The Cincinnati Reds acquired four prospects at the MLB trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon. They sent Tyler Mahle to the Minnesota Twins and Brandon Drury to the San Diego Padres.
The four prospects were Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer, Steven Hajjar, and Victor Acosta. Encarnacion-Strand, Steer, and Hajjar came from the Twins, while Acosta was from the Padres. They were among the top eleven prospects in their former teams.
Encarnacion-Strand signed with the Twins through the fourth-round draft pick in 2021. This season, he participated in the Midwest League. The batter accumulated 20 home runs, 23 doubles, and three triples with .296/.370/.599 in 74 games. Encarnacion-Strand was then promoted to the Double-A Wichita just a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Steer was recruited by Minnesota as the third-round draft pick in 2019. According to reports, he had shown improvements in 2022 by lowering his strikeout rate. He participated in 35 games during Double-A and recorded .307/.385/.591. Because of this, Steer was promoted to Triple-A.
Pitcher Hajjar was drafted by the Twins in 2021 but did not start pitching until this year. Hajjar participated in the Low-A Florida State League with Fort Myers. He was the starting pitcher for nine games before missing six games due to injury. Although he has yet to exceed 82 pitches in a game, he has a 2.47 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 43.2 innings.
Lastly, Acosta is an international player from the Dominican Republic. He signed with the Padres and was one of the top international prospects in 2021. The shortstop made his minor league debut at the Arizona Complex League. Acosta recorded .243/.346/.360 batting average, with two home runs, three doubles, and two triples.
The Reds are moving to another team rebuild. They did it six years ago when they traded a mid-rotation starting pitcher with Luis Castillo. Years later, Castillo became the top player for the Reds and even got the All-Star title twice.
The current rebuild was marked by Castillo’s trade to the Seattle Mariners. In return, the Reds acquired four minor league prospects from the Mariners. Three out of the four players were among the top five prospects. Thus, this trade season allowed the Reds to acquire a total of eight prospects.
Fans were not pleased by the Castillo trade. The Reds said they hoped to optimize Castillo while the player still had a year and a half under-team contract. After the end of the 2023 season, Castillo will be a free agent.
Castillo shared his experience with the Reds and praised the people he had been working with in the past years in an interview.
“It’s been a beautiful experience,” Castillo said. “The personnel, the team, everyone that I’ve been able to make some type of connection with.
“To have my name in fans’ mouths and have them cheering me on and say things about me, it’s something that I’ll treasure forever. I won’t forget about that.”
Castillo said he did not want to leave the Reds but he understood the team’s rebuilding system.
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