We are now nearly a quarter of the way into the minor league full season schedule.  Time to check in on the Reds prospects around the minors to see they are faring.

AAA Louisville Bats

The Bats have a 19-13 record and are in 2nd place in the International League West.

The International League hitters are averaging .248/.318/.359/.677.  The Bats offense is led by 28 year old IF Jermaine Curtis who has a .851 OPS.  LF Jesse Winker (.314/.417/.410/.827) is doing his best to show he’s ready to be called up.  OF Steve Selsky (.281/.396/.404/.801) is out to prove his success at AAA last year was no fluke.  SS Jose Peraza (.305/.352/.407/.758) continues to hit well at AAA as well.  In recent roster moves, 28 year old C Raffy Lopez (.272/.354/.327/.681 at AAA) was signed to replace Ramon Cabrera.  Scott Schebler, who was sent down recently, is off to a 1 for 10 start.

The International League average ERA is 3.43.  Starting pitchers Robert Stephenson (2.70 ERA), Josh Smith (2.38 ERA), and Cody Reed (1.46 ERA) are all pitching very well.  Keyvius Sampson has a 0.00 ERA in 17.2 IP over 6 G with 3 GS.  A.J. Morris has a 1.93 ERA in 18.2 IP over 7 G with 4 GS.  Jumbo Diaz has a 0.00 ERA with 3 S in 8 IP with 2 BB and 15 SO.  Reliever Chad Rogers has a 0.68 ERA over 13.1 IP.  Daniel Wright (0.45 ERA at AA) was recently called up to bolster the staff.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The Blue Wahoos have a 20-13 record and are in 2nd place in the Southern League South.

The Southern League hitters are averaging .254/.330/.366/.696.  LF Phillip Ervin (.229/.357/.479/.836) has come on strong to lead the offense, followed closely by IF/OF Tony Renda (.315/.367/.468/.835).  RF Sebastian Elizalde (.295/.333/.475/.809) was recently placed on the DL with an oblique injury.  CF Beau Amaral (.280/.360/.420/.780) was just recently placed on the DL as well.  Eric Jagielo (.512 OPS) and Alex Blandino (.589 OPS) continue to struggle.  OF/1B Kyle Parker was added to the roster and has a 1.050 OPS over his first 20 PA.  SS Calten Daal has a .984 OPS in 41 PA since returning from the DL.

The Southern League average ERA is 3.81.  Starting pitchers Amir Garrett (1.26 ERA) and Rookie Davis (0.93 ERA) continue to dominate the league.  SP Jackson Stephens (3.78 ERA) continues his solid performance.  Starters Sal Romano (5.23 ERA) and Nick Travieso (6.20 ERA) have both hit recent rough patches.  Alejandro Chacin has not been scored on over 13 IP and has recorded 5 S.  LH RP Nick Routt has a 0.50 ERA over 18 IP.

High A Daytona Tortugas

The Tortugas have a 14-18 record and are in 4th place in the Florida State League North.

The Florida State League hitters are averaging .240/.312/.341/.654.  LF/DH Angelo Gumbs (.304/.368/.435/.803) was placed on the DL with a finger sprain. 1B Avain Rachal (.205/.354/.385/.739) and LF Brian O’Grady (.208/.357/.377/.734) are both hitting well.  RF Aristides Aquino (.205/.285/.402/.686) has come on strong after some early struggles.  3B Taylor Sparks (.574 OPS) and SS Blake Trahan (.481 OPS) are both struggling at the plate.

The Florida State League average ERA is 3.37.  Starting pitchers Tyler Mahle (2.72 ERA) and Keury Mella (3.16 ERA) are leading the rotation.  RP Jimmy Herget has a 1.13 ERA with 5 S.  RP Jacob Ehret has a 1.65 ERA with 2 S.  LH Seth Varner has a 2.66 ERA in 20.1 IP over 9 G with 2 GS.

Low A Dayton Dragons

The Dragons have a 7-26 record and are in 8th place in the Midwest League Eastern.

The Midwest League hitters are averaging .241/.314/.331/.645.  CF Narciso Crook (.244/.311/.402/.714) was leading the club on offense before heading to the DL with a shoulder injury.  2B Shed Long (.238/.308/.390/.698) has cooled considerably of late.  OF Ed Charlton (.219/.271/.375/.646) has seen his bat cool off lately as well.  C Tyler Stephenson (.406 OPS) hopes for better results as he returns from the DL with a concussion.  OF Zack Shields (.919 OPS) is off to a hot start in his first 30 PA since joining the club.

