“You don’t really expect things like this to happen,” Steyer said on Wednesday. “I was actually on a bus on my way to the field. It was a shock with some nerves, some excitement, and a lot of emotions rushing in. After spending the night thinking about it, it’s actually a really exciting time and opportunity for myself. It’s a wonderful change and opportunity.”
Of the 10 odds the Reds have had for the five veteran players traded in the past week, Steer is the closest to the big leagues. The twins upgraded 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 on Wednesday was heading to Indianapolis to meet with the Cincinnati branch in Louisville. Now classified as his new organization Number 7 Possibility by MLB Pipeline, sitting outside the top 100 overall, and has been viewed by some observers as just a major league prep.
The Reds don’t rush to Steer, who plays at third base and second base.
“I wouldn’t rule anything out. But at this point he’s going to Triple-A and playing there and we’ll see where he goes until the end of the year,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said.
Here are four things to know about Steer:
Right hitter found strength during Covid lockdown
During the three years he spent at the university. From Oregon and his first professional season after being selected in the third round by the Twins in 2019, Steer was a call-up hitter. He never hit more than six queues in a season.
The 2020 season has been canceled due to the Covid pandemic. On the flip side, Steer’s 24 home runs combined over 110 games in High-A and Double-A.
“Since the twins recruited me, they wanted me to improve this part of my game and start hitting for more damage. During Covid, we made a lot of changes through trial and error. We looked at the bottom half of a swing and how I could get more power out of my legs. Those were A process that has been going on for almost a year, almost all of the Covid year with our hit coaches and player development staff. That was a really good change for me.”
Strength remains, but Steer’s strike rate is declining
This season in Double-A and Triple-A, Steer already has 20 home players in 83 games.
“It’s always good to prove that it wasn’t a coincidence and that’s what I want to be as a player going forward – a guy who can always be at the base but also has some strength,” Steer said. “It’s good to see these numbers come back for the second year.”
Last season (110 games):.254/.348/.484, 24 person, 105 strike (21.5 percent), 55 walk (11.3 percent)
Current season (83 matches):.269/.361/.528, 20 Homer, 66 Strike (17.0 percent), 42 Walker (10.8 percent)
Steer did not lose his discipline in reaching for contact and was able to lower the strike rate.
“I was trying to find a middle ground to try and cause damage but I play ball,” he said. “My identity as a player was always in touch first, the low hits. I was trying to find the balance between hitting for power and getting back to my old self also by putting the ball into play.”
Steer is flexible in defence
Steer mainly played third base, second base, and short base in college and the Twins system. He will likely play third base or second base with Louisville.
“At this point, I’m all over the place,” Steer said. “I don’t have a position that I prefer over the other.”
Angel fan grows up
Born in 1997, Steer was a young child growing up in Long Beach, California, when the Angels won the World Championships in 2002.
“I jumped on the bandwagon. They were close to home and just won the world championships,” Steyer said. “I grew up 20 minutes off the court and went to a lot of Angels matches growing up. I watched the early 2000s team. Garrett Anderson was my favorite player.”
“Student. Incurable problem solver. Amateur baconaholic. Introvert. Infuriatingly humble music fanatic.”