The Cincinnati Reds announced that they have signed infielder Juniel Querecuto to a minor league deal and extended an invitation to big league spring training.

If you are asking yourself who Juniel Querecuto is, you probably aren’t alone. The now 29-year-old last played in the big leagues in 2016 with the Tampa Bay Rays. It was his only time spent in Major League Baseball and he went 1-11 with a triple and six strikeouts in four games played that year. He was granted free agency following that season and signed with the San Francisco Giants before moving on to join the Arizona Diamondbacks organization from 2018-2021.

During the 2021 season he played for Triple-A Reno. Over his 96 games played he hit .301/.354/.489 with 15 doubles, 7 triples, 13 home runs, 9 steals, 31 walks, and 62 strikeouts in 396 plate appearances. This past year was the first season in which he reached double digits in home runs. Prior to the last two seasons (2019 and 2021) he had never hit more than 3 home runs in a given season. Both of those seasons came in Reno, which plays very hitter friendly in a league that plays quite hitter friendly.

At the plate there doesn’t seem to be a lot to get excited about as nothing in particular stands out on his resume – there’s not any power, he isn’t a high contact rate guy (though he doesn’t strike out a ton, either), he hasn’t been a high walk rate guy, he isn’t racking up high stolen base totals…. but defensively there could be some value to be had. In the last two years with Reno he’s played every position on the field except catcher, and he’s done so more than just as an emergency fill in.

While we don’t know exactly what baseball is going to look like in 2022, until we know otherwise, the National League still doesn’t have the designated hitter. And because of that the defensive flexibility of a player like Juniel Querecuto can be of value off of the bench for a team. That is maybe even more true now with the amount of pitching changes that happen in games today compared to 20 years ago that result in more double switches than ever before. While most of his time has come at shortstop, second base, and third base, he’s got experience playing just about everywhere on the field.

17 Responses

  1. LDS

    Now that is marketing. The old adage about a silk purse from a sow’s ear comes to mind.

  2. Votto4life

    I saw on the latest MLB trade rumor chat transcript that the Reds may target Tommy Pham. Didn’t he trash Reds fan in the media last summer?

    I guess it probably won’t matter, I just thought it was interesting.

    • MBS

      As a rule of thumb, I don’t like former divisional players. It’s like dating your best friends ex, it just doesn’t feel right.

  3. MK

    Sounds like a quality piece for a AAA roster much like Hernán Iribarren was. Good mentor for young guys and could be an emergency plug in piece for Reds especially with CoVid uncertainty.

    • votto4life

      Yeah, me too..I would love to see the Reds sign Pham. But, I think the host of the chat was just throwing out a name after someone asked who the Reds would sign this off season. I don’t think it tied to any reporting. At least that is my impression.

  4. Redsvol

    Doug- i suggest you propose one ridiculous mock trade of a reds player daily until the lockout is over. I need something to keep me going and I love me some trade scenarios that overvalue our players and undervalue everyone else’s.

    • Doug Gray

      Juniel Querecuto for Mike Trout: Who says no?

      • Redsvol

        now that’s just silly…….Trout is injury prone and has a lot of money owed to him…….we would need Jo Addell thrown in to balance that out!

      • Gonzo Reds

        I’d like to trade Moose for Rob Deer in an exchange of animals that no longer are useful baseball players.

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    I have seen Querecuto playing here in Venezuelan winter league for Cardenales de Lara thru many years. Here, He is a very usefull player , a very dangerous hitter , he is opportune with runners on base and pretty good defensively. However this season he hit poor in the regular phase (.231/.306/.308 in 170 PAs) but he is hitting better in the semi-final (round robin playoffs) slashing .375/.419/.425 in 43 PAs. In 6 seasons playing for VeWL his slash is .305/.358/.391 in 960 PAs…I think he could be a good player for Louisville providing some deep to the major team as an infield utility option in a given moment.

    • LDS

      And Shogo Akiyama is a .300+ hitter in Japan. The Reds are overly fond of “utility” players and are trying to create more. Farmer, Senzel, and now Barrero – how’s all that utility working out?

      • David

        Electric and water bills going down? 🙂

        Seriously, I see your point, but who knows how this all shakes out during Spring Training…..if that ever takes place? Who knows who stays on which rosters?

        These minor league deals are done routinely by most of the major league clubs. But we’ve got nothing else to watch, as ML deals are frozen because of the lockout. Let’s not over-analyze some of these minor league deals.
        Akiyama was a very costly “deal”, the others are not.

      • LDS

        I think Akiyama would be less costly if he had played enough to adjust. That’s one of my chief complaints about Bell – his apparent obliviousness to player development in favor of decrepit veterans.

  6. Eric Davis Morgan Larkin Bench

    Championship !