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.
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:
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.
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.
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.