When the Cincinnati Reds signed Taylor Trammell last year out of high school the early reports were that he was a bit raw as a baseball player. Trammell was oozing athleticism, but wasn’t as skilled as other high schoolers taken in that range. Well, whoever wrote up those reports…. oops. The then 18-year-old went to the Pioneer League to join the Billings Mustangs. All he did there was hit .303/.374/.421 with 24 stolen bases.

This week has been my first chance to see Taylor Trammell play in person. I had seen some video from high school and I was able to watch some of the games with the Mustangs last year on MiLB.tv. Nothing beats seeing players in person though.

I wrote about how Trammell looked faster than I was expecting, even though I expected him to be one of the fastest players in camp. On Thursday I wanted to really focus in on him during batting practice. I wasn’t disappointed. He was showing off good raw power and cleared the net with a long home run to right field in one of the rounds. You can watch the video from the session (or, well, part of it) below.

The day wasn’t over for Taylor Trammell. He got to suit up and travel with the big league club on Thursday. Bryan Price put him in the game in the 7th inning and he made it count.

At the plate he singled to left field in his only at-bat of the game, driving in two runs. It was a sure-fire double that landed on the warning track, but with the bases loaded, on a fly ball, the runner that was on first held up and was only able to make it to second. He wasn’t done, though. In the bottom of the inning he made a diving catch in center to end the inning.

Other Impressions from minor league camp

Mariel Bautista, who I wrote about the other day, must have also impressed someone else. He got into the Triple-A game on Thursday. He only had one plate appearance in the game. The 19-year-old drew a walk on seven pitches. He swung over an offspeed pitch for strike two, putting him being in the count. The pitcher came back with the same pitch and he held back, then took two more pitches for balls three and four. Seeing the in bat adjustment was nice for a player of his age against that level of competition.

Dilson Herrera played in the game, but was the designated hitter and not playing in the field. The guy can absolutely rake. I only saw two of his at-bats on the day as I was running back-and-forth between the two games that were going on. The first one that I saw, Herrera clobbered a pitch to the left-center field wall for a double. In the second at-bat he singled on a line drive into right-center.

Brandon Finnegan started the Triple-A game for the Reds. Tucker Barnhart worked behind the plate until Finnegan was finished for the day. As I noted above, I was back-and-forth between the two fields, so I don’t know what the stat lines were for either of the two players. Finnegan did pitch for a while, so I’d imagine that he had some success simply based on the number of innings he was out there. I did get a few good pictures of each guy though. So, small victory on my part.

Can Barrett Astin make the bullpen?

After Bronson Arroyo pitched on Thursday for the Reds, Barrett Astin took over. He tossed a shutout inning, issuing his first walk of the spring. The right hander has now allowed just one earned run in 8.2 innings. To go along with his one walk he has 12 strikeouts.

Astin is on the 40-man roster, so he wouldn’t require a move to add to the team. He’s also had plenty of success this spring. In 2016 he was dominant for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos, splitting time between the bullpen and rotation. It would seem that five spots in the bullpen are locked up. How many spots are available isn’t quite known as no one seems to know how many bench and bullpen players the team will go with. Astin has to be in the mix, though. His performance both this spring and last year have warranted a strong consideration for a spot on the team.

19 Responses

  1. OnBaseMachine

    Trammell is an impressive talent. His body is built more solid than I thought and he looks to have some projection left to add additional power. Even if he eventually outgrows center field, his bat should profile well in a corner.

    Doug, have you had a chance to watch the Baseball America video of Vladimir Gutierrez pitching yesterday? He’s very athletic with a repeatable delivery and easy gas.

    • Doug Gray

      I haven’t…. but I’m glad you mentioned it because I had no clue that it even existed.

      • MuddyCleats

        Watched a lot of the young guys on MLB Thurs playing aginst Chi Sox. Biggest thing I noticed was the overall athleticism (as you mentioned about Trammell) of many of the Reds young players.

