Down on the Farm / Minors

Down on the Farm – 2013 Pitching

Following up on yesterday’s look at the 2013 offense, today we summarize the Reds minor league individual pitcher performances.

To compile these pitching lists, I again limited it to players age 25 and younger. The “Lev” column indicates the highest minor league level a player attained during the season. I included columns for hit-by-pitch (HBP) and wild pitch (WP) totals as another measure to indicate potential wildness. A pitcher with an asterisk(*) next to their name indicates that they throw left-handed.

STARTING PITCHERS
Except for Tony Cingrani and Nick Routt, I looked at starting pitchers with double digit starts and high K/9 ratios. For those starters down the list, they either are or have recently been on various prospect lists and could still be seen at the major league level down the road. This gives us 18 starting pitchers sorted by K/9:

Player Age Lev GS IP ERA WHIP HR/9 HBP WP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
Tony Cingrani* 23 AAA 6 31.1 1.15 0.798 0.3 1 1 3.2 14.1 4.45
Ben Lively 21 A 13 41 0.88 0.878 0.0 1 1 2.9 12.3 4.31
Robert Stephenson 20 AA 22 114.1 2.99 1.111 0.8 3 12 2.8 10.7 3.89
Ismael Guillon* 21 A 26 121.1 4.75 1.566 1.0 1 26 7.0 9.9 1.41
Jeremy Kivel 19 Rk 12 50.2 3.91 1.441 0.7 4 11 4.1 9.9 2.43
Nick Routt* 22 Rk 9 22 2.86 1.455 0.0 2 4 2.5 9.8 4.00
Jon Moscot 21 AA 28 146.2 4.30 1.302 1.2 9 11 2.9 8.6 2.92
Luke Moran 21 Rk 15 74 4.74 1.419 1.0 4 5 1.9 8.6 4.44
Carlos Contreras 22 AA 26 132.1 3.47 1.270 0.7 8 9 4.2 8.3 1.97
Josh Smith 25 AA 28 160 3.26 1.238 0.9 7 5 2.8 7.8 2.78
Drew Cisco 21 A 24 130.2 3.86 1.255 0.8 2 3 1.1 6.8 6.19
Sal Romano 19 A 25 120.1 4.86 1.587 0.7 10 9 4.3 6.7 1.56
Nick Travieso 19 A 17 81.2 4.63 1.347 0.8 4 8 3.0 6.7 2.26
Chad Rogers 23 AAA 25 140 3.21 1.129 0.9 5 3 2.9 6.6 2.29
Tim Crabbe 25 AAA 26 153 3.06 1.268 0.7 4 6 2.5 6.4 2.53
Daniel Corcino 22 AAA 23 129 5.86 1.659 1.2 11 7 5.1 6.3 1.23
Junior Morillo* 21 Rk 13 64.2 3.06 1.284 0.6 4 7 1.4 6.1 4.40
Amir Garrett* 21 A 13 57.2 5.15 1.526 0.6 3 10 4.1 5.0 1.23

2013 4th round draft pick Ben Lively had an excellent professional debut. He issued just 13 free passes and struck out 56 while making all but one of his starts with Billings. Look for his innings limit to be extended past 3 innings per start next year, and potential for quick promotion through the system if he continues his dominant performance.


Ismael Guillon’s stuff (9.9 K/9) is why the Reds have protected him on the 40-man roster. Despite unimpressive full season numbers, Guillon finished the season with a very strong August (1.34 ERA, 0.95 WHIP). In fact, over Guillon’s last four starts, he went 24 innings, allowing just 3 runs on 10 hits, and only walked six.

Carlos Contreras is another pitcher that the Reds protected on the 40-man roster while starting the 2013 season in A-ball (Bakersfield). Contreras transition from the bullpen to a starting role has to be considered successful. He survived 18 starts in hitter-friendly Bakersfield, striking out 9.6 batters per nine innings in the California League. In his 8-start stint with Pensacola, Contreras allowed just two homeruns in 42 innings. He didn’t allow more than 2 runs in any of his last 7 starts.

Daniel Corcino’s name is dropping on prospect lists this offseason. For the second year in a row, Corcino’s K/9 rate has dropped with his BB/9 ratio going up. Corcino spent his last three appearances of the season working out of the bullpen.

RELIEF PITCHERS
For the relief pitchers, I again drew a line at number of innings, K/9 ratio, and prospect status. That gives us 16 relief pitchers to look at sorted by K/9 below.

