Jose Siri just keeps on keeping on. All he has done in the last year is hit, hit, and then hit some more. After hitting .293 with 24 home runs for the Dayton Dragons in 2017 he had a short break before joining the Gigantes in the Dominican Winter League.

After being limited early on in the Dominican Winter League season, in mid-November he started getting regular playing time. Jose Siri would go on to hit .321 during the regular season for the Gigantes and help lead them into the playoffs. Since the playoffs began he’s hardly slowed down.

On Thursday night against Escogido, Jose Siri hit his Dominican Winter League leading 4th home run of the playoffs. He took an offspeed offering on the outside corner of the plate and smashed it to the opposite field to tie the game up in the 4th inning.

Wednesday night Jose Siri was also doing damage. The center fielder went 2-3 with a double, walk, run scored and he drove in two more. In 15 games during the playoffs he’s slugging .532 with a .290 average, four home runs and three more doubles.

Cincinnati Reds sign 16-year-old Rafael Franco

Over the past few years the Cincinnati Reds have stepped up their game in signing players out of Mexico. That trend continued recently as they signed 16-year-old center fielder Rafael Franco , buying his contract from the Sultans of Monterrey in the Mexican League. This article, translated via Google Translate gives a little insight into his skills, with the emphasis at age 16 on his speed being a big attribute to his game. This article also notes his speed, but notes that he has a good arm, too.

47 Responses

  1. Stock

    I am not so sure how he will do in Pensacola but I think Siri will tear up the FSL and be a star in Daytona for 3 months this summer.

  2. AlJoe

    Doug, how much do the Reds take into consideration Winter League results? Is this comparable to Siri playing Double A?

    • Cinvenfan

      Not Doug, but since I live in Venezuela I can talk with some facts. Winter leagues are different in every country and moments. For instance, last year, with World Baseball Classic in March, many bigleaguers played in December to get ready. Of course the level of competition was really high.
      In “normal” seasons you find harder competition towards the end of te season and especially in the playoff. That’s when most of the bigleaguers play some games to get ready for spring trainning.
      I don´t know how MLB teams evaluate these leagues but many prospects later turned to stars have come here to develop or work on their game.

      • Alex

        One thing to note is that Siri is about 5 years younger than the league avg.

    • Doug Gray

      I’m sure the Reds always prefer their guys to play better than to not play well, but they aren’t placing too much info on the stats/performance unless there’s a change in skillset. The league right now is probably closer to that Double-A level than it was earlier in the year.

      • Colt Holt

        Well, they may already have DW on call block after seeing Luis Castillo pitch this year.

  3. Michael E Parker

    If he keeps hitting next year against better pitching does he move into a top 50 MLB talent or perhaps top 20? Doug has been really concerned about his walk to strikeout ratio. With that being said, is it just a matter of time before he averages out and if so, do we trade now while the stock is at his highest? FWIW I think Siri has a really good chance at becoming a elite level MLB player that produces 25-30 homers, steals, 40-50 bases and covers almost as much ground at Hamilton at a gold glove level. He part has to be part of the rebuild..

    • Stock

      I think small market teams like the Reds need to take calculated gambles. If you trade Siri for a #3 SP you may win big if Siri can’t control his K rate but you may lose big if Siri becomes an all-star. The Reds need to keep him.

    • Doug Gray

      I definitely don’t want to say he’s got a good chance to become that. I mean, you’re talking about an MVP level guy with those numbers and defense and saying anyone has a good chance of that who hasn’t just obliterated Double-A is a tough sell. Now, I think that’s certainly his ceiling (though I’d say a tad more power if he totally reaches the ceiling there). But, there’s still plenty of risk. I was talking with someone yesterday about him, and basically said “if baseball Gods exist, please let Jose Siri figure out how to read the slider a little bit better”. Because if that happens, he’s going to be a star.

  4. Shawn

    I doubt Siri would get a decent reliever straight up. I wouldn’t trade him unless he were part of a package that got you someone like Yellich.

  5. Shawn

    I remember someone saying that Siri’s BB/K rate may be skewed because he was being over aggressive due to hit streak. May have been Doug, not sure.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t know if you heard it from me, but I have absolutely said that. But, I still think we’re only talking about him passing up on a handful of walks. His ratio still would have been in that area where you’d like to see another big step forward with it.

