Cincinnati Reds: Jose Siri could be the solution in center field

It seems as though the Cincinnati Reds have been waiting forever to see Jose Siri make the leap from prospect to major league player. Is this the year Siri breaks through?

The clock is ticking. Jose Siri, was added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster after his breakout season in 2017. In 126 games with Single-A Dayton that year, Siri slashed .293/.341/.530 while also hitting safely in 39 consecutive games. While Siri isn’t among the top prospects in the Reds farm system, the 24-year-old could be the answer to the unsettled Cincinnati outfield.

That 2017 season seems so far away. After crashing into the outfield wall during the first spring game of the season in 2018, Jose Siri’s path to the major leagues has been derailed. Not finding his way back until May 10th that season, Siri struggled at the plate. Siri owned just a .743 OPS that season, but still hit 13 homers and stole 23 bases.

After struggling offensively, Siri showed great promise during his stint in last year’s Dominican Winter League. Siri hit .275 with 3 home runs, 11 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 37 games. Siri is back in the DOWL this offseason, and has started off with bang. Though it’s been just 13 games, Siri has 13 hits in 51 at-bats (.255) with 14 RBIs and an OPS of 896.

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Siri’s offense may be questionable, but no one can question his defense. A native of the Dominican Republic, Siri can cover a lot of ground in the outfield with his plus, plus-speed and has a cannon for a right arm. Siri could be plugged in as the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day centerfielder and be more than capable to hold down the spot defensively.

With Nick Senzel rehabbing an injured shoulder, some fans question if he should even play the position next season. While the Reds brass have not made a determination about Senzel’s future, there’s a lot of speculation that last year’s rookie could take over the current vacancy at second base.

If Senzel is moved back to the infield dirt, there’s a gaping hole in center field. With very few options on the free agent market, the only way for the Reds to conceivably improve is through a trade. Names like Jackie Bradley Jr. or even Mookie Betts have been floated out there, but both are entering the final year of their contract and will cost a ton a money plus assets.

Starling Marte and Ender Inciarte have more years of club control, but both are currently on other teams will cost the Reds a pretty penny in return. Perhaps the Reds would be better off with a combination of Phillip Ervin and Jose Siri in center field?

A lot what happens with Siri next season depends on who the Reds bring in this offseason. If Cincinnati were able to land Yasmani Grandal and Marcell Ozuna in free agency, Siri’s lack of offensive production would not be overly detrimental. However, if the Reds go into next season with Freddy Galvis as the starting shortstop, having another questionable bat could be problematic.

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While I’d expect Jose Siri to begin the 2020 season at Triple-A Louisville, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to see him on the Opening Day roster. A lot depends on how Siri performs in spring training and who the Cincinnati Reds add to the outfield mix this offseason.

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