This Week on the Farm

This Week on the Farm

We’ve got about 4 weeks left in the Minor League season and 3 weeks until the Major League rosters can expand for September call ups.  Hopefully service time issues won’t affect who we’ll get to see called up.  Getting to see some of these prospects we’ve been hearing and reading about is about all we have left to look forward to this season.  Let’s see what is happening down on the farm.

AAA Louisville Bats

The Bats have a 56-62 record and are in 3rd place in the International League West.

The International League hitters are averaging .253/.319/.379/.698.

OF Jesse Winker (.296/.383/.378/.761) just keeps hitting and we just keep waiting to see him in a Reds uniform.  3B Jermaine Curtis (.291/.404/.435/.839) and OF Steve Selsky (.277/.359/.456/.815) are both still on the DL.  2B Dilson Herrera (.276/.327/.462/.790 at AAA Las Vegas) is hitting .250/.286/.417/.702 in his first 14 PA with the Bats and has been missing time this last week due to general soreness.  SS Jose Peraza (.268/.307/.343/.650) is having a pretty disappointing season at AAA this season, especially for someone considered a top prospect.  OF Kyle Waldrop (.252/.296/.376/.672) has not done well against AAA pitching this season either.

The International League average ERA is 3.61.

SP Amir Garrett (3.77 ERA) continues to try to fine tune his game at AAA.  SP Robert Stephenson (4.36 ERA) is still showing flashes of potential and lack of polish.  SP Tim Adleman (2.72 ERA) is throwing real well since his return from the DL.  SP John Lamb (5.22 ERA) has been placed on the DL.  SP Rookie Davis (2.72 ERA at AA) was promoted to Louisville and welcomed rudely as he allowed 9 R over 4 IP in his first appearance.  RP Kevin Shackelford (0.45 ERA) has now recorded 4 S with the Bats.  LH RP Wandy Peralta (2.28 ERA) may soon prove to be a LH option for the Reds in the bullpen.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The Blue Wahoos have a 62-53 record and are in 2nd place in the Southern League South.  The Blue Wahoos are the First Half South Division Champions.

The Southern League hitters are averaging .252/.325/.368/.694.

C Chad Wallach (.255/.405/.416/.821) is getting it done at the plate.  OF Phil Ervin (.237/.352/.401/.753) looks like he is finally getting it going again with the bat.  SS Zach Vincej (.283/.339/.394/.733) continues to hit well.  2B Alex Blandino (.221/.316/.338/.653) is hitting .361/.425/.500/.925 so far in August.  3B Taylor Sparks (.172/.224/.359/.583) is struggling at AA thus far.

The Southern League average ERA is 3.70.

SP Jackson Stephens (3.16 ERA) heads up the rotation.  Tyler Mahle (3.68) and SP Sal Romano (3.92 ERA) are both pitching well also.  SP Nick Travieso (4.00 ERA) is now back from the DL.  Barrett Astin (2.37 ERA) has pitched well in 79.2 IP over 32 G with 8 GS.  RP Alejandro Chacin (1.76 ERA) has 22 S.  RH RP Abel De Los Santos (0.00) is unscored on over 10.2 IP since joining the club.  LH RP Nick Routt (0.93 ERA) has rejoined the club after posting a 5.00 ERA in 18 IP at AAA,

High A Daytona Tortugas

The Tortugas have a 62-49 record and are in 3rd place in the Florida State League North.

The Florida State League hitters are averaging .250/.321/.357/.678.

OF Reydel Medina (1.169 OPS) and 2B Shed Long (1.158 OPS) are both off to super hot starts in just under 50 PA at A+.  OF Juan Duran (1.171 OPS) and OF Yorman Rodriguez (1.033 OPS) are both off to really hot starts in 16 PA since joining Daytona.   RF Aristides Aquino (.286/.341/.523/.864) is putting himself into top prospect status with a great season this year.  OF Angelo Gumbs (.303/.347/.467/.814) has revived his career with the Tortugas this year.  OF/1B Brian O’Grady (.244/.386/.415/.800) is very quietly putting together a nice season at A+.  1B Gavin LaValley (.260/.320/.451/.771) continues to hit well also.

