Yesterday morning we took a look at the first two free agent signings made by the Cincinnati Reds after teams were allowed to sign undrafted players. Today we’re going to take a look at the eight players that were reportedly signed on Monday.

Stevie Branche Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 210 lbs

B/T: R/R | Born: 5/18/1997

According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Cincinnati Reds weren’t the only team interested in bringing Stevie Branche into the organization. The San Francisco Giants were the first team that called on Sunday morning when teams were officially allowed to contact undrafted players. But Cincinnati was on the phone shortly after, and they made a better offer. The Giants were willing to match the offer, but Branche chose the Reds.

From a scouting perspective, Branche works in the low 90’s with his fastball and will touch 95 every so often. The right-handed starter also throws a curveball, slider, and a change up. Control hasn’t been the best in his college career – but it’s gotten better since the start of the 2019 season. Still, it’s an area that he’ll likely need to improve on.

Jacob Hurtubise Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 180 lbs

B/T: L/R | Born: 12/11/1997

Two things stand out when looking at the stats for Jacob Hurtubise: He’s never hit for anything resembling power, and he steals a ton of bases. Baseball America rated him as the 14th best senior to keep an eye on in the undrafted market – noting his big time speed and his plate approach. During his college career he walked nearly twice as often as he struck out, and while Army doesn’t play the most grueling schedule – he more than held his own in the Cape Cod League last summer. With his speed he handles center field well.

Tyler Keysor Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 224 lbs

B/T: R/R | Born: 12/8/1997

In his college career, Tyler Keysor spent time in both the rotation and the bullpen for Eastern Florida State and Miami. He found some success in both roles, but looks more like a future reliever than starter. He sits in the low 90’s with his fastball and will get up to 95 at times. His slider and splitter give him different looks to show hitters and are both solid offerings.

Brett Lockwood Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 220 lbs.

B/T: L/R | Born: 4/15/1997

It’s a bit strange that a guy who pitched in the Big 12 has so little information on him out there in 2020 on the internet, but here we are. I reached out to a few scouts and didn’t get a lot of information. He’s reportedly a side-arm type of reliever who could potentially move quickly. Can spin the ball well.

Alex McGarry Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 200 lbs.

B/T: L/L | Born: 5/11/1998

Alex McGarry began his college baseball career at Tacoma Community College as a freshman in 2017 before transferring to Oregon State in 2018. He missed the 2018 regular season after requiring surgery on his hand but did play for Rochester that summer in the Northwoods Summer League.

There’s a lot of swing-and-miss for McGarry, who struck out 25.2% of the time after leaving Tacoma CC – including his time in the Northwoods League. There is some power potential for him to tap into, though. He shows good bat speed, and he’s also an average-ish speed guy.

Leo Nierenberg Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 190 lbs.

B/T: R/R | Born: 6/5/1998

In his four seasons at Washington, Leo Nierenberg was consistently inconsistent. His ERA wasn’t good over his 4-year career, coming in at 5.64 in his 83.0 innings. He struggled with control in 2018, but was wasn’t terrible at throwing strikes in his other 68.1 innings. When it comes to his stuff, he generally sits around 90-91 MPH with his fastball that has a little bit of arm-side run to it. He will also mix in an inconsistent slider in the low-to-mid 80’s that flashes itself as an above-average offering.

Braxton Roxby Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 225 lbs

B/T: R/R | Born: 3/12/1999

After pitching out of the bullpen almost all of his freshman season, and walking 18 batters in 14.1 innings, Braxton Roxby moved into the rotation for Pittsburgh-Johnstown. His ERA and walk rate improved, but neither was exactly good. What was, though, was his increased strikeout rate as he fanned 67 batters in 56.1 innings. He didn’t spend much time in the Cape Cod League last summer, but he pitched well in his three outings as he struck out six batters with one walk in 3.2 innings.The 2020 season was a struggle for Roxby, though, as he allowed 19 earned runs in 17.2 innings while walking 16 batters, hitting four more, and striking out 28 of them.

