Keury Mella has been kicking it around in the Reds minor leagues for a while now. While he’s been preparing his whole life to take a role in a starting rotation, there seems to be little chance of that manifesting in 2019. His best chance of making the team out of Spring Training will likely be in the bullpen, and that really might be his best bet at long term success at the top level. Despite pessimism with Mella and where he’ll end up, he still has the arm and the stuff that scouts dream of. It’s all about putting it together.
Hendrik Clementina, 21, C
Highest 2018 Level: A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 18 HR, 33 BB in 376 at bats. .229 ISO
Most Worrisome Fact: Speculation about whether or not he’ll be able to hit advanced pitching and his skills behind the plate. 26.3% K% last year.
Alias(es): Oh My Darlin’ Clementina, The Mighty Hendrik, Sweet Juicy Clementina
Hendrik Clementina has been with the Reds for a relatively short time (a little more than a year). He was brought to town in the trade where the Reds shipped off Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers. Quietly, Clementina had one of the better years out of anyone at Dayton. He hits for some obvious power and isn’t adverse to getting on base. His year totaled up for a .268/.327/.497 slash line. He hit a total of 41 extra base hits while being Dayton’s full time catcher for the most part.
The knock on Clementina will probably always be whether or not he’ll be able to advance his hit tool against more superior pitching talent. He’s had his ups and downs in his career but really had a strong 2018. Scouts also worry about his ability to stick behind the plate. His arm is pretty decent and his pass ball numbers and caught stealing numbers were pretty normal. Everything here makes Hendrik look like quite project going forward but there’s some obvious upside to be had. Hopefully, he continues to pound the hell out of the ball in Daytona.
Jose Israel Garcia, 20, SS/2B
Highest 2018 Level: A (Dayton)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: Great arm and solid defender.
Most Worrisome Fact: 19 walks against 112 strikeouts last season.
Alias(es): Say It Ain’t Jose, Cherry Garcia, Holy Land
Jose Israel Garcia was signed out of Cuba in the summer of 2017 to a $5 million bonus. 2018 was our first chance to get a look at Garcia, as he did not play in a single game after signing with the Reds in 2017. Unfortunately for Garcia, things did not get off to a great start. He hit .202/.248/.274 in the first half of the season in low-A Dayton, but bounced back in the second half. He had an overall line of .245/.290/.344 in 2018.
His biggest strengths are his arm and his athleticism. He split time at shortstop and second but saw most of his time at short. Even though he is tall at 6’3”, all reports say that he defended his position well. His biggest issues are his power and plate discipline. While he had 22 doubles on the season in 2018, he only knocked 6 dingers. The bigger issue was his plate discipline, as he struck out 112 times while only drawing 19 walks. That will obviously have to improve if he wants to continue to advance.
James Marinan, 20, RHP
Highest 2018 Level: Rookie (Billings)
Eye-Poppingest Fact: 8.2 K/9, 60 grade fastball
Most Worrisome Fact: 4.0 BB/9, 1.581 WHIP
Alias(es): Sauce, Seattle, Suriname
James Marinan came to the Reds in the 2018 ill fated deal where the Reds sent All-Star and Future Hall of Fame, Dylan Floro, to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ha. Actually, Floro was just some AAAA filler and the Reds actually got back a pretty decent and exciting prospect.
Marinan was a 4th round pick in the 2017 draft that the Dodgers threw about 800k at to keep from going to college. He was kind of a surprise his Senior year of high school when he started throwing in the mid 90’s and developed some decent breaking stuff. He had a sub 1.00 ERA in 10 innings in Rookie League Arizona before the trade. The Reds decided to send him to the Pioneer League up in Billings. It didn’t go well from the start.
One of the big knocks against Marinan is a lack of control early in his career and that plagued him soon after the trade. He was walking guys left and right and his ERA ballooned to hilarious numbers. It sure made that Floro deal look real stupid, am I right? In the end, Marinan ended up throwing a decently respectable season once he settled down. He showed that he could strike some guys out and by the end wasn’t walking near as many. Many scouts believe the Reds got a steal in that trade as Marinan throws a mid 90’s fastball with an average curve, slider, and change up. There is a believe do his athleticism, and big frame (6’5, 220 lb) that Marinan will be able to stick as a starter and will probably figure out his control issues. 2019 will be a big year for Marinan as he’ll get his feet wet in full season ball with the Dayton Dragons.
Who is the Reds #17 prospect?
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Hendrik Clementina, C
Jose Israel Garcia, SS/2B
James Marinan, RHP