There are some big changes this year for Redsfest. Apparently in the new collective bargaining agreement clubs are not allowed to request anything of minor league players from November 18th through January 1st – including to make appearances. That means that there will be no minor league players from the Cincinnati Reds farm system at Redsfest. If a player is on the 40-man roster, they technically don’t count as a “minor leaguer” during the offseason.
Due to their spots on the 40-man roster, some players who may be considered “minor leaguers” by some, will be in attendance. Levi Stoudt, Carson Spiers, Lyon Richardson, and Casey Legumina are all confirmed to be in attendance. Rece Hinds will not be there as he’s listed as “unable to appear due to prior commitments”.
It will be interesting to see how the Reds handle, if they do anything at all, their minor league awards this year. Traditionally those are handed out on the main stage on Friday night for the Pitcher of the Year, Player of the Year, Hitter of the Year, and Community Service Player of the Year. With players not being able to attend, perhaps the team informed the players ahead of time and set up a “record a video with the award” kind of thing that they will play. Or perhaps they’ll just pretend it never happened and announce the awards at a later date.
With all of that said – if you were one of the people who enjoy meeting the minor league players during this kind of event, well that is going to be something from the past. No more photos, autographs, meet and greets, or “on-field” stuff like the team home run derby that often featured minor leaguers over the years.
There are still plenty of big leaguers that will be there, as well as coaching staff members, former Reds players, and the broadcast team from both television and radio.
If you are looking for more information – here’s the link to the official Redsfest page that has what you are looking for.