The Dominican Winter League Championship Series is now four games in, with Estrellas Orientales up three games to one on Toros del Este. Cincinnati Reds prospect Jose Siri is a big reason why. On Monday evening the center fielder led off the game with a solo home run, giving his team a 1-0 lead. They would hold that lead the rest of the way. You can see the video highlights from the game in the tweet below.

The home run for Jose Siri wasn’t all that he did on the night, though. He would also add a single and a double in the game. The double was an opposite field shot that one-hopped the wall over the right fielders head. Oh, and he stole a base and scored another run. The double was his third of the series, and the home run was his first.

To say that Jose Siri has been on fire for Estrellas in the Dominican Winter League Championship would be underselling what he’s been doing. The now 23-year-old is hitting .714 in the series. He’s slugging 1.143. He’s walked once and struck out once. His OPS is 1.876. He’s scored five runs and stolen two bases. To quote Billy Madison, “He’s good.”

The last year of baseball for Jose Siri didn’t start out well. After starting 2018 in Major League spring training with the Reds, he was injured in the first game of the spring. He took over in center field and collided with the wall, injuring his thumb. That injury cost him the next two months on the field. He returned to the lineup in May with Daytona before being promoted to Double-A Pensacola five weeks later. Siri finished out his season with the Blue Wahoos.

He got about six weeks of time off between the end of the year and the start of the Dominican Winter League, where he ranked among the league leaders in several offensive categories during the regular season. Now he’s closing out the “year” in a big way, helping give his team a great chance to move on to the Caribbean Series.

Cincinnati Reds spring training begins in less than three weeks. But for Jose Siri, as a position player, he won’t report until February 17th. He will be looking to compete for the starting job as center fielder. Currently the Reds do not have someone who has a hold on the job. What they do have is a lot of options. Beyond Siri, the team plans to look at top prospect Nick Senzel at the position – which is new to him. They will also give looks to outfielders Yasiel Puig, Scott Schebler, and Phillip Ervin.

With plenty of options, and Siri being the only one without at least some time in Triple-A, he may be on the outside looking in. But what gives him a chance is that he’s clearly the best defender of the group. In fact, he might be the only true center fielder of the bunch. He will certainly stand out defensively among this group, as he stands out among center fielders as it is.

21 Responses

  1. ohiojimw

    If Siri comes in hot and has a big camp it’s a chance for the Reds to show just how strong the new wind is really blowing by giving him a real shot at winning the CF job..

  2. Mjc

    Exciting player,hes not ready for bigs yet though .sucess in high minors build on confidence he may be ready soon. His ceiling and floor is big gap 4rth outfielder to an all star

    • Wes

      He’s 23 and already has 6 years in the minors. To me he’s as ready as he’ll ever be. Refine his aggressive approach and he won’t be the same exciting player.

      Right now he has Nick Senzel and 2 right fielders in front of him. Hard to think he will ever have a better opportunity to start or atleast make the team. Reds should give him every opportunity too.

      Much rather see Siri get at bats than Scott Schebler

      • The Duke

        I get rather seeing Siri’s defense in CF over Schebler, but at bats? Schebler was an above average hitter last year (OPS+ of 106). Odds are he’d drastically out hit Siri if both were in the bigs this year.

      • Wes

        Over a full season yes- if both get the at bats. But managers should be playing the hot bat and who gets hotter than Siri with his power and speed combo ? He’s hitting 714 right now !!!

        Start nick at cf w Siri as his back up and late game d sub. let nick give scooter a breather or two a week at 2nd and let Siri start once a week. When Siri is hot- keep him out there. Like with any other player.

        Today I think Schebler is better than winker and Siri all around. But were Schebler has peaked- there’s room for growth in winkers and Siri’s games at major league level. And kemp is head and shoulders better than Schebler. For the sake of winning and player development- Scott should be the odd man out.

      • The Duke

        Kemp is a worse defender than Winker is and completely fell apart in the 2nd half last year. He’s not a full time player anymore.

        How would Siri ever get hot not getting regular at bats? He should be in the minors until he shows he should be an every day guy. Put him in a bench role now, and odds go up that is all he ever is.

        And under no circumstance should Senzel start the year on the Reds. At the very least wait the two weeks or so and secure the extra year. Easy enough excuse that you want to get him more in game experience at CF.

      • Wes

        It’s not a bench role. You play him nearly daily as late game sub and start one or two a week. That’ll get him above 300 at bats maybe 400. if he can prove he’s better than Phil Ervin in spring training- let him play. Every player should get regular breathers like madden runs the cubs and then guys like kemp don’t wear down. Play matchups and streaks vs running same guy out at same poistion every day.

        If Siri makes team then he’s starting center most days til senzel is called up. He will never be the consistent player you want to see in AAA- not even if u leave him in Louisville til he’s 30. He is what he is and if he can prove he’s better Ervin today than there is no time like the present- let him play

  3. jim t

    After his record setting hit streak I was very excited to follow Jose last year. Sadly his season was somewhat derailed by a injury. His numbers indicate he is working on his walk and K rate by being more patient at the plate. Hopefully that improvement continues this year. He has outstanding tools and has the ability to be the total package in CF.

    His development is huge to the rebuild. If he puts it together and becomes a productive CF’er we do not need to commit dollars or Prospects to fill that hole for quite awhile. I don’t think this year is the year for him to make the ML roster but a good season in the minors with continual improvement of his K/walk rate and we have our 2020 starting CF’er

  4. Lilith

    What is the level of competition? Is it around AA level or so?

    • $$

      At least….Fernando Tatis Jr is playing in the same league and has similar stats to Siri so far.

    • $$

      Actually its more like AAA. Major Leaguers like Franmil Reyes and Hanley Ramirez are playing there as well.

  5. A.B.

    Hopefully another year of progression for Siri and Trammell in 2019 and then with Kemp and Puig off the books in 2020, turn ’em loose.

  6. Smittyboy

    i think he need a full year in AAA. Siri is a freak but he definitely needs to make more contact. It’ll be fun to follow him Trammell & Friedl this year and see how much they develop

    • SteveLV

      I agree, Smitty. It’s more important to improve Siri than to rush him to improve the Reds. If he goes to Louisville and improves his plate discipline, I can see bring him up around the trade deadline, but that would be about the most aggressively I would push him.

  7. MIkeD

    Hopefully the Reds don’t use the remainder of their budget to lock up a free agent center fielder. I would make due for now with what they have, and then see if Siri or Trammell can make the jump either in 2019 sometime or 2020.

    Siri is definitely an exciting player, and the type that could bring a lot of folks back to the ballpark. Don’t rush him until he forces the promotion by his play.

  8. Puig66

    I know that Jones and Span are no longer CF’s, does anyone know if Gomez, Jackson or Maybin are still able to play CF? Where would Ervin rate compared to these 3?

  9. MK

    Jose is somewhat a loose cannon. This should not be construed in a negative way although for some it can be negative. To be successful he is going to have to be aggressive, be somewhat of a hot dog and wear his emotions on his sleeve. These traits are who he is and any future success will depend on this. He will never be a big OBP guy but he will have the ability to take a walk when the situation requires, but he will also expand the zone and make an out to knock in a run or move a batter. He is also going to get tossed occasionally on called strike calls he disagrees with and get thrown out on the bases when he should not be running. It is flat what he is.