How time flies when we are having fun.  We are already about one third of the way through the minor league season.  Hitters are fast approaching 200 PA and SP are right about 50 IP already.  Given the Reds recent 9 game losing streak, I ‘m glad to writing a column about the minors.  Here’s some observations from down on the farm.

AAA Louisville Bats

The Bats currently have only two real prospects in their every day lineup.  OF Yorman Rodriguez had a good May (.276/.297/.510/.807) to raise his season slash line to an above league average .241/.273/.437/.709.  His prospects are still fairly dim though given that his 42 SO and 7 BB have him on pace for a season total of 126 SO and 21 BB.  SS Eugenio Suarez is the other prospect in the every day lineup.  He too has heated up at the plate this month (.280/.406/.427/.833) to raise his season totals to .250/.344/.410/.755.  His good batting eye, and the fact that he plays SS gives him a pretty bright outlook for being able to help the Reds out soon.

Jon Moscot is best pitching prospect in Louisville after the Lorenzen and Iglesias promotions.  The RH starter is faring quite well with a below league average 3.35 ERA.  He should be next in line to help out the Reds rotation should they trade Cueto or Leake or decide that they’ve finally seen enough of Marquis.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Jesse Winker had a disappointing April (.235 /.354/.382/.736) and then an even worse May (.229/.349/.271/.621) for a season total of .232/.352/.326/.678.  He’s hitting for a lot lower AVG and with less power than expected.  On a bright note his OBP is 20 points above league average still.  Kyle Waldrop had a hot May (.310/.327/.500/.827) to pull his season line up to .283/.305/.458/.762.  He may struggle as he advances though due to his 46 SO to 4 BB ratio though.

Robert Stephenson is still struggling with his control at AA.  He’s got a 5.26 ERA in 8 GS despite leading the rotation with a 7.6 H/9 and 10.5 SO/9.  This is due to his being the worse on the starting staff with a 6.6 BB/9.

High A Daytona Tortugas

OF Phil Ervin had an outstanding April (.346/.429/.692/1.121) an then proceeded in following it up with a horrible May (.177/.264/.271/.534) to bring his season line down to a still very good .260/.347/.473/.820.  SS Alex Blandino, .316/.405/.430/.836, has been hitting great since the season began.

The Tortugas rotation is filled by top prospects Sal Romano (2.85 ERA, 1.25 WHIP), Amir Garrett (2.81 ERA, 1.37 WHIP), and Nick Travieso (3.88 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) who are all pitching well.  You might be surprised to hear though that Barrett Astin (2.65 ERA, 1.15 WHIP), who recently replaced a struggling Nick Howard (5.48 ERA, 1.87 WHIP) in the rotation is out pitching them all.  Astin was obtained from Milwaukee last season in the Jonathan Broxton deal.

Low A Dayton Dragons

OF Brian O’Grady had a rough April (.172/.349/.234/.584) but came on strong in May (.303/.422/.461/.883) to bring his season totals to .253/.394/.373/.767.  Note O’Grady’s very good .349 OBP in his rough April, he has 35 SO and 35 BB on the season.  C Garrett Boulware, .284/.383/.420/.803, is off to a great start this season.

The Dragons starting rotation (Tyler Mahle 3.08 ERA, Tejay Antone 1.73 ERA, Seth Varner 2.98 ERA, Wyatt Strahan 2.76 ERA, and Mark Armstrong 2.76 ERA) has been outstanding.  We might want to keep an eye on Wyatt Strahan’s control issues though, his 1.40 WHIP and 4.1 BB/9 contradict his 2.76 ERA.