A Minors Obsession

Who is swinging a hot bat in the minors?

It’s tough to have any conversation about players hitting the ball well in the minor leagues right now without starting off with Jose Siri. The Dayton Dragons outfielder is hotter than the sun right now. Back at the end of spring training I wrote that I felt he could be a real breakout player this season, but that it came with some risk because of his past. He simply looked like a very different hitter, though. He really struggled in April for Dayton, but the team stuck with him and it has paid off in a big way.

In May he hit .309/.352/.474 with a  double, three triples and three home runs. His OPS of .827 was a .218 point improvement over what he had in April. By the end of the month he had already stolen 19 bases on the season as he began to show all five tools. Things got better in June for Siri where he hit .294/.351/.576 with nine doubles and five home runs in 23 games played. He ended the month riding an 8-game hitting streak.

It’s now July 19th and he’s still rocking that same hitting streak, which has now reached 24 games. In 16 games during July he’s hit .357/.370/.714 with two doubles, a triple and seven home runs. He’s not missing anything thrown over the plate right now. Since the beginning of May, a span of 64 games played, he’s hit .317/.357/.575 with 12 doubles, four triples and 15 home runs.

Siri’s Dayton teammate Taylor Trammell is also on quite a tear in the month of July. The 35th overall pick in the 2016 draft is hitting .371/.443/.548 during the month over the course of 16 games played. He’s also stolen eight bases in the month and is tied with Siri for the Dragons lead with 27 steals on the season.

The guy taken by the Reds before Taylor Trammell last season was Nick Senzel. You’ve probably heard of him. On Monday night his 16 game hitting streak came to an end for Double-A Pensacola. In 15 games during the month of July he is hitting .350/.409/.517. In his two stops this season, Daytona and Pensacola, he’s hitting .305/.372/.465 with 31 doubles, two triples and six home runs.

It’s Tuesday night as I type this and the Billings Mustangs haven’t played their schedule game yet, so the numbers below on two players mentioned are likely to change. Mustangs outfielder Miles Gordon is out to a heck of a start. Last season came to an abrupt end after a shoulder injury on the field cut things short just 22 games in. This season he’s also played in just 22 games but he’s making up for lost time. The 19-year-old outfielder is hitting .360/.450/.581 with 14 walks and 19 strikeouts.

Not to be outdone, his teammate Alejo Lopez is matching him. The 21-year-old infielder has played in 23 games and he’s hitting .351/.434/.597 with more walks, 11, than strikeouts, 8. He saw his 12-game hitting streak come to an end over the weekend as a pinch hitter on Sunday. On Monday he went 0-2 with 2 walks.

8 thoughts on “Who is swinging a hot bat in the minors?

  1. Everyone knows right now, Reds missing piece is starting pitching. Lord help us!!!!

  2. I would have to say that the Reds starting team will be quite different in 2020? Let’s hope the pitching catches up.

  3. Stuart Fairchild is only 20 games into his career, but over the last 10 games he is hitting .436. He’s only struck out 7 times in those 20 games (5 walks) and is 9 for 9 in stolen bases so far. I’d wonder if he’d maybe get moved to Dayton, but unless Jose Siri gets moved up, I doubt that happens as Siri is an exceptional defensive CF.

  4. I feel like I have seen a post (probably by you) about how hitting in each league translates to hitting in the majors. But, what are the trends for a players who hit .350 in A or AA once they make it to the majors. Not just in the Red’s org but league wide. Basically I am curious about whether a 19 year old crushing the ball is really something to get excited about or whether it just means that 19 year old hitters are more developed than 19 year old pitchers and at some point those hitter come back to Earth.

    Where might one even go to find this information (i.e. all the stats for minor leaguers)? Now that I’m thinking about it I am curious and might have some free time in the evenings to look into it.

    • I’ve read a bunch on this over the years, but nothing super recently. From what I can remember, things like how often you strike out and how often you walk are pretty good indicators of performance in the majors, but only once you reach AA or higher.

      I think it had to do with pitchers in Rk and A-ball being inconsistent, so even a guy with bad plate discipline might walk a bunch if the pitchers are all over the place.

      Batting average really isn’t relevant in the minor leagues because of defense, mostly. Almost every decent minor leaguer runs a high BABIP because defense just aren’t as good, so more batted balls turn into hits.

      • Alex Blandino has a really high walk rate and that continues to be the case at AA and AAA. He does strike out a lot. Looks like he could be a starting mlb second baseman? How accurate are the minor league rand factor numbers? His are not that good at second base but are good at Short stop and he has barely played there the last 2 years.

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