Every few years there will be a Cincinnati Reds prospect that winds up playing in the Australian Winter League (known as the Australian Baseball League) and this year it’s a pretty big one. Infielder Ricardo Cabrera – the Reds 7th rated prospect – who turned 19 less than two weeks ago, will be playing for the Perth Heat when their season begins on Friday, November 17th.

Surprisingly, Cabrera is not the youngest player on the team. There are two other players on the club younger – pitcher Jai Hewitt, who is 17, and outfielder Nehomar Ochoa Jr., who is 18 and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 11th round this past summer. They’ll be suiting up with teammate Tim Kennelly, who is about to turn 36 in a few weeks.

As for Cabrera, he will be looking to pick up where he left things off in the minor league regular season. The Venezuelan infielder hit .350/.469/.559 for the Arizona Complex League Reds in 175 plate appearances. He also stole 21 bases. When the ACL regular season was over he was promoted up to Single-A Daytona where he played the final week of the season and hit .316 with five walks and three more stolen bases.

Cabrera isn’t the only Reds prospect in the league. Darcy Longstaff is also participating this year. He played this past summer with the ACL Reds, and last winter he was in the ABL with Melbourne, but he’s now with Adelaide. Ben Walmsley, who signed with the Reds in January of 2022, is on the Brisbane roster. He did not pitch in 2023 and was placed on the restricted list in late July for an unspecified reason.

If you are interested in watching the games, most of them will be available to watch for free. You can watch them on the Baseball+ App or online. You can get all of that information here at the official ABL website.

Surprise in the AFL Championship Game

The Saguaros, who have all of the Reds prospects, will play tonight in the Arizona Fall League Championship Game. They will take on the Peoria Javelinas, who won their play-in game on Friday night. You can watch the game on MLB.com (direct link here)  or on MLB Network at 8pm ET.

14 Responses

  1. Billy

    What’s the quality of the Australian league like now? I assume it has gotten better as it has become more established. Does it compare with any of the other winter leagues at this point?

    Is Cabrera likely to be the best prospect playing down there?

    • Doug Gray

      It’s a wide array of talent. As noted here – you’ve got 17-year-olds in the league. But you’ve also got guys that played in the KBO. I’d say it’s at least a tier below the Latin American leagues, though.

  2. Matt McWax

    I might tune in see Cabrera and to see what the atmosphere is like.
    I think Longstaff in Australia could be a remake of Shaft in Africa. (Shut ya gob)

  3. MK

    Ex-Red Donald Lutz is an Australian League icon. This will be his first as a non player but he will be a coach. He also does scouting for the Reds as well and is the scout who signed Walmsley and Longstaff. Donald is involved with the Brisbane team. Former Reds minor league player and coach Frank Pfister is also involved in Australia. He and Donald have a podcast.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    Is Cabrera going to play in Australia because a Reds advice or by his own choice?
    I think Daytona will have a very bright group of Reds prospects in 2024 as Cabrera , Collier, Balcazar, Victor Acosta and maybe Pineda, Floyd with others could start there too…

    • Optimist

      That’s why I asked about Cabrera in the comment above, but I suspect Collier and Balcazar may move up. Floyd is a bit like Lowder – Almost surely Daytona, but who knows.

    • MK

      I would be surprised if Acosta and probably Collier don’t play in Dayton in ‘24. The Reds have the tendency to challenge first round picks whether the stats say they deserve it or not.

      • Optimist

        Considering the pitching friendly FSL, both Acosta and Collier deserve to move up. Unless there’s some glaring hole in their game, they’ve done what’s needed in Daytona.

  5. Steve

    If everything clicked for Cabrera and he reached his potential, what type of player are we looking at. Similar for arroyo. Would they be similar skillsets?

  6. RedBB

    What’s the thinking here? That he isn’t god enough/old enough to play in the South American leagues? I know some of those leagues are super competitive and may not want an untested teenager.

  7. Zimmers79

    Australia baseball league although not top notch see some decent players come through here every once in a while. Acuna was here and there are several others playing here from other teams. Ive lived here since 2004