In this ongoing series that will last most of spring training, we’re going to look at each player that will be in Major League camp with the Cincinnati Reds. Each post will have some information on the player. There will be some background information, profiling, projections, and more. To see all of the posts in the series, you can click here. Today we are going to look at infielder Jose Iglesias.
Jose Iglesias’ Background
Acquired: Non-drafted free agent signing out of Cuba in September of 2009 by the Red Sox. Signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds on a minor league deal in February with an invite to spring training.
Born: January 5, 1990
Height/Weight: 5′ 11″ / 194 lbs
Years of MLB Experience: Seven.
Another Cincinnati Reds shortstop that hails from Cuba, Jose Iglesias palyed at the highest level – the Cuban National Series – in 2006-2008 as a 16 and 17-year-old. He left the country after that final season and signed with the Boston Red Sox near the end of the 2009 regular season. The Reds Sox were impressed and began him in Double-A as a 20-year-old and he made his Major League debut the next year. He was traded to Detroit at the deadline in a 3-team deal. From July of 2013 through 2018 he played with the Tigers.
Jose Iglesias’ 2018 Season
The season didn’t start out well for Jose Iglesias, at least at the plate. In 25 games through the end of April he had hit just .223/.260/.319. Power was never a part of his game, so the lack of it wasn’t surprising. But the low average and on-base percentage, along with a 17% strikeout rate was out of line with the rest of the season. From May 1st through the end of August, in 100 games, the Tigers starting shortstop picked up the offense. He would post a .281/.324/.408 line with 16 walks and just 30 strikeouts in those 364 plate appearances. His season, though, came to an end at the end of August. He was placed on the disabled list (now known as the injured list) on the 30th with an abdominal strain and didn’t return in September.
Jose Iglesias’ Playing History
After signing with the Red Sox late in 2009, he began his pro career in 2010 and was making his Major League debut in 2011. He only played in the Majors in 35 games between 2011 and 2012, but by 2013 he was in the Major Leagues for 100+ games moving forward. That season he hit a combined .303/.349/.386 for the Red Sox and Tigers as a 23-year-old and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting (Wil Myers). He missed the entirety of the 2014 season with a stress fracture IN BOTH LEGS. He reportedly played through it in 2013, but it got to the point that it wasn’t possible the following season.
In 2015 he returned as the starting shortstop for the Tigers and made the All-Star team while hitting .300/.347/.370. The next two seasons saw his production drop off at the plate. He posted a combined .255/.297/.353 line in 267 games for Detroit in that span. As noted above, his 2018 season was a step forward, and after April he hit quite well.
Projecting Jose Iglesias for 2019
All three of the projection systems took their chances at projecting Jose Iglesias. With his track record in the Major Leagues that wasn’t unexpected. All three of them see pretty much the same thing from a rate standpoint, though it seems that Steamer has adjusted for the expected playing time.
How could Jose Iglesias fit in Cincinnati in 2019?
Despite being in spring training on a minor league deal it seems almost guaranteed that Jose Iglesias is going to make the 25-man roster. Unless there’s an injury to Jose Peraza or Scooter Gennett, there won’t be a spot for Iglesias to start. But what he does bring to the table is strong depth – he’s a starting caliber shortstop. He will be there to back up either guy, and he’ll be there to come in as a defensive replacement in games, too.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison/Flickr.com. Licensing for the photo can be found here.