• Steve Potter

11/15/2020 : Searching for Big Arms - Minor League Free Agents - National League Central 🧐😎


Seems like most every team has an arsenal of power arms in their bullpens ... often times they are fellas most fans haven’t heard much about. This year’s Rays used a dominating crew of relievers to drive their way to the World Series and the 2020 champion Dodgers also featured a bevy of powerful relievers ...


Since I’ve got a bit of time on my hands I thought I’d search the minor league systems of each of the other 29 clubs to identify minor league free agents that might fit with the Phillies as part of a power pen arsenal, with both immediate needs and short term minor league development in mind ... if ya missed the previous articles in this series here are links :


AL East - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-28-2020-looking-for-big-arms-potential-minor-league-free-agents-of-interest


AL Central - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-28-2020-searching-for-big-arms-potential-minor-league-free-agents-of-interest-american-leag


AL West - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-9-2020-searching-for-big-arms-minor-league-free-agents-american-league-west


NL East - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-13-2020-searching-for-big-arms-minor-league-free-agents-national-league-east


... here’s a look at the National League Central Division.


Just some names that might be of interest is all ... check out the two Reds players below ... both 100 MPH arms 🤔🤷‍♂️🤫


Cubs


Jordan Minch - 27 year old LHP ( 6’3” 190 ) - Averages 94-95 with his FB and had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League in 2019 after pitching in 44 games at the AA level. He was drafted by the Cubs in the 35th round of the 2014 draft after playing collegiately at Purdue University. Was very vocal about not being included on the Cubs 60 man roster for the 2020 season.


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Brewers


Anthony Bender - 25 year old RHP ( 6’4” 205 ) - was a participant in the Brewers Alternate Site camp ... consistently at 95 MPH, often a few ticks above. Was the Royals 20th round draft choice in the 2016 draft. Released in March of 2019, was playing independent league baseball and signed by Brewers 5/29/19. Had a very strong 2019 season pitching at three levels ( A-AA) posting an overall 1.49 ERA in 29 games ( 36.1 IP ) with 35 K’s and just 9 walks.


Chris Lee - 28 year old LHP ( 6’3” 180 ) - was drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 draft by Houston out of Sante Fe JC in Florida. Traded to Orioles in 2015 ... ranked amongst Orioles top 10 prospects ... released by Orioles 5/19 & signed by Brewers 12/19. FB sits between 94-96 MPH ... tops at 97, along with what’s called an “above-average slider” prior to 2019 and “a changeup with plus potential”.


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Cardinals


Derian Gonzalez - 25 year old RHP ( 6’3” 190 ) - signed with the Cardinals as an Amateur Free Agent in 2012. He missed the 2019 season with shoulder issues ... according to Cardinal Nation - “The stuff is good; works around 93-94 with his fastball, topping out about 95, and it moves, especially when it’s up, best pitch for me, though, is a hard curveball that he can bury down and out of the zone for swings and misses consistently.”


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Pirates


Gage Hinsz - 24 year old RHP ( 6’3” 222 ) - drafted in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He had open heart surgery to repair a faulty valve in 2017 and hasn’t pitched since other than a stint in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He's a power pitcher who sits close to the mid-90s with his fastball. Was once considered one of the Pirates top twenty prospects.


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Reds


Jose Adames - 27 year old RHP ( 6’2” 165 ) - he missed all of 2017 and 2018 plus nearly all of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery twice. Originally signed by the Marlins in 2010 as an amatuer free agent, he signed with the Reds in 2017 off waivers. He pitched in a big league spring training game for the Reds versus the Rangers on 2/24/20 and hit 100 mph in an inning of relief work and sat in the 96-99 range both in that game and in his short stint in 2019 with Billings in the minors. Seems like he’s fully recovered and certainly worth a look with a genuine power arm.


Aneurys Zabala - 23 year old RHP ( 6’3” 259 ) - has reached 101 MPH with his fastball ... has battled control/command throughout his career. He was originally signed by the Mariners in 2014 as an amateur free agent. Was traded to the Dodgers in 2017 and from the Dodgers to the Reds in 2018. He’s consistently in the upper 90’s with his fastball but just hasn’t mastered how to use it ... with perhaps the right coaching could be a Diamond in the rough ... is just 23 years old.


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️




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