Reds Have Depth At Shortstop
CINCINNATI — Billy Hamilton is the shortstop in the Reds organization that gets all the attention. Hamilton, after all, recently broke the single-season minor league stolen base record.
But the Reds are also pleased with the progress of another shortstop in the system. Didi Gregorius is actually ahead of Hamilton on the depth chart. It was his promotion to Triple-A Louisville from Double-A Pensacola opened a spot for Hamilton.
Gregorius, 22, is a native of Amsterdam. He grew up in Curacao. He's known best for his defense, but he put together a solid year offensively, hitting a combined .262/.322/.391 over 488 at-bats.
"He's really done well. Every year he's gotten a lot stronger physically," assistant farm director Jeff Graupe said. "It's shown. He's got really good bat speed. He's got a line-drive approach. He's really been able to drive the ball. He's hitting hard line drives.
"The power is starting to project more."
The jump to Triple-A is big one for a 22-year-old.
"A lot of times when you see guys get to Triple-A, it's a little bit of an adjustment period," Graupe said. "He's going through that."
Gregoruis was hitting .233/.281/.424 for Louisville in 172 at-bats after hitting .278/.344/.373 with Pensacola. But his power numbers improved as he moved up.
He had six home runs at Triple-A after only hitting one in Double-A.
The Reds are deep at shortstop and Zack Cozart had been solid as a rookie with the big league club.
• First baseman Neftali Soto hit .370 over 24 games at Louisville to raise his average from .226 to .255. Soto's power numbers (14 home runs, 56 RBIs) were down. He hit 31 homers and had 80 RBIs last year.
• Lefthander Ismael Guillon, a 20-year-old Venezuelan, was promoted from Rookie-level Billings to low Class A Dayton. Guillon went 4-1, 2.29 with Billings and was named the organization's pitcher of the month for July.