Player Age Lev G IP ERA WHIP HR/9 HBP WP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
Joe Mantoni 22 Rk 16 18.1 0.98 1.418 0.0 0 4 3.9 14.7 3.75
Oswaldo Mieres 21 Rk 21 29.1 2.45 0.989 0.9 1 7 2.8 12.6 4.56
El’Hajj Muhammad 21 A+ 22 24.2 1.82 1.176 0.7 3 2 6.9 12.4 1.79
Alejandro Chacin 20 A 44 65 2.91 1.154 0.6 6 14 4.6 10.0 2.18
Kyle Lotzkar 23 AA 33 38 8.05 2.211 0.2 13 4 8.8 9.7 1.11
Chad Jones* 24 Rk 16 12.1 8.76 2.757 0.0 1 3 10.9 9.5 0.87
Ty Boyles* 17 Rk 14 30 1.80 1.133 0.3 1 3 3.0 9.3 3.10
Jimmy Moran 23 A+ 44 60.1 4.18 1.608 0.9 8 4 6.6 9.1 1.39
Daniel Wright 22 Rk 14 42.2 5.91 1.453 0.8 2 8 1.1 9.1 8.60
Joey Housey 23 A+ 27 38.1 3.05 1.304 0.5 1 1 3.8 8.7 2.31
Werleen Taveras 22 A 18 28 2.25 1.250 0.3 1 1 3.9 8.7 2.25
Chris Manno* 24 AA 42 61.2 3.94 1.362 1.2 6 6 3.8 8.6 2.27
Pat Doyle 25 AA 52 74 3.41 1.068 0.9 5 9 2.2 8.5 3.89
Michael Lorenzen 21 AA 22 21 3.00 1.571 0.9 3 0 5.6 8.1 1.46
Nick Christiani 25 AAA 49 56 3.86 1.179 1.0 3 3 2.7 7.9 2.88
Parker Frazier 24 AA 13 23.1 1.93 1.114 0.0 0 1 4.2 7.7 1.82

In general, the higher K/9 rates are younger and in the lower level of the minor leagues, while the lower K/9 ratios are from older players closer to major league level. Though a lot of these older minor leaguers may not ever break with the Reds as they face competition from starting pitchers who can’t break the major league rotation and external acquisitions, success stories like Zach Duke, for example.

2013 18th round draft pick Joe Mantoni had a great professional debut in the Pioneer League.

Kyle Lotzkar and Chad Jones make the list despite ugly ERA’s this year. Both pitchers strike out more than a batter per inning. Both have had trouble consistently finding the strike zone. Lotzkar has long been on Reds starting pitcher prospect lists as he was drafted in the 1st round and the 2007 draft. His results this year in his first year in the bullpen was not very promising.

A more recent draftee, Chad Jones was selected by the Reds in 9th round of this year’s draft. We outlined Jones story back at the time he was drafted. The Reds expected him to be raw and inconsistent. Jones showed glimpses of domination in his outings this year, and it will be interesting to see the comeback trail continue next year.

Parker Frazier was acquired from the Colorado Rockies late in the season for Armando Galarraga. Scouting reports at the time of the trade note that Frazier’s primary pitch is a low-90’s sinker. While his transition to the bullpen had not been going well for Colorado this year, he did have success in limited time with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos bullpen. The Reds will have to decide this offseason whether to add Frazier to the 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule V draft.

10 thoughts on “Down on the Farm – 2013 Pitching

  1. TC and I are very high on Ben Lively. Out of Central Florida. Could rise much like Cingrani.
    Josh Smith just quietly puts up good numbers at each level he has been at. A solid pitcher. A 3.26 ERA in 28 starts at AA is nothing to look down at. Should be at AAA next year. I really like Smith.
    As for the relievers, I was a bit surprised that Drew Hayes wasn’t on the list. Hayes was up and down this year. Manno, who came over in the Jonny Gomes trade, Lorenzen, and Frazier should be fun to watch next year at AA or AAA.

    • @WVRedlegs: I considered Hayes, but on the surface he was 25 years old repeating AA and posted worse numbers across the board (with the exception of BB/9 which went down a tick from 5.4 BB/9 to 4.7.)

      He did have some great appearances, but I think overall the numbers indicate that he could struggle if he gets promoted to AAA.

      • @Greg Dafler:

        I remember at Redsfest two winters ago, Hayes was being billed as the Closer of the Future after a great year at Dayton. He was the “it guy” as the reliever in the Reds minor league system after Boxberger was traded away. He has plateaued out the last couple of seasons. Hope he rights his ship and has a good year next year. The Reds can always use a good bullpen arm.

  2. I’m a big fan of El’Hajj Muhammad. The dude could be the next Author Rhodes. Bill isn’t so high on him, but every time I saw him pitch in Dayton last year he looked really nasty. His mound presence is intimidating.

    Amir Garrett has the ability to be at the top of the list if he just concentrated on baseball. That has been well documented throughout the season this year. Gotta love his stuff when it’s on. When he’s on he’s a top 3 pitching prospect in the system behind Stephenson and Lively. When it’s not, he’s terrible.

    As WVRedlegs said, he and I are both fans of Lively. My favorite stat for a pitcher in the lower levels is WHIP. Other than Cingrani (who I don’t consider a prospect anymore since he’s show success at the top level) he had the best WHIP in the minors. But beyond WHIP he didn’t give up a single HR this season. Not one. That’s a great skill to have if he’s going to pitch in the Great American Band Stand.

  3. 121.1 innings, 26 WP, 7.0 BB/9…. how has Guillon NOT hit more than 1 batter with a pitch? I mean, that’s a lot of wild pitches and pitches out of the strike zone to only have plunked 1 guy.

    • @ToddAlmighty: I was wondering the same thing. Sneaky wild.

      Good minor league pitching coaches are worth paying well, I would think.

      I hope El’Hajj Muhammad makes it just for the name. He would be the Ali Haji Sheikh (former Giants kicker) of relief pitching.

      • @Big Ed: I just double checked another source to verify b-r.com was accurate. Yes. 1 HBP all year.

        For his career, Guillon has thrown 317 innings, thrown 57 wild pitches, and hit just 7 batters.

        • @Greg Dafler: I wonder if that means he is afraid to pitch inside. I really wish more pitchers learned how to pitch inside – but I can understand why they dont. The consequences are a lot worse when you miss inside.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s