When a team scores 16 runs and has 15 hits you are likely going to have some standout performances. That’s exactly what happened for the Surprise Saguaros on Wednesday night out in the Arizona Fall League. They hit five home runs on the night. Two of them came off of the bat of Cincinnati Reds prospect Michael Trautwein.

It was just the 4th game for Trautwein in the fall league and he picked up homers number two and number three. The first one came in the 4th inning and was a 3-run homer. Surprise scored 10 runs in the inning and he came back around to the plate later in the inning and drew a walk. Two innings later he hit a 2-run home run. An inning later he would draw his second walk of the game in his final trip to the plate. Serving as the designated hitter on the day, Trautwein finished 2-3 with two walks, two runs, two homers, and five runs batted in. He’s now hitting .333/.444/.933 with eight runs batted in over his four games played.

On most nights Jacob Hurtubise going 3-5 with a walk, steal, two runs, and an RBI would be a headliner for an organization. Wednesday night wasn’t that night. But it was still a strong showing for the outfielder who is continuing his breakout season. With three more hits on the evening, Hurtubise is now up to .324/.452/.382. He’s doubled twice, scored eight runs, drove in five, stolen three bases, and he’s walked seven times in his eight games played. His first hit of the night extended his hitting streak to six games. He’s been on base at least twice in six of the eight games and on base in all eight games.

Mexican Winter League Starts on Friday

While the league is set to begin in two days the rosters for the teams have not been finalized/reported. The Reds will usually have a few players in the league, but we are going to have to wait another day or two before we know if any of them will be on the opening day rosters.

34 Responses

  1. RedFuture

    It’s looking like Hurtubise might be the real deal. Can imagine him leading off with Friedl, McLain, CES/JV, EDLC, Steer/Fraley, Marte, Benson/Senzel, Stephenson to follow!

    • RedBB

      I could see the Reds unloading Fraley and going with Hurtubise. Only problem with that is it further decreases the power on this team which was sorely missing last year. Hopefully the late surge by CES portends a 35-40 HR season next year. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Reds go after a RH power bat like JD Martinez in the offseason. Looking at his analytics his OF play when called upon to do so isn’t bad.

      • Bdh

        Wouldn’t be smart at all! In a platoon role he was still top 30 in the league for both RBI and SB before his broken toe. He would’ve easily been a 20/20 guy and potentially a 25/25. Reds offense tanked after he went down. He’s a top 50 hitter in MLB against RHP and they have him locked up cheap for 3 more seasons in the prime of his career.

      • RedBB

        @BDH That’s exactly why you move him because he still has value. It’s what smart teams with limited budgets do. No point in moving players when they have bad years.

      • Bdh

        The reds have about 50 million on their budget for next year. Moving one of your best hitters when you want to start competing for playoff runs when he’s likely to cost you under 2.5 million is not a smart move.

        Can’t believe this is getting talked about. We should be talking in about where in the top 5 of the order he’ll be hitting next year, not if we should be trading him

      • Doc

        If you keep moving everyone of value, pretty soon you end up with a team that has nobody of any value and you lose 100 games.

      • Stock

        Actually trading Fraley is part of my ultimate off-season plan. RedBB is right. Small market teams such as the Reds need to sell after 3 or 4 years if they strive to be competitive for long period of time.

        This is part of what makes the Rays consistently competive. What also makes them competitive is the fact that they draft well hit the international market and make great trades. The Reds may be better though.

        Also the Reds have the ability to pay more in salary than the Rays. Hence, they can afford to acquire FA.

      • Bdh

        Stock – if Fraley was expensive and close to free agency then I’d agree. However he’s not expensive and isn’t close to free agency. What he is for the reds is a top 3 bat on the long side of a platoon with very good k and walk numbers, an above average base runner, and a great clubhouse presence (if he wasn’t the team wouldn’t be wearing a Viking helmet after every HR)

      • Stock

        My dream winter:

        1. Acquire Josh Hader 5 years $100 million
        2. Acquire Jordan Hicks 3 years for $30 million
        3. Acquire Sonny Gray 4 years $50 million
        4. Acquire Jorge Soler 4 years $80 million
        5. Reacquire Maile 3 year $15 million

        This comes to $72 million a year and keeps the Reds well under budget.

