In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier looks at the trade that sent Angel Reyes from the Lincoln Saltdogs to the Wichita Wingnuts and how that should impact his new team.
Wichita Wingnuts Acquire Angel Reyes
The Wichita Wingnuts have been looking to bolster their lineup and it appears they have found that key piece, acquiring outfielder Angel Reyes from the Lincoln Saltdogs for two players to be named later. He is scheduled to be in the lineup for Wichita on Tuesday.
The Numbers Will Make a Difference
In 56 games this season, Angel Reyes has hit .287 with 10 homers and 30 RBI. The outfielder has scored 41 runs and has only struck out 36 times in 202 at-bats. He was named by the Minor League Sports Report as the Player of the Week back in Week 2.
Reyes was signed out of Venezuela by the Florida Marlins back in 2012. He spent six years with the organization, reaching High-A Jupiter last season. He is a career .238 in 377 games in the minors.
The outfielder was granted his unconditional release at the end of the 2017 season, opting to sign with the Lincoln Saltdogs. This season, he has an impressive .843 OPS, but has been in a slump of late. In his last 11 games, Reyes has gone 7-39 with 7 runs scored and 2-RBI. He also has homered just one time in his last 26 games.
The Impact on the Wingnuts
The benefits for the Wichita Wingnuts should be plentiful. Reyes has established himself as a proven bat in the American Association, despite the recent slump. The Wingnuts have been playing rookies in the corner outfield positions, and Reyes will fit into one of those spots. This allows Manager Brent Clevlen to put him in the sixth or seventh spot in the order, making the bottom third of his lineup a whole lot more potent.
Reyes is also a solid outfielder. While he may not have as much speed as either Nick Rotola or Hunter Clanin, he is a good fielder with an above average arm. If his offense should pick back up, he will more than make up for any defensive decrease.
Adding to the deal are two important points. First, Reyes is only an LS-3, which means that it will leave open the possibility for Player Personnel Director Josh Robertson to still make a big move to add another starting pitcher. However, it looks like the team’s need for a bat is over.
In addition, Reyes only adds to the team’s flexibility. The Wingnuts new addition has played the outfield and second for Lincoln this season, but has played everywhere but pitcher during his minor league career. Logan Trowbridge can play everywhere across the diamond, Tony Thomas can do everything but catch, and Ryne Willard can play second, short, and third. This will give Clevlen a lot of options for who plays each night.
The Impact on the Saltdogs
The Lincoln Saltdogs are not completely out of the race, but they are close enough. Manager Bobby Brown has done an amazing job with this team over the last three seasons and there is no doubt that his position is as secure as it comes. This allows Brown to make moves to better his team for next season.
The pitching staff did not pan out this season for Lincoln. The hitters were able to overcome this for much of the first half of the season, but they have struggled of late and the Saltdogs have rapidly fallen. Look for the team’s manager to digest the knowledge of this season and for his team to make the same kind of dramatic transformation for 2019 that Sioux City Explorers Manager Steve Montgomery was able to make with this team this year after what he learned from last season.
By Robert Pannier