The Midwest League average ERA is 3.32.  The Dragon’s starting rotation continues to struggle as Franderlyn Romero (3.34 ERA) is the only starter pitching well.  Relief pitchers Ariel Hernandez (0.98 ERA), Manuel Aybar (1.88 ERA), Michael Sullivan (2.08 ERA), and Juan Martinez (2.63 ERA) are all pitching well out of the bullpen.  RH Austin Orewiler has a 3.20 ERA in 25.1 IP over 8 G with 2 GS.

22 Responses

  1. cfd3000

    Thanks Tom. Ervin’s numbers are fascinating. Pretty low average but he’s averaging more than 2 bases per hit, and taking a lot of walks. That almost seems impossible. Lots of home runs? Or just a strangely low BABIP? Is this flukey or sustainable?

    • Patrick Jeter

      I think that is sustainable. It’s the Adam Dunn archetype. And perhaps the current Pujols archetype. Lots of swinging hard and fly balls from pitches in the zone, which comes with swing-and-misses, but also a good eye out of the zone.

      Guys who hit a lot of fly balls historically run low AVG and BABIP, but can still run good OBP and SLG.

    • mdhabel

      I noticed those as well. 10 singles vs 12 XBH (5 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR).

      Walk rate is actually down from last year but he has already been HBP 7 times vs 2 all of last year.

      Does that get factored into OBP? If so, that could be inflating it a lot.

      • mdhabel

        My mistake, he had 11 HBP last year between both leagues. Still a much higher pace

      • WVRedlegs

        Yes.
        The full formula is OBP = (Hits + Walks + Hit by Pitch) / (At Bats + Walks + Hit by Pitch + Sacrifice Flies).

      • Patrick Jeter

        Sort of off-topic, but interesting (to me at least), is that HBP are actually more valuable than a walk, even though they do the exact same thing.

        The idea is that sometimes walks are used strategically, which can, in some cases, depress the run expectancy of an inning, and HBP are mostly random, so they won’t really have much of a secondary effect on run expectancy.

    • Tom Diesman

      Ervin’s BAPIP is running maybe 20 points lower than would be expected this year, .262 vs a normal ~.280. So I would hope he’d be able to up his AVG to about .250. Lot’s to like about him and things to improve. My biggest disappointment so far is that they are not playing him as much as possible in CF. He’d be much more valuable there than in a corner spot.

  2. WVRedlegs

    Tony Renda has become a weekly mention for you. He certainly is taking some of the disappointment out of Blandino’s AND Jagielo’s horrible starts. That would be something if he could become the heir-apparent to 2B and be the Reds version of Jose Altuve. A hidden nugget from the Chapman trade.
    I’m really interested in how Kyle Parker does. It was a very good pick up for the Reds. The former 1st round pick might quietly be the transaction of the off-season for the Reds front office, if he plays up to his potential.

    • ohiojimw

      What was going on with Parker that he just now showed up at AA? Does he figure to fast track to AAA?

      • WVRedlegs

        I don’t know why he was kept in Arizona for awhile. The OF in Louisville is fairly full and Brandon Allen is at 1B. That may be why he was sent to AA to start, until Winker gets his call-up, I am assuming. I am also assuming that they will keep Ervin at AA most of this year, unless he starts to hit at a higher clip.

      • WVRedlegs

        I thought the Reds had signed Parker earlier in April than they did on April 27. He was released just before Opening Day. I guess they worked him out for a week or so to decide where to send him. I am hoping the Reds can get him back on track as a hitter.

    • Tom Diesman

      Renda is hitting well, he hit .269/.330/.358/.689 in 532 PA last year in AA and is .287/.361/.373/.734 in 2069 PA in his minor league career. So it is doubtful that he will continue to OPS .846, but he’s sure showing he’s ready to jump to AAA.

      Here’s a little glimmer of hope for Jagielo and Blandino. Jagielo has a .757 OPS in May. Blandino has a .927 OPS in May. So both are beginning to show signs of life.

      Parker, who is 26 years old, has hit .288/.345/.492/.836 in 528 AA PA (Texas Lg – .708 Lg Avg OPS) and .285.332/.442/.774 in 930 AAA PA (PCL Lg – ~.760 Lg Avg OPS). He’s struggled bad with a .513 OPS in 138 PA in MLB. So it seems like he needs to be in AAA to me.