        Next trade India, Fraley and possibly Stephenson. If the Reds trade Stephenson they need to acquire a 2nd catcher.

        Who do the Reds acquire in their trades. I hope it is a host of players who will not be Rule 5 elgible until 2025.

        I think the Reds farm is about 10th but these trades would without a doubt put them in the top 5.

      • Stock

        My bad for Gray I meant 3 years at $50 million but 4 years and $65 million works also.

  2. MK

    Trautwein can be a valuable piece in the future. A left-handed hitting catcher who can play a competitive corner outfield spot. Would expect him to get a full AA season in 2024 and should probably get a ST invitation.

    Hurtubise is behind quite a group of left-handed hitting outfielders ( Friedl, Fraley, and Benson), so I could see him included in a trade to get the pitcher everyone is looking for. The Reds outfield need is for a solid right-handed hitter not another lefty.

    • RedBB

      Chuckie and Blake could have a future as backups. Heck that could actually be a L/R tandem in a couple years. Both are + catchers too.

  3. Laredo Slider

    Trautwein and Mat Nelson are both 24, Reds need to decide what they want to do with these two.

    • RedBB

      Nelson had a pretty decent year. Not a great average but hit for power 21HR. Also had a decent OBP .340

    • MK

      Still have a bit of time. Neither has spent a full season a AA or above. Thought it said a lot that Trautwein not Nelson was sent to AFL

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      They have decided what to do with them, which is to keep them. They’ll continue to get to prove themselves.

  4. BK

    Even with three LH-hitting outfielders, the Red’s roster is heavy with RH-hitters. The Reds infield has just one switch-hitter, EDLC. The catchers currently on the roster are RH. I expect the Reds to attempt to keep LH-hitting outfielders, even if someone is moved.

    • MBS

      LHB’s Friedl, Fraley, Benson

      The only way I can see us adding a LH bat that’s used regularly is in the DH position. The infield is overflowing, so it’s unlikely that any LHB, or a switch hitter is likely to crack the infield until maybe Arroyo, which is probably 2025.

      1) Fraley bats well in the DH, so we could put him there, and sign a FA LHB for the OF.

      2) Votto could also hit DH if they wanted to pick him up for his final season.

      3) Then there is the absurdly awesome idea of Othani at DH, I think he can pitch a bit too. Maybe not in 24, but we could wait a season on that.

      • BK

        Exactly. On the 40-man roster (excluding pending free agents), there are just three LH-hitters and one switch hitter. I keep reading comments about how we have three LH-hitting outfielders like it is a problem. It’s not. The handedness of our hitters is pretty balanced. It’s not a problem having three LH hitting outfielders when the infielders are almost all right-handed.

  5. MK

    Trautwein tied for first in League in Home Runs and is second in OPS

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    I starting to wonder where Hurtubise is going to reach at the Reds organization…It seems he really is pointing out to the big leagues right now…
    Mike Trautwein is becoming a Reds backup-catcher candidate to the next year especially if he can keep hitting at the level has done…

    • RedBB

      I could see the Reds trading Fraley or Benson. I would do it for a quality controlled starting pitching prospect. SELL HIGH!!! It’s a simple and winning concept.

