We are now just about a third of the way through the schedule for the full season minor league teams.  The MLB draft is just two and half weeks away and the Reds again have the 2nd overall pick.  The Reds two Rookie league teams will begin play the week after the draft.  We might also start seeing some players promoted to the next level in upcoming weeks.  Let’s check in and see how things are going down on the farm.

AAA Louisville Bats

The Bats have a 16 – 29 record and are 4th out of 4 in the International League West.

International League hitters are hitting .253/.321/.388/.710.

OF Jesse Winker, .314/.390/.405/.795, who had a disappointing April (.673 OPS) is now hitting .354/.426/.476/.901 in May.  C Rob Brantley, .287/.324/.426/.750, is having a nice season thus far.  IF/OF Tony Renda,.303/.346/.395/.741, continues to swing a pretty good bat.  SS Juan Perez (.935 OPS) remains on the DL.  IB/OF Peter O’Brien was picked up by the Reds off waivers from the Royals.  The RH hitting O’Brien is 26 years old and is hitting .259/.308/.504/.812 in 1102 PA at AAA.  OF Phil Ervin (.632 OPS) and 2B Dilson Herrera (.647 OPS) continue to struggle at the plate.

International League pitchers have a 3.84 ERA.

The Bats have had a a hard time piecing together a starting rotation with the Reds constantly dipping down into the Bats roster for fresh and/or healthy arms to fill out their staff.  The Bats have already had 14 different pitchers start games for them and the month of May is not yet over.  Their current rotation consists of RH Jackson Stephens ( 9 GS, 5.76 ERA), RH Rob Wooten ( 6 GS, 6.94 ERA), LH Cody Reed (4 GS, 4.08 ERA), RH Rookie Davis (2 GS, 4.00 ERA), and RH Vin Mazzaro (1 GS, 20.25 ERA).   The Reds just signed the 30 year old Mazzaro who has a 4.79 ERA in 383 IP in the majors with five different teams from 2009-2016.  RH RP Kevin Shackelford (1.27 ERA) has recorded 5 S and has 28 SO in 21.1 IP.  RH RP Kyle McMyne (1.84 ERA), RH RP Evan Mitchell (2.63 ERA), RH RP Alejandro Chacin (2.93 ERA), and RH RP Louis Coleman (3.00 ERA) are pitching well out of the bullpen.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The Blue Wahoos have a 25 – 21 record and are 1st out of 5 in the Southern League South.

Southern League hitters are hitting .243/.322/.371/.693.

OF Tyler Goeddel who struggled at AAA (.424 OPS in 43 PA) is off to a great start at AA (.319/.396/.532/.928 in 53 PA).  CF/1B Brian O’Grady, .202/.339/.442/.781, continues to produce at AA.  C Joe Hudson,.265/.379/.367/.747, is doing well in his first 61 PA.  1B Eric Jagielo, .239/.333/.372/.705, who had a horrible April (.510 OPS), is now hitting .320/.443/.540/.983 in May. OF Aristides Aquino, .194/.250/.406/.656, had a putrid April (.479 OPS) is now hitting .222 /.282 /.569 /.851 in May.  2B Josh VanMeter (.278/.362/.346/.707) and IF Alex Blandino (.217/.362/.333/.696) are both hitting just above league average OPS with very good OBP percentages.

Southern League pitchers have a 3.59 ERA.

The Blue Wahoos pitching staff has an amazing 2.72 ERA this season.  RH SP Tyler Mahle (1.59 ERA) has a 0.865 WHIP.  RH SP Austin Ross (1.37 ERA), who is 28 years old, is having a great season thus far. RH SP Luis Castillo (2.82 ERA) is off to a very good start.  RH SP Deck McGuire (2.73 ERA) is another 28 year old off to a real good start to the season.  RH SP Keury Mella (5.06 ERA) is the only member of the rotation who is struggling.  RH RP Jimmy Herget, (1.71 ERA) has recorded 11 S.  RH RP Ariel Hernandez (1.64 ERA), RH RP Geoff Broussard (1.76 ERA), and LH RP Ismael Guillon (2.40 ERA) are all throwing very well out of the bullpen.

High A Daytona Tortugas

The Tortugas have a 25 – 20 record and are 1st out of 6 in the Florida State League North.

Florida State League hitters are hitting .256/.324/.373/.697.

2B Shed Long, .323/.373/.503/.876, has been tearing the cover off the ball and should be in line for a promotion to AA in the near future.  1B Gavin LaValley, .281/.339/.521/.860, leads the Tortugas with 10 HR and is making his case for a AA promotion as well. 3B Nick Senzel, .306/.366/.465/.830, leads the club with 18 2B and 14 BB.  SS Alfredo Rodriguez, .276/.324/.312/.636, who had a rough April (.506 OPS), is hitting .337/.375/.398/.773 in May. OF Daniel Sweet,.261/.358/.294/.652, continues to get on base.  C Chris Okey, .175/.252/.238/.490 continues to struggle at the plate.