The Florida State League average ERA is 3.58.

SP Tejay Antone (3.54 ERA) is pitching well for the Tortugas.  SP Keury Mella (3.80 ERA) has allowed 128 hits in 113.2 IP this season.  LH SP Seth Varner (3.90 ERA) is back on track since returning from a stint in AAA.  SP Wendolyn Bautista (2.01 ERA) is still on the DL.  SP Jose Lopez (1.50 ERA) had a good first start since joining Daytona.  LH RP Ismael Guillon (2.50 ERA) has pitched very well in 79.1 IP over 27 G with 11 GS.  RP Jimmy Herget (1.43 ERA) is the closer and has 21 S.  RP Ariel Hernandez (2.57 ERA), LH RP Juan Martinez (2.76 ERA), and RP Alex Powers (3.04 ERA) are all pitching well out of the bullpen.

Low A Dayton Dragons

The Dragons have a 35-80 record and are in 8th place in the Midwest League Eastern.

The Midwest League hitters are averaging .250/.318/.356/.674.

3B Nick Senzel (.310/.414/.556/.970) is hitting just as we all hoped he would.  I can’t help but wonder if he might get promoted to A+ Daytona (1.5 G back in 2nd half standings) or AA Pensacola (1st half division champs) soon to add some punch to their lineups in a playoff type environment.  OF Daniel Sweet (.302/.362/.491/.853) is hitting very well over his first 59 PA at A ball.  C Chris Okey (.229/.306/.458/.764) has cooled off a bit lately.

The Midwest League average ERA is 3.55.

SP Alex Webb (1.13 ERA) has thrown great in his first two A ball starts.  SP Austin Orewiler (4.05 ERA) continues his recent struggles.  SP Antonio Santillan (8.68 ERA) has allowed 10 H and 7 BB with 9 SO over 9.1 IP in his first 2 GS at Dayton.  RP Ryan Hendrix (0.68 ERA) is off to a great start in his first 13.1 IP.  RP Jesus Reyes (1.82 ERA) has pitched very well in 64.1 IP over 25 G with 5 GS.  RP Sarkis Ohanian (2.48 ERA) now has 11 S.  RP Lucas Benenati (2.13 ERA) is off to a great start at A ball.

Rookie Billings Mustangs

The Mustangs have a 29-18 record and are in 1st place in the Pioneer League North.  The Mustangs are the First Half North Division Champions.

The Pioneer League hitters are averaging .290/.357/.437/.795.

OF T.J. Friedl (.550/.609/1.100/1.709) joined the Mustangs after signing as an undrafted free agent and has been just crushing the ball over his first 23 PA.  OF Jose Siri (.364/.386/.636/1.022) continues to rake at Billings.  SS Hector Vargas (.363/.373/.519/.892) is still hitting very well also.  OF Taylor Trammell (.293/.350/.361/.711) continues to get on base and leads the club with 17 SB.  OF Michael Beltre (.292/.380/.443/.824 in the AZL) has joined the Billings club.

The Pioneer League average ERA is 5.15.

SP Andrew Jordan (2.43 ERA) continues to dominate in a hitters league.  LH SP Scott Moss (1.74 ERA) is throwing very well.  SP Ian Kahaloa (3.08 ERA) is pitching great thus far at Billings.  LH SP Max Wotell (6.75 ERA), who was acquired in the Jay Bruce trade, made his first start for the Mustangs.  RP Junior Arias (1.72 ERA), RP Zac Correll (2.45 ERA), and RP Patrick Riehl (2.25 ERA) are the leaders in the bullpen.

Rookie AZL Reds

The Reds have a 20-19 record and are in 3rd place in the AZL Central.

The AZL hitters are averaging .257/.331/.366/.697.

