If the Cincinnati Reds are going to compete for the National League Central Division crown, the team needs some help; specifically some help in the bullpen. In this business, you have to give some to get some, and if Nick Krall and front office want to gain a couple relievers to boost the Cincinnati bullpen, they must be willing to sacrifice some minor league talent.
We all know that Cincinnati is a small-market franchise. Being such, the organization relies heavily on developing talent from within. However, sometimes, the best way to improve one’s big league club is to sell-high on the fast-rising minor league talent.
With the NL Central up for grabs, the Cincinnati faithful would be quite disappointed if the Reds’ front office didn’t at least make some sort of attempt to improve the league’s worst bullpen. Who are some of the team’s rising minor league players that could be used as trade bait in order to land a few major league caliber relievers?
1. Jacob Hurtubise, Reds minor league outfielder
Jacob Hurtubise did not take the typical path to the minor leagues. A graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, Hurtubise was signed a free agent in July of last year. The 23-year-old is. currently showcasing his talents for the Advanced-A Dayton.
Hurtubise is slashing .303/.456/.344 and has mastered the drag bunt for a base hit. Hurtubise speed is what sets him apart from others within Cincinnati’s farm system. Hurtubise has 23 stolen bases on the season and has only been caught four times.
Hurtubise is a breath of fresh air in an era of launch angles and exit velocity, but unfortunately, those traits are coveted by today’s executives. It’s questionable as to what level of interest a player like Hurtubise would even garner on the trade market, but you can’t teach speed and that .456 has to count for something.
If there’s one thing the Cincinnati Reds have in their farm system, it’s a lot of outfield talent. Austin Hendrick, Allan Cerda, and Michael Siani are some of the rising stars within the Reds’ minor leagues. While talented, Jacob Hurtubise is expendable, especially if it means Cincinnati could snag a reliever in exchange.