Sunday night was a big one for the Cincinnati Reds when it comes to prospects, even if the big league club was swept by the Brewers earlier in the day. And maybe that has a little bit to do with the club finally deciding to call up Christian Encarnacion-Strand – first reported by Fansided’s Robert Murray. With the Reds going a week without scoring a run (sure, the 4-day All-Star break was in the middle of this stretch) before losing Sunday’s game 4-3, perhaps the front office figured they needed to add some more offense and very few hitters in minor league baseball have produced more than Encarnacion-Strand has.

After hitting an absurd .577 and slugging 1.192 in spring training over the course of 27 plate appearances, the Reds still decided to send Encarnacion-Strand to minor league camp in mid-March. It was not long after that where he was dealing with a back injury and wound up on the injured list to begin the regular season. He missed the first three weeks of the year in Triple-A, joining the Louisville Bats in late April and it was almost like he never missed any time at all.

While he wasn’t walking much at all, in the first 28 games with the Bats he slugged .694 and had a .347 average. That did include just three walks and 36 strikeouts, but he was producing in a big way. But he picked up two walks in his 29th game of the season and it was almost like someone flipped a switch when it came to controlling the strikezone for the corner infielder.

Over the next 39 games he walked 30 times and had 33 strikeouts. And he still kept on hitting, putting up a .318 average and slugging .591 to go along with 23 more extra-base hits. On the season he’s got a .331 batting average, a .405 on-base percentage, and a .637 slugging percentage. He’s also had 21 doubles, two triples, and he’s hit 20 home runs in 67 games.

As a first baseman and third baseman, along with the ability to slide into the designated hitter spot, there are plenty of ways to find playing time for him. Unless there is an injured list move coming up that we don’t know about, Encarnacion-Strand will probably move around a little bit, along with others between that third base, first base, and designated hitter spot as the team can mix and match lineups and positions for guys to maximize both playing time and the best lineup.

More Reds draft pick signings

There were a whole lot of draft picks that signed with the Reds on Sunday. After signing 1st round pick Rhett Lowder, Connor Burns, and Jack Moss earlier in the weekend, Cincinnati signed eight more players.

Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer appears to be the first to report the signings. Here are the latest signings:

  • Ty Floyd – 1st round, competitive balance round A
  • Hunter Hollan – 3rd round
  • Carter Graham – 8th round
  • Logan Van Treeck – 9th round
  • Graham Osman – 10th round
  • Cody Adcock – 13th round
  • Dylan Simmons – 15th round
  • Bernard Moon – 16th round

If you are curious about all of the signing bonus information and the draft pool, head over to the Cincinnati Reds 2023 Draft Tracker – here’s the link. The team has signed every player below slot value except one – and he signed for slot value. If you’re looking for scouting reports and information on all of the draft picks, we’ve got you covered here.

The deadline to sign players is July 25th. The exception to that is that college seniors and players who will be in junior college next season that were also selected after the 10th round can sign until a week prior to the 2024 draft.

14 Responses

  1. Optimist

    I see elsewhere that Gaeckle is pretty set on college, but unless they have to reach to get Schoenwetter, it looks like they’ll have enough “savings” to offer Gaeckle something like a 2nd-4th round slot figure. If he’s truly around a top-100 pre-draft prospect, that may be enough to get the job done.

    IIRC Henley is the only other HS pick, so there shouldn’t be much other need for slot savings.

    • AllTheHype

      Schoenwetter and Stafura gonna be over slot, probably eating most of the savings.

  2. RedBB

    Hmmm…we are $1M under slot currently. Wonder if one or two of those HS prospects is really asking that much over combined?

  3. RedsGettingBetter

    I have a doubt about the money left after the draft signing time comes to an end. Is that extra-money available to the next draft? If not, what would be the worth? just spending less?

    • RedBB

      Just spending less I believe. Also FWIW you can over spend too and the penalty is just 100% tax.

      • RedBB

        Just looked it up again. Penalty for…
        0-5% over slot is 75% tax
        5-10% is 100% and lose a 1st round Draft pick
        10%-15% 100% and lose next 1st and 2nd round draft pick
        15%+ 100% and lost next 2 1st round draft picks..ouch

        also…

        Teams can spend up to $150,000 on rounds 11-20 without it counting towards the bonus cap. Any bonus above $150,000 comes out of the cap.

    • BK

      The Reds have historically spent their full pool. It cannot be rolled over.

    • MK

      It is not like just because they can spend that amount they have that much money to spend. If they do have the money maybe it goes for the starting pitcher at the trade deadline everybody wants.

      • Doug Gray

        They’ll spend at least 98% of their pool. They always do.

    • Andrew

      There won’t be any “extra” money. Reds will be right up against the 5% overage threshold most anticipate

  4. Hunt4RedsOct

    So with the 5% over they currently have $1,911,960 extra to entice some high schoolers to forego their college commitments.

    • BK

      Their Round 2 and 4 picks will get a good chunk of their signing pool dollars. That said, anything they have after they sign the first ten round picks will likely be used to entice a HS draft pick between Rounds 11 and 20 to sign.

  5. dbfromnva

    If you add the 1.9 million to the slot values for the 2 HS picks from the 2nd and 4th rounds you have approx. 4.55 million. Also the 6th and especially the 7th round picks could go under slot. That seems like enough to sign the picks. I don’t expect the 20th round pick to sign.

  6. Brad

    I predict to have Stafura getting $2.5m and Schoenwetter $2m.