The Cincinnati Reds have announced their invitations to Major League spring training. These invites are for players not currently on the teams 40-man roster.

Headlining the list are top prospects Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, and Tony Santillan. Nick Senzel is listed as an infielder/outfielder, just in case you were wondering what the plan for the organization may be in regards to his status.

The Pitchers

The Reds have handed out non-roster invites to five pitchers. Tony Santillan and Vladimir Gutierrez both rank inside the Cincinnati Reds Top 10 prospects list and will be seeing time with the big league squad. They both finished their season with Double-A Pensacola in 2018. You can read about Tony Santillan’s season, as well as his scouting report here. And you can do the same for Vladimir Gutierrez right here.

The Reds also gave invites to Alex Powers, Anthony Bass, and Odrisamer Despaigne. Powers was dominant in 2018 for Double-A Pensacola where he posted a 2.34 ERA in 42.1 innings with just 30 hits allowed, 11 walks, and 55 strikeotus. Both Bass and Despaigne have past big league experience. All five of the pitchers are right handed.

The Infielders

Three catchers got invitations to spring training for the Reds. One of their top prospects, Tyler Stephenson, headlines this group. He spent his 2018 season with the Daytona Tortugas in Advanced-A. You can read about his season and get a full scouting report on him right here. The team also extended invitations to prospect Chris Okey, who was in Double-A Pensacola last season, and Juan Graterol.

Nick Senzel is listed as both an infielder and outfielder in the announcement. He’s the biggest name on the list and the one who is most likely to make the team, both out of spring training or at some point during the 2019 campaign. His season review and scouting report from his time in Louisville during 2018 can be found here. The teams top prospect has been out in Arizona working on learning to play the outfield, particularly center field in both instructional league, and following surgery to have bone spurs removed from his elbow. Yesterday I wrote more about his opportunity in center for the Reds in 2019, and what Reds President of Baseball Operations had to say about him.

Middle infielders Alfredo Rodriguez and Christian Colon both got invitations as well. Rodriguez spent a few weeks in Double-A Pensacola last year, but most of his season was with the Daytona Tortugas. He missed time on two different occasions with wrist injuries during the year. Colon was a free agent signing after the season ended.

The Outfielders

There were seven outfielders that were extended invitations to big league camp. Taylor Trammell headlines this list. The Reds third best prospect spent his 2018 season in the Florida State League with the Daytona Tortugas. He also took home the MVP honors at the Futures Game in July. You can read about his season and get a full scouting report on him right here.

TJ Friedl was also given an invitation to spring training. The Reds 15th best prospect split his season between the Daytona Tortugas and Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. After the season was over he was named the Cincinnati Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year. You can read about his season and get a full scouting report on him here.

Brian O’Grady’s 2018 season between Double-A and Triple-A earned him an invitation to big league camp, too. He hit .280/.358/.512 between his two stops during his 2018 campaign – including a .927 OPS in 42 Triple-A games with the Louisville Bats.

Aristides Aquino and Mason Williams will both be back in camp with the big league club. Aquino was on the 40-man roster last year and saw limited action with the big league club. Williams got a non-roster invite last season and eventually wound up getting called up to the Reds later in the season. Newcomers to the organization Jordan Patterson and Kyle Wren also got invitations to camp.

42 Responses

  1. Jim

    I didn’t get an invite. Homer didn’t get an invite either
    I been working out. Got my heater up to 37 mph and the movement was outstanding! Not once did I hit the bulls eye!
    I know CF is open for competition, but 40 yrs of smoking leaves me winded.

    • MK

      Tink first you need to hire a Marketing person. You aren’t doing a real good job of selling yourself. Depending on compensation I might be available. Big tak requires a lot of expense money.

  2. Billy

    I can’t really imagine Senzel being the most likely of the bunch to break camp with the MLB club. It’s got to be a near certainty that he spends at least 2 weeks in the minors for service time reasons. I think a more likely scenario is someone like Mason Williams making the team as a CF (although there are plenty of OF on the 40-man already) with the intention of giving him a DFA after Senzel’s service time considerations have passed. Frankly, I don’t think any of these guys are likely to take a 40-man spot from someone before the season starts. Of course, players do get hurt…

    • pog

      The invite uses up an option if Senzel is sent back to the minors. Would the Reds have wasted that year if they didn’t think that Senzel had a real shot at making the club?

      • pog

        Ooops.retract that post. Its a non-roster invite. I think I need some ST myself. :)

      • Oldtimer

        We all do. How many days until Posters And Administrators Report?

      • Doug Gray

        This administrator will be out there sometime in the range of mid-to-late March. No exact dates just yet. I’m waiting to get my grubby little hands on the minor league spring training game roster.

      • Oldtimer

        I’ll be in Arizona Feb 23-28 but not just for Reds games. Brewers and White Sox, too.

      • MK

        Oldtimer, the minor leaguers probably won’t be there until after March 1.

  3. MK

    How many time do you think Kyle Wren has heard a Star Wars reference.

