This Week on the Farm

This Week on the Farm

With All-Star Game coming up next week, the trading deadline is right around the corner.  It will be interesting to see if the Reds are able to make any moves and what the return from them will be.  Hopefully they will bring some more good young talent our way to stock the farm.  With that, let’s check out some of the action down on the farm.

AAA Louisville Bats

The Bats have a 42-44 record and are in 3rd place in the International League West.

The International League hitters are averaging .253/.320/.377/.697.

OF Scott Schebler (.294/.345/.520/.865) is the Reds best hitter at AAA and needs to be called up and given regular playing time in the big leagues for the remainder of the season.  Hopefully the Reds can make some room for him soon in the OF.  OF Steve Selsky (.294/.382/.464/.847) is making a pretty good argument for some big league playing time as well.  3B Jermaine Curtis (.283/.409/.425/.834) has been consistently good all season and will represent the Bats in the AAA All Star Game.  OF Jesse Winker (.286/.381/.367/.748) is still on the DL with a wrist injury and began a rehab assignment with the AZL Reds yesterday.  Winker went 1 for 3 with a HR in his first rehab appearance.

The International League average ERA is 3.61.

SP Robert Stephenson (3.89 ERA) gave up 2 solo HR and had 4 BB in 6.1 IP yesterday.  He’s really not making a strong case for a call up to the big leagues having walked 46 batter in 88 IP.  SP Amir Garrett (2.89 ERA) has allowed more BB (10) than H (8) in 18.2 IP at AAA.  SP Jon Moscot (5.26 ERA) was placed on the DL with an elbow injury.  SP Seth Varner (3.22 ERA at A+) was promoted to the Bats to take Moscot’s turn in the rotation.  Unfortunately, Varner got tagged for 4 ER without recording at out in his first start at AAA.  LH RP Wandy Peralta (2.67 ERA) has recorded 2 S in 30.1 IP of relief.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The Blue Wahoos have a 45-37 record and are in 1st place in the Southern League South.  The Blue Wahoos are the First Half South Division Champions.

The Southern League hitters are averaging .252/.328/.369/.696.

OF Phil Ervin (.227/.338/.376/.714) has hit a cold spell as his numbers fall towards the league average mark.  2B Brandon Dixon (.249/.303/.441/.744) continues to slide back since his hot week last month.  OF Sebastian Elizalde (.282/.324/.379/.703) has cooled off of late as well.  3B Taylor Sparks (.237/.310/.447/.757) is off to a good start in his first 42 PA since his promotion.  OF Juan Duran (.222/.300/.333/.633) has 8 SO in his first 20 PA since his return.  OF Beau Amaral (.280/.360/.420/.780) was sent on a rehab assignment to the Rookie level Billings Mustangs.  2B Alex Blandino (.193/.292/.303/.595) and 3B Eric Jagielo (.206/.305/.307/.612) are my two biggest disappointments thus far this season in the minors.

The Southern League average ERA is 3.75.

SP Jackson Stephens (3.28 ERA) continues to pitch very well at the AA level.  SP Rookie Davis (3.14 ERA) has only 30 SO in 66 IP.  SP Tyler Mahle (4.91 ERA) has 19 SO and 6 BB in 14.2 IP over his first 3 GS at AA.  SP Sal Romano (4.86 ERA) and SP Nick Travieso (4.75 ERA) have both been disappointments at AA this season.  Barrett Astin (3.04 ERA) has pitched well in 53.1 IP over 23 G with 5 GS.  RP Alejandro Chacin (1.03 ERA) now has 15 S.

High A Daytona Tortugas

The Tortugas have a 43-36 record and are in 3rd place in the Florida State League North.

The Florida State League hitters are averaging .248/.318/.354/.672.

RF Aristides Aquino (.287/.347/.490/.837) has been on a tear of late.  1B Gavin LaValley (.276/.333/.504/.837) is on a hot streak as well and has found the power stroke he was missing last season at Dayton.  OF/1B Brian O’Grady (.249/.381/.444/.826) leads the club with 40 BB.  2B Ty Washington (.282/.333/.455/.788) has put himself up among the team leaders in hitting as well.  SS Blake Trahan (.246/.317/.345/.662) is hitting at right about league average.

The Florida State League average ERA is 3.47.

SP Keury Mella (3.31 ERA) should be slated for a promotion to AA soon.  SP Wendolyn Bautista (1.74) is pitching very well in his first four starts at Daytona.  RP Jimmy Herget (1.27 ERA) is doing a great job as the closer and now has 15 S.  RP Ariel Hernandez (1.69 ERA) is off to a great start in his first 10.2 IP since being promoted to Daytona.

