The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agents Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals for the 2018 season. Both players also got invitations to Major League spring training. C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer was the first to report this (he beat Mark Sheldon by a matter of seconds).

Mason Williams is a 26-year-old, former 4th round pick of the New York Yankees. He was a Top 100 prospect three different times in his career – following the 2011-2013 seasons. Williams has also spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues with the New York Yankees (2015-2017).

His time in the Major Leagues has been very limited. In 2015 he played in eight games. The next season he played in 12 games. During the 2017 season he played in five games. In total he’s hit .281/.313/.391 over the span of 68 plate appearances. In 2017 at Triple-A with Scranton/Wilkes-Burre he hit .263/.309/.318  in 106 games played. He’s spent most of his time in center field throughout his career, but has small amounts of time in both corners.

Rosell Herrera is also a former Top 100 prospect. After the 2013 season he cracked the Top 100 at both Baseball America and the MLB.com list. The now 25-year-old spent all of 2017 in Triple-A. With the Rockies affiliate in Albuquerque he hit .278/.351/.394. A former infielder, Herrera now spends a majority of his time in the outfield. Most of his time has come in left field over the last two years, though some of it has been in right field. He’s never reached the Major Leagues.

16 Responses

  1. CP

    Are these guys AAA filler, or is their some unfulfilled potential that gives hope for something more?

    • Wes

      Could be trying to make louisville more competitive or potentially looking at a guy who may get a chance if they trade billy

  2. Norwood Nate

    Depending on how the Reds offseason shakes out in regard to trading a corner OF’er they’ll likely need some depth at AAA. Might as well take a shot that one of these former top prospects can regain some of their former status, especially considering neither are particularly old yet.

      • Bill

        Alcantara had poor strikeout-to-walk ratios in the upper minors in contrast to both of these players. One reason for a little more optimism.

      • Norwood Nate

        I believe Alcantara left via FA. If Winker and Ervin are both up with the Reds, which seems like a possibility even before a trade would be made, then there will be a need in AAA as those guys accounted for over 750 PA for Louisville last season. Goeddell and Elizalde will return and there are some utility guys that should be able to handle some time in the corners, like Dixon and VanMeter. Having a guy like Williams who can cover CF and a Herrera who can play around a bit will be beneficial and good depth.

  3. Bill

    Both could fill a fifth outfielder role for the Reds if needed and serve as nice players for Louisville. Williams is probably the better OF and certainly capable at all three spots. Both have good speed that could be useful late in games.

  4. Kap

    I have noticed williams years ago on prospect lists. Also him hitting a homer in his mlb debut. Perhaps a change if scenery is in order. Anything to at least challenge Hamilton

    • Doug Gray

      I’d be shocked if either of these guys challenged Hamilton. They’re also slap hitting center fielders with no power, and since it would be insanely shocking to find out they are nearly as good of fielders as he is….. there’s no chance. They are simply minor league depth at a position the team had no one for Triple-A, center field.

  5. Jim Delaney

    Good resigning with Kivlehan, a power source on bench with some position flexibility.. as the season went along he was improving as a pinch hitter, one of the toughest jobs there is… he is a solid 25th man type who can win you a game or two off the bench…

    • Greenfield Red

      I would rather have Kivlehan or either of the two minor league outfielders they just signed sitting the bench in Cincinnati than Winker. If he is not going to start in Cincinnati, he needs to be starting in Louisville.

  6. HavaKlu

    Actually Kivlehan was a very poor pinch hitter, batting .176 and striking out an alarming 40% of his plate appearances. His spot could have easily been filled by Iribarren who had more position flexibility and would have certainly been a more productive batter.