Cincinnati Reds Top Prospect Report – Gavin LaValley

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

How are the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospects doing during the 2017 season?

While the Cincinnati Reds become uncompetitive with a 29-38 record, it is time to look for hope in the future. The team is loaded with talented prospects across all of their minor-league teams, and many of those players started off with promising starts in their careers.

It’s time take a look at how one of the forgotten top prospects is performing as we head into the middle of summer. This is a special look at a prospect that is having a great season in the minor leagues.

Gavin LaValley (1B)

2017 Stats (Advanced-A):
Daytona Beach: .288/.332/.538, 14 2B, 15 HR, 45 RBI, 15 BB, 49 K, 0 SB

Last year Gavin LaValley spent a few games in Dayton, but spent most of the season at Daytona Beach.  This year, LaValley has spent all of his time at Daytona Beach in the Florida State League.  Each year prior to this year LaValley has had a shortfall of power for a first baseman.

LaValley’s season high of home runs before this season was 11 last year.  This year he has 15 already.  He had a combined 10 home runs his first two years with the Reds’ organization.

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LaValley needed this.  His minor league slugging percentage is .432.  That is insufficient for a first baseman.

Gavin LaValley accorded himself well for the Cincinnati Reds in the Florida State League All-Star Game.

LaValley made the FSL ASG.  In the game he had his second two home run game of the year.  In going 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs, LaValley powered the North squad to a victory.

LaValley was a fourth round pick in the 2014 MLB draft out of high school in Oklahoma.

He played a year in rookie ball and a year in Dayton before seeing his development slow down.  A hamstring injury to start his 2016 season may be the reason he hasn’t reached Pensacola, yet.

LaValley is a first baseman by trade but can play third base with no issue.  Going forward, he will stay at first and could see some time in the outfield.  Last year’s top pick, Nick Senzel who wanted to be in the big leagues this season, blocks third base from LaValley’s future plans.

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As the 25 ranked prospect in the Reds’ organization, LaValley isn’t expected to be an everyday starter by the time he reaches the majors.  He projects as a right-handed hitter off of the bench similar to what Patrick Kivlehan is for the Reds right now, but his power surge could change that.  In the meantime, LaValley could move on to Pensacola anytime now.