This week, the View of the Reds Farm from the Old Recliner reviews the results of the Cincinnati Reds minor league affiliates from the first two weeks of action along with personal perspectives from the Old Recliner.

Triple-A Louisville Bats (International League – West Division)

The AAA Louisville Bats maintain a 6-7 record and reside in 3rd place in the 4-team International League West Division.

Pitchers

Pitchers in the AAA International League averaged a 4.74 ERA; 1.419 WHIP; 9.4 SO9; 2.40 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The AAA Louisville Bats pitchers averaged a 4.17 ERA; 1.440 WHIP; 9.3 SO9; 1.98 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Bats pitching ranks 7th among 14 International League teams with a 4.17 ERA. Pitching represents the strength of the Reds AAA affiliate, including several top pitching prospects and pitchers on the 40-man roster.

The Louisville Bats top pitchers through the first two weeks of the young season:

Jose Lopez (SP) – 1.80 ERA; 1.100 WHIP; 8.1 SO9; 1.80 SO/W and 1.8 HR9 in 10.0 innings pitched
Vladimir Gutierrez (SP) – 3.48 ERA; 1.065 WHIP; 5.2 SO9; 3.00 SO/W and 0.9 HR9 in 10.1 innings pitched
Lucas Sims (SP) – 3.77 ERA; 1.465 WHIP; 13.2 SO9; 3.50 SO/W and 1.3 HR9 in 14.1 innings pitched

Jesus Reyes (RP) – 0.00 ERA; 1.250 WHIP; 10.1 SO9; 1.50 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 8.0 innings pitched
Jimmy Hergot (RP) – 0.00 ERA; 1.500 WHIP; 13.5 SO9; 1.80 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 6.0 innings pitched
Anthony Bass (RP) – 1.29 ERA; 0.571 WHIP; 6.4 SO9; 5.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 7.0 innings pitched
Ian Krol (RP) – 2.25 ERA; 1.750 WHIP; 11.3 SO9; 2.50 SO/W and 2.3 HR9 in 4.0 innings pitched

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Sal Romano’s early season performance at AAA represents a solid disappointment and concern.
9.39 ERA; 1.956 WHIP; 15.2 SO9; 2.16 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 7.2 innings pitched
While Romano’s ability to get a strike out is encouraging, his inability to simply keep runners off the bases is discouraging.

Cody Reed’s early season performance at AAA mirrors Romano’s as a disappointment and concern.
5.79 ERA; 1.500 WHIP; 9.6 SO9; 1.67 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 4.2 innings pitched
Like Romano, Reed’s strike outs are encouraging, but his inability to keep runners off base is discouraging.

Hitters

Hitters in the AAA International League averaged a .257/.338/.429/.767 slash line during the 2019 season.

The AAA Louisville Bats hitters averaged a .245/.331/.404/.735 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Bats hitting ranks 10th among 14 International League teams with a .735 OPS.

The Reds AAA affiliate roster contains only one top hitting prospect and two position players on the 40-man roster. Nick Senzel remains on the 7-day IL (severely sprained ankle) but is making progress toward a return to game action. Brian O’Grady was recently moved to the 7-day IL (back spasms).

The Bats top hitters through the first two weeks of the young season:

Josh VanMeter (2B) – .354/.396/.750/1.146 in 53 plate appearances
Brian O’Grady (1B) – .333/.455/.667/1.121 in 45 plate appearances
Nick Longhi (LF) – .303/.343/.606/.949 in 35 plate appearances
Sherman Johnson (2B) – .231/.429/.346/.775 in 36 plate appearances

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

A lot of fans clamor for the Reds to add Phillip Ervin to the 25-man roster. Ervin is a corner outfielder, capable of playing defensively in centerfield if necessary. He has a career minor league .749 OPS that includes 154 games at AAA with a .743 OPS and 140 games at AA with a .768 OPS. Ervin may prove effective as a utility outfielder at the major league level but will not be a significant difference maker.

The Reds obtained Josh VanMeter in a 2016/2017 off season trade with the Padres. His early season offensive surge represents an outlier from a minor league career .725 OPS.

The early offensive surge from Brian O’Grady represents an extension and continuation from his 2018 performance. During the 2018 season, O’Grady slashed .258/.354/.472/.826 in 213 plate appearances at AA and .306/.365/.563/.927 in 161 plate appearances at AAA. If O’Grady continues his offensive production well above league average, 2019 could represent a breakout season for the 26-year-old 1B/OF.

Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts (Southern League – North Division)

The AA Chattanooga Lookouts maintain a 4-6 record and reside in 5th place in the 5-team Southern League North Division.

Pitchers

Pitchers in the AA Southern League average a 3.32 ERA; 1.269 WHIP; 9.5 SO9; 2.42 SO/W and 0.6 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The AA Chattanooga Lookouts pitchers average a 5.13 ERA; 1.523 WHIP; 9.9 SO9; 2.02 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Lookouts pitching ranks 10th among 10 Southern League teams with a 5.13 ERA. The Reds AA affiliate roster contains four top pitching prospects and no pitchers on the 40-man roster.

