If you follow the minor league system at all you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Jose Siri lately. On Tuesday afternoon he doubled in the 1st inning to extend him hitting streak to 37 games. That extended the Midwest League record for longest hitting streak, which he broke on Monday night.
Over his 37-game hitting streak, Jose Siri has hit .345/.368/.685 with 11 doubles, three triples and 13 home runs. Things have gotten dicey a few times along the way in the hit streak and none may have been more pressure filled than Monday night when he struck out the first three trips to the plate in an incredible start by Padres multi-million dollar Cuban signee Michel Baez (14 strikeouts, no walks in 6.2 innings). In the 8th inning he fell behind 0-2 before fouling off a 95 MPH fastball, the first fastball he had seen since the 3rd inning. He took the 4th pitch of the at-bat and grounded a single between the third baseman and shortstop to set the all-time league record.
It’s been a breakout season for Jose Siri in 2017. In 2016 he began the year in Dayton and struggled mightily. He hit .145/.163/.181 in 27 games with two walks and 34 strikeouts before heading back to extended spring training. He then went to Billings in June and hit well. He had a .320 average and slugged .560, but had eight walks and 66 strikeouts. The hitting numbers were there, but the strikeout-to-walk ratio was still a very big problem.
During spring training it was Jose Siri that stood out to me the most during the five days that I was in Goodyear. I wrote about all of the things that I saw, and what I was impressed by here. This was my closing paragraph to the article:
The offensive tools have always been present for Siri (and the defensive ones for that matter). ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the approach/pitch recognition thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s held them back from playing up. Given the past struggles in that department, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to say with confidence that I believe he will come out and hit the cover off of the ball this season. But, given what I saw and what I heard from some of the Reds staff, it wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t surprise me if he did, either.
The plate discipline/pitch recognition part of his game is still a work in progress, for sure. But, he has taken enormous strides forward in that regard. And he’s certainly been hitting the cover off of the ball this year, it’s been other worldly since May 21st. In the span of 60 games in that time he’s hit .343/.377/669 with 15 doubles, five triples and 18 home runs.
The results of the steps forward that Jose Siri has taken in 2017 have vaulted him up various prospect rankings. In early July I ranked him as the 14th best prospect in the system after being unranked in the Top 25 entering the year. Baseball America ranked him #10 two weeks later, after having him ranked 31st entering the season. With the best all around package of tools in the entire farm system, Siri is going to be a fun follow. He may be the ultimate boom or bust kind of prospect. As a center fielder there’s some wiggle room for his bat, and he doesn’t have to stick on the Reds roster until the 2021 season, so there’s plenty of time to let things play out if he does have struggles moving up.