Florida State League pitchers have a 3.67 ERA.

Starting pitchers Jose Lopez (2.56 ERA), Jonathon Crawford, (2.97 ERA), Wendolyn Bautista (3.00 ERA), and Jesus Reyes (3.38 ERA) are all off to good starts on the mound. SP Vladimir Gutierrez (5.63 ERA) has allowed 48 H and 8 BB with 50 SO in 40 IP.  RH RP Ty Rainey (2.49 ERA) has allowed just 6 R and 6 H over 21.2 IP while recording 36 SO and 5 BB.  RH RP Robert Stock (2.52 ERA), who is 27 years old, was just promoted to AA Pensacola.

Low A Dayton Dragons

The Dragons have a 30 – 14 record and are 2nd out of 8 in the Midwest League Eastern.

Midwest League hitters are hitting .246/.321/.375/.696.

OF T.J. Friedl, .292/.383/.468/.851, leads the club with 14 2B.  C Tyler Stephenson, .291/.400/.418/.818, paces the team with 23 BB.  1B James Vasquez, .250/.336/.423/.759, is hitting well.  OF Taylor Trammell, .248/.343/.414/.757, is doing very well for a 19 year old in a league where the average age is 21.  2B Brantley Bell, .285/.354/.389/.743, is have a good season thus far.   SS/2B Luis Gonzalez, .300/.338/.386/.724, is off to a good start in his 75 PA since coming off the DL.  OF Michael Beltre, .252/.364/.345/.709, continues to get on base at a high rate.

Midwest League pitchers have a 3.85 ERA.

LH SP Scott Moss (1.91 ERA) has allowed 32 H and 18 BB with 62 SO over 47 IP.  LH SP Wennington Romero (2.42 ERA) has allowed only 9 BB over 52 IP.  RH SP Tony Santillan (2.76 ERA) has a 1.76 ERA in May.  RH RP Joel Kuhnel (3.71 ERA) has recorded 6 saves. RH RP Aaron Fossas (1.73 ERA), RH RP Jesse Stallings (2.29 ERA), and LH RP Andy Cox (2.45 ERA) are all doing well out of the bullpen.

32 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    All levels are doing well except for AAA Louisville. Dayton is 30-14 and only in 2nd place?
    That Daytona infield and the Pensacola starting rotation are something else.
    Big Tom, with draft only 2 1/2 weeks away, who do you think the Reds select at #2 overall??
    I am going to break mold here, and forsake pitching at #2. If the Twins take Hunter Greene, I don’t see a clear cut elite pitcher to take at #2. Vanderbilt’s Kyle Wright would be the only one I would possibly take at #2
    I am going to go out on a limb just a little and go bold with high school OF Jordan Adell from Louisville as the pick. I think he has risen enough to take at #2. Just incredible power and OF arm.

    • Tom Diesman

      Dayton is real close to 1st: West Michigan Whitecaps (DET) 31 14

      I really don’t follow the draft eligible players that closely. But much like you, with the #2, I’d rather see a hitter taken over a pitcher if there is no clear cut no brainer pitcher available. Pitchers are much more riskier due to injuries, so I’d rather play it a bit safer with a hitter if no obvious pitcher pick is there.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I’m hoping that just after the All-Star break we see Senzel, LaValley, and Long promoted to AA. Around the field that would look like Hudson C, LaValley 1B, Long 2B, Trahan SS, Senzel 3B, Goeddel LF, Guerrero CF, Aquino RF, Blandino DH. That team combined with their pitching should be really fun to watch in the 2nd half.

      I’m hoping for Greene or Wright at #2. Beck would be my choice for a bat at that spot but wouldn’t be sorry about Adell either. Don’t want to see them draft McKay at #2 at all.

      • Tom Diesman

        Couldn’t agree more, LaValley and Long are just re-confirming what they showed they could do at A+ last season. I’d be fine with moving them up sooner. I think Senzel would deal nicely with a promotion now as well. Only change to your lineup I’d make is to get Brian O’Grady into the mix. Just because I like him. Mini-Dunn who can play CF and steal bases. 🙂

      • I-71_Exile

        The Baseball America mock had Adell sliding to the Reds at 32. That would be my absolute dream draft. Wright or Adell at 2 to start.

      • Scott Carter

        I with you I don’t want them to take McCay either. Im good with either Green or Wright.

