Cincinnati Reds send eight to Arizona Fall League for development

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds send eight players to work on development in the Arizona Fall League.

Spring training for the Cincinnati Reds starts in the fall.  The eight players that go to Arizona are hoping to stay in Arizona and head to Goodyear, after seven were named initially.  A good Fall League last season propelled Zach Vincej to a major league debut in 2017.

The headline talent for the Reds in the AFL this season is Blake Trahan.  The infielder was in spring training with the big league team last season and ranks at the 27th best prospect in the minors.  After a hot spring, though Trahan only batted .222 in 136 games in Double-A in 2017.

The other batter that Reds’ fans may know is Taylor Sparks.  He missed two months of the season recovering from a broken wrist.  As a third baseman, he needs to make his offensive explosion more consistent to make the big leagues some day.

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Second baseman Brantley Bell, son of former Pittsburgh Pirate Jay Bell, is also there.  Jay is managing the Scottsdale Scorpions, which is the team that the Reds’ prospects play on in the AFL.  At High-A Brantley struck out 130 times with a mediocre OBP of .293.

The Cincinnati Reds also sent four pitchers to the AFL that they think will make to the big leagues some day.

More from Reds Prospects

The Reds view Jake Ehret as a potential top pitching prospect.  In 2017 he took a step back as he started at Double-A, but was demoted in-season.  He had a combined ERA of 7.62.

Joel Bender is still recovering from the Tommy John surgery that he had in 2016.  He only pitched twenty innings in A-ball in 2017.  He did strikeout 26 batters, though.

Brennan Bernardino is also in the AFL.  The Reds drafted him in the 25th round of the 2014 draft.  

He spent 2017 in Pensacola focusing on being a left-handed specialist and represented the organization in the Fall Stars Game.

The Reds also sent starting pitcher Wendolyn Bautista to the AFL.  They signed him in 2012 as a 19-year old.  Now he is a fringe Triple-A prospect who the Reds could call-up in a year or two.

The Reds also delivered a catcher to the AFL in Chadwick Tromp.  He is yet another in the Reds’ line of defensive specialists with decent OBP skill. He batted .311 in High-A before barely maintaining an average above .200 in Double-A.

Next: The Reds' top prospects are updated

If recent history is any indication, at least one of these players will make his debut in 2018.  All eight have that chance.  That is the great thing about a young team.