The Lookouts top pitchers through the first two weeks of the young season:

Tony Santillan (SP) – 1.00 ERA; 1.444 WHIP; 16.0 SO9; 2.29 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 9.0 innings pitched
Joel Kuhnel (RP) – 0.00 ERA; 0.600 WHIP; 14.9 SO9; 11.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 6.2 innings pitched
Ryan Hendrix (RP) – 0.00 ERA; 1.500 WHIP; 5.4 SO9; 0.67 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 3.1 innings pitched
Aaron Fossas (RP) – 2.84 ERA; 1.105 WHIP; 8.5 SO9; 2.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 6.1 innings pitched

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Tony Santillan represents the best pitching prospect, by far, for the Lookouts.  While he began the season with good results, he must reduce his 7.0 BB9 if he wants to continue as a top starting pitching prospect within the Cincinnati Reds organization.

Hitters

Hitters in the AA Southern League average a .227/.316/.337/.652 slash line during the 2019 season.

The AA Chattanooga Lookouts hitters average a .246/.348/.358/.706 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Lookouts hitting ranks 3rd among 10 Southern League teams with a .706 OPS. Hitting represents the strength of the Reds AA affiliate, including many of the top hitting prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

The Lookouts top hitters through the first two weeks of the young season:

Taylor Trammell (LF) – .343/.477/.543/1.020 in 44 plate appearances
Ibandel Isabel (1B) – .289/.341/.605/.947 in 41 plate appearances
Luis Gonzalez (SS) – .333/.400/.444/.844 in 21 plate appearances
Gavin LaValley (3B) – .281/.385/.438/.822 in 39 plate appearances
TJ Friedl (RF) – .243/.333/.324/.658 in 42 plate appearances

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Jose Siri, Taylor Trammel and TJ Friedl have demonstrated the defensive capability to start in centerfield and began the season in direct competition for future outfield opportunities at the major league level. Their individual results should dictate future advancement and opportunities. Trammell began the season on fire, making a very strong early statement. Friedl continues to demonstrate the ability to get on base, although he struggled slightly with his hitting. Siri continues to struggle excessively with his plate discipline, generating a 43.9% strike out rate.

Ibandel Isabel’s power (.316 ISO) continues to not only impress, but astonish, after posting a .308 ISO and 36 home runs in the pitcher-friendly High A Florida State League last season. If he posts similar results this season in the AA Southern League, his prospect status will explode. I expect Isabel to see more opportunities as a corner outfielder during the 2019 season, just in case the Reds need to find a place for him to play in the future.

High A Daytona Tortugas (Florida State League – North Division)

The High A Daytona Tortugas maintain a 5-8 record and reside in 3rd place in the 6-team Florida State League North Division.

Pitchers

Pitchers in the High A Florida State League average a 3.47 ERA; 1.223 WHIP; 9.4 SO9; 2.69 SO/W and 0.5 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The High A Daytona Tortugas pitchers average a 3.61 ERA; 1.265 WHIP; 9.2 SO9; 3.08 SO/W and 0.5 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Tortugas pitching ranks 8th among 12 Southern League teams with a 3.61 ERA. The Reds High A affiliate roster contains just one top pitching prospect and no pitchers on the 40-man roster.

After making just one start for the Tortugas on 04/07/19 (5.0 IP, 6 SO, 4 BB, 0 ER), the Tortugas assigned Andrew Ford to the Advanced Rookie League Billings Mustangs. Austin Orewiler replaced Ford in the Tortugas starting rotation.

The Tortugas top pitchers through the first two weeks of the young season:

Austin Orewiler (SP) – 0.00 ERA; 1.043 WHIP; 5.9 SO9; 2.50 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 7.2 innings pitched
Packy Naughton (SP) – 2.55 ERA; 1.075 WHIP; 9.2 SO9; 9.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 17.2 innings pitched
Ryan Lillie (SP) – 3.24 ERA; 1.320 WHIP; 7.6 SO9; 2.33 SO/W and 0.5 HR9 in 16.2 innings pitched

Cory Thompson (RP) – 1.80 ERA; 0.800 WHIP; 9.9 SO9; 3.67 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 10.0 innings pitched
John Ghyzel (RP) – 1.93 ERA; 1.286 WHIP; 11.6 SO9; 6.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 4.2 innings pitched

Hitters

Hitters in the High A Florida State League average a .226/.308/.326/.634 slash line during the 2019 season.

The High A Daytona Tortugas hitters average a .232/.305/.300/.605 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Tortugas hitting ranks 8th among 12 Florida State League teams with a .605 OPS. The Reds High A affiliate roster includes five of the top hitting prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

The Tortugas top hitters through the first week of the young season:

Alejo Lopez (2B) – .375/.434/.458/.892 in 54 plate appearances
Jonathan India (3B) – .235/.328/.392/.720 in 58 plate appearances
Mark Kolozsvary (C) – .250/.344/.357/.701 in 32 plate appearances
Yonathan Mendoza (SS) – .270/.357/.324/.681 in 42 plate appearances
Andy Sugilio (RF) – .250/.357/.278/.635 in 42 plate appearances

Low A Dayton Dragons (Midwest League – Eastern Division)

The Low A Dayton Dragons have a 4-8 record and reside in 8th place in the 8-team Midwest League Eastern Division.