    • Jim Walker

      In part the issue at Louisville is that they’ve paid the freight for the Reds starting pitching woes. Guys who should be pitching at Louisville are pitching for the Reds. I think it is good that in general the Reds have not tried to push forward true prospects into the breech at Louisville; but, it has made for a brutal situation for the Bats.

  2. Shchi Cossack

    The .122 ISO during May for Winker represents a significant improvement from his painfully weak start of the season, but still falls on the wrong side of league average, but the .426 OBP during May had his season slash of .314/.390/.405 up to a respectable .795 OPS. If he contiues with this improving trend (and his last couple of games have been tremendous), he will force his way back into the discussion for top prospects and the major league outfield.

    • Tom Diesman

      I suppose I’m one of the few who really doesn’t need Winker to slug for him to be in the major league OF now. I still believe that we have plenty enough of SLG in Votto, Suarez, one of Duvall/Schebler, and potentially Mesoraco. So then who are our OBP guys? Votto is plus plus, then there is Suarez, Schebler, and Mesoraco/Barnhart at about league average. The rest are typically below league average. Winker would give us a 2nd bat we could count on to provide a plus OBP consistently. Hopefully Senzel will soon be the 3rd. I’m not getting caught up in the need for a corner OF to have plus power, especially if I have power already from other spots and I have a player that fits a bigger team need that I can play there. The Reds will soon have to make this tough decision and I expect that Duvall is going to be the odd man out. He’s older and will be an attractive RH power bat at the trade deadline. Another short term solution could be to deal Cozart at deadline, then move Duvall back to 3B temporarily to delay the decision, and Suarez back to a MI spot.

      • Shchi Cossack

        It doesn’t have to be a permanent move during this season of sorting. Simply a move to accomodate the players we need in the lineup if Cozart is traded. I do think Suarez could play a good defensive 2B, but probably not at the superior level as his skill set allows at 3B. His defense at SS would almost certainly be adequate at best.

      • lwblogger2

        I just thought of a left side of the infield with Duvall at 3B and Suarez at SS and I got the shivers. Duvall was not a good 3B and hasn’t played there recently. Suarez was a poor defensive SS who played a bit better than that at SS in MiLB but only played there a pinch in spring training. His defense at 3B has been excellent. I’m not sure that Suarez should be moved off 3B for anything or anybody. Senzel won’t be in MLB this year and if anything, he’s the one that the Reds may want to look at for 2B or even the OF. Senzel played some 2B in college and was by most accounts, at least adequate. He’s athletic enough that I think he could pull it off.

      • Tom Diesman

        I’m fine with it either way, let’s just get the sorting going and get one of them over to 2B to get them ready for when it go live time for competing.

      • Shchi Cossack

        I’m in 100% agreement with every point and option you made, but I do feel we are in a very minor minority, including those making such decisions for the Reds, regarding Winker. With Aquino heating up (see below), this could make any decision to move Duvall less risky. Moving Duvall before Winker has exstablished his major league footprint could be disastrous if additional options are not readily available in the pipeline. I have also been a strong proponent of moving Suarez to SS or 2B and Duvall to 3B this season if Cozart is moved. If Duvall can establish some defensive consistency at 3B after establishing his defensive prowess in LF, he becomes immensely more marketable and valuable. I do believe Duvall has played himself beyond a utility role or even a platoon role. His value will be as a starting OF for the Reds or a serious trade chip to fill a need.

      • Jim Walker

        I’ve been trying to advance an alternate theory. The Reds starting pitching is in such a sad state that the success of the entire rebuild cycle with the current group of MLB and near MLB ready players could hinge on bringing in an established outside outside arm (or two). Winker and not Duvall or Schebler is the guy who could get the Reds into the discussion for such a player.

        The offense is good enough for now as is. Hunker down with the group they have at MLB eventually augmented by Ervin and likely Aquino; and, use Winker, perhaps along with Cozart as the headline guys to get the instant pitching help they need. Or wait until the off season and bundle Winker with some legitimate prospects further down chain for the same type of pitcher.

        I understand Winker seems like a huge price to pay; but, using their internal resources, the Reds are no closer to having the pitching figured out than they were two years ago. Then looking at the young outfield on the field in Dayton, I see three guys playing at or ahead of their age level who all look to be able to bring to the table what Winker does, OBP, in packages which include more athleticism; and then to boot there are indications that Friedl and Trammell might even out slug Winker over time. Add in the possibility that with the glut of infielders the Reds have, Senzel could end up in the outfield, at least on an occasional basis much as the Cubs use Bryant. In essence, Winker could well be pushed out when this group arrives at MLB; so, his greatest value to the org might be what he can bring right now or in the off season.

