Each week during the Cincinnati Reds' Spring Training, BatsBaseball.com will highlight standout performances of players who may potentially suit up with the Louisville Bats during the upcoming 2020 season. Last week (Friday, Feb. 28 - Sunday, March 8), infielder Alfredo Rodriguez, infielder Alex Blandino and right-hander Tejay Antone helped the
Each week during the Cincinnati Reds' Spring Training, BatsBaseball.com will highlight standout performances of players who may potentially suit up with the Louisville Bats during the upcoming 2020 season. Last week (Friday, Feb. 28 - Sunday, March 8), infielder Alfredo Rodriguez, infielder Alex Blandino and right-hander Tejay Antone helped the Reds to a 5-4-2 record, including the team’s first split squad matchups this Spring on March 7 and 8.
Below are capsules for the three breakout players:
IF Alex Blandino
Last Week: 7-for-15, .467 avg, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 1.360 OPS
2019 Season: Triple-A Louisville | 70 games, .247 avg, 19 XBH, 24 RBI
Last Week: Alex Blandino proved a clutch hitter with runners in scoring position over the last 10 days, knocking in an organization-tying five runners over that span in 15 at-bats. He also hit a fantastic .467, tallied four extra-base-hits and drew a walk and a pair of hit-by-pitches to push his OPS to 1.360 over the seven games in which he appeared.
Capsule: After starting the 2019 season on the Reds’ injured list recovering from surgery to repair injuries to both the ACL and MCL, Blandino made his first appearance with Louisville on June 3. He impressed during his Triple-A stint with Louisville to earn a promotion to the Reds on Sept. 1. Blandino, who suited up at second, short and third with the Bats, continued to serve in a utility role with the Reds, playing at five different positions over his nine starts for Cincinnati. He also reached base safely at a .420 clip and homered off Richard Rodriguez on Sept. 29 at Pittsburgh.
IF Alfredo Rodriguez
Last Week: 8-for-19, .421 avg, 3 runs, 1 double, 1 home run, 1.050 OPS
2019 Season: Double-A Chattanooga | 104 games, .286 avg, 21 XBH, 25 RBI
Last Week: Alfredo Rodriguez was one of just five Reds players who played in eight games over the past 10 days and led the team with eight hits, while batting .421 over that span. Two of those eight knocks went for extra bases, including a solo shot that bumped his OPS to 1.050 over the 19 plate appearances.
Capsule: In 2017, Rodriguez was an MiLB.com Reds Organization All-Star and was pegged as the top defensive shortstop in the Midwest League by Baseball America. The highly-touted prospect proved durable in 2019, combining to make 127 appearances between the top two levels of the Reds’ farm system. Rodriguez opened the campaign in Chattanooga, where he was named a Midseason Southern League All-Star before being promoted to Louisville for the remainder of the season. Following the 2019 campaign, Rodriguez was ranked as the 18th-best prospect in the Reds’ organization and played in the Dominican Winter League, batting .309 with 10 RBI and a stolen base. Rodriguez is currently in his second consecutive big-league camps with the Reds.
RHP Tejay Antone
Last Week: 3 games, 3.1 innings pitched, 4 hits, 4 strikeouts
2019 season: Two Teams | 26 starts, 11-12 record, 4.00 ERA (65er/146.1ip), 133 SO, 53 BB
Last Week: Tejay Antone was able to out-maneuver opposing hitters over his last 3.1 innings of work last week, tallying four strikeouts while surrendering just one walk. He also allowed opposing hitters to plate only one runner over the span while posting a 2.70 ERA.
Capsule: Antone certainly trended upward during his 2019 season. He began the campaign in Double-A Chattanooga and was named a Southern League All-Star en route to being promoted to the Triple-A club. He made his first start for Louisville on June 19 at Gwinnett, earned International League Pitcher of the Week honors for Aug. 26 – Sept. 1 and struck out a season-high 10 on Sept. 1 vs. Indianapolis. At the end of the season, he led all Reds minor leaguers in strikeouts (133) and tied for the organization lead in wins before ultimately landing a spot on the 40-man roster.