Earlier this week the Midseason Update for the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospect List was released. There was one player on the list that probably jumped out – sitting at #24 was infielder Jonathan Willems. The 19-year-old was out to a strong start for the Greeneville Reds, but as I noted in the update, he had very little track record. Still, he was passing the eye test and his start was strong.

Well, on Tuesday night the native of Curacao took that start and made it even stronger. Jonathan Willems hit a home run to left field in his first trip to the plate, giving him three for the year. He entered the year with one for his career in two seasons. The next trip to the plate for Willems accounted for the only out he made in the game as he grounded into a double play.

In the 5th inning Jonathan Willems would come to the plate with one out and Jonathan India on first base. He would triple and bring the run in, getting the hardest two parts of the cycle out of the way. The next time he came up would result in a single in the seventh inning. That set up a final trip to the plate in the 8th inning where he needed a double. Willems came through, lacing a 1-2 pitch into left field and just beating out the throw to the bag. That pushed his season line to .348/.387/.623 through his 16 games played.

Here’s some video from Jonathan Willems home runs that he hit in Johnson City last week while I was in town to give you some reference of what he looks like for those who have never seen him play before.

Reshard Munroe continues crushing Pioneer League pitching

The season didn’t begin for Reshard Munroe until June 15th this year. That also happens to be his birthday, and he celebrated it by going 1-2 with 2 walks for the Dayton Dragons against the West Michigan Whitecaps. That, however, was the only game he would play with the Dragons. He was sent to Billings to join the Mustangs and on June 20th he played a double header, going 4-7. The 22-year-old from the Bahamas hasn’t stopped hitting since.

On Tuesday night Reshard Munroe went 1-3, and he made that one count. He homered, and that ball landed about 18 minutes later, traveling 451 feet. In 21 games since joining the Mustangs the outfielder has hit .333/.392/.528.


39 Responses

  1. Ryan

    From that video, it seems as though he has some serious bat speed, at least to my untrained eyes.

  2. The Duke

    Good start for Willems, especially in the power department where he did not show much in the AZL last year, granted he was only 18. Nice to see him take that step forward and finally give the system some depth at the 2B spot.

    • CP

      Hahahaha yes! The system is in desperate need of more quality second basemen!! :)

  3. Stock

    Just listened to your podcast. Hamilton has actually played very well since June 17. .366/.410/.437 with 11 SB since June 17. This period covers 22 games. With his defense that is all-star caliber play. I know 22 games is a small subset but you have to start somewhere.

    • CP

      That has been great to see. At this point you just ride that wave while it lasts, because we have seen him get on these little hot streaks before. He is going to have to show some kind of new skill development or perform over a long period of time before anyone truly believes. But I want to believe!

    • The Duke

      The Reds best bet might be to just ride it out with BHam through 2019 and hope Trammell is ready to go to start 2020. Maybe give Friedl a shot later on in 2019 so they can have Trammell open 2020 in AAA for a few weeks.

      • redlegs4ever

        That’s always been how I’ve planned it in my head. Unless you just get blown away for an offer for Hamilton. As polarizing a player as he is to some he brings enough value on defense and baserunning alone to be an everyday CF even on a contending team.

      • Colt Holt

        Who says no. Extend Hamilton 2019 to 2023. Five years, 15 million. Gives him a nice guarantee, gives the reds some upside if he pulls it together. Worst case scenario, he becomes a fourth or fifth outfielder making $3 million per year. Hard to imagine him not justifying his spot as the 25th man, if no reason other than pinch running and defensive replacement.

  4. ralph

    Realistically what does everyone think Reds could get for Harvey? I have a gut feeling Reds may seriously be weighing extending him and that may be what DW was saying about extending payroll.

    • redlegs4ever

      It’s tough to tell really. Without knowing the market yet and who may be interested best I can say is I would guess his value would be similar to what Mike Leake’s was when the Reds traded him. Your looking at a AAAA player and lotto ticket arm (at least that’s what Duvall, Mella were at the time). I hope the Reds prioritize trying to get the best lottery ticket prospect they can. Say maybe the Yankees are interested, former first rounder Dillon Tate could be a decent target. Little older than your normal lottery ticket but seeming to put it together a little bit finally.

      • Bill

        At the time, Mella was playing in High A and ranked near the bottom of mlb.com’s Top 100 (he finished the year at #94). Duvall was towards the bottom of the Giants top 30 and was a power hitter playing 3B. As you may recall, we traded Todd Frazier a few months later in the offseason.

    • Billy

      I’ve wondered if that is what Williams comment was referring to as well. At the same time, I’d still kind of like to trade Harvey. If you are going to extend him, why not just wait and try to sign him in the off-season? Pick up a prospect or two, and hope that his time rebuilding his stock was meaningful enough to him to make Cincinnati a favored option for him for 2019 and beyond.

    • Stock

      I don’t think too much. You can always trade him and bring him back in the off-season.

