The Reds made several interesting roster moves late last week. To make room on the roster for IF Eugenio Suarez and RP David Hernandez, who were returning from the DL, they optioned OF Phillip Ervin, IF Cliff Pennington, and IF Phil Gosselin to AAA Louisville. Then in a surprising move, the Reds also recalled OF/IF Rossell Herrera, .311/.373/.607/.980 at AAA, to fill the final spot on the 25 man roster.

The 25 year old switch hitting Herrera was the Bat’s best hitter at the time of his call up and he can play all over the field (LF/CF/RF/3B/SS/2B). He was Baseball Americas #86 prospect after the 2013 season where the then 20 year old SS hit .343/.419/.515/.933 in A ball. Then oddly, he failed reach a .700 OPS in two straight seasons in the high offense A+ California League. He split time between SS and 3B at A+ in 2014 and then played in the OF at A+ in 2015. He rebounded at the plate as an OF at AA in 2016 hitting .292/.374/.379/.753. Then last season at AAA in the PCL he hit .278/.351/.394/.745 playing mostly in the OF again. Herrera’s ability to get on base, to switch hit, and his versatility in the field make him a valuable commodity on the bench, especially an always short handed bench like the Reds. It’s refreshing to see a talented younger player get a shot at the utility role over the tired veterans the Reds usually prefer in this role.

Now let’s see what is going on down on the farm.

 

AAA Louisville Bats

The Bats had a 9 – 13 record and in 4th out of 4 in the International League West.

International League hitters are hitting .249/.325/.375/.699.

  • 2B/3B Nick Senzel, .266/.352/.456/.807, has started to heat up at the plate. The 23 year old has played 12 G at 2B and 8 G at 3B so far this year. He’s been back in the lineup for three games and playing well since missing a game after jamming his shoulder diving for a ball in a game.
  • CF Mason Williams, .290/.328/.468/.796, has played only CF for the Louisville squad. The 26 year old left handed swinger is swinging a good bat to start the season.
  • 1B/3B D.J. Peterson, .321/.367/.429/.795, leads the club with a .321 BA . The 26 year old is also tied for the team lead with 6 2B.
  • RF Sebastian Elizalde, .254/.306/.433/.738, is off to a good start at AAA. The 26 year old LH batter is tied for the team lead with 6 2B.
  • 1B/RF Steve Selsky, .205/.326/.410/.736, is off to a decent start at AAA. The 28 year old is back for his second stint with the Reds organization.
  • IF/OF Brandon Dixon, .279/.323/.410/.733, has seen time in the field at 2B, RF, 1B, and LF. The 26 year old utility man leads the club with 22 SO.

International League pitchers have a 3.75 ERA.

  • LH SP Justin Nicolino, 3.60 ERA, has thrown 20 IP allowing 25 H and 7 BB with 16 SO. The 26 year old has been the Bats best starter this year.
  • LH SP Cody Reed, 3.86 ERA, has thrown 7 IP allowing 3 H and 5 BB with 4 SO over two starts with the Bats this season. The 25 year old is not showing any signs of having solved his control issues thus far.
  • RH SP Bob Stephenson, 4.94 ERA, has tossed 23.2 IP allowing 21 H and 20 BB with 25 SO. The 25 year old is still struggling big time to throw strikes.
  • RH RP Tanner Rainey, 0.00 ERA, has tossed 9.2 IP allowing 2 H and 3 BB with 17 SO. The 25 year old is keeping his BB totals down and has recorded 2 SV.
  • RH RP Jimmy Herget, 0.90 ERA, has thrown 10 IP allowing 8 H and 2 BB with 11 SO. The 24 year old has been a solid addition to the Bats bullpen.

 

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The Blue Wahoos had a 10 – 15 record and are 5th out of 5 in the Southern League South

Southern League hitters are hitting .252/.328/.384/.712.

  • OF/1B Brian O’Grady, .211/.348/.553/.900, leads the club with 4 HR. The 26 year old LH hitter provides a combination of good power and good strike zone judgement.
  • 2B Shed Long, .351/.432/.468/.899, is 3rd on the team with 7 2B. The 22 year old LH hitter is also tied for the club lead with 4 SB.
  • OF/IF Josh VanMeter, .278/.404/.431/.835, has played mostly LF and 2B. The 23 year old LH hitter is tied for 2nd on the team with 8 2B and has 16 BB and 14 SO in 91 PA.
  • 3B Taylor Sparks, .250/.326/.434/.760, is tied for 2nd on the club with 2 HR and leads the club with 33 SO. The 25 year old is hitting much better at AA this year.
  • OF Aristides Aquino, .286/.341/.417/.757, is hitting well in his 2nd season at AA. The 24 year old is tied for 2nd on the team with 8 2B.
  • CF Gabriel Guerrero, .286/.330/.418/.748, leads the team with 9 2B. The 24 year old OF has seen all of his time on defense in CF thus far.
  • OF/1B Nick Longhi, .284 /329/.403/.732, is tied for 2nd on the team with 2 HR. The 22 year old has split time between LF an 1B for the Blue Wahoos.