Low A Dayton Dragons

The Dragons have a 24-58 record and are in 8th place in the Midwest League Eastern.

The Midwest League hitters are averaging .246/.316/.349/.665.

3B Nick Senzel (.333/.333/.556/.889) is off to a very good start in his first 18 PA since his promotion to A ball.  2B Shed Long (.282/.373/.480/.852) is more than ready for a promotion up to the next level.  1B James Vasquez (.239/.314/.390/.703) has fallen on hard times recently.  C Chris Okey (.091/.091/.182/.273) is off to a slow start in A ball after just 12 PA.   C Tyler Stephenson (.196/.267/.272/.539) has been placed on a rehab assignment with the AZL Reds.  Stephenson went 1 for 2 with 2 BB in his first rehab appearance.

The Midwest League average ERA is 3.51.

SP Austin Orewiler (3.22 ERA) continues to lead the Dragons rotation.  SP Jose Lopez (3.32 ERA) has been pitching very well also.  SP Jacob Constante (4.64 ERA), SP Ty Boyles (4.95 ERA), and SP Tanner Rainey (5.89 ERA) all continue to struggle in the Dragons rotation.  RP Juan Martinez (1.60 ERA), Jesus Reyes (1.99 ERA), and Manuel Aybar (2.51 ERA) are the leaders in the bullpen.

Rookie Billings Mustangs

The Mustangs have a 11-7 record and are in 1st place in the Pioneer League North.

The Pioneer League hitters are averaging .294/.365/.443/.808.

OF Daniel Sweet (.367/.525/.600/1.125) leads the Mustangs in hitting.  OF Jose Siri (.393/.422/.672/1.094) is off to a very hot start.  3B Colby Wright (.276/.455/.414/.868), SS Hector Vargas (.346/.340/.519/.859), and OF Miles Gordon (.273/.433/.409/.842) are off to a good starts this season.

The Pioneer League average ERA is 5.40.

SP Andrew Jordan (2.55 ERA) and SP Antonio Santillan (3.63 ERA) are leading the Mustangs rotation.  Santillan has an amazing 32 SO in 17.1 IP.  RP Patrick Riehl (2.03 ERA) and RP Zac Correll (2.13 ERA) head up the bullpen.

Rookie AZL Reds

The Reds have a 5-7 record and are in 3rd place in the AZL Central.

The AZL hitters are averaging .255/.338/.369/.706.

C Derik Capitillo (.450/.500/.600/1.100) leads the club in hitting.  1B Morgan Lofstrom (.346/.414/.538/.952) has hit the clubs only HR thus far this season.  OF Michael Beltre (.333/.404/.524/.928) is off to a hot start.  OF Daniel Jimenez (.353/.405/.412/.817) is off to a very good start.

The AZL average ERA is 4.47.

SP Ian Kahaloa (0.00 ERA), SP Wennington Romero (1.80 ERA), and SP Matt Blandino (2.57 ERA) lead the rotation.  RP Darren Shred (0.00 ERA) and RP Connor Bennett (3.38 ERA) are off to good starts in the bullpen.

 

22 thoughts on “This Week on the Farm

  1. Thanks, as always for doing these.

    AAA – I think you’re right that Schebler needs to be given a chance to play regularly in MLB. Hopefully the Reds will facilitate a Bruce trade to bring back some prospects and open up playing time. (Eventually Winker will need a spot, but I foresee Duvall playing more 3B in the future).

    With that said, Waldrop and Selsky appear to offer more as bench bats than Holt. I know neither of them can play CF (although the Reds ran Selsky out there for some reason), but Holt is currently putting up a 47 wRC+. He’s typically the first PH off the bench, which actually almost makes sense when the bench is DeJesus, Peraza, Holt, and Cabrera most days. Meanwhile Waldrop (SSS alert) put up a 95 wRC+ with 5 hits and a BB in 17 PA and Selsky had 3 hits in 10 PA (did K 5 times). Both seem to be better PH options, and essentially that’s what most bench players are asked to do most often. We’ve had half a season + to see what Holt can do, let’s see what Waldrop and Selsky can do the 2nd half. Peraza can cover CF when Hamilton needs a day off.

    AA – the difference one good/bad game can make. After going 0’fer in two games, Ervin went 3-5 last night pushing his slash line up to .235/.343/.381/.723. I’d like to see him finish on a hot streak.