2B Emmanuel Cruz (.277/.381/.446/.827) is leading the team at the plate.  C Pabel Manzanero (.325/.376/.429/.805) is off to a very good start.  C Derik Capitillo (.326/.370/.419/.788) is still hitting well over 46 PA.  3B Leandro Santana (.248/.346/.358/.704) leads the team with 17 BB.

The AZL average ERA is 4.06.

SP Wennington Romero (1.66 ERA), SP Matt Blandino (2.30 ERA), and SP Tyler Mondile (3.60 ERA) lead the rotation.  RP Adolfi Telleria (0.00 ERA), RP Carlos Machorro (0.59 ERA), Darren Shred (2.03 ERA), and Dauri Moreta (2.86 ERA) are heading up the bullpen.

Rookie DSL Reds

I don’t plan to begin full coverage of the Dominican Summer League Reds, but thought I might add a quick snippet here for a while to keep you updated on the progress of SS Alfredo Rodriguez until the Reds bring him stateside.

The DSL hitters are averaging .241/.335/.323/.658.

SS Alfredo Rodriguez is the high profile Cuban SS who the Reds recently signed for $7 M.  He is currently hitting .279/.353/.326/.679 in 51 PA over 12 G.  Bear in mind that Rodriguez is 22 years old and the average age of the DSL is 18.2.  Rodriguez has just returned from a layoff after being hit by a pitch.

31 thoughts on “This Week on the Farm

  1. Thanks as always for these updates Tom. I’m encouraged by some of the hitters coming up, especially Winker and Senzel, but also,some lesser known names like Long and Aquino. And no one could sustain Friedl’s production but that may turn out to be a terrific coup for the scouting department. On the flip side, I am disappointed by Stephenson’s sputtering development at AAA. The Reds need some combination of him, Garrett, Davis, and of course Reed and Finnegan to turn into big league starters. He’s been a can’t miss for so long that it’s frustrating that he may, in fact, miss. Fingers still crossed. And for what it’s worth I have this feeling that Sampson may still surprise us if he ever gets the same kind of chance that the three Cueto lefties all got.

    • Sampson certainly did the job starting at AAA when he got the chance; and, so far, all it has earned him is a seat at the very far end of the MLB bullpen bench. But then, that’s still MLB service time and pay versus the minor league rate assuming he is on a split contract.

      It would be interesting to know how much side throwing Sampson is doing, i.e. if they are stretching him back out to take some MLB starts in September. Alternately, might he be a bit dinged up; and, they are trying to hide it?

  2. I am pretty uneducated on September callups and the overall strategy behind it. Who are the big names that we are expecting to see?

    • I bet we see Garrett up in a relief role as this is his second option year and he should still get plenty of time in AAA next year. Maybe Rookie Davis, but I’m thinking probably not. Tim Adleman will be back assuming he’s healthy. Lamb will be back up for depth and maybe a bullpen audition for 2017. Alfredo Simon made a rehab start yesterday, so he’ll be back for bullpen depth. I don’t know if they’ll bring Peraza and Herrera up or not. I’d like to see them both up and start at least one game together in September, but I doubt it happens. Selsky and Waldrop probably come back up, and YRod if he ever gets healthy.

      • The latest on Lamb is he is DLed with reportedly a possible flexor mass issue. I’d think this makes more likely we will see Davis at MLB because they have a number of MLB guys with innings issues looming; and, Davis having had some down time during the year could pick up the slack.

        I agree on Garrett. His innings count is a little longish but with next year being his final option year, I think he gets a sniff of the big time in September

      • How are they going to get these guys work? Sampson rarely gets in as it is, do they not have 8 arms in the pen already. I think if innings limit becomes an issue, Finnegan goes to the pen not sure if Reed does too can Garrett or Stephenson start until the end of the season

    • To be called up in September you have to be on the 40-man roster. So guys in AAA-AA already on the 40-man may be good bets. Most teams add a couple bench bats and relievers, often a 3rd catcher.

