A Minors Obsession

Catching up on the Reds farm

It’s been a nice month for several players on the Cincinnati farm. Two of the teams best prospects have been rolling through the month of August like they are wearing suits of fire. Top prospect Nick Senzel has been terrorizing Southern League pitching, hitting six home runs in 20 games so far. That’s come along with 12 walks, 13 strikeouts and a .329/.424/.640 line. That’s just been building on a torrid month of July where he posted a .989 OPS with Pensacola.

In Dayton another one of the teams top prospects, Taylor Trammell, has been saving the best for last, too. In 20 games played in August, the 19-year-old is hitting .324/.430/.577 with 14 walks and 15 strikeouts. Last night he hit his 4th home run of the month, giving him 12 total on the season.  If he steals two more bases this year he’ll reach 40 on the season. Two weeks ago I spoke with him about his season up to that point and some of the things he’s learned. Go check that out if you haven’t already done so.

Notable performances

Jose Siri joined a very exclusive club this past week. The center fielder hit his 20th home run of the season and stole his 40th base of the season. He’s the first player since 1982 to reach the 20/40 club in the Midwest League. If he can hone in his strikeout-to-walk ratio just a little bit more moving forward he’s got a chance to be an incredibly impactful player down the road.

Brandon Dixon hit three home runs in one game on Sunday for the Louisville Bats. He missed a fourth home run by a few feet, doubling high off of the wall in left. It was the first time a Bat had three home runs in a game since Austin Kearns. Did that make you feel old? Because it made me feel old.

Mark it on your calendar

As long as things go as planned, Hunter Greene, the #2 overall pick in the draft by the Reds will make his professional debut on the mound on Sunday August 27th.. He’s played in a handful of games thus far with Billings as their designated hitter.

19 thoughts on “Catching up on the Reds farm

    • Going to the Wahoo’s game against the Jacksonville Suns er Jumbo Shrimp, stupid name, on Thursday night. Looking forward to seeing Senzel play for the first time!

  1. Maybe Hunter Greene should stick to pitching, since that was what he was drafted for. A .231/.231/.385/.615 line with 0 HR’s, 0 BB’s, 7 K in 6 G’s (26 PA’s) shows a concerning lack of plate discipline and not a good ability to hit the ball. He has been well rested, as he hasn’t played ball since May. So late season fatigue can’t be his excuse.
    Hopefully he pitches better than he hits.

    • He’s had 26 plate appearances. If he were hitting 1.000 it wouldn’t tell us anything of value.

      But, if you want an excuse, how about he just turned 18 and hasn’t faced live pitching since May?

      Goodness. Take a deep breath.

      • Thanks for all you do Doug. Great info on the minors. The Reds should hire you!
        That said. I respectfully disagree.

        Hunter Greene was drafted for the velocity his right arm produces and his athletic frame – not his bat. He went 4-7 in one game- a 17-14 football game against a bunch of pitchers with ERA’s between 7 and 11. Taking away the one game….he is 2-19 and hitting .105. No one would draft him as a hitter in the first 10 rounds. Its his right arm and his athleticism.

        I get the ” But he will be a good hitting pitcher” argument. I don’t buy that. He can be an above average hitting pitcher without pretending to be a 2 way player. He will be advanced through the minors because of his arm, not his bat. He will be in AA pitching , while his hitting is still low the pioneer league. He will be in AAA pitching while his hitting is still low A. The injury risk isn’t worth it- sliding into bases, collisions at home plate, pulling a hamstring, getting hit by wild pitchers, etc. The distraction and lack of focus on committing to be the next Felix Hernandez is permanent. The Reds are catering to his need to be more than an elite pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. Baseball is too hard of a game to be distracted.

        • Don’t confuse my response with anything at all related to thinking it’s a good idea to keep him hitting. I’d do that, but, my response was more so that having 26 plate appearances and using it as an example of “can’t hit” is beyond stupid.

          • Taylor Trammell and Nick Senzel are focused 24/7/365 on being the best position players they can be at outfield and 3b as fast as they can be. Would Trammell be this advanced at 19 if he were taking a couple months in the fall to play running back for the Georgia Bulldogs ? He could do that. Would Senzel be as good as he is if he only played 3b 4 days a week and took the other 3 to work on his cutter and 2 seam fastball to be a closer?

            The Reds need Greene to be a Cy Young winner. He seems to not be interested in settling for that.