  2. Steven

    Trammell should have had an easy double. Turner should have been almost to second when the ball hit the track and on his way to third. 2nd and 3rd would have put more pressure on the pitcher to throw strikes to the next batter. Gotta improve on the fundamentals of the game.

    Astin is my pick to be the long reliever in the bullpen to start 2017. I also like Luetge making the bullpen joined by Wood, Cingrani, Storen, Lorenzen and Iglesias.

    • Simon Cowell

      adds to my case that in the NL the DH should be for the catcher since catching is so physically demanding that they can’t run.

  3. The Duke

    With Astin already being 25 and being in a bullpen role, I’d say that if the Reds think he is ready for that bullpen spot, go ahead and pull the trigger.

    I can’t wait to see Trammell play in Dayton. With his speed he may be able to fill out some more adding additional power and still stick in CF. That kind of athleticism with the feel to hit that he has shown so far is very exciting.

    • Wes

      With the rediculously high value of set up guys at trade deadline I’m all for putting him out there and seeing if he sticks. He could bring a better return than strailey did

      • MK

        If he is that successful and would be under team control for another five years, within which time period they should be in contention again,why would they want to trade him?

      • Wes

        For all the reasons u just stated. He will have a ton of value and if u can land a top 50 prospect than that’s Ann excellent move imo

      • The Duke

        Elite relievers like Chapman and Andrew Miller are getting top 50 prospects, not any solid reliever. As soon as Astin starts throwing 103 or the best slider on the planet, then he might fetch as much.

      • Wes

        I respectfully disagree. Those two demand sure fire top 20 prospects. Giants gave there best prospect for brewers set up man. The trade value for quality reliever is best ever right now and we got plenty of chips to deal!

  4. sultanofswaff

    Trammell’s double surprised me as I was watching the game—impressive how he stayed inside the ball and hit it with authority to the opposite field. I like the closing speed on defense as well. A center fielder long term methinks.

    Pretty astounding Herrera still isn’t playing the field. I mean, his longest throw is 90 feet!

    So, did Arroyo secure the 5th starter job yesterday?

  5. Brad

    From what I have seen, Trammell is a CF. Im not concerned he grows out of the position through the minor leagues or early in his major league career. The Jason Heyward comp is a bit off too. Trammell is not as tall. Similar demeanor. Taylor is the better pure athlete and currently has a less mechanical swing. Reminds me more of a young Adam Jones on the field.

    I like the Reds (Dayton) OF: Trammel, Friedl, Siri. 3 CFs. Similar to what the Pirates are doing at the major league level. Siri is loaded with talent. Friedl is not as good as what I had perceived. I definetly see him as a 4th OF, defensive replacement and pinch runner. Guy is quick out of the box. Hard to base at bats off of threat of bunt for a full-season, or career.

    Younger CFs, Bautista and Olivo are intriguing. Doug has covered Bautista well. Olivo looks like, to be clear, looks like a Mike Trout build. Have not seen him swing a bat but he looks the part now. Can see why he got a 1M signing bonus.

    I went into ST thinking Reds needed CF depth with Trammell as a COF. After seeing him live, and seeing Beltre, Bautista, Olivo, Friedl, Siri, there is a lot of talent there at the lower levels. Never can have enough CF, SS or C. But the Reds have a lot of options to take the next step in development.

  6. Redsvol

    I read somewhere that Iglesias is having elbow troubles. Did anyone else see this? We can’t catch a break with injuries.

    • Greg

      IIRC it was from slipping in the shower. At least I think it’s the same injury

      • Doug Gray

        Correct. He’s got a bone bruise from falling in the shower a few weeks ago. They took an MRI and there’s nothing wrong with the elbow ligaments or anything around it other than the bone bruise.

  7. terry m

    Thanks to Doug and others who have posted about players they have seen this spring. These posts and posts around draft time are great.

    Thanks again Love to hear about the young players !!!

  8. Philer Up

    Finally someone besides Billy Hamilton running down playable balls in the outfield. Don’t play Centerfield if you’re not going to run balls down.