      I would package him with Iglesias or Gennett to make sure you get a top 50 prospect.

      Iggy, Duvall and Harvey should get us McKenzie, Tyler Freeman, Johnathan Rodriguez and George Valera. Maybe go all in and add Gennett and Mejia.

      Next year’s lineup would be better than this year’s come April 15. This lineup is hoping that spending the year outside the lead-off spot has let Hamilton realize he has to learn how to play and not just let his speed keep him in the lineup.

      CF – Hamilton
      SS – Peraza
      1B – Votto
      3B – Suarez
      RF – Schebler
      C – Mejia
      2B – Senzel
      LF – Winker

      • kevinz

        I like that Lineup. if were me though. I would keep players where having success.
        If schebler not in lead off he not a starting player.
        Scott really struggles with Runners on base.
        Hamilton should be more lethal in Lead off but struggled badly there.
        Billy has had a nice stretch here not need to fix what not Broken.

      • WillieG

        I doubt Harvey would sign anything before trade deadline, so he will need to be traded in order for the Reds to get anything of long-term value for him. If he continues to pitch well, he will look to cash in for highest offer. If he regresses, maybe bring him back on one year deal and try again next year.

    • wes

      We know Harvey’s value. 2 months ago it was Devin Meseraco. Today it’s a little higher, but not a whole lot considering other options available with similar performance. Like with many trades with mid grade players- teams who take the least return move their guys. So if Reds put Harvey out there for next to nothing he will be traded- if they try to get a decent return, which is what I am for, then he will likely remain a Red unless someone really wants him. In that case I think he’s worth a young A ball pitcher with upside and another top 25 organizational prospect. He’s also a good throw in piece to a scooter/Iggy trade to get a better return.

      If Reds like Harvey and think he can continue success at same level; and he wants to stay in Cincy- I would keep him and look to sign him in the off season. Why trade a guy you need next year for another lotto ticket when you have so many all ready?

    • DanD

      I am thinking to Atlanta for either Fried, Wentz or Toussaint plus a lower level prospect.

      With there depth this would not hurt the Braves.

      • redlegs4ever

        I’ve got a dozen Ken Griffey Jr rookie cards, with that depth it wouldn’t hurt me to trade one for a mint condition Rey Olmedo either but it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea lol.

        Idioms aside Atlanta is not trading any of those guys for 2 months of Matt Harvey.

  5. kevinz

    I might get scolded for this. If Suarez keeps getting errors how about a move to LF?
    Senzel back to 3rd with 2nd in his back Pocket. Plus then have Dilson scooter Long for 2nd base .
    I get have Winker who i do like just trying start a convo or a Debate.

  6. LeRoy

    All this trade talk is interesting, but I would not trade anyone but Harvey at the trade deadline unless blown away with good prospects. Some have talked about trading Suarez, Iglesias, and Gennett. They are controllable for next year and all but Gennett longer than that. They are proven well above average major leaguers that are producing now. If they are traded it should be for can’t miss prospects that will be better than them. The best trade value for most of the players above could probably be obtained during the winter period when all the other 29 teams will possibly be in play. No trade is a good trade unless it fills a particular need with equal or better value than what is traded.

    • Doug Gray

      I mean, anyone should be on the table, but the people talking about trading Suarez are cray-cray.

    • Stock

      Best trade value comes in July (I think). Teams are looking for that one piece to push them over the top.

  7. Krozley

    A couple years ago, the A’s traded Rich Hill and Josh Reddick at the trade deadline to the Dodgers for three top 100 pitching prospects (all at the back end of top 100 lists, one of who was Frankie Montas). Both of those players were two month rentals. Hill, like Harvey, was coming back from a long period of injuries, but put together 14 great starts for the A’s (2.25 ERA/182 ERA+) before the trade. Reddick had similar stats to what Schebler is doing now, for perspective. With that as background, I think the Reds could get something decent out of a package of, for instance, Harvey and Duvall. Harvey is not as good this year as Hill was in 2016, but a few more good starts gets him closer. Duvall is not as good as Reddick, but is cheaper and has several years control. Thus not that much worse than Reddick all things considered.

    I’m not saying the Reds would get three top prospects for that package, but it is not out of the realm of possibility to get say one back end top 100 prospect with an additional wild card or two based on the Hill/Reddick precedent. At least from my view.

    • Wes

      Stock market was like a 1000 points lower 2 years ago too. Markets change. And this has been a buyers market since Jeter the broke joke gave away the best starting OF in history of mlb. When markets tank- it takes time recover.

      • Bill

        I think you will see several good trades go down. The competitive teams are pretty well defined. Most of the teams likely to make the playoffs are very, very good and have a realistic shot at a World Series title. They also all have exploitable weaknesses, and there are teams willing to trade to help them fill those weaknesses. Don’t be surprised when you see top prospects being moved in a couple of weeks.

