Reds first base prospect Yonder Alonso taking third base reps

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Reds top prospect Yonder Alonso is a first baseman, but the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft is blocked there by reigning MVP Joey Votto.

In an effort to find a long-term home for Alonso in the lineup alongside Votto the Reds have been using him in left field and now Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that they’ve even started giving him some ground balls at third base.

I’ve seen plenty of prospect analysts express doubt about Alonso’s ability to be a decent left fielder, so third base is probably stretch.

With that said, Alonso did tell Sheldon that “third base was my position growing up” and “it comes easier than the other two positions.” Alonso also pointed out that he played first base in college in part because the University of Miami had Ryan Braun and Danny Valencia on the roster and “those were two pretty good third basemen.”

Regardless of his position Alonso hasn’t played much at all since being called up from Triple-A on July 26 and he seems far more likely to be traded this offseason than to see significant action at third base in Cincinnati. Alonso, who ranked 73rd on Baseball America‘s list of top prospects coming into the season, has hit .296 with 24 homers, 55 doubles, and an .842 OPS in 192 games at Triple-A, so right now his bat projecting as less than elite might be a bigger issue than his eventual home defensively.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons — the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical.