Cincinnati Reds: 2018 Minor League Awards

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 27: Cincinnati Reds Outfield Jesse Winker (33) slides safely into 2nd with a double during a MLB game between the Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds on April 27, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN. The Reds defeated the Twins 15-9. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 27: Cincinnati Reds Outfield Jesse Winker (33) slides safely into 2nd with a double during a MLB game between the Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds on April 27, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN. The Reds defeated the Twins 15-9. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
TOLEDO, OH – JUNE 15: Louisville Bats right fielder Gabbriel Guerrero (23) prepares to bat during a regular season game between the Louisville Bats and the Toledo Mud Hens on June 15, 2018 at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year: Gabriel Guerrero

Level(s): AA Pensacola, AAA Louisville, MLB Reds
Stats: Minors: .293/.328/.474/.802, 136 G, 539 PA, 19 HR, 81 RBI, 30/123 BB/K; Majors: .167/167/.333/.500, 14 G, 18 PA, 1 HR, 0/8 BB/K

An 8-year journey over 3 organizations finally culminated in reaching the ultimate goal for Gabriel Guerrero as he finally reached the major leagues in his second season in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Guerrero had solid showings previously, but none as balanced as his 2018 performance across both upper levels for the Reds.

Guerrero showed why he’s likely going to be a bench outfielder at best with his struggle to control the strike zone at the major league level, but with the work he’s done to improve himself as a player over the years, it’s hard to put any doubt in his ability to eventually succeed in the major leagues as well.

Runners-up

One of the most unique draft stories in recent draft history, the Cincinnati Reds signed TJ Friedl as an undrafted free agent in 2016 to a significant bonus after it was found the Nevada-Reno outfielder was draft-eligible but had slipped under the radar of most organizations due to some redshirt issues.

He’s produced ever since coming into the Reds organization and looks primed to knock on the major league door in 2019 after spending over half of his season in AA in 2018, hitting .284/.381/.384 with 20 doubles, 7 triples, 5 homers, and 30 steals.

Setting home run records this season, Ibandel Isabel was an early-season acquisition from the Dodgers organization and played the season for Daytona, where the 6’4″, 220+ pound righty-swinging masher simply crushed baseballs in the Florida State League, an environment where that doesn’t typically happen. Overall, with the week he spent with the Dodgers org, he hit .257/.332/.562 with 36home runs on the season.

The Cincinnati Reds second pick of the first round in 2017, Jeter Downs had a very good first full season in the organization, spending the full season with Dayton in the Midwest League, hitting .257/.351/.402 with 23 doubles, 13 home runs, and 37 stolen bases while splitting time between shortstop and second base.