The Reds acquired two new players last Friday.
The Reds acquired Minor League outfielder Randy Ventura from the Braves on Friday in exchange for international bonus pool space. The 20 year old RF is a switch hitter who is spending his first season this year in full season A ball and is listed as 5-9 165 lb. He was hitting .294/.338/.325/.664 in 413 PA at A ball when acquired by the Reds. He appears to have very little power and he has taken big steps back this year in BB% (11 -6 ) and SO% (14 – 20) going from Rookie league to full season A ball. He appears to have some stolen base skills with 29 already this season and a 71 SB%. He has played mostly RF since coming stateside but has seen a little time in CF. His hitting profile would suggest that he would need to be able to play CF to stick in the big leagues as a starter. His ability to draw more BB and SO less will determine his future progression. He was assigned to A Dayton where he is hitting .214/.267/.286/.552 in 15 PA.
The Reds signed free agent OF Adam Walker to a minor league contract and assigned him to the AAA Louisville Bats where he is hitting .300/.300/.600/.900 with a HR in 10 PA. The 25 year old RF/LF swings RH and is listed as 6-5 225 lb. Walker was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round in 2012 and progressed steadily through their system up to AAA in 2016. He then rode the Waiver Wire Express the winter of 2016-2017 making stops with Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Atlanta. He began the year with the Braves playing AAA/AA and was released in May. The Orioles signed him in June and he played AAA/AA with them and was released in July. His minor league totals this season are .183/.219/.416/.634 in 202 AB. He is a career .217/.276/.430/.705 hitter at AAA. Walker has big time power (25+ HR from 2013 – 2016) and big time SO issues (35 SO% at AA and 38 SO% at AAA). He’s had a reasonable BB% at AA (8.5%) and AAA (7.5%). His AAA numbers above were really affected by his poor showing this season at AAA. He had put up a .243/.305/.479/.784 line in 531 PA in his first year at AAA with the Twins in 2016 as a 24 year old. He appears to be a big RH corner OF masher with a low average and very high SO rate. I believe he’s here for some AAA outfield depth and he won’t have a future in the big leagues unless he can get the SO under control.
Yesterday the Reds claimed RHP Luke Farrell off waivers from Los Angeles Dodgers and designated LF Scott Van Slyke for assignment. Farrell has been optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
Scott Van Slyke was recently acquired in the trade of RP Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers. Van Slyke was hitting .091/.231/.364/.594 with a HR in 13 PA with the Bats. The RH OF/1B has a MLB career line of .242/.326/.417/.744 in 869 PA over six seasons. He was once a promising player until his career was derailed by injures the last two plus seasons.
RHP SP Luke Farrell was a drafted by the Royals in the 6th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Northwestern University. The 26 year old is listed at 6-6 210 lb. At AA in 2015 he put up a 3.09 ERA in 93.1 IP allowing 89 H and 29 BB with 65 SO. Then at AAA (PCL) over the last two seasons he produced a 3.92 ERA in 193 IP allowing 178 H and 75 BB with 177 SO. Farrell did make one start with the Royals this season and lasted 2.2 IP allowing 7 H and 3 BB with 2 SO. The Royals traded Farrell on July 28th to the Dodgers for cash. His 8.3 H/9 at AAA is below the PCL league average of 9.6. His 8.3 SO/9 at AAA is just above the PCL league average of 7.8. His 3.5 BB/9 at AAA is about right at the PCL league average of 3.4. Farrell looks to be better than previous waiver wire claim Jake Buchanan. It will be interesting to see how he fares with the Bats the rest of the season. If he fares well at AAA he could position himself to compete for a long relief and spot starter role. With options remaining, look for him to possibly join Lisalverto Bonilla on the Louisville Fresh Arm Shuttle until rosters expand in September.
AAA Louisville Bats
The Bats have a 45 – 69 record and are 4th out of 4 in the International League West.
International League hitters are hitting .257/.325/.396/.721.
IF Alex Blandino, .281/.397/.447/.844 in 137 PA, is following up his very good AA half season (.259/.374/.462/.836 in 236 PA) in strong fashion. OF/IF Darnell Sweeney, .291/.358/.430/.788, continues his bid show he could be a useful bench piece in the future. OF Sebastian Elizalde, .292/.348/.397/.745, is putting up a solid season at AAA. IF Brandon Dixon, .250/.319/.424/.742, leads the Bats with 12 HR.
International League pitchers have a 3.97 ERA.
RH SP Tyler Mahle, 2.66 ERA, is making a strong bid to force the Reds to give him a look before the seasons ends. LH SP Cody Reed, 3.59 ERA, somehow manages to maintain a decent ERA despite allowing 90 H and 54 BB in 90.1 IP. LH SP Amir Garrett, 6.25 ERA, has served up 51 H in 40.1 IP, while with the Bats. RH RP Jimmy Herget, 2.70 ERA, now has only 4 BB in 20 IP with 6 S at AAA. RH RP Alejandro Chacin, 2.86 ERA has 57 SO in 63 IP with the Bats. RH RP Ariel Hernandez, 3.12 ERA, has 10 BB and 8 SO in 8.2 IP at AAA.
AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos
The Blue Wahoos have a 61 – 54 record and are 1st out of 5 in the Southern League South. The Blue Wahoos are the Southern League South first half division champions.
Southern League hitters are hitting .247/.324/.370/.694.
