Buchholz, whom the Reds selected out of the University of Delaware in the sixth round of June’s First-Year Player Draft, hit .396 in 134 at-bats for Billings. He flirted with .400 for nearly two weeks at season’s end before going “only” 1-for-4 in his final game to finish just shy of the magical mark. He also fell short of qualifying for the league batting title, which was won by Orem’s Roberto Lopez (.400).
“I would call it an almost seamless transition,” Cincinnati director of player development Terry Reynolds said. “A majority of guys have a problem moving from aluminum to wood bats. But he didn’t seem to have that issue.”
The article also says that Buchholz played hurt early and then broke his wrist late in the season.
But the Reds are interested in seeing how he looks at SS:
Despite his obvious adaptability at the plate, Buchholz is taking part in the Florida Instructional League this month. He spent virtually the entire season playing second base because Billings already had an established shortstop in Miguel Rojas. The folks in Cincinnati want him to get in some time at shortstop during instructs to see what they have in him position-wise.
“Rojas was playing shortstop for us at Billings after playing in our Dominican Academy and extended spring,” Reynolds said. “He’s as natural a shortstop as you’re going to see. And when he [Buchholz] got there he couldn’t play every day. The question is whether Rojas’ bat (he hit .183) is ready to move to the next level. If not, we’ll need a shortstop to fill that gap.
“I haven’t seen enough of Buchholz at shortstop to know what his better position is. We’re trying to determine where he fits. It’s easy to see he has the skills. If he has the physical ability, we’ll lean toward letting him try it. We know he has the mental ability, it’s just a matter of whether his physical skills will allow it. If he can play shortstop, we’ll keep him there until he runs into someone better, but we want to see exactly what his abilities are.”
As to where he’ll be at the start of next season?
Reynolds said the youngster will definitely play at Class A next spring, it’s just a matter of where. That’s a determination that won’t be made until March. Still, Reynolds is enjoying what he’s seeing in Buchholz.
The article also states that they aren’t certain where #1 pick Yonder Alonso will play next year, but he’ll likely start spring training on the “Florida State League roster”, but a lot will be determined by how he performs in Instructional Ball and in the Hawaiian Winter League.