When the Reds traded Alfredo Simon they had a simple strategy in mind, bring in cheap cost controlled players. They received a former first round pick in Jonathon Crawford, but also brought in a young MLB ready shortstop in Eugenio Suarez. Suarez played in 85 games for Detroit this season, exhausting his rookie and prospect status. He hit .242/.316/.336 with with 4 HR and 23 RBI. He also committed 10 errors in 312 chances for a .962 fielding percentage. He also played a total of 9 innings at 3B.
Eugenio was signed as a amateur free agent out of Venezuela at the age of 17. All Suarez did from that point in the minors was hit. He had up and down seasons usually having a little more difficulty after getting promoted a level. However, he always rebounded the next year, and would warrant another promotion. Suarez shows good plate discipline and some pop from the shortstop position. From first look it seems he may have some trouble putting the bat on the ball as much as you'd like. He also plays solid defense at shortstop, at least an improvement from some of his minor league numbers. He topped out at 36 errors in a full minor league season in 2013, but lowered that total to 19 between AA, AAA, and the major leagues. Stealing bases isn't part of his game, but did steal 21 in 2012.
I feel that giving up Suarez was probably the harder of the two players Detroit gave up for Simon. From everything I've read, they were very high on him, but he was blocked by Jose Iglesias. He is also a fan among scouts, particularly John Sickels, for the tools he displays on the field. While not displaying a high ceiling, and being more of a steady player, Sickels rated Suarez as #8 on Detroit's list of top prospects. He gave him a grade of B-. Sickels didn't raise or lower Suarez's grade from preseason to postseason.
Eugenio Suarez, INF, Grade B-: Very effective in A-ball, had some contact issues in Double-A but I still like the total package here including solid defense and a chance to hit for average with more pop than many middle infielders.
Eugenio Suarez, INF, Grade B-: 80 games with the Tigers, hitting .247/.320/.343 with 21 walks, 66 strikeouts in 239 at-bats. Age 23, he's been unspectacular but useful and is young enough to improve considerably.
The things I was most impressed with from looking at this numbers were his OBP skills and the pop he showed in the minors. In 2014, when he was playing in the minors, he slugged over .500 at the AA and AAA levels. I feel like he has shown the offensive potential to possibly overtake Cozart, and possibly give the Reds a reason to trade Cozart. Plus, he definitely has age and room for improvement on his side.
Here is a
fun sad fact. Suarez's .316 OBP would have ranked third on the Reds in 2014. If you couldn't figure it out, I'm a HUGE fan of this trade because of Suarez.