  6. Tony

    Am I crazy Doug? Even though Siri has never played above A ball with his tool set and career trajectory if he tears up AA I believe there’s slight chance we see him in the bigs in late 2018.

    • Alex

      If he would happen to be a Sept call up for 2018 I would think it would basically just be defense and pinch running duties though.

    • Doug Gray

      YES YOU ARE CRAZY!

      But seriously, I don’t think it’s out of left field, so to speak, that he’d be in the big leagues in 2018. But, almost the only way it happens is as a September call up. I think if Siri just totally goes all “Jay Bruce, 2007” on minor league baseball, he’d still not get the call up until September.

  7. MK

    When it comes to trades, this might be more about a Hamilton trade than a Siri trade. If Jose can continue through the first half of 2018, Billy might very well bring a nice return at the deadline.

    • Reaganspad

      and there it is.

      that is the right way to view a Billy Hamilton trade

      Until then, scrap the switch hitting and limit the bunting. No fake bunt attempts.

      I think he could hit 260-270 if he was on one side of the plate and not moving all around like he does on his fake bunts/failed bunts

      That maximizes Billy’s trade value and gives you another half season of Trammel and Siri gaining skills to see where they stand with regard to CF in GABP

      not time to panic

    • wes

      I think reds can get a decent haul for Billy today. But why move him when we don’t have another proven center fielder? I like Ervin, but that’s a serious gamble as is signing Cain! If you have to trade for another CF then how does that effect the return for Hamilton? Just a bad time to trade him unless you get a great return! Which if I am Giants- I give the return- he’s absolutely perfect for them!

      I am becoming a believer in Siri! Trammell in L, Siri in C, and Winker in R is starting to look good for the future!

      • Doug Gray

        Hamilton isn’t perfect for any team because he simply can’t hit.

        That’s not to say he can’t help a team – he absolutely can. And he really helps the Giants in a weak area on their squad.

        For the Reds, you move him even without another CF option because you can go get another option. There are several on the FA market. You can acquire one in trade, and if you really have to, you can platoon Schebler and Ervin out there until you find another option (I don’t think it would come to this, but if somehow it did, they’d survive).

      • Wes

        Reds have international money again this summer right ? Would you trade billy for all their international money?

      • Doug Gray

        They are still limited to spending $300,000 or less on any single player in the next signing period.

  8. Krozley

    I saw an article on mlb.com I think about Ichiro. His agent says there were talks, or at least hopes, with the Reds about the possibility of signing him but they fell flat when BHam didn’t get traded. Or something along those lines. I think regular days in CF are over for him, but he could fill in there. Even if BHam is not traded, he could be a veteran bat off the bench if they have the room. If nothing else, he would become the first Japanese player in Reds history. Maybe he could teach BHam how to best use his speed in his batting approach. In thinking about it, I’m not sure I like the fit, but it would be interesting.

    • CP

      I don’t speak spanish, but I would be curious to know what was said during this interview…

  9. CP

    If Siri continues to play this way through the upper levels, it looks like he will get the first crack at taking over for Hamilton. Billy is under control through 2019, and a second half call up in 2019 would be good timing for Siri and the team.

    By then, hopefully the Reds are playing some competitive ball, and are ready for someone to spark them to really getting after it. Siri could really be that spark! Now this is assuming that he keeps this up, and that is no small assumption. But man what a difference a guy like him would be to the team if he can put it together.

    Consider this lineup:

    Siri
    Winker
    Senzel
    Votto
    Suarez
    Schebler
    Pereza/FA
    Barnhart

    The first six guys in that lineup can all reasonably be 15-20+ hr guys. Winker, Senzel, Votto, Suarez would form a strong middle of the lineup with tons of OBP and could all get 700-800 ops at least. Schebler’s 30 hr power would get maximum RBI opportunities. Siri can spark the top of the lineup with a great speed/power combo. Hard telling what we will get out of Pereza, but Barnhart became a dependable asset in the 8 hole. Professional at bats with solid avg and obp. SS still is the biggest question mark in this scenario, but still a team that with some decent pitching could compete!

  10. MK

    Sebastian Elizalde’s Mezican League team the Tomateros is in the finals of the Mexican League Finals. He hits in the three hole and is hitting .500 in the playoffs

    • Doug Gray

      He’s not hitting .500. They reset the stats with each round in Mexico. He hit very well this past series. Not that he hit bad in the first round, but I believe it was just under .300 that round.

