I got a good look at some Cincinnati Reds prospects in Extended Spring Training, some impressed, some not so much.
Aristides Aquino was the most impressive player on the field for the Reds. In the video above he rips a triple into the right-center field gap. Right now he may have slightly above average speed, but that will certainly come down to average or worse in time. He has incredibly long legs, allowing his top speed to be decent, but his initial bursts are painfully slow. At the plate, his legs stay pretty still but manages to get his hip through the zone very quickly. I could see him adding some real strength to his frame and becoming a real power threat.
Jonathan Reynoso has the most tools of any player wearing a Reds uniform on the day I saw them, but his performance left me wanting more. He looks good in center, taking good routes and closing on the ball well, and he can get down the line pretty quickly, but the bat was worrisome. The Reds adjusted his swing last season, and it plain looks unnatural. He steps forward when the pitcher begins his motion, keeping his heel up, then almost pulls the leg back as his hips explode through the zone. His hands and his body felt out of sync as I saw him get jammed on a pop-up to third, a broken bat dribbler to third, and the fly out to right off the end of the bat in the video above. Despite not making good contact on the fly out, the ball did carry well, showing the power he does possess should his mechanics get straightened out.
Avain Rachal was a 22nd round pick out of a Texas high school in 2012, and had the most productive day while I was there. While the video of his swing resulted in a sharp single up the middle, it was the home run earlier in the game that jumped out. He turned on a decent fastball and put it over the 20 foot tall screen about 345 feet away, nearly hitting the trucks paving the road across the way. Where in the infield he will fit in is still a question, but it appears they will stick with him at second for a bit longer.
While the pitching for the Reds was average at best, there was a fun moment. The Reds were having trouble with their speed gun and had to break out the backup gun. With a lefty on the hill, one of the members of the Reds pitching staff was calling out pitch speeds. “88…89…88…90…103″. Everybody chuckled a bit and the intern, but the person responsible for inputting the pitches into the computer simply asked what the real speed was, and we all saw the gun clearly showing 103. The pitcher’s last name is Martinez, I didn’t catch the first name, but I can assure you he will not be the next Aroldis Chapman, it was simply a radar gun on it’s last leg.