  3. The Duke

    If Blandino and Ervin can hit for a little more average it would really provide a spark to the Reds offense in a couple years. They both take a good amount of walks and have a little pop. Getting guys who take walks and get on base like Winker would do a world of good for run producers like Suarez who make a lot of contact.

  4. ohiojimw

    It is encouraging to see a strong team result at AA and AAA along with some of the individual performances. However while the AA group seems to be flush with guys who are still prospects, aside from the “big four” of Stephenson, Reed, Peraza, and Winker, much of the AAA roster appears to be career minor league 4A filler material.

    • Tom Diesman

      Not too sure I’d agree. Below are the members of the MLB site top 30 prospects that are at AAA/AA and three that would be if not injured. It looks pretty spread out between the two teams to me.

      AAA
      1 Winker
      2 R. Stephenson
      3 Reed
      5 Peraza
      16 Schebler
      25 Waldrop

      AA
      4 Garrett
      8 Blandino
      9 Travieso
      10 Ervin
      12 Davis
      14 Jagielo
      15 Ramano

      13 Rodriguez AAA/MLB
      20 Weiss AA/AAA
      23 Moscot AAA/MLB

  5. Redgoggles

    So the Dragons look awful; is this indicative of recent draft/development failures? A scary thought if the Reds are going to rebuild primarily through their farm system. I realize you cannot judge the major league potential of single A players based on the teams winning percentage, but 7-26??? It doesn’t seem like there could be much talent there, and once the Reds get healthy and move some of their AAA talent up, where is the replacement talent in the minors?

    • David

      Really. The low A Dragons are pretty bad. I would imagine that there would likely be some players coming up from Billings after the draft and the Reds front office gets a look at them at Billings. Perhaps when and if Cozart and Bruce are traded, we will get a lot of highly regarded “A” prospects to reload down below.

      Typically, AAA (for most teams) has a few of the best team prospects getting a final polish before the Majors (like Reed, Winker and Stephenson this year), and a lot of career minor leaguers that provide depth for the ML team if some key players go down.
      I can’t wait for Reed and Stephenson to get up to Cincy (sometime in late June or early July), because Rookie Davis and Amir Garrett need to get up to AAA.

      • ohiojimw

        I think I was spoiled by the 2010 and 2011 Louisville bats. Meso, Cozart, Alonzo, Francisco, Sappelt, Valaika and some guy named Frazier who at one point was actually being used more as a super sub because they had somebody slotted ahead of him at all of his positions. Plus a couple of career 4A sluggers.

        Sometimes In used to wonder what crew might do as an MLB team if brought up en masse and provided with even a league average pitching staff.

    • Tom Diesman

      I was surprised to see their roster to start the season. There were some big names missing from last years Billings club. LF Dalton Carter AAA .828 OPS, CF Ed Charlton .804 OPS just recently joined Dayton, RF Kevin Garcia .802 OPS, 1B/OF Reydel Medina .787 OPS and 13 HR just joined the Dayton roster. Not to mention that Aristides Aquino went to A+ to start this year with no success at A Dayton last year (.645 OPS), and SS Blake Trahan was assigned to A+ also after a .803 OPS at Billings last year.

      I’m just not sure pitching wise, Romero and Lopez are the only starters from Billings club last season to pitch well thus far in A ball.

    • Michael W.

      Just thinking out loud but couldn’t you also look at it as since the major league club is going through this “rebuild” and will be going to use many younger team controllable guys, they minor league clubs, mainly A, A+, & AA will have 3-4 years to replenish their talent pool?

      I mean if they carry all of these really young pitchers from the minors up to the big leagues then the pitching staff is set for 4-5 years. That just leaves position players to fill on the big league level. I am sure I am looking at this too simply and it won’t be that easy, but when you draft 25+ plus players a year, you should be able to get some talent each year.

  6. Big56dog

    What is the deal with Selsky? all he has done is get on base at every level, I know nothing about him but saw he is getting starts in CF. Is he that much better than Winker or Waldrop or do they just want those guys playing the corners?

    • Tom Diesman

      He’s only played 15 games in CF in 6 minor league seasons, and only once this year. He’s really a corner OF/1B. The problem is he also does not hit for power. He has 5 HR and a sub .400 SLG in 761 PA at AA/AAA. That just profile well for him for the positions he plays.