  7. MBS

    (101.99M) Payroll after

    Trade: India, Senzel, Barrero, Sims, Gibaut, Law

    Sign: Bellinger (5Y*22.5M) Soler (4Y*14M)
    Snell (5Y*25M) Kimbrel (3Y*8M) Chapman (2Y*7M)
    *amounts from Spotrac Market Value’s*

    Resign: Maile (2Y*3M)

    Bellinger (22.5M) Benson (0.76M) CES (0.76M)
    EDLC (0.76M) Friedl (0.76M) Fraley (2.2M)
    Hopkins (0.76M) Maile (3M) Marte (0.76M)
    McLain (0.76M) Soler (14M) Steer (0.76M)
    Stephenson (2.9M) Total (50.68)

    Abbott (0.76M) Antone (0.9M) Ashcraft (0.76M)
    Cruz (0.76M) Chapman (7M) Diaz (0.76M)
    Greene (3.33M) Kimbrel (9M) Lodolo (0.76M)
    Moll (0.76M) Snell (25M) Williamson (0.76M)
    Young (0.76M) Total (51.31)

    • MBS

      Rounding out the 40 Man Players in the Minors

      Martini, Free, Hernandez, Hinds, Hurtubise
      McGarry, Urbaez

      Acuna, Duarte, Phillips, Roa, Richardson
      Spires, Stoudt

    • Optimist

      Have to believe Snell will command more than 25m/yr. May be a 3-4 year deal, but he’s a top-10 starter now, top-5 when on a roll.

      • MBS

        Spotrac has Snell as 5Y*$23.4M currently, and before the trade deadline they had him at an even 20M AAV. I did bump up their number to 25, but maybe he goes for more. Castillo signed a 5Y*$21.6M last year, and he’s about at the same level of pitcher as Snell. I doubt their estimations are too far off.

      • PTBNL

        Who do you get back from your proposed trades for: India, Senzel, Barrero, Sims, Gibaut, Law?

        Just minor leaguers???

      • MBS

        @PTBNL, Yes, most likely. I’m not asking the team to get weaker. If they don’t sign legit FA’s then I wouldn’t trade these guys. I only want to replace them with better players.

        In the above scenario we added Bellinger, Soler, Snell, Chapman, and Kimbrel.

        We’re adding 2 guys with 30+ HR power that can sit in the middle of the lineup.

        We’d also add a front-line starter, and 2 guys who can help Diaz close games.

  8. Jim Delaney

    If the Reds make moves in the off season I expect they will be on the trade front. I doubt they will be big players in free agency and I really doubt they are going to be giving players in there 30s huge money.
    The one guy if available the Reds should go all in on is Juan Soto. If Padres make him available he is the all star number three hitter Reds desperately need in there lineup. I know it is a one year rental but the guy will be highly motivated and gives you a chance to be a serious contender in 2024. The key is to make your team strong enough in 2024.to get to playoffs. You make the playoffs and anything can happen. Also Soto gives the Reds the additional LH bat they need in there lineup. I have India, Steer and prospects.going to SD for SOTO.
    A lineup of
    Dunn/Friedl CF- expect Dunn to be up by mid season and be at minimum in a platoon
    McClain 2B
    Soto RF
    CES 1B
    Fraley DH
    EDLC SS
    Marte 3B
    Stephenson/C
    Benson/Friedl LF

    Bench- Hurtubise, Barrero, Votto and backup Catcher.

    • Optimist

      I trolled about Soto on another thread – how about 2 years at 40m/yr? One reply was that is impossible since he’s a Boras client.

      Since he’s projected at 22m in arb. IIRC, you’re basically buying the first year of free agency at 50-60M (18 over the arb + 30-40 for next season). Set an all-time 1 year deal record – would Boras take that?

      Advantages to both sides – only a 2 year deal by the Reds, and Soto hits FA entering his peak 27 year old season.

      Questions are who do the Reds trade to the Padres, and I believe you can arrange the sign and trade to advance this from the Padres side.

      The problem is what does this do to the 2026 roster/budget construction as the rest of the roster begins entering FA status?

      • MBS

        I love the idea of getting Soto, but if we are going to spend $40M a year on Soto, what about signing Othani on a similar deal?

        He might be open to a short deal since he’s not pitching in 24. Then he’d be eligible to sign a long deal after he’s pitching again. Plus we wouldn’t have to trade anyone.