      • cfd3000

        Count me as another who doesn’t need Winker to be a 30 homer guy to be a productive bat in the Reds lineup. Especially with Duvall himself in a bit of a power slump and with an OBP historically stuck at .300 or less I would love to see Winker in left and batting 2nd. Package Duvall for pitching. If asked to pick three of four to keep from Suarez, Cozart, Winker and Duvall, Adam is definitely my odd man out. I’d extend Cozart, promote Winker, and lock in Suarez at third. He has been terrific with the glove there this year and I think the team is weakened if you move Suarez anywhere else. With Senzel still in AA, why are we so eager to move a major leaguer to a misfit position instead of grooming Senzel for a new spot in the field? I really like an infield of Votto, Senzel, Cozart and Suarez.

  3. Shchi Cossack

    The ‘putrid’ start by Aquino had the Old Cossack gnashing teeth, even knowing the jump from A+ to AA was challenging and significant. The increased performance during May for a slash of .163/.223/.256 in April compared to a slash of .222/.282/.569 helped calm the Old Cossack a little with the increased power (ISO=.093 in April & ISO=.347 in May), but the hit tool was still troubling. During the past 10 games, Aquino has demonstrated significant improvement to ease that concern with a BB%=9.6%, SO%=14.3% & AVG=.290. Maybe the initial adjustment period as Aquino becomes comfortable with AA pitching is finally coming to a close.

  4. james garrett

    Winker is what 23 years old?I don’t care if he is a slugger although at GABP he could hit some out.What we need is his OBP at the big league level.You could argue he needs to be up here after the break and lets see what he’s got.There will be enough at bats between he and the other 3 guys if done correctly.

    • Tom Diesman

      I’ll be greatly disappointed if Winker does not get 250+ PA in the bigs this season.

      • David

        Tom, I’ve got some bad news for you……

      • IndyRedMan

        I’m glad WInker is hitting well but its takes ALOT of walks/singles to equal 35 bombs!! I remember my Cubs buddy complaining all the time back about 10 years during the Zambrano/Fukudome teams that they’d get routinely gets 2 runs on 10 hits or something similar. Winker is not even hitting doubles at this point and he doesn’t run well either. Duvall is also very good defensively! Duvall isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!

      • David

        Duvall, Winker, Schebler, who ever. The problem the Reds have is that their starting pitching stinks. And all their promising minor league starters have tanked. Sure, bring up Winker, let’s see him play. If he looks good, trade somebody and plug him in. It will not fix their starting pitching unless that’s what you get in a trade.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    Alfredo Rodriguez, the defensive wiz signed to the extravagant international contract this off season, has started to adapted nicely in his first foray of full season minor league baseball in the US. Let’s hope he continues to develop offensively as Nick and Sam indicated when they shared the organizational scouting report regarding Rodriguez. Right now, he looks like a Peraza clone at the plate with high contact and no power. The Reds may need Rodriguez at SS in 2-3 seasons and his ability to fill a top of the lineup role would be VERY advantageous.

  6. David

    So with the very splotchy starting rotation with a couple of retreads at AAA, when does Tyler Mahle get promoted? What more does he have to prove at AA? He is dominating that league (which apparently has a lot of pitcher parks in it).

    • David

      I’m sure there are people who will say something like….wait and see. But Hererra is less than mediocre in the high minors. Sure, he was hurt in Spring Training, and he’ll get better. Just watch.
      We got tooken on that trade.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m still wondering if Herrera is fully healthy. I also still think, if he is healthy, he will hit. I don’t know what you mean about him being less than mediocre in the high minors. He isn’t having a good season this year but last year he slashed .274/.335/.456 with 469 PA at AAA. In 2015 in AAA in the more hitter friendly PCL full time, he slashed .327/.382/.511 in 364 PA. He is also 23. If his shoulder isn’t shot, he can and will hit.

    • WVRedlegs

      Yes. He has regressed to the point that he isn’t even a trade chip now. The Reds couldn’t get a Jay Bruce used jock strap now for Herrera now.
      Reds accepted damaged goods.

  7. Matt WI

    AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Get Cody Reed ready to go. Amir Garret now going to the 10 day dl with “hip inflammation.”

    • IndyRedMan

      I’ve finally figured out Reds math…..10 days = July 20th or so

      • lwblogger2

        That would have him coming back on my birthday! I sure hope he comes back soon though. I don’t think that layoff helped him one bit.

  8. Shchi Cossack

    The Dragons took batting practive for 9 innings in an a.m. game today. After the completion of today’s game…

    T.J Friedl => 2-5 w/ 2-HR
    Friedl is now slashing .295/.383/.512

    Tyler Stephenson => 2-6 w/ 1-2B
    Stephenson is now slashing .293/.393/.415