The Reds are off to a slow start and struggling at the plate.  So this week we’ll scan the Reds farm system and take a look at a few players who are off to hot starts with the bat the first week of the season.

AAA Louisville Bats

Ruben Gotay is off to sizzling start with slash line of .389/.421 /.944 /1.365.  Gotay is a 31 year old infielder the Reds picked up for infield depth who got his start with the Kansas City organization and has bounced around considerably over the last eight years.  He’s been the starter at 3B so far for the Bats, but you have to wonder how much time he will continue to log there with Chris Nelson having just been resigned and added to the Bats roster.  Gotay has amassed over 800 PA in the majors, .685 OPS, and is a lifetime .269/.374/.410/.784 hitter at the AAA level.

1B Mike Costanzo (.273 /.385 /.636 /1.021) and RF Felix Perez (.385 /.429 /.462 /.890) are also off to hot starts.

AA Pensacola Blue Yahoos

Juan Silverio is the starter at 3B for the Blue Yahoos and is also off to a good start at .357 /.471/.500 /.971.  Silverio is a 23 year old IF who was obtained before last season from the White Sox organization and has seen some time at SS and 2B also.  Silverio put up a line of .286/.304/.473/.777 last season in A+ Bakersfield.

SS Devin Lohman (.250 /.357 /.583 /.940) and LF Donald Lutz (.231 /.375 /.538 /.913) are also off to good starts at the plate.

High A Bakersfield Blaze

Blaze first baseman Marquez Smith is tearing it up thus far with a slash line of .409/.462 /.955 /1.416.  Smith is a 29 year old IF who has been mostly a 3B in the minors.  He began his career in the Cubs organization and spent two years with the Red Sox before coming to the Reds last season.  He’s logged over 1500 PA at the AA and AAA levels and hit .277/.377/.486/.863 for the Reds last year split between A+ and AA.

CF Junior Arias (.409 /.480/.682 /1.162) and RF Kyle Waldrop (.522 /.577 /.565 /1.142) are also off to very fast starts at the dish.

Low A Dayton Dragons

Sebastian Elizalde is hitting .214/.450/.500/.950 while splitting time between LF and 1B for the Dragons.    Elizalde is 22 years old LH batter and this is his first season in the Reds organization after batting .301/.353/.450/.803 over the last four seasons as an OF in the Mexican League.

1B Daniel Mateo (.333/.417/.444/.861) and 3B Tanner Rahier (.294/.350/.471/.821) are also off to pretty good starts for the Dragons.

10 Responses

  1. zaglamir

    With Nelson coming up, would you expect Gotay to find his way to the Reds roster? Surely that sort of production in AAA would mean a better pinch hitter than Santiago and Bernadina, no? Or is his glove a liability?

    • redmountain

      Gotay, as with Bernadina, is mostly a AAAA player. Bernadina killed the ball in ST so to my mind he should be playing in the majors. I really don’t know what he is like in the field.

  2. cfd3000

    I’m curious about guys like Mike Costanzo. He’s blocked at 1st by Votto, and did not impress with his cup of coffee with the Reds. I would hope he has some value in a future trade, but don’t those same issues that make him worth less to the Reds lower his trade value to other teams? If they know he’s not important to the Reds I’d guess teams would expect to have him thrown in with little sent back in return. If that’s so, where is his real value to the Reds and why is he still in the organization? And I don’t mean to pick on Costanzo – consider this a general question about players like him.

    • redmountain

      Guys like Costanzo have value to the Reds in developing the “kids”. Like Crash Davis in “Bull Durham”,

  3. Shchi Cossack

    Gotay and Costanzo are both traditional AAAA players. Neither will help the Reds at the major league level. Their sole purpose is to enhance and fill the minor league rosters. If either of those 2 players had the ability to play a corner IF position at the major league level, they would not be signed to a minor league contract at 30+ years old.

  4. Shchi Cossack

    Tucker Barnhart is probly the only position player on the AAA roster with a real shot of contributing at the major league level, and he still needs some development time at AAA.

    At AA, after yesterday’s action, there are 3 players with some degree of prospect status OPSing over .900. Devin Lohman (.294/.368/.588, age 25 season) is a middle IF with and OBP of .347 & .353 in 2011 & 2012 respectively at A & A+. His 2013 season at AA failed to produce similar results, so a good season at AA in 2014 would reestablish his status as a prospect. Juan Silverio (.389/.476/.500, age 23 season) is a slugger with terrible plate discipline (109 SO & 11 BB in 2013). He is still young enough at AA to catch fire if he can significantly improve his plate discipline. Donald Lutz (.333/.429/.556, age 25 season) reportedly worked on and improved his pitch recognition and plate discipline during the off season. With a strong start, the Big Lutz could find his way onto the AAA roster during 2014.

    The real position prospects are playing at A+ right now, with 7 players OPSing over .800. Seth Mejias-Brean (.333/.500/.333, age 23 season) may be the heir-apparent for Todd Frazier at 3B after OPS of .925 @ ROK in 2012 and .834 @ A in 2013. Junior Arias (.370/.433/.593, age 22 season) is a CF with speed and pop but no demonstrated plate disciple (sound familiar to anyone?). Then we get to Jesse Winker (.321/.382/.571, age 21 season) who appears to be the real deal after OPS .943 @ ROK in 2012 & .841 @ A in 2013. The young Mr. Winker could find himself fast-tracked with a strong early performance in 2014 at A+ as possibly the best in-house option to take over LF in either 2015 or 2016, depending on Ludwick’s contract option for 2015.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Winker is just tearing it up. Wonder how long at this pace it takes him to get to AA this year. Also hope Ervin wakes up a bit from his slow start. If Ervin can go back to doing what he did last year, and Winker continues doing what he’s doing this year, I will feel awfully good about the future of the OF.

    • Bill Lack

      I haven’t given up on Holmberg, Rogers, or Crabbe being ML contributors. Stars? No, but could contribute.

  5. CP

    What’s up with Tanner Rahier?

    He was drafted in the second round by the Reds as a SS, but has already been moved to 3B (although I seem to remember that was expected at the time). His hitting statistics are…weird.

    In his first full season in A ball, he had a slash line of .222/.252/.320 in 437 PAs. This is the number that completely blew me away. In those 437 PAs, he walked a total of 12 times. Against low A ball pitchers. ::mindblown:: His OBP of .252 was actually inflated by getting hit an unsually high amount of times (7).

    Is this just a case of a 19 year old figuring things out?

    • Shchi Cossack

      I would certainly like to hope that we are seeing an example of a young kid “figuring things out”, but I think small sample size is the more likely explanation. Rahier has a BB% of 4.2% and a SO% of 20.8% even in this small sample size. That just doesn’t scream figuring things out to me.