Here are some updates and observations from down on the farm.

AAA Louisville Bats

The Reds claimed Jake Elmore off waivers from the A’s and assigned him to the Bats. Elmore is a 27 year old RH hitting 2B/SS and has seen some time at 3B and even a few games in the OF. He has a .223/.290/.298/.588 line in 209 PA over two seasons with AZ and HOU.  Elmore has posted a .290/.386/.392/.778 line over 2625 PA in the minors and his lowest OBP at any stop was a .362 in one of his two seasons in AA. He has very good plate discipline and doesn’t K often. Not a bad pickup for a MI to come off the bench.  He’s off to a nice .364/.417/.364/.780 start with the Bats in just 12 PA.  Bear in mind that Kris Negron, who is off to a hot start with the Reds, (.881 OPS in 39 AB), has a career minor league line of .246/.323/.360/.683 in 3710 PA.  Not sure how Elmore and Negron compare with the glove, but I’m anxious to see since it appears that Elmore’s bat will be much more productive.  Hopefully Elmore will get a September call up, if not before.  Ryan Rowland-Smith (4.20) and Elvin Ramirez (6.05) were both released.  Nick Christiani, who was designated for assignment to make room for Elmore on the 40 man roster, was sent outright to the Bats.  Scott Diamond (2.96) and Dylan Axelrod (2.60) are both off to great starts after 4 GS with the Bats.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

C Rossmel Perez (.342/.401/.475/.876) continues to tear it up at the plate.  OF Juan Duran (.238/.289/.443/.732) is besting the Southern League Average OPS of .717 due to his high SLG numbers.  His 15 HR lead the team by far.  Yorman Rodriguez (.252/.305/.352/.657), who is still just 21, continues to struggle.  Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that Daniel Corcino (4.29) and Robert Stephenson (4.29) would be tied for worst ERA on the Blue Wahoos starting staff?  They currently trail Michael Lorenzen (2.56), Jon Moscot (3.30), and Ben Lively (3.48).  They are also well behind the Southern League Average ERA of 3.85.  Stephenson’s walk rate of 4.9 BB/9, which is well above his career mark of 3.7, is somewhat troubling.

High A Bakersfield Blaze

The Reds released 24 year old C David Vidal (.260/.335/.407/.742).  Vidal was converted to catcher this year after advancing to as high as AA as a 3B.  Recently acquired 1B Harold Riggins (.219/.321/.356/.678), who was doing well at AA (.263/.351/.447/.798) before becoming a Red, continues to struggle.  Sebastian Elizalde (.285/.358/.481/.839) continues to swing a hot bat.  SP Daniel Wright (4.58) is right under the California League Average ERA of 4.62 and has 69 SO and 10 BB over 76.2 IP.

Low A Dayton Dragons

After 8 G and 38 PA, Alex Blandino, who was hitting .309/.412/.527/.939 at Billings, is sporting a very nice .242/.342/.455/.797 slash line with the Dragons thus far.  In the Phil Ervin watch, after a hot June (.870) and good July (.729), he’s off to a very slow start in August (.387).  Nick Travieso (3.39) and Amir Garrett (3.57) continue to pitch well and lead the pitching staff.

Rookie Billings Mustangs

RF Aristides Aquino (.992 OPS), 3B Taylor Sparks (.934), and CF Brian O’Grady (.875) are still leading the way at the plate.  Wyatt Strahan (3.70) is the stand out of the starting staff as he out paces the Pioneer league average ERA of 4.93

Rookie AZL Reds

3B Gavin LaValley (.896) and Hector Vargas (.798) continue to lead the team at the plate.  Conor Krauss (1.42) has 2 S out of the pen with 17 SO and 6 BB over 12.2 IP.

18 Responses

  1. Thegaffer

    Blandino 2 singles last night, bringing avg. up to .278. The only issue is strikeout rate at 33 percent in Dayton. That is Drew Stubbs territory in small sample.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Long swing – see comment below.

  2. Steve Checkosky

    Any insight as to Stephenson’s problem?

  3. Steve Mancuso

    I was at one of the Dragons’ games this week and Blandino looked good at the plate. His swing is kind of long, but he did take a walk on a couple of close pitches and worked the count full in another AB. He didn’t have many chances in the field (he was playing SS). He made one nice play that I remember but also muffed one on his backhand side where he didn’t move his feet enough to get in front of the ball.

  4. WVRedlegs

    I think its pretty cool that Louisville is retiring Corky Miller’s jersey number.
    At Pensacola, Rossmel Perez has about 250 PA’s, so his is not a small sample size. I saw him play this past weekend. He has a good bat. But he lets too many balls get past him and shoot to the backstop. If the Reds could combine Ross Perez and Tucker Barnhart, they’d have an all-star C to backup an all star C. Both Corcino and Moscot pitched the games I saw. Both gave up a 1st inning run but both settled in to pitch 6 innings and gave up just the one run. I was pleasantly surprised by both. Corcino was in the 88-90 mph range on his fastball and dialed it up to 92 a couple of times. Moscot was in the 90-92 range mostly with a few up to 93. I was a little disappointed in YorRod at the plate. But my gosh, the guy has one of the best arms I’ve ever seen. It puts Jay Bruce’s to shame. YorRod (playing CF) went after a hit in right center field, picked it up on a hop, spun around and fired a laser to 2nd base to keep the hit a single. The throw by YorRod didn’t go over 12 feet off the ground and the 2nd baseman caught the ball about a foot over his head while standing right on 2nd base. It was very impressive. And he’s only 21. If he can just get his bat going.