Southern League pitchers have a 3.75 ERA.

  • RH SP Keury Mella, 1.00 ERA, has thrown 27 IP allowing 19 H and 5 BB with 25 SO. The 24 year old has been teams best starter by far this season.
  • RH SP Vladimir Gutierrez, 5.14 ERA, has thrown 28 IP allowing 28 H and 5 BB with 24 SO. The 22 year old has a 1.18 WHIP, but has allowed 4 HR.
  • LH RP Seth Varner, 3.48 ERA, has tossed 10.1 IP allowing 8 H and 0 BB with 13 SO. The 26 year old has allowed 2 HR.
  • RH RP Jose Rafael De Paula, 3.48 ERA, has tossed 10.1 IP allowing 9 H and 5 BB with 14 SO. The 27 year old has allowed 3 HR.

 

High A Daytona Tortugas

The Tortugas had a 17 – 8 record and are 1st out of 6 in the Florida State League North.

Florida State League hitters are hitting .253/.324/.375/.699.

  • 3B Mitch Nay, .337/.398/.587/.985, leads the club with 5 HR, 8 2B, and 27 RBI. The 24 year old was a AAA Phase of the Rule 5 draft selection by Reds last winter.
  • 1B Ibandel Isabel, .324/.405/.568/.972, has 2 HR in 42 PA since being acquired by the Reds in the Ariel Hernandez trade with the Dodgers. The 23 year old has played 7 G at 1B and 3 G as the DH.
  • C Tyler Stephenson, .350/.442/.513/.955, has played 17 G at C and has appeared in 5 G as the teams DH. The 21 year old is now splitting time at C with Chris Okey who has returned from the DL.
  • OF Taylor Trammell, .284/.388/.500/.888, has played 14 G in CF and 10 G in LF. The 20 year old continues to put up impressive numbers in a league for which he is 2 years younger than the league average player.
  • RF Daniel Sweet, .324/.434/.441/.875, has played 18 G in RF and 3 G in LF. The 23 year old switch hitter has 13 BB and 12 SO in 83 PA.
  • OF T.J. Friedl, .291/.415/.442/.857, leads the team with 16 BB. The 22 year old LH hitter has played 13 G in LF and 11 G in CF.
  • 2B Dilson Herrera, .298/.359/.429/.787, has started 19 G at 2B and 1 G as the DH. The 24 year old is finally starting to heat up at the plate and has been playing regularly in the field.

Florida State League pitchers have a 3.91 ERA.

  • RH SP Tony Santillan, 0.64 ERA, has thrown 28.1 IP allowing 21 H and 8 BB with 29 SO. The 21 year old has been dominate at A+ so far this season.
  • RH SP Ryan Olson, 2.17 ERA, has tossed 29 IP allowing 27 H and 7 BB with 30 SO. The 23 year old is pitching very well after making just 4 GS last year at A Dayton.
  • LH SP Wennington Romero, 2.45 ERA, has tossed 29.1 IP allowing 21 H and 1 BB with 22 SO. The 20 year old is showing immaculate control and leads the starters with a 0.75 WHIP.
  • LH RP Kevin Canelon, 1.74 ERA, has thrown 10.1 IP allowing 6 H and 1 BB with 16 SO. The 24 year old has a 0.68 WHIP.

 

Low A Dayton Dragons

The Dragons had a 11 – 11 record and are 4th out of 8 in the Midwest League Eastern

Midwest League hitters are hitting .246/.334/.366/.700.

