When the 2023 international signing period began in January the Cincinnati Reds made a big splash, signing Alfredo Duno to a large bonus as one of the top players in the 2023 class. The catcher was known for showing a good ability to hit as well as his tools behind the plate as an amateur.

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Five months after signing, Alfredo Duno got his professional career underway in early June when the Dominican Summer League season began. To say that he got out to a good start would be a bit of an understatement. In his first eight games he was able to get on base at least twice in each contest and hit .370 with 10 walks, 10 runs, a homer, and 11 runs batted in. He would go hitless in the following two games – but did walk in each game – before going 8-10 with two doubles, a home run, and seven runs batted in during the final two games of June.

When July began, Alfredo Duno just kept on hitting. In the first half of the month he hit .343/.425/.629 in nine games. But he went into a bit of a slump in the second half of the month and that carried forward for nearly four weeks. From July 18th through August 11th he hit just .154/.371/.269. The walks were there – he had 17 of them in 18 games – but the hits simply were not falling in for him. On August 12th he picked up a hit and two walks and for the next week-and-a-half he continued to hit, closing out the season by hitting .333 in his final seven games of the season.

For all 2023 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Alfredo Duno Scouting Report

Position: Catcher | B/T: R/R

Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 210 lbs. | Acquired: International FA (2023) | Born: January 7, 2006

Hitting | He has an average hit tool.

Power | He has plus power potential.

Speed | He’s an average runner.

Defense | He could be an above-average defender.

Arm | He’s shown a plus arm in the past.

When talking about the debut for Alfredo Duno we need to be sure to point out that he did not play defense all season. He felt some discomfort in his throwing arm prior to the season began and the Reds decided to use the 2023 season to build up some additional strength in his arm and work on some mechanical things with his throws. Duno still worked behind the plate in practice and participated in catching drills with the exception of throwing-related stuff. With that said, prior to this he showed off plus arm strength behind the plate, and his defensive tools project well.

At the plate there was a whole lot to like from Duno, and he showed off plenty of that in his debut. He hit well, showing off a high average and good power (really good for his age and level). Duno also walked nearly as often as he struck out during the year. His approach was a bit pull happy. He currently is an average runner, but given his size, age, and what tends to happen to catchers as they age, he’s likely to be a below-average runner down the line.

The upside here is for an All-Star caliber catcher who can hit for average and power as well as be a strong defensive catcher. Given that he’s never actually caught a professional game and he’s still 17-years-old and has not even reached the complex level in Arizona, there’s a lot of risk involved here, too. At this point in his career there don’t seem to be any glaring red flags in his profile or performance, but it’s a long, long way from the complexes in the Dominican Republic to the big leagues.

Video

Alfredo Duno Spray Chart

Interesting Stat on Alfredo Duno

He was an absolute terror on the road, hitting .355/.512/.710 with five of his six home runs coming in away ballparks in his debut.

17 Responses

  1. RedsGettingBetter

    Next 2024 season could be a key year for Duno. If he plays the catcher position in a high note and keeps hitting as he did it last season, will be jumping up in the rankings for sure… The goal right now should be stay healthy and finish 2024 season getting a single-A promotion

  2. PTBNL

    “Average” hit tool by hitting .303 and an OPS of .944 with 38 walks to 41 strikeouts as a 17 year old in his first season in pro ball seems a bit harsh.

    • Doug Gray

      That’s because average is not what he’s doing today, it’s what he projects to do as a big leaguer. The two things are very different.

      • Jonathan

        huh? so can a player show a Hit tool as above average at one level, but then project as an average hit tool when he reaches MLB? I would have imagined it would be level through out the playing experience.

      • Doug Gray

        I am not grading his hit tool as it plays today. I’m grading it based on what I believe it will be during his big league career.

      • Adam

        Please don’t cancel me, Doug; but if you’re grading off of what you project him to be, what are you evaluating that from? If he is exceeding expectations at the current level, would that not change your perspective? Again, you’re the man. Greater than me.

      • Doug Gray

        With a guy like Duno, I’m basically listening to people who have seen him play – I don’t travel to the Dominican to watch these guys, so I rely on reports from people I do know who are there (some work for the Reds, some work for other organizations).

        As for grading that tool – generally speaking you’re looking at a few things. How hard does a guy hit the ball. How well can they handle pitches (both in terms of location as well as the actual classification of a pitch – can he hit a breaking ball or is he only capable of handing fastballs). Can they use the entire field when they need to.

        When you’re talking about guys who are 16 and 17, that’s a bit tougher to truly project because they simply aren’t seeing the kind of pitching they’ll eventually see. But they also aren’t the version of themselves that they’ll eventually be, either.

        As to the “if he’s exceeding expectations at the current level would that not change your perspective” question – the answer can be both yes and no. It really depends on what a guy is doing and how he’s doing it. Some guys can absolutely just crush the fastball and feast on it. They’ll punish mistakes. In the lower levels that’s something that can really allow *some* guys to carry a much higher average than they’ll likely hit for (unless they figure out the other stuff). But sometimes reports change as guys develop and learn. Sometimes they change in the long run because guys just don’t develop as expected for one reason or another. The further away a guy is from the big leagues the larger the error bars are going to be on their projected tools. It’s why a guy like Elly De La Cruz can be signed for chump change as a 16-year-old and turn into one of the best and most exciting athletes in the game, and some guys sign for 7-figures at the same age and never reach Double-A.

  3. DaveCT

    That Cabrera, Duno, and (possibly — we’ll see) Lin are so far away is why we do not discuss Marte, Arroyo and Lowder in trade talks.

  4. DaveCT

    Rule 5 Minor League draft, T.J. Sikkema, LH pitcher. Closer, then starter at Missouri. #80 prospect in his draft.

    I like this pick!

    From BA, in his 2023 scouting report as the #16 prospect in their system.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 50. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 55

    Not too much projection left, but somebody who could move quickly in the pen. This may make ups for the loss of Sandridge.

    • MK

      Never have a problem adding left handed pitching. Former Yankees first round pick so he has some tools. A team has to have a lot of left handed pitching possibilities to finally develop a few for the big league team.

  5. DaveCT

    #2 Alexander Ovalles, LF/1B, from the Rays. LH hitter.

    Slashed well at Hi-A, .273/.368.483

    #3 Levi Jordan, 2B, AA/AAA last two years for the Cubbies. UW grad.

    Nothing exceptional (other than a kid who has made it to AA and AAA!), but seems to me this is *even more* minor league infield depth.

  6. DaveCT

    #4 Brock Bell, son of Jay (not David) Bell. Big strong right handed reliever. Signed by Boston for 435,000 in the 2019 7th round, one of the higher amounts in their first ten rounds.

    Hats off to Reds scouting, especially for the selection of the two pitchers. I’m pretty impressed.

    • Greenfield Red

      None of this hurts. Not much risk, and plenty to gain here.

  7. MK

    Donavon Antonia the catcher the Mets took, I must admit I never heard of.