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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-45, Reymond Fuentes

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A former first-round pick is another candidate for the Arizona outfield in 2017.

San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 45: Reymond Fuentes

  • Date of birth: February 12, 1991
  • Ht/Wt: 6’0”, 160 lbs
  • Position: Outfielder
  • Status: Non-roster invitee
  • Bats/Throws: L/L
  • 2016 MLB numbers: .317/.364/.341, in 13 games (44 PA) with Royals
  • SnakePit Rating: 3.31 [pattern of votes below]

Fuentes went with the 28th pick to Boston in the 2009 draft, out of high-school in Puerto Rico. If his name is familiar, it’s probably because he was part of the big trade with San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez, in December 2010 (which also included some guy called Anthony Rizzo), immediately becoming the Padres’ #7 prospect and being compared by some to Jacoby Ellsbury. Or maybe it’s because he has a famous relation - his mother’s cousin is Carlos Beltran. It looked like Fuentes was going to break through for the Padres in 2013, after Reymond hit .330 between Double-A and Triple-A, then made his MLB debut in August. But he batted an anemic .152 over 23 games with San Diego that year, and they traded him to Kansas City at the end of 2014.

He won the Puerto Rican Winter League batting title in 2015, hitting .325, and made the Royals’ Opening Day roster last year, albeit only for two weeks until Jarrod Dyson came off the DL. Another two-week stint in the majors followed in early June, as a stand-in for Brett Eibner, and he was released by Kansas City in mid-September. It’s ironic he has now ended up on the D-backs, competing with veteran Gregor Blanco - another former Royal - because they were compared less than a year ago.

When I brought up that name with [KC VP J.J.] Picollo he agreed and said that is who the Royals front office often bring up in talks about Fuentes. The two players’ profiles are somewhat similar in that they both had good contact rates in the minor leagues, have limited power, and use speed as their main tool in their arsenal. Both players also have average arms, making center and left-field their best positions... The advantages from my eyes are that Fuentes enjoys slightly better raw speed and more power than Blanco while the Giants outfielder possesses a better overall plate approach which converts into a likely higher on base percentage outside batting average.

So it’ll be interesting to see what happens this spring, when the two are going head to head as non-roster invitees on the Diamondbacks.

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