  11. MikeD

    Off topic, but having been wanting to throw this out there.

    Billy is a great center fielder, but glove wise, I still would take Eric Davis. He as close to as a natural as there is. He was a pure joy to watch on both sides of the plate. Too bad he was so injury prone. I stopped everything to watch him.

  12. Simon Cowell

    The secret to hitting offspeed is batspeed and patience. Jose has the batspeed but doesnt yet have the discipline. Depending on his baseball i.q
    That patience or discipline will develop with experience. Will he adjust and mature with a patient approach? If he is mentored by the likes of Votto it would certainly improve the odds. Siri’s offense will never be as bad as Hamilton’s but his defense could develop to be as good. Trade BHam for 1 or 2 top 100 prospects, move Siri to double A for for first 2 months of season, at majors rotate center with Ervin and Scheb for April and May, June call up Senzel and Siri. Nick rotate 2b, ss,3b,of. Siri rotate of. Trade, bench, or platoon Duvall and Scheb

    • MK

      Two reasons this approach doesn’t work. 1. He isn’t worth two top 100 prospects. 2. and Most Important, the owner said NO trade.

    • Doug Gray

      The key to hitting anything is eyesight. If you can’t tell slider from fastball in enough time, nothing else matters.

  13. Greenfield Red

    While it seems the Giants really don’t want to trade Ramos, it seems to me they will eventually realize they need Hamilton because he is what they need in CF.

    According the the article I just read, they are really close to the salary tax and they really want to be below it this year. Hamilton’s 4.6 mil salary puts them right on it as their roster is currently built. However there will be call ups that bump them over.

    The easy answer then is to come right back to the Duke’s first proposed trade: Hamilton for Ramos and Garrett Williams (left handed pitcher). What the Reds could add to the deal is to pay half or 2/3s of Hamilton’s salary in 2018. In the world of MLB, 3 to 4 million bucks isn’t much money, but it gives the Giants a little bit of flexibility to work with and gives the Reds the player they covet as well as a nice 23 year-old left hander.

    • Wes

      With the second pick they will add a top 25 prospect to their organization. Giants also need bullpen help. Peralta could also get the deal done. I think it’ll happen.

    • Wes

      Between 3-6. He’s got a better chance at sticking at center than trammell so might be ranked higher when top 100s start coming out. Limited sample size but he hit the screen hard. Check his stat line!

    • Norwood Nate

      If it were me, personally, I’d rank him 6th behind Senzel, Greene, Trammell, Mahle, and Winker. He probably has a higher ceiling than Winker, but a much lower floor considering Winker’s proximity and well-established hitting/on-base tools.

      If Ramos is rumored to move near the back end of the top 100 this makes sense as all of those guys are in the same range.

  14. Jim t

    Got to love Jose Siri’s tools. He will be a great follow this year. If he has a similar year in A+ with a improved K rate I will be very happy. Same goes for Trammel.

  15. redleggingfordayz

    Just putting this out there, but I have read the Brewers are looking to possible shed an outfielder as they have a lot of ML ready players and prospects coming up the pipeline. Perhaps we can do a swap of Amir G. or Brandon F. for Brett Phillips? He does have a high K% but seems to also balance that out with a lot of walks. I was really big on him as a prospect and I think he could really fill a hole for the Reds while they wait on Siri and Trammel. Obviously a Hamliton trade would need to happen before or after.

    • Bill

      Phillips could likely handle CF which would be a plus, but the strikeouts are concerning; offensively he’s reminds me of Schebler. I think Garrett or Finnegan would be an overpay, so I would want another piece back. If our scouts felt good about his defense in CF and that there was reason to believe the strikeouts would come down, he’d be a really good fit.

      Tyler Naquin is a player I would consider. The Indians need a right handed bat and Duvall would fit nicely with them especially with Brantley hurt. This would likely be a modest upgrade.

      Mallex Smith with the Rays is another option for CF. His value is evenly split between hitting and defense and again would be only a modest upgrade. Again, Duvall might make sense for the Rays.

      As for prospects, the Blue Jays are set long term in CF with Pillar. Anthony Alford would be a terrific pick up for the Reds. I would offer one of our group of burgeoning starters and perhaps a reliever for Alford.