Trahan poised to build on '16, starting in spring

Reds prospect, heading to Minors camp, will likely see time in Cactus League

Trahan poised to build on '16, starting in spring

CINCINNATI -- In his first professional Spring Training last year in the Reds' organization, shortstop Blake Trahan was not in big league camp but made frequent cameos in Cactus League games.

It was quite a first impression. Trahan batted .429 (9-for-21) with three doubles. Then he reported to Class A Advanced Daytona and limped out of the gate, batting .128 in 22 April games.

"He came out of Spring Training on such a hot note, it was surprising that he had a slow start," said Jeff Graupe, the Reds' senior director of player development. "To his credit, he still was the same every day and put the work in. His season got better and better, and it was a solid season for a first year guy in high A."

Overall in 131 games, Trahan batted .265/.325/.361 with four homers, 21 doubles, nine triples and 47 RBIs.

At times during that first month, the organization felt Trahan got pull-happy and tried to do too much. He got better once he resumed spraying the ball to all fields.

"I kind of lost my swing there for a little bit. My swing got exposed, and I had to make adjustments and continue to grind out a long season," Trahan said. "It's tough when you start slow like that, but you've just got to keep your head down and keep grinding."

"It's natural for a first-year player to try and post more numbers and prove that he belongs," Graupe said.

Trahan, 23, was the Reds' third-round pick in the 2015 Draft out of college at Louisiana-Lafayette. He is ranked as the organization's No. 20 prospect by MLBPipeline.com.

Listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Trahan won't likely be a power-hitting shortstop. He profiles more as a No. 2-type hitter, according to Graupe.

It's probable that Trahan will open 2017 with a move up to Double-A Pensacola.

"He's a guy with the makeup that allows him to be challenged. And his defense is outstanding," Graupe said.

Trahan was one of the prospects the Reds featured last weekend during their winter caravan around the region. While he will not be in big league camp, it would seem likely that he will be summoned from the Minor League side for another handful of games with the Major Leaguers.

"I'm excited, because last season I learned a lot," Trahan said. "I went into the offseason and worked on my weaknesses and my strengths. I tried to become a better ballplayer. I feel ready for Spring Training."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.