The Reds rumors are back. After releasing veteran outfielder Matt Kemp, it now appears that the Cincinnati Reds are ready to call up Josh VanMeter.
Just days after promoting top prospect Nick Senzel, the Cincinnati Reds appear ready to make another change to the roster. The latest Reds rumors suggest that Josh VanMeter, who has done nothing but rake for the Louisville Bats this season, is about to get his shot in the majors leagues.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Josh VanMeter, who was a fifth round pick of the San Diego Padres in 2013 will soon be called up to Cincinnati. With the Cincinnati Reds releasing Matt Kemp yesterday, the team has a vacancy on its 40-man roster.
In 2016, VanMeter was traded to the Reds along with cash for Rule 5 Draft pick Luis Torrens. VanMeter spent 2017 and part of 2018 in Double-A Pensacola before being promoted to Louisville last season. Although he showed promise in lower levels of the minors, nothing indicated that VanMeter would ever be a difference maker.
Josh VanMeter is by no definition a top prospect. Most Cincinnati Reds fans had never heard of him until a few weeks ago. Despite this, he has proven that he is ready to play in the major leagues.
Through 30 games at Triple-A this season, VanMeter has 13 home runs, which leads all levels of minor league baseball and every team in the Reds organization. He is third in all of affiliated baseball, trailing only Cody Bellinger (Dodgers) and Christian Yelich (Brewers) who both have 14 round trippers.
The 24-year-old left-hander can do more than hit home runs. He is batting .346/.432/.757 on the season, which is a drastic change from his minor league career .263/.339/.400 slash line. Whether or not those numbers will stick, but it is worth noting that his career high in home runs is 14 and VanMeter is on the brink of tying it just over a month into the season.
VanMeter also offers a lot of versatility, as he’s able to play all over the diamond. The Padres drafted him in 2013 as a shortstop, but this season VanMeter has played at first, second, and third base and also has experience in the outfield. We all know how much David Bell likes versatility in his lineup.
Even with offensive explosions the last two nights, the Cincinnati Reds still have a team batting average of .210. Jose Iglesias is the only player batting above .300 and Nick Senzel is the only player with an on-base percentage above .400. It is so hard to see this team struggle to score and something has to change.
If the Reds rumors are true, with an abundance of infielders on the team, it is hard to see where Josh VanMeter might fit in. He’ll have to compete with players like Kyle Farmer and Derek Dietrich to come off the bench. If his bat stays hot, VanMeter could force the Cincinnati Reds to use him in key moments.