Spencer Steer excited after Reds commerce

“You never really expect things like this to happen,” Steer said Wednesday. “I was on a bus on the way to the park. It was a shock with some nerves, some excitement, many of the emotions came rushing in. After the night to think about it, it’s really a very exciting time and an opportunity for myself. It’s a great change and opportunity.”

Of the 10 prospects the Reds acquired for the five veteran players they traded in the past week, Steer is the closest to the big leagues. The Twins promoted the 24-year-old from Double-A to Triple-A in May.

Steer was in Omaha with his team when he got word of the deal and was flying Wednesday to Indianapolis to meet with Louisville’s Cincinnati affiliate. Now classified as a new organization by him No. 7 expectations at MLB Pipeline, and sitting just outside the overall Top 100, some observers viewed him as Major League ready.

The Reds aren’t kidding about Steer, who plays third base and second base.

“I’m not going to rule anything out. But at this point, he’s going to go to Triple-A and play there and we’ll see where he goes through the end of the year,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said.

Here are four things to know about Steer:

The right-handed hitter found his power during the Covid shutdown

During his three years at the Univ. of Oregon and his first pro season after being a third-round pick by the Twins in 2019, Steer was a contact hitter. He never hit more than six homers in a season.

The Covid epidemic canceled the 2020 season. On the other hand, Steer hit a combined 24 home runs over 110 games at High-A and Double-A.

“Since the Twins drafted me, they wanted me to improve that part of my game and start hitting for more damage. During Covid, we made many changes through trial and error. We looked at the lower half of my swing and how I could get more power from my legs. It was almost a year long process during the Covid year with the hitting coaches and player development team. That was a really good change for me.”

The power remained, however Steer’s achievement rate is going down
This season at Double-A and Triple-A, Steer already has 20 homers in 83 games.

“It’s always good to prove that it wasn’t a fluke and that’s what I want to be as a player in the future – a guy who can get on base consistently but also has some power,” Steer said. “It’s good to see those numbers come back for a second year.”

Last season (110 games):.254/.348/.484, 24 homers, 105 strikeouts (21.5 percent), 55 walks (11.3 percent)

This season (83 games):.269/.361/.528, 20 homers, 66 strikeouts (17.0 percent), 42 walks (10.8 percent)

Steer did not lose his contact-hitting control and was able to decrease his strikeout rate.

“I was trying to find the middle ground and try to do damage just by putting the ball in play,” he said. “My contact as a player was always the first contact, low strikes. I was trying to find a balance between hitting for power but also getting back to my old self by putting the ball in play.”

Steering is flexible when it comes to protection
Steer played third base, second base and shortstop in college and in the Twins system. He will likely play third or second base for Louisville.

“At this point, I’m all over the place,” Steer said. “I don’t have one job that I prefer over the other.”

Angels fan growing up
Steer, born in 1997, was a young kid growing up in Long Beach, California, when the Angels won the World Series in 2002.

“I took the band. They were close to home and won a World Series,” Steer said. “I grew up 20 minutes from the stadium and went to a lot of Angels games growing up. I watched the team of the early 2000s. Garret Anderson was my favorite player.”

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