Cincinnati Reds Top Prospects: Claudio Finol Doug Gray September 28, 2018 4 Comments The recent history of international signings for the Cincinnati Reds hasn’t been great. It’s been quite a while since the team has turned out an every day big leaguer from the international ranks. Time will tell if things have changed in the last few years, because when you are signing kids at 16-years-old, it takes time but it seems that the Reds have their share of international signings at the lower levels that have started showing promise. One of those guys, Claudio Finol, signed with the Reds in July of 2016 out of Venezuela. In 2017 he got his first taste of professional baseball and hit .300/.380/.405 for the Dominican Summer League Reds as a 17-year-old. The Cincinnati Reds brought Claudio Finol stateside in 2018. And on top of bringing him stateside, they also skipped him over the Arizona League Reds. Perhaps that was due to the elimination of the second Dominican Summer League team that sort of made the AZL team a defacto replacement for that team. But, it’s still an aggressive promotion to send an 18-year-old to the Appalachian League. With a new team in Greeneville, the Reds sent a lot of talent there, and Finol found himself in Tennessee as an 18-year-old. Things didn’t get out to a good start for Claudio Finol. In seven games in June he hit .190/.182/.190. The sample size was clearly small, he had just 22 plate appearances in that span. He only had four starts in the 11 days during the month. He came in as a replacement in two other games during the month. In July he didn’t play much in the first two weeks. From the start of the month until July 15th he only played in six games, and understandably, he struggled at the plate without consistent action. He hit just .238 in that span with three walks and four strikeouts in 25 plate appearances. In the second half of the month he still didn’t see a ton of playing time, but he did pick up on the offensive side of the ball. In 30 plate appearances he hit .346/.400/.385. That helped his overall line in 55 plate appearances on the month, hitting .298/.370/.340 with five walks and nine strikeouts. July ended with Claudio Finol riding a four game hit streak. He carried that forward into August and ran off 10 more games in a row with a hit. Finol hit .439/.477/.488 in those 10 games during the start of August. Things went well in the next 11 games, even though the hit streak ended, as he hit .326 in that span. It was the final week of the year that took a big downturn as he went just 2-26, with both hits being doubles. For the entire month he racked up 115 plate appearances. He only had 77 entering the month. The playing time helped as he hit .312 during the month with five doubles. 2018 Season Stats for Claudio Finol For all 2018 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason). 2018 Spray Chart for Claudio Finol Claudio Finol Scouting Report Hitting | Claudio Finol uses the entire field at a young age. That’s always a good sign. His swing looks good, too. But right now he lacks strength and hitting the ball hard isn’t there. How his body develops in the next few years could change how his hit tool overall projects. He’s going to need to get stronger, but there’s time for that to happen. Power | As it is with the hit tool, the lack of strength is one of the things working against him a little bit here. Listed at 5′ 11″ and 150 lbs, he’s a smaller guy for a professional baseball player. He may be a little bigger than that in the weight column by the looks of it, but either way, he’s still going to need to likely add some strength and weight. There’s probably not a lot of power in the future, though, even if the strength does come. That said, there’s certainly more in there than the seven extra-base hits that he did have in 2018. Speed | He’s got above-average speed. I’ve timed him at 4.1-4.2 to first base during the 2018 season. He didn’t use his speed well in terms of stolen bases, though, going 1 for 2 during the year. Defense | During 2018 he played shortstop, second, and third base with Greeneville. He was significantly better up the middle than at third base. In 22 games he made nine errors and posted an .842 fielding percentage. At second base he posted a .944 fielding percentage, and at shortstop in 10 games he had a .958 fielding percentage. Of his 13 errors, 11 of them were of the throwing variety. I only saw him at shortstop one time throughout the year, so I don’t want to say he can’t play there or not. Between the time at second and third base, though, he certainly looked better at second base. Interesting Stat on Claudio Finol He had two doubles on infield pop ups during the season. 4 Responses Simon Cowell September 28, 2018 sounds like a slower billy hamilton. MK September 28, 2018 The last week’s slump shouldn’t be a big surprise as it would be similar to the last week of school before summer break, not much gets done. This is a kid the age of a high school junior that had not been home to see his family since March and was preparing to go home. In addition his home country that isn’t very stable which had to be pretty distracting as well. Norwood Nate September 29, 2018 One of many young INF types that are interesting but we really won’t know a ton about until they move up in the system and physically mature a bit. Stock September 30, 2018 Two of my top 25 already fall outside of Doug’s top 25. First Santana and now Finol. As MK stated above both these two would have been in HS last year. I think if they were from the USA both would be first round picks in next years draft. Since 4 players drafted this year are in my top 25 (and 5 in my top 30) I think these two have to be in the top 25.