Last week we learned that Cincinnati Reds prospect Jose Barrero would play in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. He had been working with hitting coach Alan Zinter and new assistant hitting coach Joel McKeithan right before the owners locked the players out, eliminating any further opportunity for the three of them to work together until the lockout ended. Barrero will join Escogido starting on Tuesday.
When he joins the team Barrero will be teaming up with another Reds prospect, Francisco Urbaez. The recently turned 24-year-old Urbaez has been a staple in the Lions lineup, playing in 28 games and hitting .290/.398/.300 with 16 walks and 13 strikeouts as he finishes up his first professional season after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020 out of Florida Atlantic.
What position Jose Barrero will play with Escogido wasn’t disclosed. While he played exclusively shortstop in the minor leagues last season with both Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville, he actually played more in center while with Cincinnati than he did shortstop.
It’s not just the position that could be a question for now, though. How long he will play is unknown, too. The Dominican Winter League regular season ends this week. The top four teams advance, while the bottom two teams are eliminated. However, the four remaining teams get to draft players from the two eliminated teams for the next round of the playoffs. Escogido is currently still playing to make it to the next round. If they don’t, Barrero could be drafted and join one of the teams that does advance. Barrero, as a non-Dominican born player will be available for only three rounds of the draft if Escogido doesn’t advance.
Brandon Finnegan signs with the White Sox
The Cincinnati Reds released Brandon Finnegan in late November, ending his 7-season run in the Cincinnati organization. The left-handed pitcher was the last remaining player from the Johnny Cueto trade still around. He is now with the Chicago White Sox after signing a minor league deal with them on Friday.