          • I don’t think anyone knows anything other than Hunter Greene red-shirted a baseball year. Who does that?
            Did Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan redshirt their 18 year season.
            Did Ken Griffey take a baseball season off?
            Did Lebron take a year off and redshirt?
            I appreciate the incredible work and focus Taylor Trammell has earned at Dayton.
            Lets see how Greene does next year coming of his redshirt season.

          • I am all for hitting and pitching. Mainly because Greene may quickly show that he is more apt at one than the other and THEN, maybe in high A or AA, can he and Reds choose to focus on his higher upside avenue. We assume pitching, but many a draft day story noted he’d be a first round pick (maybe not top 10) as a high school SS…so he obviously has talent on both sides of the field.

            My hope is by end of 2018 he has 350-400 plate appearances and 120 innings pitched, which would indicate good health and healthy amount of opportunity to improve in all areas.

            What will set Greene apart is NOT if he focuses on hitting or pitching alone, but how he trains is the off-season. The best players simply work their tails off in a smart, efficient way. If he is busy touring around and eating poorly, his progress will stall or be less impressive.

            I hope he is a tireless worker in off-season, like old school Nolan Ryan or Steve Carlton or new school Mike Trout, etc.

          • Doug, you deserved to be flagged for 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. Where do you get off calling someone “stupid” on here?? You need to read these carefully before you go on a rant and mis-quote someone. All that was said was he needed to stick to pitching.

          • Doug didn’t call anyone stupid. He called an argument stupid. Big difference.

          • You need to read carefully what you wrote, because you claimed that based on 26 plate appearances there are concerns about plate discipline and ability to hit.

            And, as Steve said, I didn’t say you were stupid. I said that statement is stupid. And I stand by that, 100%. It doesn’t mean you are stupid, it means you said something stupid. We all do that at times.

          • Oh, and old school – TONS of players took “a redshirt year”, so to speak. When the signing deadline was mid-August players used to not play at all until the following year. Mike Leake was drafted in June. He didn’t pitch until April the next year (did pitch in the Arizona Fall League, did pitch in spring training). Yasmani Grandal played in 8 games the year he was drafted. The guy that started on the mound for the Cincinnati Reds last night didn’t pitch at all the year he was drafted (and like Greene, he was also a 17-year-old). Hunter Greene has been with the team, working with the coaches, even on pitching stuff, for a month+ now.

          • Mike Leake threw 142 innings for Arizona State the year the Reds drafted him and pitched in the college World Series. Sal Romano threw 82 innings for his high school and enrolled early in the summer at Tennessee. He then dropped out when the Reds offered 600k as a 23rd round pick. Both pitched competitively and threw significantly more than a full season of innings for their respective ages/settings.

            Green did not pitch competitively this year after mid-April. I believe the Reds are making a mistake by not focusing on his pitching development 100% or his position play 100%. Pick one. Hitting is too hard to dabble in part-time. The injury risk is real running the bases. Ask Bryce Harper or Kyle Lewis- last year’s top pick for Seattle. The Reds really need the #2 overall pick to be a dominant player for the franchise.
            Reasonable people can disagree on the Reds approach with Greene.

    • It’s too early for ANY opinion on Greene. This year is nothing. Rarely does a HS senior first half year tell us anything. If he throws a no-hitter or gives up 10 runs in 2 innings, it will tell us nothing at all.

      I am almost not interested in Greene until April 2018. The only interest I have is seeing that he is healthy and being treated fairly by the Reds…that’s it. There is only a small glimmer of a chance that he is so lights out he is pitching on the MLB team at age 20. It’s more likely we’ll endure (and Greene) four or five long years in the minors.

      My BIG concern (Doug might answer this) is if the Reds organization has done anything to change their abysmal record for pitching prospect development. I have been a fan since my elementary school youth in late 70s and I can’t think of more than Soto, Browning and Cueto as good SPs that made it through the Reds farm system and became SP1/SP2 types (Browning fringy SP2- I guess, same with Soto).

      Doug, are the Reds overhauling how they instruct and exercise and train pitching prospects or are we doomed to a bunch of top 10 prospects that languish and fade away? We have more high prospects than ever, but until any of hte current AAA/AA/A arms actually come up to MLB and become even replacement-level SPs, I have no confidence in the Reds system. We need to poach some people from other systems for fresh looks.

      • It is amazing how bad they’ve been with homegrown pitching over the years and I’m older then you are? Jose Rijo came over from Oakland. Starters? They don’t even have any decent relievers either? John Franco came up with the Reds but they let him go. I can’t think of anyone else? That’s beyond belief?

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