    • Lefthander

      It all depends on how Harvey pitches in the next few starts (before the trade deadline). I think teams will want to wait and see as many starts as they can, so I expect the trade to happen just before the deadline. Harvey has a career 3.67 ERA and at one time not too long ago he had ace-stuff. He also has a year of playoff experience where he performed pretty well. The Reds aren’t going to get a top prospect but if Harvey pitches well in the next couple of weeks, I think there will be several teams willing to take a chance on Harvey. Honestly, which playoff contender wouldn’t consider adding Harvey for the stretch run for a reasonable price? How often do you have the chance to add a career 3.67 ERA pitcher with plenty of motivation (he is going to be a free agent at 29 years old) who not long ago had ace-stuff for a reasonable price? I think the Reds will deserve a lot of credit for turning Mesaraco into a decent prospect if things work out. But if Harvey doesn’t pitch well in the next couple weeks, Harvey’s value will lessen. For the Red’s sake, I hope he puts together some strong starts.

    • Redsvol

      Krozley – and where are those 3 top 100 pitching prospects now?

      • Krozley

        Montas is pitching well with the A’s. Better than Hill and any Reds starter, although he’s only pitched half the season. Cotton started 24 games last year for the A’s (not real good though) and had TJ surgery this spring. Holmes hasn’t been very good and had shoulder surgery.

        My point in all that was there is a chance the Reds could get at least someone decent for Harvey, by that precedent. Many on here don’t think the Reds will get anything worthwhile for him.

  8. AirborneJayJay

    Houston has optioned their closer to AAA today.
    Cleveland’s closer blew another lead last night while the Indians brass watched Iglesias shine.
    Boston is looking for a closer type for 8th inning tis year and take over closer duties after this year.
    Atlanta needs a closer.
    LA Dodgers need a good bullpen arm.
    There are arms available, but not many like Iglesias. Let the bidding begin.

  9. Jim Delaney

    I think the REDS stand pat or ADD at the deadline and NOT deduct from the current Major league roster unless the return just blows them out of the water. The Ownership group and Front office KNOW that they need to show there fan base that they are committed to putting a competitive product on the field in 2019. If the Ownership group would have been willing to commit resources to add an experienced starter with a proven track record in the off season, who knows where they could be right now, instead, they are 10 games under, now hopeful .500 might be a possibility.
    REDS need to see if Harvey can show the rest of the season if he can be at least a mid-rotation starter. If so, signing him in the off season will be a MUST YES.. I think even if he pitches well rest of season, Harvey’s potential market value will be SMALL, many large market teams will be scared off and HARVEY may want to come back knowing the REDS gave him chance to turn his career back around. Lastly, Harvey is still young enough to do a short term deal and bet on himself that he can cash in again..
    Harvey and DISCO have been HUGE improvements over the awfulness that Homer and Finnegan provided earlier in the season. The stronger starting pitching has been a big part of the improved play. Still think the REDS need an ACE to fully have a shot next season but HARVEY needs to be on the staff. I would be talking to the METS NOW laying the ground work for a Senzel led package for Syndergaard in the off-season.

    A rotation of Syndergaard, DISCO, Harvey, Mahle and Romano or Castillo would look nice for 2019!!! This could JUICE the season ticket sales in the off-season!!!

    I know Bailey contract is still on the books through 2019, BUT hopeful REDS will decide to eat the contract and cut him loose. I don’t want to see his return to the dugout or major league roster, just having him GONE from the dugout seems to have really improved the energy level the team plays with on a day to day basis. Earlier in the season especially when Bailey was on the mound, there was a lethargic, WALKING DEAD type atmosphere that seemed to RADIATE through the tv screen or radio airwaves. NOW you are seeing a lot of energy in the dugout, on the field and players are having fun. Hopefully the team can keep this up!!!!

  10. Greenfield Red

    Here’s a question regarding Harvey: Because he is finishing his initial 6 years of team control, is he eligible for a qualifying offer by the Reds if he is not traded? If so, and the Reds can’t get good value at the dead line, and he pitches well the rest of the year, I think this would be a really good move by the Reds. Assuming he performs the rest of the year, the Reds get either a potential high end pitcher for a cost controlled year, or they get a compensation pick for him.

    • Rick in Va

      You can’t give a free agent a qualifying offer unless he has been with the team since before the beginning of the season. So no, this isn’t an option.

  11. Tom

    Nothing like a hot streak for a player or team to cloud the overall picture. Trade redundant veteran assets that are performing well during a losing season. Stock up. Scooter, Iggy, Hernandez, etc. Bye bye.

    • Ben

      Finally, someone with good sense! The Reds starting pitchers have a combined 5.05 ERA (26th out of 30 teams) and people are suddenly talking about contending in the playoffs next year? Time to get real. This rebuild needs more time to collect and groom starting pitching. The Reds need to be sellers to improve their chances in the future.

  12. The Duke

    Harvey will get us someone in the 20-30 range of a teams top 30 prospects. Don’t expect more.