After a week off for the series it returns today to look at a position that probably won’t be opening up. While the Reds reportedly tried trading Brandon Phillips, he is still a member of the organization and is locked up for four more seasons. While it may seem a bit similar to the State of the Farm series, the purpose here is to look at the current Reds and the contract status of the players at each position and get into potential internal replacements for when those current Reds contracts expire.
Expires after the 2014 season: No one
As noted above, Brandon Phillips is locked up for several more seasons. Things do happen though and an injury could temporarily open up a spot or perhaps the Reds could move him in a trade that they weren’t able to do during the offseason.
Potential second basemen to come up during or after the 2014 season: Hernan Iribarren and Henry Rodriguez
The top bet here would probably be Henry Rodriguez because he has the advantage built in of being on the Reds 40-man roster since it wouldn’t require a roster move to add him and potentially lose another player. Rodriguez had always hit, but Triple-A has been a bit of a challenge for him as his average and power have both really dropped off in two seasons at the level. Defensively he leaves a bit to be desired at the position, but could cover the spot for you. Hernan Iribarren signed with the Reds just last week. He has some Major League time, though it is very limited and last came in 2009. He has spent the last two seasons playing in AAA for the Rockies where he has hit .306/.368/.390 with 65 walks and 102 strikeouts in 772 plate appearances. He has been about as error free as you can be at second base with a grand total of 7 errors in 140 games and a .991 fielding percentage over his last three seasons at the position.
Most likely to take over: Henry Rodriguez
I really think that Rodriguez only has an advantage here because of his status on the 40-man roster.
Wild card pick: Hernan Iribarren
If it weren’t for Rodriguez being on the 40-man roster, I would have these two guys switched here, but the roster spot is valuable enough that it could hold more weight.
Expires after the 2015 season: No one
Brandon Phillips remains under contract for a while, so there probably won’t be much of an opening here.
Potential second basemen to come up during or after the 2015 season: Juan Perez and Ryan Wright.
Second base is a position that often gets filled up by minor league shortstops and Juan Perez fits that profile. Currently a shortstop in the minor leagues, many see him more as a future second baseman defensively. He had a bit of a down season offensively in 2013, but shows a bit of pop and some speed to go with a solid arm and hands. His teammate on the other side of second base in Bakersfield was Ryan Wright who could also be fighting for the same spot. Wright also had a bit of a down season offensively in 2013. Like Perez, he shows a bit of pop at times. Defensively he posted a very low error rate and turned in a .983 fielding percentage and in three seasons has a .980 mark.
Most likely to take over: Ryan Wright
I don’t think there is much difference between the two guys here. I think Wright has a tiny bit more upside with his offense and that gets him the nod here.
Wild card pick: Juan Perez
As noted, the difference here is minimal, so saying that Perez is a wild card is a stretch, but with only two guys contending here I had to pick someone. If his plate discipline returns to where it was in his first two seasons his offense should pick back up.
For more from this series, click here.