Cincinnati Reds State of the Farm: Second Base

Second base is a position that the Reds have locked up at the big league level through at least 2017 with Brandon Phillips locked up through then for $50M. Short of an injury, the spot at second base won’t be opening up in Cincinnati at any point in the near future.

Figuring out the top prospect at the position is tough and no one in full season ball posted solid numbers during the season. Coming into the season Henry Rodriguez was the top second base prospect in the system. His average in Louisville was solid at .274, but he struggled to hit for any power as he slugged just .335 and his low walk rate led to a .319 OBP. He is a high contact rate hitter, but that seems to be his biggest asset. Defensively, he isn’t the most ideal player who has below-average range, but he will generally make a play on the balls he does get to.

Brodie Greene struggled with Pensacola in 2013, hitting .227/.28/.296. He showed good plate discipline during the year but struggled to do much damage when he did make contact. His season was cut short in late July when he fractured his leg and he missed the rest of the season. At Bakersfield Ryan Wright manned second base for the Blaze where like Henry Rodriguez he hit for a solid average, .265, but struggled to hit for much power with a .384 slugging percentage. His rate of contact was pretty good, striking out just under 15% of the time, but his walk rate was fairly low at 5.8%. He performed well defensively.

In Dayton the position was split between Sammy Diaz and Brent Peterson. Diaz hit a solid .273/.357/.346 with just as many walks as strikeouts. Peterson struggled as he hit .238/.307/.287 with 17 walks and 54 strikeouts. He struggled to make contact and when he did make contact he struggled to do much damage. In rookie ball the position was also split between two players as Ty Washington and Avain Rachal both got plenty of time at the position while also rotating around the infield. Washington hit .264/.326/.347 with 18 walks and 31 strikeouts to go along with 10 steals. His plate discipline was strong with a good rate of contact and solid walk rate. He didn’t hit for much power though. Defensively he was strong and showed good athleticism at the position. Rachal spent slightly less time at the position and he hit .253/.397/.360 with 41 walks and 39 strikeouts. His walk rate was incredibly high at 17.6% and his strikeout rate was solid at 16.7%. He hit four home runs, but his overall power was a bit below-average.

Overall Thoughts

There are guys throughout the system who have something working for them that gives promise, but heading into the 2014 season there are also questions along with all of the players as well when it comes to viewing them as more than a utility player. The lack of a premiere prospect and struggles from most of the players at the position during the season leaves the grade for the spot lower despite some depth.

Grade: C-

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