominican Summer League Reds take the field for the first time this season. With players that are so far away from the big leagues there aren’t a ton of Top 25 prospects on either squad, but there are more than a few guys to really keep your eyes on who could be on their way up the lists over the next few months.
Out in Arizona much of the young guys who hit very well last year in the Dominican Republic are getting their first taste of stateside baseball. The best hitter on that team last season was Carlos Jorge. He hit .346/.436/.579 with 27 stolen bases in 47 games for the DSL Reds last season. On Tuesday he cracked his first home run of 2022. (Video from Jorge’s Instagram)
Just as a note here – MiLB.com (and just about everyone else because they all pull their data from there) lists Carlos Jorge as a right-handed hitter. He’s not.
Another guy from that DSL Reds team who showed off plenty of power last season was Leonardo Balcazar. He hit .259/.346/.536 last season in 29 games and had 15 extra-base hits. The still 17-year-old also hit his first home run of the season on Tuesday. And it would appear that he knew he got it, too, based on the video (from his Instagram page).
They’ve only played two games so far, but Balcazar has played in both games and picked up two hits in each game. He’s also walked twice without striking out, and he’s stolen a base for good measure.
Down in the Dominican Republic the team has played in three games. The big name on the team for now is Ricardo Cabrera. He was rated as the #3 prospect in the 2022 international signing class and the top signing by the Reds back in January. He went hitless in his first two games, but in a game that is happening as I type this just after noon on Thursday he picked up his first professional hit and drove in a run.