In January the Cincinnati Reds made another big splash in the international signing market when they picked up one of the top prospects in the entire class with catcher Alfredo Duno. He got a signing bonus of $3,100,000 and it was the biggest bonus given out to a non-Cuban born player in the history of the club. But the team also added a handful of mid-tier signings and among that group was outfielder Yeycol Soriano.

Listed at 6′ 0′ and 150 lbs., the 17-year-old came into the year with a scouting report that leaned more towards current strong defense, but some projection at the plate as he fills out his frame. But three games into the season he’s been obliterating the baseball.

On Thursday, the left-handed hitter picked up three doubles. That gave him five of them on the season – at least one in each game he’s played. Batting leadoff for the Dominican Summer League Reds, Yeycol Soriano has been a sparkplug for their offense early on. He’s gone 7-12 (.583) with those five doubles, he’s scored four runs, driven in five runs, walked four times, stolen a base, and he’s struck out just once. He’s hitting .583/.688/1.000 through his first three games of the year.

Jhonny Pereda’s hit streak

The Louisville Bats have gotten an incredible amount of production out of their catching crew this season. Chuckie Robinson has gotten a majority of the playing time and he’s hit well for the Bats. But Jhonny Pereda‘s hitting well, too. The backup has had a hit in every game he’s played since April 19th. However, as the backup catcher, that means he’s only played in 16 games over that stretch.

Last night in Columbus he extended that hitting streak to 16 games by picking up a double and a home run. He’s now hitting .382/.432/.544 in his 19 games played this season for Louisville.

Kenya Huggins is flipping the script

The 2023 season didn’t get out to a good start for Kenya Huggins. The 4th round pick out of Chipola Junior College in 2022 struggled to find consistency in his first six outings of the season. Through May 7th he had allowed 13 runs for the Daytona Tortugas in 10.0 innings while giving up 16 hits and 14 walks while striking out 18 batters. His ERA in that span was 11.70 and hitters had a .356/.508/.600 line against him.

Since then he’s looked like an entirely different pitcher. He’s pitched in five games since then and covered 17.2 innings. In that span he’s allowed 14 hits, walked just three batters, and he’s struck out 19 batters. That’s good for an ERA of 1.02. And he’s held hitters to a .212/.246/.288 line in that time frame.

18 Responses

  1. LarkinPhillips

    Another double today for Soriano. I am curious why Duno is not playing more and hasn’t caught a game yet. (only 4 games in though).

    • Doug Gray

      I have not talked to anyone about this, but I wonder if it’s not a situation similar to what Cam Collier did to start this year – healthy enough to hit, but not quite healthy enough to get in the field for a full game (and since Duno’s a catcher that’s a lot different than being a third baseman).

  2. Tom

    Looking ahead to the draft, I think there is an extremely good chance the Reds can find 3 great young players with their first 3 picks. It’s a nice draft for position players and a few nice toolsy pitchers. If they want solid pitching it looks like Dollander or Lowder will be available, which is perfect for 2025 or 2026. Later on, there are still plenty of nice positional players, or pitchers who might work out in a rotation or otherwise be a good bullpen piece. I don’t know what evaluators are saying about this year’s class but it seems to have a little of everything, high end can’t miss prospects, mid range safe picks and decent projectable players.

  3. Jonathan Linn

    Hi! Is Alfredo Duno similar in skill level to Ethan Salas? Or how do those two compare.

    • Doug Gray

      Probably not, no. Salas is regarded at a different level right now. There’s a reason he’s playing in Single-A right now despite turning 17 last week.

  4. Stock

    Excellent post Doug. After this morning’s game Yeycol Soriano’s line is .533/.650/.933/1.583 but with a BABIP of .571. On the surface this seems very luck related. However, if you look at his adjusted BABIP it is .250. This is probably lower than league average. I don’t know how hard balls are coming off his bat (hopefully EDLC part 2) but he has at least 5 line drives and 4 of his 6 doubles have been on line drives. Very impressive start.

    Onto Huggins. I just redid my top 25 today and Huggins is now my #24 prospect. I am ignoring his first 10 innings where he walked 14 batters in 10 innings.

    In his last 17.2 innings his BB% is 4.3%. This in combination with his 27.5% K% gives him a quality 23.2% K%-BB%. 65% of his pitches in this time frame are strikes. This is very good. He has a 51% GB% in this time frame. This is very good. It is only 17.2 innings but this is very promising.

      • Doug Gray

        Maybe I should specify: Using BABIP in 3 games to try and diagnose anything is silly.

        We can just say “guy’s crushing it” and call it a day on that kind of sample size.

      • Stock

        The reality is that with a three game sample you can’t say a guy is “crushing” it without looking at his underlying stats. The underlying stats tell the story because BA/OBP/SLG/OPS are swayed by luck. However BB%, K% are not swayed by luck. Adjusted BABIP is a much better indicator of luck than BABIP but even then the sample size of 8 AB is too small to say he isn’t being lucky. Although 2 singles in 8 Adjusted BABIP AB is what one would expect. What you wouldn’t expect is that 6 of your first 8 hits are doubles.

        Although Adjusted BABIP has a lower standard deviation than BABIP it is not zero and therefore luck is still involved. In this case since the singles are as one would expect it is the doubles that have been lucky. This would indicate that as the doubles normalize the BABIP will come down and we will get a better indication of the kind of player he is. Alternatively, maybe he hits the ball as hard as EDLC. If this is the case the extra base hits are expected. I have no idea what the exit velocities are on his hits but if he keeps getting doubles then the Reds may have another great prospect.

        What this sample size does tell us is that he is one of the 3 – 5 DSL prospects we should be watching.

  5. MK

    Does anybody know if Brazilian DSL Reds catcher Garbriel Gomes is related to Brazilian MLB catcher Yan Gomes?

    • Doug Gray

      It would seem unlikely. No one mentioned it to me and it’s also not in the media guide. Usually that is something they’ll talk about.

  6. Tim

    Ashcroft to DL. Karcher called up. Not very good stats at Louisville. What should we know about him?

    • MK

      Can’t say I’m very excited about Karcher or Kuhnel

    • Doug Gray

      He throws hard and his slider dives hard. But the most important thing is that he has no clue at all where the baseball is going.