The Cincinnati Reds kicked off the July 2nd International Signing period with a trade instead of a signing. As I wrote on Friday in the International Signing period preview, the organization could look to trade some of their pool money to acquire prospects since they aren’t able to spend more than $300,000 on any singly player. That came to fruition at the start of the period by acquiring Nick Longhi from the Boston Red Sox.

Listed as an outfielder/first baseman, Nick Longhi was considered the Red Sox 9th best prospect according to MLB.com and the 14th best prospect entering the 2017 season according to Baseball America.

Nick Longhi Scouting Report

The Red Sox selected Nick Longhi out of high school in the 30th round of the 2013 draft as a 17-year-old. They signed him to a $440,000 signing bonus to keep him from heading off to college. Since he signed he’s played in both corner outfield spots and at first base, though a large majority of that time has been spent at first.

Between 2014 and 2016 he hit for a good average, posting a .330, .281 and .282 average between short-season, Low-A and Advanced-A ball. This season, as a 21-year-old, he’s slipped a little bit, hitting just .262 in Double-A Portland. That dip in average has also come with a dip in his walk rate, though his strikeout rate has also come down, too.

He’s always been known more as a hitter for average than for power and most scouts believe that will continue to hold true in the future. He did hit 40 doubles last season, but it came with just two home runs. This season he’s already hit six home runs, one short of his career high (in significantly less playing time than the year in which he hit seven). The home run power may be stepping forward some in 2017 and his isolated power (slugging-average) is the highest he’s ever had at .139.

There’s more hit in there than there is power on the offensive side, and historically he’s shown a good plate approach. Defensively he’s definitely a corner outfielder or first baseman. He is capable of handling both corner spots in the outfield and his arm plays fine in right field.

The 2017 Season

April was a tough one for Nick Longhi. He hit just .182/.194/.288 in 67 plate appearances to begin the season. That came along with just one walk and he struck out 10 times. Things got better in May as he hit .290/.353/.376 in 102 plate appearances. That came with eight walks and 16 strikeouts and he showed a little more pop, though it was still a small amount.

When June rolled around things took a big step forward. In 21 games and 84 plate appearances Nick Longhi hit .295/.337/.526 for Portland. He smacked nine doubles and hit three home runs. The doubles were more than he had entering the month and his home run total matched what he had hit on the season to that point. He walked just four times but only had 14 strikeouts on the month.

Overall thoughts

In the long run, Nick Longhi probably winds up as a potential utility player for the Reds. He doesn’t have the traditional power you see from first basemen or corner outfielders and he’s not a former center fielder type with elite defense that could show lesser power there for big time defense. With that said, he’s only 21-years-old at this point, so there’s time for him to continue improving and develop.

With the team being unable to spend for high dollar, or even plenty of mid-tier targets on the international market, landing a possible future big leaguer that’s already in Double-A at age 21 seems like a big win for the Reds. Don’t be surprised if there is another move or three similar to this for the organization in the next few weeks/months as they try to take advantage of their situation on the market.

SPACE FORCE T Shirt

6 Responses

  1. Alex Reds

    It will be interesting to see how much bonus pool was traded. The Cards didn’t even get a top 30 Sox prospect, so it should be a lot more money.
    And… this news is a week old but Dodgers Julio Urias needs his shoulder capsule rebuilt. He was the number one overall prospect last year.
    Also, the Yankees main return for Aroldis Chapman, Gleyber Torres, a top 30 overall prospect, is having Tommy John surgery after sliding into home plate.

  2. DaveCT

    I like this’s deal. Longhi seems like Winker with a click lower on base skills. While a bit redundant, perhaps this clears the way for more trade flexibility with Winker, with Longhi sliding in asca platoon piece vs starting corner OF/1B without traditional power. Regardless, it’s more depth of the necessary supplemental pieces, which cannot do anything but help.

  3. Krozley

    It seems like the top international prospects are signing for fairly big amounts which is going to eat up many teams’ pools and probably leave a lot of decent prospects in the $300K territory that might not normally be there. If I were the Reds, I wouldn’t jump too quickly to trade away too much of their funds.

  4. Steve

    Nice get and it adds to our good nucleus of 21-22 year olds. He can share time with LaValley at first and in the OF with Aquino, Goeddel and Guerrero. Bad news for Jagielo and Gumbs. They just saw their PT get reduced.

    • Doug Gray

      It wouldn’t surprise me if he went to Daytona instead of Pensacola.

  5. kevin z

    like the move anyway to add talent I am all for it