The Cincinnati Reds have acquired outfielder Scott Heineman from the Texas Rangers via a trade, which was first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. In return the Reds sent Texas infield prospect Jose Acosta.
During the 2020 season Scott Heineman played in 24 games with the Texas Rangers, but about half of those games came off of the bench. In total he hit .154/.185/.269 over his 54 plate appearances with two walks and 11 strikeouts. During 2019, his rookie season, he played in 25 games for the Rangers and hit a bit better – but still struggled – posting a .213/.306/.373 line across his 85 plate appearances.
It was what he did in Triple-A in the 2019 season that may have drawn the Reds attention, though. With Triple-A Nashville he played in 42 games and hit .340/.412/.553. Of course, it’s worth noting that 2019 was the year in which Triple-A began to use the juiced Major League Baseball version of the ball and it seemed that everyone all of a suddenly found big time power. In 2018 in 107 games for Triple-A Round Rock, Heineman hit .295/.355/.429 – showing far less power.
Defensively he’s played all three outfield spots in the Major Leagues, with most of his action coming in center field. He has also had some time at first base for the Rangers at the big league level after never playing there as a professional – though he did play some at both first and third in college at Oregon.
The acquisition of Heineman puts the Reds 40-man roster at 32 players, including seven outfielders. It feels fairly safe to say that at this point, he’s the 7th player on the outfield depth chart.
As for the player the Reds traded to the Texas Rangers, Jose Acosta is likely someone only the die-hard prospect followers have heard of. In 2019 he began the season in the Dominican Summer League before making his way over to the Arizona Rookie League later in the year. It was a heck of a season that he put together, though, as I named him the farm system’s Minor League Hitter of the Year after hitting .395/.481/.579 between the two stops in his 53 games and 234 plate appearances. He walked 31 times, had 41 strikeouts, and stole 26 bases while only being caught once as a 19-year-old. The switch-hitter didn’t play in 2020 as the minor league season was wiped out. He was unranked among the prospect lists.