When it comes to prospects, there’s always that handful of players who seem to be on the verge of making a giant leap in their development only to remain stuck in the minor leagues for what feels like forever. The Cincinnati Reds have a few such players who the fans may want to give up on, but it’s still too early to throw in the towel just yet.
Recently, we saw Aristides Aquino, a player who’d been with the Reds organization since 2011, make an impact near the tail end of the 2019 season after the trade of Yasiel Puig to the Cleveland Indians. Aquino earned Player of the Month honors in August of that year, and The Punisher is currently on a rehab assignment in Triple-A.
The Reds have a few minor league players who may appear to be a bit long in the tooth, but a patient approach might still be necessary in order to get the most out of some of the team’s more valued prospects. So, which four Cincinnati farm hands still need a little more seasoning in the minor leagues?
1. Francis Peguero, Reds right-handed pitching prospect
Francis Peguero is a strike thrower. The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher is currently at Advanced-A Daytona. A native of the Dominican Republic, Peguero is a pure reliever, having never started a game in the minor leagues. If there’s one thing the Reds need, it’s additional bullpen arms.
But, don’t expect to see Francis Peguero anytime soon. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Peguero has only 80.1 innings of work during his five minor league seasons. This season, 10 innings of work, Peguero owns a 0.90 ERA with three saves, 11 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.80.
Given the desperate need of the Cincinnati Reds to develop some quality relievers, the production we’re seeing from Francis Peguero so far this season cannot be ignored. The right-hander is also not fond of issuing walks. In 2019, Peguero had a walk-rate of just 2.8%. In 2021, that number is a bit higher (5.2%), but still very respectable.