    I think you’re right about Blandino and Jagielo (who I thought would at least hit) being two of the bigger disappointments at this point in the season. Blandino more so because he was a top 10 Reds prospect and on the fringe of the top100 prospects in all of baseball. What’s more discouraging is that he was known to have a good approach at the plate but his K% has jumped to 27.2% this year. In 112 less PA last year his K% was at 15.2%. In High-A it was 16.4%. The BB% remains solid at 10.8% and the BABIP is low (.253) so maybe there is some room for optimism, but it’s hard to overlook the K%.

    And just like Blandino and Jagielo on the hitting side, Travieso and Romano have seen their stock take a his as well. Travieso has dealt with an injury, that he hasn’t appeared to get back on track from. The FIP is worse than the ERA, and his BB/9 are up over 2 from last year (and any year as a professional). The K/9 is up a tick and that’s nice to see. Hopefully he can get back on track.

    Romano appears to be a little unlucky, at 1-9 (kill the win) but with a 3.55 FIP (4.86 ERA). His BB/9 (2.82) are just a tick under where it was in a successful 2015 stint in High-A, but the K/9 (8.47) is up higher than he’s been with the Reds. His BABIP is .375 which is extremely high, likely contributing to his bad luck. He’s only 22 year old, and the peripherals are encouraging at least.

    Adv.-A – Aquino has more than doubled his BB total from last year (23 to 11) in just 84 more PA this season. That’s on top of putting up a 146 wRC+ in a hitter friendly league. He’s one of Reds prospects that’s having a “switch turned on” type of season.

    I take the opposite view on Mella though. The K/9 has taken a significant dip, going from 9.7 and 9.15 with the Reds/Giants High-A teams respectively last season to 6.83 this season. Meanwhile his BB/9 is at 3.75 after posting a 2.87 in the hitter friendly Cal-league most of last year. (It is an improvement on his BB/9 in FSL last year of 6.33). His ERA which is just ahead of league average is ahead of his FIP (.331 vs .374). With the jump to AA said to be the toughest in the minors, I don’t think he’s proven he’s ready, especially after repeating the level.

    A – Long is certainly ready for a promotion, but there’s a bit of a logjam in the infield ahead of him. Since he’s just now starting to show up on the prospect scene, he may benefit from continuing success in Dayton until the playing time situation is more clear ahead of him.

    (sorry it’s long, just love talking minor leagues).

  2. Is it time to start contemplating trading Robert Stephenson for a bat? It could be a big sweetener to a Cozart trade, or even in a Bruce trade.

    • I used to think the Disco is the best trade chip because I was honestly unsure of how he would continue to develop, and he is obviously the most major league ready out of our future staff (minus homer), which would be a big appeal to contending teams. Now I am not so sure about that, as Disco looks like he could continue improving into a legit 2/3 starter at the very least.

    • Stephenson’s main issue is control. He simply walks too many guys at this point. He’s also been a bit streaky with the walks, meaning he’s demonstrated periods of time when it hasn’t been an issue. But, his stuff is still elite.

      So I guess the answer to your question is whether or not you think the Reds have the right pieces to form a formidable rotation without him. We have Homer, when he returns, who has a track record of being very good when healthy. We have Disco, who has proven so far in his young career that he can be a pretty good pitcher. We have Lamb, Finnegan, and Straily who have all had ups and downs. Finnegan is still young, and Lamb has shown flashes of very good swing/miss stuff. Straily, has been fairly consistent, but at the end of the day, likely isn’t much more than a 5th starter. And then there is Reed and Garrett. Garrett like Stephenson has demonstrated some struggles with BB. Reed has been hit pretty hard in his first go-round with the Reds but has demonstrated some flashes of what we believe he can be.

      Do the Reds have enough amongst those other 5 pitchers (plus maybe a Lorenzen/Iglesias is added back to the mix next year) to believe they can field a strong rotation?

      On paper a rotation of Bailey, Disco, Reed, Garrett, and Finnegan appears to be a good start. A good start, but still tons of question marks.

      So then, it may depend on the quality of the bat. I would expect that the asking price for Stephenson would be high, like top 30 near-ready hitting prospect. I’m not sure what team would give up that prospect for Stephenson as things sit now.

      • I went to the game here in Indy yesterday. I thought Bob Steve looked pretty good (94-95 mph) and decent slider but Sampson was dominating AAA and he always get lit up with the Reds. Bob Steve is sort like Homer lite to me and Homer hasn’t really ever better than a #3 starter to me. Hardthrowers with hype are supposed to be better then bulldog guys that are always around the plate like Disco but Disco busts his butt w/conditioning (95 mph at the 100 pitch the last start).