      The downside is adding service time or starting clocks. For instance, if Garrett is brought up and the Reds want to insure they have him under control through the 2023 season then they’d have to bring him up later in the season next year (mid May) or later to avoid super two (closer to mid-season likely) due to having him earn a month of service time in September.

      Team needs and fit also play a factor. And sometimes the club rewards guys with MLB league minimum pay for having good years.

      I’d expect at the very least we’d see Waldrop and Selsky added to the bench. Yorman, if finally healthy and done with rehab will be up for sure. A good chance that Herrera and Peraza come back as I believe neither of them will exceed 1 full year of service time (accumulated) by coming up in September. Then I’d expect to see some pitchers, Stephenson/Adelman may come up to start due to innings limits for some rotation guys. I think we can expect to see Garrett but probably out of the pen, and then a couple of relievers.

      What will be interesting to watch is to see if they add Winker to the 40-man to call him up. They will have to add him this winter, so it won’t waste an option. But the Reds may want to save service time, while also getting more evaluation on some of the fringe 40-man players (Selsky, Waldrop).

      I don’t know who they’d add for a 3rd C. Wallach is having a nice season in AA and would need to be added to 40-man this winter or be unprotected for Rule V. But seeing as he’s not seen AAA yet, that may be a stretch. Raffy Lopez may be added to the 40-man but would probably be taken off again this winter.

  3. Nice report Tom as usual. It would seem right as you point out that Nick Senzel should get a call up to Daytona, or even Pensacola, since both are in the playoff hunt. You would think quality AB’s against better pitching in a playoff race would be better for Senzel’s development than AB’s on a team that has barely won 30% of their games.
    TJ Freidl has been a great story so far. Daniel Sweet too. Hope they keep it up.

  4. Thanks, Tom. I am not looking for either Peraza or Herrera to ever be major league stars. Some people project them to be the middle infield of the future. If they are, then the Reds will just continue their losing ways in my opinion. I have followed the Reds for 55 years and they have never had a good team that was not a strong offensive club. The Reds gave Frazier and Bruce away and they just don’t have the hitters coming through the system. It takes more than 4-5 prospects because not everyone will pan out. Some guys hit their ceiling at AAA and can never advance beyond that level. The real problem for the Reds is that they have no one projected to be a good enough hitter to be in the cleanup spot. Maybe that person will develop. But, as I have posted before, I think this reboot or rebuild has not been very well thought out. The only part that has been thought out well is that the Club wants to extricate salary and have been doing that. Yes, they have gotten pieces in return but the question is this; Will those pieces fit together to make a quality major league team? At this point, I just don’t see it. Call me unimpressed with the Jocketty/Williams tag team of GM’s. I think the Reds are going to be losing for a long time until they draft enough good players who make it to the major leagues. That will take 4-6 years probably. So, I am not looking for a winner again before 2022.

    • It can change in an instant. The Reds are going to be picking high again this year and may get another Senzel-quality bat. I’d argue that they haven’t had a decent clean-up hitter since Rolen and he was on his last legs.

      • Wrong, wrong, wrong Exile!!! We got DatDude for that…..oh, you said decent….

    • I believe the Reds may win as many or more than they lose as soon as next year; and within another year or two they could slip into the playoffs. However there is a long way to go from there to where they were in 2012 when they arguably may have been in the top 3 or 4 teams in MLB based on their season record and what the Giants did after barely surviving versus the Reds in the post season.

      I’m skeptical too about Peraza; but, the Mets had supposedly tagged Herrera as their likely MLB 2B as soon as next year. Also the Reds have several other middle IF prospects such as the Cuban SS they recently signed; and it is not out of the realm of possibility that Senzel ends up in the middle IF instead of 3B.

      Time will tell.