  4. B-town Fan

    Doug you might have already seen this, here’s a link to a Baseball America podcast that is on the free part of there site dated January 8 2019 about the Reds farm system.
    A few things I took away. They think Senzel is a possible future MVP candidate . Was a bit surprised they were not that high on the pitching prospects as a whole, especially glossing over Santillan. Also the Reds inability to develop starting pitching recently at the Big league level aka Reed Stephenson Romano Mahle Finnegan Lorenson Garrett with a special mention of the example of Garrett as one that they were quite high on as a starter and now is in the bullpen, but that the organization understands these failings and are trying to address them with organizational changes. One that I was quite surprised about was the they thought the Reds were 2 to 3 possibly 4 years away from seriously competing at the MLB level. Anyway take a listen here’s the link
    https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2019-cincinnati-reds-top-mlb-prospects-podcast/

    • SteveLV

      I’d be disappointed if it took them 4 years, but 2 to 3 years to be competitive seems about right to me. They should be interesting and decent this year, but probably not more than that with the current roster. Next year is a complete unknown as they lose so many to free agency as it now stands.
      Heading into last year I took a look at the top 10 lists at each position and the top 60 starting pitchers. Of the teams that made the playoffs in 2017, only one didn’t have at least 4 position players and 2 of the top 60 starters on their roster. I think that’s the starting point for feeling good about a playoff spot.
      By 21, Reds could have Votto, Suarez, Senzel, maybe Winker, Castillo plus an acquired TOR starter. By 22 or 23, maybe Trammell, Greene, Santillan – and really maybe Siri, Stephenson, India.
      They could speed that up with trades, I just hope they don’t sacrifice the potential core they are building to do so.

  5. CP

    I’m interested to see how Trammell and Friedl look in big league camp. It will be good for them to get a taste and let that motivate them to keep pushing to get to the next level.

    • Dollar Bill

      With quality at bats in ST Friedl might sneak his way onto the 25 man. He is my dark horse pick to make the team

  6. Doc

    Surprised there is no discussion of Anthony Bass. Since he is an ST invite one would presume he has signed. Considering the amount of coverage there was of Robby Scott’s signing, release, andtrade for cash, I would have thought Bass’ signing would atleast have warranted a mention. Maybe I just missed the headline.

  7. Jon

    redsminorleagues.com/2018/12/31/reds-sign-reliever-anthony-bass-for-2019/

  8. Jonah

    Ok so if Senzel is on the 40 Man why did he have to be invited?

    • Cguy

      Not on the 40 man roster, thus a non-roster invitee. Listed on Louisville’s roster but not invited are Jon Moscot, Stuart Turner, Josh Van Meter, & Jordan Patterson. I’m a little surprised none of them got invites.

      • Jon

        In the last sentence of the article it says that Jordan Patterson did get an invite.

      • Cguy

        Thanks. Anybody with a ML slashline of .440/.474/.974 ought to at least get an invite (small sample size, only 18 AB). lol

  9. Clammy

    what kind of offense upside does Okey have? It’s been a tough couple years for him. What kind of offensive #’s would he have to put up to crack your top 30?

    Also what happened to Stuart Turner?

    • MK

      He has been a little or sometimes a lot disappointing offensively. He did have a hamate hook bone fracture in Daytona which might have retarded his development a little.

      • ptaylor2112

        I wonder if Mr. Okey’s invite is simply for catching depth to keep everyone fresh.

    • Doug Gray

      There is nothing awesome about that. I love Skyline, but I also kind of want to die thinking about that.

      • Mort

        It was awesome because it wasn’t me, also awesome that he actually followed through with it.

  10. Redsvol

    we need to pump the brakes a bit on the Nick Senzel train. He has 900 at bats in the minors and we’re talking about moving him to a position that he has no minor league or college experience at. Succeeding in the Major Leagues is incredibly hard, succeeding at a position he has never played before will be ridiculously hard and probably set his development back. If he dislocates a shoulder diving for a ball he may never be the same.

    He needs to play in Louisville in center field and second base for a good half a season to see if he can even do it in the minors much less the majors. No reason to think he’ll be better than Puig and Schebler in center yet – plus there are several experienced CF free agents available for reasonable prices (see Jon Jay).

    • victor vollhardt

      REDSVOL is correct–Senzel may be the most wonderful player(and I hope so) that ever comes to the Reds, but he needs to stay in the minors (and daily on the field!) for a couple of months—not for any service time reason, but rather to find out about the vertigo and if he is really a “brittle” player. This is no fault of his own, but there have been players who wind up this way. Before you count on him to play any position –for the team’s sake you need to find out, Need to go out and get a bona fide major league CF. And not Pollock-he is a perfect example of a “brittle” player with great talent , but can’t stay on the field. Kemp (plus either cash and a minor prospect maybe to the Rays, who need a DH. This would save some money to put towards another pitcher and that CF. As to Puig—-someone should tell Mr. Williams and Mr. Krall to look at Proverbs 11:29–“He who brings trouble on his house will Inherit the Wind” A wonderful talent, but a undisciplined child, who could disrupt the whole team including the new players.

      • Doug Gray

        So you keep him down so you can disable list him in the minor leagues just in case something that might happen?

      • Doug Gray

        Also, your take on Yasiel Puig is stupid. It’s very stupid.

    • RedsinWashst

      He has hit at every level, there is nothing let to prove in the minors. Maybe a couple weeks of playing at 3A in centerfield. It is old school thinking that he can’t play in centerfield, players move around all the time now in the MLB. The fact that he is brittle because he broke a finger making a play is nonsense. Put him out there and lets see what we have. I think he will be a star player for a long time.

  11. mike

    Got my tickets for March 15, 16 & 17. Hoping one or both Senzel and Trammell are still with the big league team by then.

    • Big Ed

      They will sometimes (even regularly) use guys assigned to minor league camp in Cactus League games, so I think your chances are good either way. And Senzel for all practical purposes is on the 40-man, anyway; the 40th guy on the 40-man can’t feel very secure about his spot.

      • Oldtimer

        For this:

        Joey Votto has 6,563 career plate appearances.

        He has never popped out to the catcher, pitcher, or first basemen.

      • Doug Gray

        Never go to Barstool for anything. Don’t support that company for anything.