Reds Ink International Prospects

With this year’s draft fresh in the rear view mirror it’s now time for teams to continue mining for talent in the pool of foreign free agents. Cincinnati has invested over half of their signing bonus on big outfielder Christian Olivo and slender shortstop Miguel Hernandez.

Cincinnati has not been bashful about reaching deep into their pocket to bring international talent into their system and this year their big signing is Dominican outfielder Christian Olivo. He’s made strides in his game recently to improve position in the list of top rated prospects and the Reds landed him with a $1 million bonus out of the $2,873,000 total that they are allowed to use this year.

Although Olivo is only sixteen years old he already stands 6’2”/210# which is why many project him to have plus power. The left-hander is already driving the ball well to all fields and shows good speed on the bases. The teenager could start his professional career soon in the Dominican Rookie League.

A couple of other international free agent signings have occupied spots in the top Cincinnati prospect lists for several years now. Yorman Rodriguez and Juan Duran represent a combined $4.5 million in signing bonus money. 22 year-old Rodriguez made it to the Reds last year for a cup of coffee after roster expansion and has been selected to participate in this year’s Futures Game during all-star week. 23 year-old Duran has recently come off the DL to resume his development at AA Pensacola. Last year’s big signing was Cuban Raisel Iglesias who took some turns in the Reds rotation this year before going on the DL.

Later in the day after signing Olivo, they used the biggest chunk of cash left over in their bonus pool to ink Venezuelan shortstop Miguel Hernandez. He’s also sixteen years old and stands 5’11”/155#. As his frame suggests, there’s not much power projected in his game, but he’s still young and has time to add size to his physique. He already projects something a bit atypical of foreign prospects: an advanced plate discipline. Defensively he projects well enough to stick in the middle infield.

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