The walks are a big problem. In his college career he walked 67 batters in 88.2 innings and posted a 7.31 ERA. That’s the bad side. But Roxby has some stuff, too. He throws in the mid-90’s with his fastball, topping out at 97. I was told that he really jumps out at you when you look at his Trackman data.

Carson Spiers Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 210 lbs

B/T: R/R | Born: 11/11/1997

Carson Spiers pitched out of the bullpen for Clemson all four years from 2017-2020. He was limited as a freshman to just three games, but over the next three years he was a main cog in the Tigers bullpen as he picked up 19 saves and threw 106.1 innings. A strong performer, he posted a 2.47 ERA for Clemson in his career with 38 walks and 103 strikeouts, while posting a WHIP of 0.99 in his four seasons. Following the 2018 season he also played in the Cape Cod League and found some success – though he also struggled with some control as he walked more batters than he struck out in seven outings.

When it comes to his stuff, he’s a 2-pitch reliever who throws a fastball and a change up. His fastball works in the 89-92 MPH range and he’ll touch 94 at times. His change up wasn’t all that good when he arrived on campus, but it’s developed into a strong offering that is now his go-to secondary pitch.

Fun facts: The Spiers family is all over Clemson’s record books. Bud Spiers, Carson’s grandfather, played baseball there from 1956-1958. His uncle Bill Spiers was an All-American at Clemson in the 80’s and spent 13 years in the big leagues. His father Michael Spiers played at Clemson from 1988-1991. Cousin Will Spiers was the punter for the football team before graduating this year.

9 Responses

  1. Bred

    I am confused by the signing of Jacob Hurtubise as being a graduate of West Point requires some active duty/reserve commitment. Unless this Army is not the United States Military Academy.

    • Glenn

      Bred, During last Years Army Navy Game President Trump signed an Executive Order that deferred any Military Service for any Military Academy Graduate until after they finished their Athletic career. Before the rule was the Graduate had to wait 2 Years to play unless they received an individual waiver. President Trump stated that if any graduate was talented enough to play Sports then they should be allowed to pursue that activity and still fulfill their Military commitment later.

  2. Colorado Red

    I am intrigued by Carson Spiers. Looks like a potential closer.
    In terms of the guy from west point. Say an article ‘Trump OKs letting academy athletes play pro sports’ It would allow him to defer his military obligation.

    • MK

      I think they already have that option. It is how some Army / Navy / Air Force guys have plated in NFL. think the Dragons had a guy a few years ago (Holden I think). He was released and went active soon after

  3. Billy

    Seems like we’re picking up a lot of hard-throwing but wild pitchers. Does Boddy have a track record with this type of pitcher?

    • Doug Gray

      I think there’s some stuff missing here and while we don’t have the information – the scouts/teams probably do. If a guy is wild – why is he wild? Is it because of a mechanical thing they believe that they can fix? Or is it because they throw a slider that they have no idea how to locate and the team can envision them dropping that pitch and the control improving simply by doing that? Maybe a guy has three pitches and doesn’t use one much, but it is actually a good pitch and it’s going to be emphasized more?

      It could be a lot of things. Of course, it could also just be that the guy can’t throw strikes, too.

  4. Drew Woohy

    this Lockwood kid was dominant in 2020 with confidence and poise, he seems to be getting better as time goes on. Could be a sleeper for Reds
    Reminds me of a Steve Cishek type who can be versatile in the pen

  5. Amdg

    Carson Spiers seems like such a strange pickup for the Reds, since he is so unlike every other pitcher they acquired.

    He actually performed well in college, while everybody else profiles with high ERAs, high hits, and high walks to accompany their high K’s.

  6. Northern Ky Reds

    Welp! Not impressed by any of these guys especially some who are at 22 Years old. Let’s see how they do at Greenville. Crossing Fingers!