2018-19 International Reviews: Cincinnati Reds
This is part of Ben Badler's 2018-19 International Reviews series chronicling all the moves made by teams on the international market over the prior year. To see all 30 teams, click here.
Total 2018 (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2018) signings: 22
The Reds were under the penalty in 2018-19 for the second and final signing period, so they couldn't sign anyone for more than $300,000. They didn't sign anyone for $300,000 last year, and they only signed two players to bonuses of at least $150,000, spreading around the rest of their pool money on smaller bonus signings. In August, the Reds reassigned Latin American scouting director Tony Arias to scout amateur players in the United States. They hired Trey Henricks, who had been with the Rangers as an international crosschecker, as their new international scouting director.
Cincinnati's biggest international bonus last year went to Dominican shortstop Ilvin Fernandez, who signed for $250,000 on July 2 after training with Ray Castillo. Fernandez, 17, is a long-limbed 6-foot-1, 160 pounds and stood out defensively with quick footwork, smooth hands and good body control at shortstop. He has a strong arm with a good release and the physical projection for that tool to tick up once he gets stronger. Fernandez's defense is ahead of his bat. He has the bat speed to handle good velocity, though he will have to cut down on some length in his swing and improve his pitch recognition.
Like Fernandez, 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Jeferson Gerlado is another player the Reds added who player in the Dominican Prospect League, with Geraldo signing a $150,000 deal in September. A righthanded hitter who trained with Quico Pena at the MB Baseball Academy, Geraldo is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds with over-the-fence power to his pull side and the chance to grow into above-average pop once he adds another 40-50 pounds. He projects as a corner outfielder with a power-over-hit profile.