        For 2017 I would go with a rotation of Disco, Lorenzen, Bailey, Reed, and Lamb. Garrett is very interesting too but we have enough guys now that are at 75 pitches in the 3rd inning. Lamb would make a good situational lefty if nothing else. Overall though…personally I’d have no problem if they dealt Bruce and one of these guys and got someone like Pomeranz from the Pads in a 3 way deal or something!

        • Homer as a 3? 3’s don’t throw two no-hitters and have lights out performances in the playoffs. He’s not Cueto, but few are. He was in a good spot in his career when the tommy john hit. We’ll see. I don’t know if you meant any particular order of the rotation… Bailey would certainly, certainly be ahead of Lorenzen.

        • I’ll give you the great start vs SF in the playoffs but Homer really only had 2 complete solid seasons and in the first one he had a 3.68 era with 208 ip / 206 hits. That’s a 3 at best and that’s the 2nd best year of his 8 year career or whatever it is? Don’t get me wrong I like Homer and hopefully he can put it together again! We need him!

      • Bob Steve has the best raw arm talent in the system. MLB history is littered with guys who struggled in their early to mid 20’s and then put it together in their late 20’s to become a dominant pitcher. He’s demonstrated in the past that he is capable of extended stretches with good control. All it may take is the right minor adjustment, or slight tweak in his delivery to put things together. If that happens, then you have a front of the rotation arm. If we can get a middle of the order hitter for several years trading him, then sure, then a trade can make sense. But I absolutely wouldn’t move him just to move him because he didn’t develop fast enough for our liking. Until he is out of options, I leave him starting, even if it’s in AAA, because the upside is too high to not take the chance. If he runs out of options and still has control issues, you then let him sink or swim in the rotation, or move him to the pen.

        • Totally agree

          Unless it is possible to agree more than totally. What is beyond totally?

          Robert Stephenson is going nowhere but Cincinnati

  3. You forgot to give us the rest of Bob Steve’s line 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 8 K, which looks pretty dominant!

    • Two of the four hits were HRs, fortunate they were both solo shots given the 4 hits and 4 walks (~1.3 WHiP on the night).

      Right now in R.Stephenson, I see the flip side of the coin of what can happen if a guy who looks ready for MLB is artificially held back for business reasons (MLB service time/ yrs of control/ Super2).
      He certainly looked ready for MLB in April when he made those two big league starts. However leave a guy down where can succeed without needing to keep his edge; and, slowly complacency can slip in. Over time, he can lose his edge and begin to play to the level of the competition.
      Now he has to climb the mountain again. Who knows, having been at the MLB level and having experienced what it takes first hand, albeit briefly, maybe bringing him back to MLB is the thing he needs to get him on track.

  4. Jesse Winker homered last night in his first (I think?) rehab game with the AZL Reds. That’s a good sign given the wrist injury.

    • With Winker’s dominant performance in AA during the 2nd half of last season, I have to wonder how long the wrist had been bothering him this season before he became physixcally unable to swing a bat and ended up on the DL. The Old Cossack’s goal and expectation for Winker this season has changed from becoming major league ready and debuting with a Septyember call up to simply playing healthy and letting his talent and performance take care of the rest.

      • I found it interesting that he seemed to be on the type of run that ultimately gets a guy promoted to MLB at the time the wrist apparently said ¡No mas!

  5. Taylor Trammell has acquitted himself very well so far for a guy who was playing high school ball a couple months ago. An 18 year old hitting .296/.377/.333 is not too shabby in the advanced rookie Pioneer league. Sure I’d like to see more power, but this is his first time using wood bats exclusively, so i’ll take contact and on base for now. As gifted as an athlete as he is with solid size, I think the power will come over the next few years. Maybe not middle of the order power, but I could see him as a 10-15 HR guy which is solid power for a CF.

    • Even with early numbers being what they are, the idea that he has shown a little plate discipline makes me happy.

    • Of the top draft picks from the 2016 amature draft, I like Senzel & Trammell, but I found Okey somewhat of a head-scratcher as a high-floor, low-ceiling selection at the #43 pick. Okey’s selection made me wonder about Stephenson’s status after just 1 partial seaon in pro ball. I agree that an 18-year-old, fresh-from-high-school selection needs time to mature, both as an individual and as a player before placing expectations on him for immediate results.

      • Okey looks to me to be a stop gap to fill in along with presumably Barnhart until T.Stephenson is ready for MLB. Look at it this way. He may be high floor low ceiling and being pushed; but, at least it is at the position he has been playing, unlike trying to turn high investment relievers or an OF into a starting pitcher. That may actually be incremental progress.

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