3B Nick Senzel, .331/.384/.509/.893, continues to get it done at AA in a big way. 1B Gavin LaValley, .248/.303/.373/.676, has fell on hard times lately. 2B Shed Long, .198/.281/.339/.620, nearly made it off the interstate before landing on the DL. OF Aristides Aquino, .203/.268/.369/.638, has had a rough year at AA this season.
Southern League pitchers have a 3.58 ERA.
RH SP Jose Lopez, 2.43 ERA, has raised his prospect stock this year with a combined 2.60 ERA in 20 GS between A+ and AA this season. RH SP Deck McGuire, 2.75 ERA, has allowed only 102 H in 137.2 IP for the Blue Wahoos. RH SP Jesus Reyes, 2.22 ERA, has been very good over his first 5 GS at AA. RH Domingo Tapia, 3.56 ERA, has been good in a split role this season (28 G with 8 GS). RH RP Carlos Gonzalez, 2.08 ERA, has allowed just 19 H in 26 IP. RH RP Zack Weiss, 2.45 ERA in 14.2 IP, has 7 S since joining the club from A+. RH RP Robert Stock, 2.73 ERA, has pitched well since his promotion to AA.
High A Daytona Tortugas
The Tortugas have a 43 – 67 record and are 5th out of 6 in the Florida State League North.
Florida State League hitters are hitting .250/.321/.362/.683.
IF Luis Gonzalez, .288/.301/.436/.737, has only 4 BB in 176 PA since joining the Tortugas. OF Daniel Sweet, .259/.366/.305/.670, leads the club with 40 BB. OF T.J. Friedl, .248/.306/.333/.639, continues to struggle with the Tortugas. SS Alfredo Rodriguez, .246/.286/.294/.580, continues to struggle at the plate.
Florida State League pitchers have a 3.52 ERA.
RH SP Wyatt Strahan, 4.00 ERA in 9 GS, has 41 SO in 45 IP. RH SP Vladimir Gutierrez, 4.46 ERA, has 19 BB and 94 SO in 103 IP. RH SP Wendolyn Bautista, 4.39 ERA, has allowed 101 H in 98.1 IP. LH SP Ty Boyles, 4.27 ERA, has allowed 55 H in 59 IP. RH RP Austin Orewiler, 3.55 ERA, has been solid in the bullpen.
Low A Dayton Dragons
The Dragons have a 55 – 60 record and are 7th out of 8 in the Midwest League Eastern. The Dragons clinched a wildcard berth in the Midwest League East Division with their first half finish.
Midwest League hitters are hitting .249/.324/.380/.703.
OF Jose Siri, .295/.339/.524/.864, leads the Dragons with 19 HR and 34 SB. OF Taylor Trammel, .281/.362/.443/.805, leads the team with 9 3B. 1B Bruce Yari, .272/.364/.431/.795, is having a very good year for the Dragons.
Midwest League pitchers have a 3.94 ERA.
RH SP Tony Santillan, 3.08 ERA, has 106 SO in 105.1 IP. LH SP Scott Moss, 3.66 ERA, has 131 SO in 108.1 IP. RH RP Aaron Fossas, 2.56 ERA, has saved four games. RH RP Carlos Machorro, 2.75 ERA, is throwing very well out of the bullpen. LH RP Jesse Adams, 2.80, has 70 SO and 10 BB in 61 IP of relief.
Rookie Billings Mustangs
The Mustangs have a 21 – 23 record and are 1st out of 4 in the Pioneer League North.
The Pioneer League hitters are averaging .288/.368/.447/.815.
SP/DH Hunter Greene, the Reds top pick in the draft, made his professional debut on Tuesday night as the DH and went 1 for 4 with a 3B. CF Miles Gordon, .329/.410/.521/.931, has cooled off a bit lately. 2B Alejo Lopez .323/.416/.492/.908, has 20 BB and 15 SO in 158 PA. CF Stuart Fairchild, .310/.404/.405/.809, leads the club with 10 SB. SS Jeter Downs, .237/.357/.340/.697, has 17 BB in 115 PA.
The Pioneer League average ERA is 5.50.
RH SP Tyler Mondile, 3.95 ERA, is leading the Mustangs rotation. Jhon DeJesus, 4.14 ERA, has 33 SO in 37 IP. RH SP Mac Sceroler, 4.08 ERA, has 19 SO in 17 IP. RH RP Cory Thompson, 2.00 ERA, has 19 SO and 10 BB in 18 IP. LH RP Gregory Reinoso, 3.86 ERA, is throwing well out of the bullpen.
Rookie AZL Reds
The Reds have a 15 – 20 record and are 4th out of 5 in the AZL Central.
The AZL hitters averaged .256/.339/.382/.721.
RF Reshard Munroe, .321/.436/.462/.898, leads the AZL Reds with 16 BB. 1B Justin Bellinger, .275/.333/.464/.797, has hit well since joining the club. RF Raul Wallace, .302/.324/.458/.782, has 5 3B. 3B Juan Marinez, .264/.375/.402/.777, leads the team with 10 2B. LF Mariel Bautista, .351/.367/.404/.772, has just 2 BB in 98 PA.
The AZL average ERA is 4.45.
LH SP Jacob Heatherly, 2.08 ERA, has 19 SO in 21.2 IP. RH SP Ricardo Smith, 3.31, has 41 SO and 13 BB in 32.2 IP. RH SP Jared Solomon, 3.48 ERA, is off to a very good start. RH RP John Ghyzel, 1.74 ERA, has 15 SO in 10.1 IP.