One of my favorite things about following a losing baseball team is scrutinizing minor roster moves. Way, way back at the end of the last decade, the Reds were bad. I made a habit of hanging on to ever 40-man roster move because you never knew which one was going to be the kind of hidden treasure find to turn into the next Johan Santana or David Ortiz. The Reds have been good for a long time though, so I have been living in the present much, much more. Those days are over, so let's dream on the future a bit. Sunrise, sunset.
Yesterday, the Reds claimed outfielder Tyler Holt (Tyler Holt!) from the Indians. He is 26 and he has been bad in two stints in the big leagues, but maybe he can be awesome.
He's a smallish guy who makes his bones with his legs. In his minor-league career, he has stolen 152 bases and has only been caught 39 times. That's a pretty strong 80% success rate. He has played primarily as a center fielder throughout his career, but he is not unfamiliar with the outfield corners. He is not exactly Jason Bourgeois, but yeah he's kinda Jason Bourgeois.
But for one important detail: kid likes walks. In his minor-league career, he has struck out 1.36 times for every walk. That's not Joey Votto-level plate discipline, but it's a damn sight better than Jason Bourgeois. Holt's last two seasons have been spent mainly in AAA where he put up a respectable slash of .304/.398/.382. That is great plate production from a central defender.
Of course, he is not going to be a starting center fielder for the Reds. But there is definitely going to be a spot open on the bench going into next year that will need to be filled by a fella who can play three OF positions. This guy is probably 40-man fodder, but he has a chance to actually be a decent ballplayer. I'm gonna keep an eye on him.