Signed out of Curacao in August 2015 as a bat-first infielder, Willems finally showed some of that ability in 2018 following two subpar years as a professional. After he batted .226 in the DSL in 2016 and .234 in the AZL in '17, things clicked once Willems reached the Appalachian League with Greeneville in '18. He spent most of the season there and batted .263/.300/.470 with eight homers in 55 games, then impressed during fall instructional league action.
Willems has a good swing and can make the needed adjustments at the plate. He showed off more extra-base ability with his 13 doubles and four triples for Greeneville in 2018. He still needs to improve breaking ball recognition and refine his overall approach to improve his K/BB ratio moving forward so he can tap into that power more consistently.
The Reds need to find a position for Willems, who has played mostly third and second base. He's been a little rigid at both positions and likely profiles as a platoon guy or bench player. If his bat continues to progress, he could have a shot at being an offensive-minded regular at second base in the Major Leagues.
Jonathan Willems assigned to Billings Mustangs from Dayton Dragons.
2B Jonathan Willems assigned to Dayton Dragons from Billings Mustangs.
2B Jonathan Willems assigned to Billings Mustangs from Greeneville Reds.
2B Jonathan Willems assigned to Greeneville Reds.
2B Jonathan Willems assigned to AZL Reds from DSL Reds.
3B Jonathan Willems assigned to DSL Reds.
Cincinnati Reds signed free agent IF Jonathan Willems to a minor league contract.