Cincinnati Reds Have Strong Interest in Top International Prospect


The Cincinnati Reds will probably not make a big splash in free agency this winter, but they could make one in the international market.

According to’s Jesse Sanchez, the team held a private workout in the Dominican Republic for Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez on Tuesday.

Martinez is ranked as the No. 4 international free agent by and No. 2 by Fangraphs. The 20-year-old has previously held private workouts with the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, and is expected to get a signing bonus of over $10 million.

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Signing Martinez would basically mean that the Reds couldn’t add any more top international free agents for the next two years (teams are allotted only so much money each year to sign international players and undergo penalties when they exceed that amount) and the money would be taxed at 100 percent, but the move could be worth it.

As a five-tool player, the name you’ll hear associated with Martinez over and over again is Andruw Jones. Martinez has high power potential and good speed, along with a strong, accurate arm in center field. Most scouting reports agree that he would need time in the minor leagues, meaning he’d instantly become one of the Reds top prospects in a system that is very pitching-heavy. Like so many other international free agents in recent years (e.g., Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig), Martinez could be an impact player in the future as the Reds continue to rebuild and could ultimately become a star in Cincinnati, if he chooses to sign there.

Here is part of MLB Pipeline’s assessment on the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder:

"In the batter’s box, Martinez has a quick and compact power stroke. He’s shown the ability to hit home runs to all fields and work the counts. He’s speedy out of the box and shows base-stealing potential. Described as “hard-nosed,” Martinez is aggressive and not afraid to take an extra-base."

Martinez is also skilled with the glove, using his speed to chase down fly balls all over the field, and is expected to stay in center field.

He is free to sign at any point and it remains to be seen when he’ll put pen to paper on a deal, but Martinez could be a worthwhile investment for the Reds when he does decide to start fielding actual offers.

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