Cincinnati Reds: Ibandel Isabel powers his way among Top 30 prospects

After signing Nick Castellanos, the Cincinnati Reds designated Jose Siri for assignment. Taking his place among the team’s best prospects is Ibandel Isabel.

When the Cincinnati Reds signed Nick Castellanos to a four-year deal, it became necessary to find room on the 40-man roster, Jose Siri, formerly a top prospect within the Reds organization was designated for assignment and eventually picked up by the Seattle Mariners. Ibandel Isabel is now ranked among the best prospects in the organization according to MLB Pipeline.

Over the past few months, some new names have joined the list of top young players within the Reds farm system. Tejay Antone, Quin Cotton José De León and Ryan Hendrix snuck into the last few spots on the list. The latest name to be added was Isabel.

Formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, Isabel joined the Reds during the 2018 in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ariel Hernandez. Isabel has unbelievable power. If you liked watching what Aristides Aquino in 2019, don’t take your eyes off Isabel, as he has the ability to hit the ball out of the ball park in any direction.

Last season, Isabel slashed .243/.307/.518 with 26 home runs for Double-A Chattanooga. The .825 OPS is something to behold, but unfortunately, Isabel struggles to put the bat on the ball. While his power is phenomenal, the hit-tool is not. Oddly, 368 plate appearances last season for the Lookouts, Isabel only had 12 doubles.

Ibandel Isabel strikes out at an alarming rate. In 2018, at Advanced-A Daytona, Isabel smashed 35 homers but struck out in 36.2% of his plate appearances. In 91 games for the Lookouts last season, Isabel struck out in 41.6% of his plate appearances. It’s feast or famine for the 24-year-old.

Isabel struggles defensively as well. Not a bad defender, he’s spent the majority of his minor league career at first base, though last season, the Cincinnati Reds tried Isabel in the outfield as well. Isabel suited up for 12 games in right field and 4 in left, putting up a prefect fielding percentage.

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Ibandel Isabel is the perfect illustration of a player who provides one of the three true outcomes in baseball – home run, walk or strikeout. Last season, Isabel had 26 home runs, 26 walks and 153 strikeouts. If Isabel ever hopes to make it to the majors, the walks must go up and the strikeouts must go down.

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