BAPR Plus: Cincinnati Reds

As the season begins, we’re just about done with our looks at how the prospects did during spring training. In the case of the Reds, there was one big surprise, and several players who will have to stop over in Triple-A.

Who’s Hot: Josh Hamilton became the story of spring by earning his spot on the Opening Day roster. There was thought that the Reds might carry the one-time No. 1 prospect in baseball because of his tools, but Hamilton made their job easy by leading the team in batting during spring. There was little to complain about in his .403/.457/.556 spring numbers, and he also showed that he still has the ability to play all three outfield positions. For a player who had missed nearly four full seasons, Hamilton has shown few signs of rust.

“To not to have really played in three or four years, it’™s amazing,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “I just really believe the type athlete he is and the bat speed he has and the plate discipline he’™s shown I think he’™s got the ability, over the course of the year, to catch up no matter where he is right now.”

Joey Votto will likely spend most of the season in Triple-A Louisville, but he’s given the Reds further reasons to believe in his bat. Votto his .286/.459/.429 this spring in 28 at-bats. His main job in Louisville will be to continue to work on improving his glovework.

“Joey’s working on his defense, which is, I think, what everybody feels he needs to improve upon to be a good big-leaguer,” said Terry Reynolds, the Reds’ director of player development. “That’s a point of emphasis for us with him in Louisville.”

Who’s Not: Homer Bailey was going to have a tough time convincing the Reds to bring him North even with a great spring training. A 19.64 ERA in three outings made the decision easy. Bailey’s command abandoned him in big league camp, but the team doesn’t think a couple of bad outings is anything to worry about.

“It’s been a tremendous experience for him to get a start in a major-league exhibition game,” Narron said. “He’s had a couple of rough outings where he didn’t command the ball as well as he would have liked to. It’s all learning experience.”