This week I will take a look at a player from each of the full season minor league teams that is not performing up to what we expected or hoped from them this season.
AAA Louisville Bats
The Reds acquired 22 year old David Holmberg in the Ryan Hanigan trade last December and expected the LH SP to provide depth for the starting rotation. His strong season last year, 2.75 ERA in 157 IP, in the AA Southern League earned him a start in the majors for Arizona where he allowed 3 R over 3.2 IP. Hopes were after Spring Training was that he would go to AAA Louisville and continue to pitch well and be a solid option for the Reds to call up to fill a starting rotation spot should they need someone. Unfortunately, he has fallen on hard times to begin this season. He currently finds himself on the DL with shoulder tendinitis after just 3 GS, 9.1 IP, and with a 14.46 ERA. Here’s hoping his shoulder issue is minor and he returns soon and pitches well.
AA Pensacola Blue Yahoos
Juan Duran is a tool laden 22 year old RF who last season clubbed 20 HR while putting up a solid .251 /.323 /.450 /.773 slash line in his second full season at A+ Bakersfield. These numbers nearly mirrored what he had done two seasons before at A Dayton, but with more BB and less SO. He earned the promotion to AA Pensacola to start this season, but is off to rough start at .220/.271/.320/.591. Let’s hope he can show the adjustments necessary to rebound this season and turn things around, so we can see him in AAA Louisville next year, rather than spending a second season trying to solve AA pitching.
High A Bakersfield Blaze
Drew Cisco is a 22 RH SP who put up a solid 3.86 ERA in 130 IP last year at A Dayton. Promoted to A+ Bakersfield this season he currently has a 5.54 ERA in 7 GS over 37 IP. He is not someone you see on the Reds top prospect lists, but has shown success in both of his professional seasons thus far. Let’s hope he can turn things around and continue to progress over the remainder of his season in the high offense A+ California league.
Low A Dayton Dragons
Last season’s number one draft pick Phil Ervin burst onto the professional scene by slashing .326/.416/.597/1.013 in 149 PA at Rookie Billings and then continued to impress by putting up a .349/.451/.465/.916 line at A Dayton in 51 PA. Many questioned his reassignment back to A Dayton to start the season, but the 21 year old OF has struggled early there, posting a .192/.267/.275/.542 line over 135 PA. Conjecture is that he will rebound to his performance levels of last season after he has fully healed from off season surgery to the injured wrist that ended his 2014 season.