      • What if Toronto loses EE and Bautista to free agency this winter? Would they go into re-build mode? 3B Josh Donaldson is a free agent after 2017. He is owed $17M for 2017. Could the Reds empty out some of their prospect cupboard for Donaldson? Sign him to an extension (3-4 year) and make him a cornerstone of the future with Votto. Move Senzel to 2B and trade Dilson Herrera, Suarez, R. Stephenson, and a couple of other top prospects for Donaldson. May be able to find a new home for Mesoraco in this trade if Toronto is willing. Donaldson in GABP = 40+ HR’s. Great Defense. Power and great OBP.

        • Using Cabrera’s contract as a bench mark, it’s difficult to believe that Donaldson would sign for anything less than the 31 million per year that Cabrera currently receives. It’s also difficult to believe that he would sign a 3-4 year deal when someone else would likely offer him a 8-10 year deal….likely with some sort of player option around year 4.

          Do you think the Reds can win with Votto, Bailey and Donaldson earning an aggregate of 72 million? Assuming a 115 million payroll…that would leave less than 2 million each for the other 23 players.

          You’re suggesting that they trade some of their best cheap players…so wouldn’t they wind up with Votto, Donaldson and a mix and match assortment of rookies and cast offs?

        • You may be right, Donaldson may be aiming high. But you sound like you want the Reds to be that type that sits on the front porch in their EZ chair and wait for the world to come to them. You know, the Walt Jocketty type. The Reds need to get off the front porch and go make a mark in the world. Maybe Dick Williams can be that, who knows. Maybe Williams wants to come out of the gates this winter and make a mark.
          The Reds need a player that is not currently on this roster to bat 4th behind Votto.
          You are dreaming if you think Donaldson will get $31M per at 8-10 years. That isn’t happening. 5-6 years would be more like it. A better comparison would be north of 3B Kyle Seager’s deal. He signed a 7 yr./$100M deal. Take the last 5 years of his deal and it is 5 yr./$80M. Now go north.
          The Reds can’t go 5-6 years on a 3B that will be 31 next year. Even a well-rounded one like Donaldson. Maybe he comes to Cincinnati for 3 years to hopefully upgrade his power numbers in hitter friendly GABP. Maybe Donaldson would relish an opportunity to hit behind Votto.
          You sound like you want it to be Votto and 7 young players with little to no MLB experience. I would rather have a tier of solid veterans with OBP skills (Votto, Donaldson, Mesoraco ?) a tier with 2-3 years experience (BHam, Duvall, Barnhart), and a tier of rookies (Senzel, Winker, and Peraza) all or most with OBP skills. You could do the same with the 12 pitchers.
          I think the balance sheet could accommodate Donaldson. And probably a long term contract for DeSclafani could be added to the balance sheet with no ramifications.

        • WV…I may not agree with your idea, but I do respect your knowledge and the idea itself.

          We have different preferences in building a team.

        • A tip of a Michelob Light to you. Yeah, I don’t have the patience for a long drawn out re-build. I think we have to count 2015 as year 1 of the re-build, and we are now almost two years into it. And the Reds are still trying to figure out where they are going, besides occupying last place in the NLC. Ownership and the front office seem content with that. Almost a wire-to-wire last place finish in 2016. In 2015 and 2016, the Reds have occupied last place in their division for more days than any other MLB team in their respective division with the exception of the Braves. I’m not lovin’ that.

    • The 1990 Reds were hardly an offensive power. They finished 12/26 in runs scored.

      The 2012 Reds finished 21/30 in runs scored.

      The 2016 Reds…without Todd Frazier…are on pace to score more runs than either the 1990 or 2012 Reds.

      Both the 1990-2012 teams allows the second fewest runs in baseball.

      It’s a bit premature to suggest that Frazier and Bruce were given away. It’s fair to note that there was a limited market for Frazier last winter and apparently zero market for him a few weeks ago as the White Sox were shopping everyone on their roster.

      It’s also fair to note that the market for Jay Bruce was also limited and the Reds have averaged 4.77 runs per game since he was traded, compared to 4.3 runs per game with him….albeit in a very small sample size.

