This week we will highlight a few players coming and going from each of the full season minor league teams.
AAA Louisville Bats
The Reds recently signed 31 year old RH reliever Adam Russell who was released by the Diamondbacks in late March and assigned him to the Bats. Russell, who is listed at 6’ 8” 280 LB, has amassed 85 major league appearances with the White Sox, Padres, and the Rays from 2008 – 2011 with a 3.95 ERA. Last year in AAA with the Orioles organization he posted a 2.37 ERA in 60.2 IP allowing 52 H, 33 BB, with 59 SO. He’s off to fast start this season with Bats as he has yet to allow a run while allowing 1 H and 2 BB with 6 SO over 6.1 IP. He might be able to help out in the pen down the road if he can keep his walk rate down.
AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Bryan Anderson is a 27 year old LH hitting C who has accumulated 68 PA in the majors with the Cardinals and White Sox. He started the year out in AA and hit a sizzling .343/.427/.643/1.070 in 82 PA there. He has since been promoted to AAA Louisville where he has continued to swing a hot bat putting up a .400/.438/.667/1.104 line in his first 16 PA. In 1772 PA at the AAA level he has hit at a .257/.331/.391/.722 pace, so his hot start is not likely to continue, but he could be of service as a backup catcher somewhere down the line.
High A Bakersfield Blaze
In 2011 with Dayton 21 year old 3B David Vidal put up a .280/.350/.498/.847 slash line with 20 HR. He began the 2012 season by putting up a .281/.358/.512/.870 with the A+ Blaze in 137 PA and then being promoted to the AA Pensacola where he struggled with a .230/.294/.397/.691 in 377 PA. Last year he struggled badly, .218/.291/.305/.596, in a split season between A+ and AA. Vidal is now back with the Blaze and off to a very hot start posting a .462/.533/.846/1.379 in his first 15 PA. The twist is that all four games he’s appeared in thus far have been as a catcher. It will be interesting to see how he develops defensively behind the dish and if he can recover from his recent struggles at the plate.
Low A Dayton Dragons
Nick Benedetto is a 21 year old RH CF who hit a disappointing .165/.207/.243/.450 in 122 PA last season at Rookie level Billings. He struggled in 29 PA at A+ Bakersfield filling in for injured Junior Arias. He was then demoted to A Dayton where he is off to a hot start in 11 PA with a .364/.364/.636/1.000 line. This is an opportunity for him to prove he can play at the A level. If not, he will most likely return to Rookie level Billings when their season begins.