Reds sending six to AFL, and a mystery spot

The Reds announced on Wednesday that they would be sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League. Six of the roster spots were announced, with another pitcher listed as TBD on the roster.

Pitchers Barrett Astin, Evan Mitchell, and Daniel Wright will work on the staff in Arizona. Infielders Brandon Dixon and Zach Vincej, as well as catcher Chad Wallach will round out the hitters.

Astin has bounced back and forth between starter and reliever for Pensacola in 2016. However, overall, he has posted a 9-3 record with a 2.29 ERA in the two roles combined. Astin has been consistent regardless of what the organization has asked, with 36 total outings and 11 starts.

Astin has been especially strong in July and August, as he has posted a 0.97 ERA in the former and a 1.97 ERA in August. Additionally, his WHIP has fallen under one for each of the months.

Mitchell, also on the Pensacola staff, has been used exclusively out of the bullpen. He has been equally strong though. Mitchell started the season with Dayton in Low-A, but was promoted to Double-A Pensacola and debuted at the level on May 22. Between the two levels, he posted a 3.02 ERA in 44 appearances with the league hitting just .234 against him.

While the overall strikeout numbers are not there for Mitchell, the consistency still is. He has been even better since joining Pensacola and he allowed just 10 hits and two earned runs in August total.

Daniel Wright has had a tough go of it late in the season with Louisville. He has really struggled with base runners in Triple-A, but it does not entirely diminish what he did early in the season.

The 2016 season got off to a strong start for Wright, who even saw time with the Reds earlier in the campaign. However, that has gone south of the past two months. Wright has seen a serious base runner issue, with most of those coming from hard contact. In April, Wright posted a 0.55 ERA in six outings and two starts. However, by June, his ERA had skyrocketed to 10.38 in five appearances. In June to present, Wright has allowed 106 hits in 69 innings of work.

Brandon Dixon is certainly a streaky hitter. However, when he is good, he is extremely good. In 112 games with Pensacola in 2016, Dixon hit 22 doubles and 15 home runs through the end of August.

However, he also struck out 132 times in 432 at bats. The average was a respectable .260, but his OPS was just .746. Much of that was due to a lower OBP of just .315. Over a couple of stretches this season, it was impossible to get Dixon out, but over others, he found himself in dry spells. Locating consistency is a key for the prospect.

Zach Vincej put together a nice season for Pensacola. In 377 at bats through the end of August, Vincej was hitting .277 with a .694 OPS. However, the shortstop was extremely strong in June and July, going 56-for-162 over those two months. Over that span, he added all three of his home runs for the season and 15 of his 24 doubles.

Like Dixon, consistency is the key for Vincej progressing and taking his game to the next level.

Chad Wallach is an interesting prospect behind the plate for the Reds. Wallach played in just 64 games with Pensacola this season through August due to injury. In those contests, Wallach hit just .230, but also posted a .754 OPS to go with that.

Overall, he is a career .265 hitter, so if the average goes back to normal when he is completely healthy for a season, the OBP and the OPS also will see a spike. Wallach tied a career high in home runs, which he did in nearly 150 fewer at bats in 2016. With the power numbers developing, finding health and repeating this season’s successes will be the keys for Wallach’s progression in the long run.

The final pitcher will be named later by the Reds, but Cuban signed Vladimir Gutierrez could be an interesting name. The Reds signed Gutierrez on Tuesday to a $4.75 million deal. He was listed as the fourth best International prospect from MLB Pipeline in 2016.

If Gutierrez is the addition, he will get an opportunity to show off his fastball that gets as high as 97, and his plus curveball.

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