Minor League Baseball is finally back. Every Tuesday I’m going to write something about the farm system, but exactly what topic that is would change each week depending on how the wind is blowing. For this week I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at how the top prospects are performing through two weeks into the season.
Hunter Greene! The Reds top prospect hadn’t pitched since July of 2018 (in games, at least) after undergoing Tommy John surgery and then the 2020 minor league season being cancelled. But Greene has come out firing and ready to make up for missed time. On Sunday he made his third start of the season for Double-A Chattanooga and struck out 10 batters in 6.0 shutout innings as he moved to 3-0 on the year with a 1.69 ERA. In total he’s thrown 16.0 innings and allowed eight hits, walked just three batters, and he’s struck out 25 of the 59 batters he’s faced.
Nick Lodolo, Greene’s rotation mate in Chattanooga, has made two starts this season and has allowed just one earned run in 8.1 innings while allowing seven hits, walking four, and striking out 13 of the 35 hitters he’s faced. He’ll take the mound tonight for the Lookouts as he makes his third start of the year.
Capping the Double-A roster in the top prospects category is Jose Garcia – giving the Lookouts all three of the organization’s top prospects. The shortstop is out to a great start. He’s played in all 12 games for Chattanooga and he’s hitting .354/.418/.750 with five doubles, a triple, and four home runs.
If you are looking at possible replacements in the rotation for a struggling Jeff Hoffman, pressure may soon be coming from Tony Santillan. He’s made two starts this season with Triple-A Louisville and has allowed one earned run in 8.0 innings while walking two and striking out 13 batters.
Perhaps you could also look at Santillan’s teammate Vladimir Gutierrez. After a strong spring training he’s carried it into the start of the year for the Bats. He’s made two starts and allowed three runs in 11.0 innings on just six hits and four walks while striking out 14 batters.
Down in Daytona their offense has been clicking and one big reason for that has been second baseman Tyler Callihan near the top of the lineup getting on base all year. The infielder has hit .342/.400/.421 with five walks and just three strikeouts in 10 games played for the Tortugas.
If you are looking for someone to put on your “helium” list that player may be Daytona outfielder Allan Cerda. Through 10 games played he’s hitting .281/.429/.688. He’s walked eight times, but he’s also struck out 14 times in 42 trips to the plate. There are a lot of tools there to work with and if he can cut the strikeouts down just a little bit things could really begin to click.
The Top 25 Prospect Rundown
Others who are hot
Switch-hitter Alejo Lopez is hitting .423/.483/.519 with more walks (6) than strikeouts (4) on the season for Double-A Chattanooga.
Catcher Mark Kolozsvary has only played in eight of Chattanooga’s 12 games so far, but he’s made all of them count. He’s hitting an absurd .519/.594/1.000 with nine extra-base hits and as many walks (5) as he’s had strikeouts.
Brian Rey has played both second base and center field for the High-A Dayton Dragons this year. He’s also won the High-A Central League’s Player of the Week both weeks of the season, but even that doesn’t quite put into perspective what he’s done. In 10 games he’s hit .450/.442/1.025 for the Dragons with three doubles, a triple, six home runs, one walk, and just two strikeouts all year. He’s outhomered one team in the league, and is tied with another.
Danny Lantigua is getting his first taste of full-season baseball this year with Daytona and so far he’s been seeing beach balls. The outfielder has hit .410/.439/.641 with six doubles and a home run for the Tortugas.
Braxton Roxby is a guy who fits into the Spincinnati mode of pitching as much as anyone. The 22-year-old reliever is making his professional debut with the Dayton Dragons this year and in his four appearances so far this season he’s struck out 11 batters with just two hits allowed in 6.0 shutout innings.
Left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin has made two starts and one relief appearance for Double-A Chattanooga and has allowed just one earned run in 12.0 innings. He’s also struck out 15 batters while giving up just five hits and four walks.
Alfredo Rodriguez may be having the best two week stretch of his professional career right now. The shortstop has played in 11 games for Triple-A Louisville and is hitting .344/.447/.531 and has as many walks (4) as he has strikeouts in 38 plate appearances.
The Actual Farm Teams