Top 30 Reds Prospects: No 30

Top 30 Reds Prospects: No 30

Many list-makers want an "off the radar" entry, so this one starts with shortstop Zachary Vincej. He had a highly decorated college career before waiting until the 37th round for his draft selection. He started out at Billings hitting more like an award-winner than a late rounder and is primed stake a claim in future Reds depth charts as he starts his first full professional season.

Every list has to have at least one off-the-radar prospect so why not begin this list with one at no. 30? Zachary Vincej hung around until the 37th round before the Reds selected him in last year's draft, so that qualifies him as "off the radar". Oddly enough he was a highly acclaimed college player to be such a late round selection. During his final season at Pepperdine he won the Brooks Wallace Award given to the nation's top shortstop and was named the West Coast Conference defensive player of the year.

After arriving at Billings he began his professional career like an award-winner instead of a late rounder. He kept a .336/.393 AVG/OB over almost 200 plate appearances. Should he put up numbers close to that in 2013 he'll get picked up on more radars. Defensively his fielding percentage was .974 with four errors in 37 games while making 100 assists and 52 putouts.

It's an uphill climb for anyone selected that late and the first question one may have is why he hung around until over 1,100 names were called before his. He did struggle his sophomore year and failed to hit .200 after making the All-WCC Freshman team. Perhaps there were some questions whether he would be able to stick at shortstop and he does not project power desired for a corner infield position. Also, since he played three seasons in college he was 21 years old before making his professional debut.

Still, the native of Saugus, CA showed a range in 2012 that will keep him at the position and his bat will move him up the Cincinnati pipeline. Look for him to get a full season in 2103, probably starting at Low-A Dayton. After trading Didi Gregorius the Reds have been active this offseason picking up veteran middle infielders to provide depth behind Zach Cozart. It's too early for Vincej to climb very far up the depth chart, but if he cracks .300 again he could make a different situation for himself in the future.

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