Cincinnati Reds: Jose Siri showcases his talent in first spring game

The Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians ended their first spring game in a tie. Matt Kemp went deep, but Jose Siri showed off his power and speed.

There’s been so much made about the Cincinnati Reds desire to transform Nick Senzel into the team’s starting center fielder in 2019. But. one of the best young outfielders in the Reds minor league system showcased his skills on Saturday during the team’s first spring game. Jose Siri showed power and speed during the Reds’ 3-3 tie with the Indians.

It was about a year ago when Jose Siri went crashing into the center field wall during the first inning of the Reds’ first spring game last season. Siri injured his thumb, damaging ligaments and missing a lot of time early in the minor league season while on the disabled list.

Jose Siri played very well in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. In 37 games, Siri slashed .275/.329/.427 with 3 homers, 11 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Siri’s plus-speed, much like Billy Hamilton, makes him a danger to opposing pitchers on the base paths and allows him to track down balls in the outfield.

Siri started in center field during Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Indians. He batted seventh in the lineup, and sent a rocket into left-center field during the fifth. The ball nearly cleared the fence and probably would have in Great American Ball Park. He ended up with a double.

Rather than just rest after sending a rope into the left-center field gap, Siri took advantage of an Indians’ pitching change and took off for third base on the very first pitch from James Karinchak. Siri swiped the bag and would later score on a sacrifice fly from catcher Kyle Farmer.

Siri did have a hiccup defensively when trying to throw behind a runner eclipsing second base. Siri overthrew Christian Colon and the ball rolled all the way to dugout wall. Siri was changed with an error on that play.

Since Siri just made it to Double-A Pensacola last season, it’s doubtful that he’ll make the team out of camp. However, Siri has a chance to show the coaching staff what his unique set of tools can bring to the table and perhaps receive a call up later in the season provided his game continues to grow.

Jose Siri is likely to start the season in Triple-A Louisville as the team’s center fielder. The Cincinnati Reds have plethora of young, talented players that can play center field. Senzel will be given the opportunity to win the job outright this spring, but he’s a natural infielder. TJ Friedl and Taylor Trammell offer the Reds a few future options in center field as well, however, most scouts project Trammell as a left fielder.

While Siri has raw power, he struggles at the plate from time to time. If he’s able to focus on hitting for contact, not just for power, then the remainder of his tools will only enhance his potential to be the future in center field for the Cincinnati Reds.