Dayton, Ohio-The Cincinnati Reds added seven players to their 40-man roster today, prior to the deadline for protecting players in the upcoming Rule 5 draft. Five of the seven players added to the Reds roster are former Dragons.
Former Dragons added to the roster today included outfielders Jesse Winker (2013 Dragons), Phillip Ervin (2013-'14 Dragons), and Aristides Aquino (2015 Dragons); and right-handed pitchers Nick Travieso (2013-'14 Dragons) and Jackson Stephens (2013-'14 Dragons). Right-handed pitchers Keury Mella, acquired by the Reds as part of the trade that sent Mike Leake to the Giants in 2015, and Barrett Astin, obtained in a 2014 deal with the Brewers involving Major League pitcher Jonathan Broxton, were also added to the roster.
Winker, 23, has consistently been ranked among the Reds best prospects since his all-star season with the Dragons in 2013 at the age of 19. Winker was a supplemental first round draft pick out of high school in 2012 by the Reds and has steadily progressed through the Reds farm system. He spent the 2016 season with Triple-A Louisville, batting .303 with three home runs and 45 runs batted in. Primarily a left fielder in previous years, Winker spent considerable time in right field in 2016. With the Dragons in 2013, Winker hit .281 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI, winning the Home Run Derby at the 2013 Midwest League All-Star Game in Dayton.
Travieso, 22, was the Reds first round draft pick in 2012 out of Southwest Ranches High School in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area. He led the Midwest League in victories with the Dragons in 2014, going 14-5 with a 3.03 earned run average. Travieso was ranked by Baseball America as the Reds #7 prospect entering the 2016 season. He spent the year at Double-A Pensacola, going 5-7 with a 3.84 ERA.
Aquino, 22, was the 2016 Florida State League Most Valuable Player with Advanced-A Daytona, batting .273 with 23 home runs and 79 RBI. He led the league in extra base hits. Aquino spent the 2015 season with the Dragons but missed more than two months of the season with a broken wrist. His primary position is right field where he is able to take advantage of one of the strongest arms in the system.
Ervin, 24, was the Reds first round draft pick in 2013 out of Samford University in Alabama. He spent the entire 2014 season with the Dragons. Ervin played all of 2016 at Double-A Pensacola, where he stole 36 bases and added 13 home runs while batting .239.
Stephens, 22, spent the second half of both the 2013 and '14 seasons with the Dragons. He moved up in 2015 and had an excellent year at Daytona, going 12-7 with a 2.97 ERA. He progressed to Double-A Pensacola in 2016, going 8-11 with a 3.33 ERA.
The Reds 40-man roster now includes 18 former Dragons. In addition to the five added today, the others are pitchers Homer Bailey, Amir Garrett, Ariel Hernandez, Michael Lorenzen, Wandy Peralta, Sal Romano, and Robert Stephenson; catchers Tucker Barnhart and Devin Mesoraco; infielders Zack Cozart and Joey Votto; and outfielders Billy Hamilton and Steve Selsky.
Pronunciations: Keury Mella (KAY-ooh-ree MAY-uh), Nick Travieso (trav-ee-ESS-oh), Aristides Aquino (are-iss-TEE-DIS).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.