If you’re already looking forward to next year, the Louisville Bats can give you a taste. I wrote this before Opening Day, for what it’s worth, but I think the sentiment stands.
The Louisville Bats announced their roster yesterday. Even if you can barely recognize them in their new blue-and-red unis, there are some interesting faces (and familiar faces) down on the farm this summer.
The Rotation is headlined by Sal Romano and Jackson Stephens. The two 23-year-olds were both very good in AA Pensacola last year, and Romano had a decent shot at Cincinnati’s Opening Day rotation. The other interesting piece is Lisalverto Bonilla, a 27-year-old who has always had high strikeout numbers (but was also wild) in Philadelphia, Texas and Los Angeles. He was once traded for Michael Young.
Tim Adleman and Rob Wooten will be the veteran depth, with Adelman excelling in AAA last year.
Bronson Arroyo is listed in the rotation but will probably be in Cincinnati post-haste.
The Bullpen has Alejandro Chacin, a stocky 24-year-old who spent 2016 striking out 75 and walking 26 in just 60.2 AA innings. He had two homers given up all year and pitched great in the Venezuelan winter league – he’s the quickest riser of the bunch.
The other exciting guys are Evan Mitchell and Nick Routt, two mid-twenties guys with great stats who could get in the run for bullpen innings. Kevin Shackleford is the other part of the Jonathan Broxton deal (besides rookie Barrett Astin) and Kyle McMyne, ah, “led the Southern League in appearances” which is noteworthy in the broadest meaning of the word.
Louis Coleman and Lucas Luetge are not exciting.
The Infield has Chad Wallach, the erstwhile Red Reporter fave who came over in the Mat Latos deal. At 25, he has a lifetime .266/.364/.384 slashline which could be fun in a Ryan Hanigan-esque way. Rob Brantly is the other catcher.
Zach Vincej brings his sterling glove back with him to Louisville, and he’ll be joined around the horn by Tony Renda, Brandon Dixon and Seth Mejias-Brean. Take from that what you will. Juan Perez is also a utility infielder.
Dilson Herrera, once healthy, will be at the pivot between Vincej and Dixon. Coming over for Jay Bruce, he could be a very exciting young player (once healthy).
The Outfield has Jesse Winker, Philip Ervin and Sebastian Elizalde. Unfortunately, none of them can play center so Beau Amaral will get plenty of playing time in the Ryan LaMarre role. Winker and Ervin are two former first-rounders who the Reds have a lot riding on. Elizalde is getting a bit old (25 years this season) but has put up a solid slashline throughout his career.
There is your team – be sure to get to Louisville this year to check out several up-and-coming Reds, as well as talk to Louis Coleman’s extended family.