SUNDAY: Cincinnati has announced VanMeter’s promotion. The club made room for him by optioning lefty Cody Reed.
VanMeter has made a case for a call-up by serving as one of the minors’ best hitters and the International League leader in OPS early this season. Thus far, the 24-year-old has slashed a remarkable .346/.432/.757 (191 wRC+) with 13 home runs, five stolen bases and 15 walks against 23 strikeouts in 126 plate appearances. The lefty-swinging VanMeter was also effective in his first Triple-A exposure last year, albeit with numbers that pale in comparison to this season’s eye-popping output, as he hit .253/.309/.464 (114 wRC+) with 11 homers and five steals across 362 PA.
Despite his excellence in 2019, no outlet ranks VanMeter among the Reds’ top farmhands. Back in January 2018, FanGraphs prospect guru Eric Longenhagen wrote that emerging as a versatile bench piece may be VanMeter’s “absolute ceiling” in the majors. VanMeter has played first, second and third this year alone, and has also garnered significant experience at shortstop and in the outfield since the Padres chose him in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He later joined the Reds in a December 2016 trade for catcher Luis Torrens, who debuted in the majors in 2017 but is currently in Double-A.