The Reds added another power bat over the weekend. CBS Sports is reporting that Ariel Almonte signed a $1.9M contract with Cincinnati. According to MLB Pipeline, Almonte is a bat-first corner outfielder who ranks No. 26 among international prospects. Adding Almonte to the Cincinnati Reds stable of young outfielders sets up the organization quite well for the future.
According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, Almonte is an advanced hitter who can generate a ton of backspin and drive the ball to all fields. Sanchez says that Almonte does not have a lot of swing-and-miss to his game either and shows a good feel for the strike zone.
Almonte is has plus-power and a plus-arm, but below-average speed, making him a perfect fit for right field. At just 17-years of age, it’ll be a few years before Ariel Almonte makes his big league debut.
The Reds are not running low on power-hitting outfielders.
The Reds latest addition to their crop of young talent continues a trend we saw last summer. After plucking power-hitting infielder Rece Hinds during Round 2 of the 2019 MLB Draft, Cincinnati added another power-bat in the first-round of the 2020 MLB Draft with the selection of Austin Hendrick.
Hendrick, currently ranked No. 3 in the Reds farm system by MLB Pipeline, has plus, plus-power and a ton of upside. Hendrick is the No. 78th-ranked prospect in all of baseball, but at 19-year old, we’ll probably be waiting a few years to see the left-handed slugger make his major league debut.
There’s another young prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization that fits the mold of a power-hitting outfielder, and that’s Mac Wainwright. The fourth-round pick in last year’s draft is just 18-years old, but possesses raw tools, including power. If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re correct, as Wainwright is unlikely to make it to The Show until 2024.
A quick look at what Cincinnati’s outfield may look like in the next three years is enough to make Reds Country drool. An outfield comprised of Ariel Almonte (RF), Austin Hendrick (CF), and Mac Wainwright (LF) could wreak havoc on opposing pitching staffs. Throw in the defensive-minded Michael Siani, and Cincinnati’s outfield has the potential to be dominant.
The opportunity exists for all but Nick Senzel to be long gone from Cincinnati by the time the trio of Almonte, Hendrick, and Wainwright are ready for the big leagues. Shogo Akiyama is under contract for another two seasons, Nick Castellanos can opt out at the end of 2021, and Jesse Winker just signed a one-year contract and is under team control through 2023.
The Cincinnati Reds outfield is set up well for the present and looks to be set up well for the future as well. Keep an eye on these young power-hitting prospects as the front office is hopeful they play up to their lofty potential.