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.


25 Responses

  1. cfd3000

    Thanks Tom, looking forward to seeing the Dragons – especially pitching and SS defense – in a couple of weeks.

  2. Vanessa Galagnara

    Seems like most of the help is at A level so we need to wait till 2018-2019 until we see butterflies and rainbows?

  3. Jeremy Conley

    I hope that Kyle Waldrop gets a promotion. He’s hitting .287/.315/.462 at AA and at age 23 I’d like to see what he can do at AAA.

    • Michael Smith

      i would like to see Waldrop work on his eye. His strike out to walk ratio is over 10-1.

      • lwblogger2

        MLB pitchers are going to kill him if he doesn’t.

    • Jfife

      i agree 100%. seems like most people always talk about Winker when Waldrop is doing well (other than strike outs). if we trade bruce im looking forward to a Winker, Hamilton, Waldrop outfield in the future.

  4. Big56dog

    Possibly missed reports on Selsky,, 25 years old, career OPS .839 in the minors, seems like he would be considered almost ready, anybody know his story? Not saying he is the next Jay Bruce, but maybe the next Heisey

    • Tom Diesman

      I like Selsky and he would have been the next one I talked about. He’s just not quite in that prospect category the other two are. If he could play CF it would be another conversation, but he just doesn’t hit with enough power to hold down a corner OF spot. He has a chance to be a RH PH who can backup LF/RF/1B, but more than that would probably be a stretch. If they want to call him up and give him 200 or so PA in LF though to ensure Byrd’s option doesn’t kick in, I’d be totally ok with that. 🙂

      • Vicferrari

        I was surprised at the numbers, they looked similar to Heisey’s minor league… probably better than his AAA. They gave players like Soto and Lutz a chance, Considering the bench, why not see what he can handle?

      • Hotto4Votto

        Heisey could play all three OF spots, had better power, and speed. Selsky has a much better understand of the strike zone and has been a better hitter for average. But otherwise, Heisey was a better player all around, and that’s why he got a shot on the bench. Soto and Lutz have much more power and came up (only to sit on the bench) when the Reds were decimated with injuries and we had even less options at AAA than we do now.

  5. Gonzo Reds

    ESPN article today has the Reds at #11 drafting:

    “Trenton Clark
    SCHOOL: Richland HS (North Richland Hills, Texas)
    HT: 6-0
    WT: 200
    POS: OF

    Analysis: I’ve lost count of how many players I’ve heard the Reds on, from Benintendi to Stephenson to Tucker to Fulmer.”

    Clearly, we will likely be drafting higher than #11 but that’s the projection for now.

  6. Jon

    I grew up in Northern Ky, but moved to Daytona Beach when I was in high school. I’m really happy that the Reds have a minor league team here now. I’ve seen them play several times and love Blandino the ball jumps off his bat! It’s time for the big club to make some moves I love Bruce but he hasn’t hit his weight in a long time and no matter how fast Hamilton is you can’t steal bases from the bench. The reality is Cueto wont be a Red next year, we have to much money tied up in other players who aren’t performing. And if you were him would you want to stay on a team that if you give up 2 runs you can’t win??? and will not have a legitimate shot at a ring? Our minor league teams are full of non-prospects for the most part and need to be refilled.

    • gerald

      check stats for last month on Bruce

  7. Art Wayne Austin

    Trading Leake and Bruce would free up money to sign Cueto.

    • Steve Mancuso

      No it won’t. Trading Leake frees up half a season salary. Maybe $5 million. Trading Bruce would free up $25 million over two years. That’s $30 million. Cueto will cost $200 million and you’d have to find another outfielder for the next two years.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Cueto is gone.Just a matter of when. Best to accept it and move on.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t know if Cueto will cost the $200-million that Steve mentions but I think if he’s healthy, he’ll be looking at 6-years/$150-million as the starting point. That would make $200-million not out of the realm of possibility. I think he’ll land somewhere between what Lester and Scherzer got this past off-season. Even if it’s somehow closer to Lester’s money, it would really be too much for the Reds IMO. There’s no way you can throw that kind of money at a pitcher. The injury risk is just too high. Look at how people are saying that the Bailey deal is hamstringing the Reds. The Reds certainly didn’t get a discount on him but it was a fair-market deal. He got hurt. Now think of an even bigger deal to Cueto and think of what happens when he gets hurt. The Reds can’t be going over 4 years on pitchers. Not even Cueto.

  8. Tom Diesman

    Nope, that’s Robert Stephenson. I do like me some Tom Pauly though. If you haven’t already you should read “The Last Best League” by Jim Collins.

  9. WVRedlegs

    I see that last year’s #2 overall draft pick, LHP Brady Aiken is falling in many mock drafts to the lower first round, the mid 20’s. Would the Reds be wise to risk their #11 pick on him? They need LH starters. He didn’t sign with the Astros at #2 last year. His agent is the dastardly Scott Borass. Many thought he was going to be the #1 overall last year.

    • WVRedlegs

      Are you talking about the same Jesse Winker that cannot even handle AA pitchers, and you want to plug him in at the Majors level? Winker isn’t even ready for AA, let alone AAA or the Majors.
      Winker in 2014 at AA before he got hurt, .208/.326/.351.
      Winker in 2015 at AA, .228/.345/.315.
      Why start the free agent clock on your top prospect, when he can’t even handle AA pitching yet? Winker has alot to prove before he is ready for the PrimeTime.

      • lwblogger2

        The way I read @Captain Hook’s comment was sort of along those lines. I think he’s saying what he’s saying sort of tongue in cheek. He can correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Captain Hook

        Very tongue in cheek. There was a significant portion of the fanbase that assumed he was ML-ready just because he dominated high A ball, and another significant portion that was angry he was not promoted to AAA to start the season. If there is one thing that can be left to the pros I think it is determining when to advance a prospect.