On Wednesday night the Dominican Winter League held their annual draft. Players who have reached Single-A baseball are eligible to be selected by the six teams as long as the player is Dominican (though not necessarily born there). The Cincinnati Reds had nine players who were eligible for the draft this year for the first time this year. Two players were selected. In the 3rd round Jose Torres was selected by Escogido. Later on in the 8th round Yerlin Confidan was selected by Licey.
Jose Torres spent his entire 2022 season in High-A Dayton with the Dragons. He played in 107 games this season and hit .234/.287/.378 with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 13 home runs, and he went 26-for-30 in stolen base attempts. The infielder split his time between shortstop and second base this season, playing 49 games at both positions with a few appearances as designated hitter mixed in.
Yerlin Confian, who won the Arizona Complex League Most Valuable Player Award in 2021, began the year in Single-A Daytona with the Tortugas. But on May 3rd he suffered a quad injury and he would miss the next three plus months before returning for a rehab stint with the complex level team in mid-August. He would then rejoin Daytona for the final week-and-a-half of the season. In total, including his rehab time, he had less than 100 at-bats on the season. The 19-year-old outfielder hit just .241/.351/.391 between the two stops with 5 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs.
Being selected in the draft does not necessarily mean that a player will (ever) play in the Dominican Winter League. It just gives that team the rights to the player if they choose to play. With that said, many prospects do wind up playing in the league before they reach the big leagues. The pay isn’t bad, the competition level is strong, and it helps you get better prepared for the next season.
Michael Siani gets to 50 steals
Last night in St. Paul Michael Siani stole two bases for the Louisville Bats. That pushed his season total up to 51 on the year. The outfielder is enjoying his best professional season to date, setting career highs with 19 doubles, 7 triples, 12 home runs, and 51 steals. It’s those steals that stand out, though, because it’s the first time since 2013 that a Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer has reached that number. In 2013 both Billy Hamilton (75) and Junior Arias (60) topped the 50 stolen base mark.
From 2011 to 2013 the Reds had six 50-stolen base seasons. Three of them belonged to Billy Hamilton, but Arias, Theo Bow, and Ryan Lamarre also got there. Before then it had only been done twice since 2000 (Cody Strait in 2006 and William Bergolla in 2003). It only happened three times in the 1990’s, too.