    • Peraza and Herrera don’t need to be “stars” for the Reds to succeed. Cozart has never been a star and BP was only a “star” for about 2 seasons, yet the Reds won quite a bit during their tenure.

  5. They’re moving towards on-base percentage and that’s good but its going to come down to how bad (and not if) we get outhomered! Even as the pitching improves….we’re going to be at a power disadvantage vs a lot of teams!

  6. Between September 1st and Spring Training next year might be the most interesting the Reds will be for the next couple of years. The problem is that the Reds have loaded up on average/below average talent that may or may not pan out in the big leagues.

    The current 40 man roster has Selsky, Schebler, Duvall, Rodriguez, and Waldrop (in addition to Billy Hamilton and Tyler Holt). Duvall looks like he may be able to stick, but his wRC+ is down to 109 and he’s only had one month above that (May, 159). Selsky, Schebler, Waldrop and Rodriguez are all pretty much unknowns and there aren’t enough ABs to find out much of anything this year.

    That wouldn’t be so bad, but Doug had a great list of players the Reds will need to protect in the Rule 5 Draft this year; three of the no-brainers are OF (Winker, Aquino, Ervin). Of the OFs on the 40 man, Holt won’t be there next year, and the Reds may gamble with Yorman and Selsky because they’ve produced the least, but they’re also the youngest. That’s one of the reasons a lot of people wanted to sell high on Duvall; you’re going to have to make the tough decision soon anyway, maybe get something back and make the decision a little easier.

    It’s also kind of funny that Chad Wallach and Eric Jagielo need to be protected this offseaon; the Reds just got these guys and still don’t know what to make of them.

  7. I think it’s pretty harsh to characterize Peraza’s AAA season as disappointing considering he he’s basically wasted 1/2 a season sitting on the pine in Cincinnati.

    • Peraza was below AAA league average when the Reds called him up in June. He was disappointing before he got called up for his MLB pine ride.

      • If below average batting is disappointing for Peraza, you’re in for a lot of disappointment. He projects to be below average at the plate. Might want to recalibrate your expectations, good sir! 😉

        • Well, yeah, I’ve pretty much lowered my expectations of him due to his poor play at AAA this year. He projected a lot better at the end of 2014, hence his top 100 prospect ratings (.820 OPS in 304 PA at A+ and .784 OPS in 195 PA at AA). Then he started off 2015 by being an average hitter in the AAA IL (.697 OPS in 427 PA as a 21 year old), but then after the trade to the Dodgers fell off to a .682 OPS in 94 PA in the PCL ( .750 OPS Lg Avg). Now this year back in the IL he has a .653 OPS in 281 PA. So yeah, he’s basically in steady decline over his last 375 PA at AAA, instead of showing any sign of improvement. My expectations this season for him at AAA was something that looked like .300/.330/.380/.710. That would project him out to be about .280/.310/.360/.670 in MLB, which is below the league avg SS (.720 OPS). Those were the expectations. So now that he’s starting to look more like a .260/.290/.340/.630 kind of guy in MLB, yeah, It’s pretty disappointing. He’s going to tumble off prospect charts if he’s still eligible at years end. If I’m the Reds I leave him down there until he starts hitting better, or we’ll have another Billy Hamilton situation where we have a guy who couldn’t even hit at AAA eating outs like gumdrops at the top of the lineup for several years.

  8. What’s the deal with Friedl? I heard a little about him, but never got the full story about how he ended up on the Reds and how legitimate he might be.

    • Kjones,

      It seems no one knew he was draft eligible. He tore it up with team usa and people started asking questions and found out he was a redshirt sophomore and not a true sophomore as all of mlb scouting thought at the time. The reds happened to have a chunk of money leftover post draft and that won the day.

  9. The data always speaks for itself but the way the Reds handled him when he was called up was terrible.The kid should be called up and play every day for the last month of the season just to see what he can do.What do we have to lose?

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