Curtis Terry Becomes A More Complete Player
Curtis Terry was.
The 6-foot-3, 264-pound first baseman was a teammate of Huff's at low Class A Hickory and high Class A Down East. By the end of the season he had out-hit the Futures Game MVP.
It was a breakthrough season for the 23-year-old Terry, a 13th-round pick in 2015 from high school in Lawrenceville, Ga., who might prove to be a late bloomer. The righthanded hitter spent parts of the previous three seasons in short-season ball but gained serious traction in 2019 as more of a complete player.
"He was really, really good," Down East manager Corey Ragsdale said. "We thought he was going to hit. I didn't know he was going to hit like that. He hits the ball hard. Obviously, a big kid, but he can put an at-bat together as well. He's not a one-trick pony."
Terry hit .291/.362/.537 overall with 25 home runs and 36 doubles in 129 games. He had a higher slugging percentage (.560) at Hickory over his first 62 games of the season, but his average (.322) at Down East in 67 games was 59 points higher.
It took some adjusting after a slow start in the Carolina League.
"I changed my approach to whatever pitch they were throwing over the plate, I could handle it and I could hit it," Terry said. "I just kept working on my approach every day like this. How they were attacking me made me think as a hitter."
He also improved defensively, which was part of what had kept him from advancing. He's athletic for a big man and showed some maturity in the way he approaches the game.
Having a more complete package has put Terry on the prospect radar. Being named the top player in the system confirms it.
"I was not expecting that," Terry said.
— Cody Atkinson was hired as minor league hitting coordinator, replacing Josue Perez. Atkins was a hitting-assessment and run-production coach for the Reds in 2019 after a long college coaching career. Perez will be assigned to a new role in the organization.
— Lefthander Joe Palumbo, who made his major league debut in 2019 but was plagued by injuries, had to be scratched from pitching in the Arizona Fall League after a blister on his left thumb returned after his final outing. Palumbo logged 91. innings between the minors and majors in his first full season after Tommy John surgery.