Rookie Billings Mustangs


The Mustangs claimed the Pioneer League title by defeating Orem two games to none in the best of three game championship series. They played at home and won 4-3 in 11 innings in the first game. They then swept the series by defeating Orem 6-5 in the second game on the road. This is the Billings Mustangs first Pioneer League title since the 2003 season.


Affiliation Shuffle


The Reds High-A California League affiliation with the Bakersfield Blaze has expired. That means the Reds are able to explore the possibility of moving their High-A team to another city whose affiliation has also ran out. This give the Reds the opportunity to move from the very far away high offense (.769 OPS) California League to either the closer low offense (.696 OPS) Florida State League or the even closer mid offense (.705 OPS) Carolina League.


The Cubs made the first High-A move going from Daytona to Myrtle Beach. The Indians then left Carolina to go to Lynchburg. That leaves four teams and four High-A affiliations remaining: The Reds, Mariners, Braves, and Rangers will play musical chairs with minor league affiliates Daytona, Carolina, High Desert, and Bakersfield. My best guess is that the Mariners will remain in High Desert. Then the Braves will get their pick of Carolina and Daytona. The Reds and Rangers will then battle each other for whichever of Carolina and Daytona remain, with the loser heading back to Bakersfield.


Baseball America Classification All-Stars


Baseball America honored three Reds prospects this year by naming them as Classification All-Stars. SP Ben Lively (2.28 ERA) was named to the High-A team. The Rookie level team included both SP Tyler Mahle (3.87 ERA) and OF Aristides Aquino (.919 OPS).