  • C Hendrik Clementina, .370/.434/.717/1.151, leads the club with 3 HR. The 21 year old has played 7 G at C and 7 G at DH.
  • RF Michael Beltre, .349/.491/.419/.910, is tied for the team lead with 12 BB. The 22 year old switch hitter has 12 BB and 11 SO in 56 PA.
  • IF John Sansone, .281/.359/.509/.868, has played 3B, 2B, 1B, and DH for the Dragons this season. The 24 year old is tied for 2nd on the team with 2 HR.
  • OF Stuart Fairchild, .308/.402/.462/.864, is tied for 2nd on the club with 2 HR. The 22 year old has played 9 G in CF, 8 G in LF, and 4 G in RF.
  • OF Narciso Crook, .250/.339/.481/.819, has played 6 G in RF, 7 G in LF, and 5 G at DH. The 22 year old is tied for the club lead with 7 2B.
  • 1B Montrell Marshall, .254/.371/.424/.795, is tied for the club lead with 7 2B. The 22 year old has spent all of his time in the field at 1B.
  • SS/2B Jeter Downs, .271/.354/.412/.766, has played 12 G at 2B and 8 G at SS this season. The 19 year old middle infielder is putting up good numbers in a league for which he is 2 years younger than the league average player.

Midwest League pitchers have a 4.12 ERA.

  • LH SP Packy Naughton, 4.28 ERA, has thrown 27.1 IP allowing 30 H and 8 BB with 26 SO. The 22 year old had a 3.15 ERA in 12 GS at R Billings last year.
  • RH SP Hunter Greene, 14.63 ERA, has thrown 8 IP allowing 18 H and 6 BB with 17 SO. The 18 year old phenom has a ugly 3.00 WHIP while managing to strike out more than 2 batters every inning he pitches.
  • RH RP Cory Thompson, 0.00 ERA, has tossed 11.1 IP allowing 7 H and 2 BB with 8 SO. The 23 year old former middle infielder continues to pitch well in his quest to become a pitcher.
  • RH RP Ryan Nutof, 0.66 ERA, has tossed 13.2 IP allowing 9 H and 1 BB with 19 SO. The 22 year old has a 0.73 WHIP.
  • RH RP Austin Orewiler, 1.89 ERA, has tossed 19 IP allowing 10 H and 8 BB with 18 SO. The 25 year old has a 0.95 WHIP.
  • RH RP John Ghyzel, 2.00 ERA, has tossed 9 IP allowing 7 H and 6 BB with 15 SO. The 22 year old has also recorded 4 S for the Dragons.

 

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. I know it’s early but there are some pretty impressive numbers there. Rainey, Herget, Long, Mella, Nay and (Tyler) Stephenson, Isabel, Trammell and Santillan, among others. That’s really encouraging. Thanks for these updates Doug. The big club has been so disappointing it’s nice to get a little good Reds news.

    • Tom – my apologies. I was thinking about Doug Gray’s frequent minor league reports and clumsily gave him credit for your good work. Double thanks to you!

  2. It seems it is time to demote Bob Steve and promote Muella.

  3. Is Philip Ervin injured? Did I miss that somewhere. He’s not playing in AAA.

    • RLN’s Jason Linden was at a recent Bats game and asked around about Ervin. Apparently he has a jammed finger. No word where or when this happened or when Ervin may be back.

  4. That Daytona team looks like a team full of ringers right now.

  5. Thanks Tom. Great to see Trammel hitting well in a league that most 20 year olds don’t see. Love to see him move to AA before the season is done.

  6. Love the report thank you. Mitch Nay great start to the season is he for real or is this just a hot start, I know he was a rule 5 pick but not sure what that means.

  7. Some of the ages of our better prospects and their respective levels are embarrassing. It reinforces the notion of the Reds being way to conservative and slow in promoting players. Seems like low A has 21 and 22 year olds, high A 23 and 24. I consider college a mix of low and high A and yet we get college players that have been playing in parallel A ball for 3 years and stick them in low A ball and it takes two years to get to AA.

    We are wasting prime (early prime, but prime) years in AA and AAA.

    If you moved all the levels you listed at least one or two, it would be more appropriate (saying this about the Reds decisions, not the writer).

    A ball should be your 19 and 20 year olds, High A 20/21, AA 21/22, AAA 22/23 and maybe 24 (college draftee with some set back maybe).

    If by age 24 they aren’t in AAA, then it isn’t happening. They should have been traded (preferably, if still seen as a prospect) or cut. We have a littering of 25 and 26 years olds in AA and AAA…just sad.

    Promote faster. No level should take a full season, yet the Reds seem to like to keep every player for one full year at nearly every level. Thats a minimum of 5 years for a high school player (and usually longer on average since the first season is limited and thrown away babying them) and 4 years for a college player. Either our coaching and instruction suck, our expectations for our prospects are much too low (letting them be lazy) or the Reds are just too conservative and in the process, sucking away confidence from our better prospects that linger on at a level and they start questioning themselves and wondering if the Reds have soured on them.

    Ugh.

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