  5. Hotto4votto

    I posted this last night at redsminorleagues. But I don’t consider YRod’s season a disappointment, just skewed by an injury. Considering baseball reference has him at 3.5 years younger than the league average, I’ll take that. This is what I posted:

    I’m actually pretty pleased with YRod’s year. Outside of a horrible May (.139/.184/.208/.393 from 5/8 – 5/30) he’s hit very well. It seems apparent that he returned too early from an injury and it affected his hitting. Up until going on the DL he slashed .325/.361/.442/.803 (4/3 – 4/24) and once June started he has slashed .264/.325/.368/.393 (6/1 -8/4). The power has dropped some, but overall pretty good for a guy who gives you stellar defense and is still on the young side for the league. And it’s not his 2nd full year in AA, he started last year in Bakersfield, playing 63 games there and then 66 in Pensacola.

    • tct

      From what I’ve read at Doug’s site, a lot of Yorman’s power is to right field. Pensacola is pretty homer friendly to left, but right field is almost impossible to hit homers to. I think it has something to do with the way the wind comes off the bay. His splits are pretty extreme: a .734 ops on the road compared to .575 at home. GABP would be a nice place to play for a right handed hitter who has opposite field power.

  6. redmountainH

    How many years before YRod is a minor league free agent or does that not matter if he is on the 40 man. If I am not mistaken, he has maybe one year left before he would be a free agent.

    • ghostrider

      I could be wrong but Minor leagure free agents are only for those OFF the 40 man. The issue with the 40 man is more about options, of which there are 3 years.

    • Hotto4votto

      It is my understanding that he will not be a FA unless DFA’d and refusing assignment. He is on the 40 man roster now, and is in his second option year. After next season (2015) he will need to be added to the 25 man roster or granted FA. Theoretically the Reds should control him through the 2021 season if he is added to the active roster in 2016.

  7. WVRedlegs

    The OF sleeper in the minors could be Pensacola’s RF Juan Duran. He is only 22. He has nice power as evident with his team leading 15 HR’s. He is listed at 6’7″ and 228. He is every bit 6’7″, maybe even 6’8″, but not close to the 228 lbs. he is listed at. I’d bet he didn’t tip the scales at 210. The Reds need to get some weight on this guy and bulk him up some. He has the frame for it. He hit a HR Saturday that fell about 8-10 feet short of one the Cubs super-prospect Addison Russell hit the day before. It was a nice shot. Duran is pretty athletic too and can run pretty well for his size. He hit one in the SS hole that Russell got to and Russell had to make a great throw over to 1st base to just get Duran out by a half step. Duran was motoring down the base line.

    • Hotto4votto

      His main issue is that he is a well below average fielder and likely projects to be a DH unless he improves there. He has certainly turned it on in the second half, raising his average about 20 points in that span.

      • Thegaffer

        He and Rodriguez were signed at the same time and for similar bonus (Duran 2 million, YRod 2.5) but Duran has never cracked a top 25 prospect list. He is apparently a total butcher in the field and had a 40 percent K rate up until recently. Best case scenerio may be value as trade bait.

  8. Dale Pearl

    AAA pretty much looks like spare parts. AA looks like the replacements of 2016. Massive void in offensive talent.

  9. ToddAlmighty

    Wow, the updates are getting pretty depressing seeing the state of the Reds minor leagues and it’s prospects for what it’ll produce over the next year or two. Moves need to be made this winter to fix that problem, because the future of the team isn’t looking so hot between all the pitchers becoming FAs, BP being old, Votto not able to stay healthy, Winker/Ervin being hurt, Stephenson struggling, a permanent black void in LF, no good prospects coming up for any of the infield spots, Bruce doing.. whatever it is he’s doing.

    Need to infuse some new life into this franchise and that starts with fixing the farm. I was actually thinking about it and the Reds are a pretty old team, really. Think about the position players.

    Ludwick- 36
    Schumaker- 34
    Santiago- 34
    Phillips- 33
    Pena- 32
    Votto- 30
    Heisey- 29
    Cozart- 29
    Frazier- 28
    Bruce- 27
    Mesoraco- 26
    Hamilton- 23

    Heck, even the minor league players the called up out of desperation aren’t “young”.. Negron- 28, Lutz- 25.

    …This is kind of an old team. That’s an average age of 29.57 years on offense. The only thing that keeps the roster as a whole at 11th in MLB is the pitching staff, where the only player over 30 is Simon.

    So yeah, an old offense combined with a pitching staff about to have 4 starters become FAs, with not a whole lot in the works in the minors is scary. The Reds need to find a GM as soon as the season ends who can get to fixing this problem come winter.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Roster as a whole is 11th oldest in MLB. Realized after I hit post that it wasn’t very clear if they were 11th oldest or youngest.

    • Dale Pearl

      the average age of a rookie is 24.5 so Lutz is right there considering he played some last year. Not sure the Reds are very high on Lutz though as they continue to not give him starts.