A lot of talk has revolved around the Cincinnati Reds spending this past week on Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and exactly what the Reds plans are. Last year the team was also a player in the market, signing two of the Top 30 prospects when they inked outfielder Cristian Olivo for $1,000,000 and shortstop Miguel Hernandez for $650,000.

At the time, the signing of Cristian Olivo was the largest for a teenager on the international market by the team since August of 2008, while the bonus for Miguel Hernandez represented the 4th highest amount paid for a teenager since then. The team seemed to be committed to spending on the international market for the first time in quite a while – at least when it came to spending large chunks of money on more than one player.

With nearly all international signings, while players will sign in one year, they are signing contracts for the next season. Older players don’t often do that, but anyone who is 16 or 17 is almost guaranteed to do that. Because of their ages, we didn’t see either of the Reds top signings play after signing last year.

We have seen them both this season. Miguel Hernandez has played nearly every day for the Dominican Summer League Reds. Now 17-years-old, the shortstop has been playing with the DSL Rojos (the Reds have two DSL Teams – the Reds and the Rojos). He got out to a bit of a slow start, going 1-20 in his first five games of the season.

Since then things have really turned around for the Venezuelan native. In the 24 games since then he’s gone 29-96 (.302) with 14 walks and 16 strikeouts. That’s good for an on-base percentage of .381. He’s also had four doubles and a home run for the Rojos.

“(He’s) projectable young Venezuelan with plus defensive abilities and good instincts. Offensively, he takes good at bats and shows more of a line drive approach at the moment. Definitely needs strength like all young kids in DSL.” said Jeff Graupe, the Reds minor league director of player development.

It’s certainly worth noting with regards to the strength of Hernandez, that when he was signed he was said to be 155 lbs, but is now listed at 170. He’s still just 17, so it’s very likely he will continue to get stronger and also add some more good weight to his frame.

Crisitan Olivo has been a different story for the Rojos. The outfielder played in the first three games of the year for the team, but he only played half of each game before being replaced. He would then miss the next month with some shoulder soreness before returning to the lineup two days ago. Olivo has played twice in the last three days, going 1-7. He’s only going to be a designated hitter for now, but should be back in the field soon, according to Graupe.

2 Responses

  1. Guy Evans

    Is there a difference between the two DSL teams? Is it like rookie ball where one team is more advanced than the other?