The Cincinnati Reds have been busy signing their 2021 class for the international signing period over the last few days. Normally a signing period will begin on July 2nd and players that are 16 or older are eligible to sign. However this past year that didn’t take place as things were shut down due to COVID-19 and the start of the signing period was pushed until mid-January. Unlike the recent past, each team has a specific amount of money they are allowed to spend these days, and the Reds have spent almost all of theirs – pushing north of $5.5M spent so far.
Cincinnati has signed 15 total players thus far. The two biggest signings are Malvin Valdez and Ariel Almonte – both are outfielders from the Dominican Republic. Each player signed a bonus for nearly $2M. Valdez is a center fielder with a big arm, a lot of speed, and power potential. Almonte is a corner outfielder who has big time power potential and a chance to hit for average in the future as well. As things stand right now the team has signed six pitches and nine position players. You can read about each of them at the link above. Bonus note: One of the players is the cousin of Reds third baseman Eugenio Suárez.
Baseball America’s Top 100 list
On Monday the Baseball America crew released their Top 100 prospect list. A difficult task to handle without a 2020 minor league baseball season. While most of the guys in the Top 100 were the types who showed up at their team’s alternate roster site, most players in the minors didn’t and that left everyone without much information on an overwhelming majority of players, and a little bit of information on the players that were mostly already well on the radar of everyone. Cincinnati, for their participation on the list, saw two prospects make the Top 100. Jose Garcia came in at #79 on the list, and then outfielder Austin Hendrick came in at #97.
Two players in the Top 100 isn’t the best showing. But the Reds had six other prospects get votes among the Top 150 prospects. It seems that right now the belief is that Cincinnati doesn’t have any elite level prospects, but they’ve got plenty of depth with good prospects.
Little interest in Andrew Benintendi
A little less than two weeks ago rumors began to swirl that Andrew Benintendi was on the market. The Reds Sox were looking at potentially moving their outfielder. We wrote about how it’s a tough sell for the Reds to be interested in the locally born and former Cincinnati draft pick (unsigned) given that the team is already loaded in the outfield. Rob Bradford of WEEI in Boston noted on Tuesday that Cincinnati is among the teams are among those that haven’t been interested. He does note that in the past the Reds have been interested in acquiring the outfielder.