Pitchers

Pitchers in the Low A Midwest League average a 3.65 ERA; 1.353 WHIP; 9.6 SO9; 2.269 SO/W and 0.6 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Low A Dayton Dragons pitchers maintain a 5.12 ERA; 1.572 WHIP; 10.8 SO9; 2.08 SO/W and 0.7 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Dragons pitching ranks 16th among 16 Midwest League teams with a 5.12 ERA. The Reds Low A affiliate roster contains three top pitching prospects and no pitchers on the 40-man roster.

The Dragons top pitchers through the first two weeks of the young season:

Lyon Richardson (SP) – 1.17 ERA; 1.174 WHIP; 11.7 SO9; 3.33 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 in 7.2 innings pitched
Jared Soloman (SP) – 3.38 ERA; 2.000 WHIP; 10.1 SO9; 1.50 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 8.0 innings pitched

Eduardo Salazar (RP) – 0.00 ERA, 0.000 WHIP, 9.0 SO9, and 1.0 HR9 in 2.0 innings pitched
Jesse Stallings (RP) – 0.00 ERA; 0.600 WHIP; 13.5 SO9; 5.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 3.1 innings pitched
Ryan Campbell (RP) – 1.08 ERA; 1.320 WHIP; 13.0 SO9; 3.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 8.1 innings pitched
Eduardo Salazar (RP) – 1.50 ERA; 0.333 WHIP; 9.0 SO9; 0.00 BB9 and 0.0 HR9 in 6.0 innings pitched
Alexis Diaz (RP) – 2.35 ERA; 0.652 WHIP; 16.4 SO9; 4.67 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 in 7.2 innings pitched

Hitters

Hitters in the Low A Midwest League average a .234/.326/.344/.669 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Low A Dayton Dragons hitters average a .236/.307/.339/.646 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Dragons hitting ranks 13th among 16 Midwest League teams with a .646 OPS. The Reds Low A affiliate roster includes five of the top hitting prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

The Dragons top hitters through the first two weeks of the young season:

Shard Munroe (LF) – .355/.417/.581/.997 in 36 plate appearances
Bren Spillane (1B) – .244/.367/.439/.806 in 50 plate appearances
Jay Schuyler (C) – .314/.368/.429/.797 in 38 plate appearances
Mariel Bautista (CF) – .250/.294/.455/.749 in 51 plate appearances
Juan Martinez (3B) – .286/.359/.371/.730 in 39 plate appearances

 

 

 

8 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    Thank you Cossack. That is a bit of depressing news you deliver from the farm. Not one team with at least a .500 record, all below .500. A few individual performances of note but not much to be excited about early on.
    There sure isn’t much at AAA that can help the Reds awful start offensively. I don’t know how you can get VanMeter up to the Reds and give him a shot. There would have to be a 25 man roster move and then a separate 40-man roster move to make. The only two 25 man roster moves they could make would be to move Farmer to AAA. They also could move Peraza down to AAA to maybe try to get his bat straightened out there. That is about it, without making a trade.
    VanMeter is filling the void left by the trade of Shed Long at AAA in the 2B depth pecking order. Down at Daytona, Alejo Lopez looks like he wants to take Jeter Downs’ place in that 2B pecking order. He is off to a great start.
    It is still very, very early.

    • Warren Leeman

      You are correct WV that the system presents (extremely small 2 week sample) an overall depressing view, especially when coupled with the start of the big club. I prefer to look at the goal as finding a few precious gems among the muck. Those gems will not help in 2019. For that, the big club is on it’s own, but there’s real hope for those few precious gems to emerge after 2019. The Reds don’t need quantity. That was the WJ approach and it failed miserably. The Reds need top-self quality with a 4+ season window.

      That includes:
      2 starting pitchers (Stephenson, Gutierrez, Santillan)?
      2 OF (Trammell, Isabel)?
      1 2B (Senzel)?
      1 SS and that’s going to be a challenge
      1 catcher (Stephenson)?
      The bullpen has lots of options to fill quality and depth.
      The bench has lots of options to fill a few spots.

  2. Old-school

    The best news is Trammell is blasting off at AA and continues a Nick Senzel like march thru the minors. Both should be everyday regulars a year from now.

    • Warren Leeman

      I wouldn’t compare Trammell’s progression thru the minors with Senzel’s ‘march thru the minors’. Senzel literally destroyed every level of his progression, going thru 4 levels (A-AAA) in 2.5 seasons with a career .900 OPS along the way. Trammell made it thru 2.5 levels (ROK-A+) in 2.5 seasons, with a career .800 OPS. Now Senzel was 3 years older and significantly more experienced when he began his professional career, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison, but Senzel truly dominated and Trammel excelled.

      With that said, Trammell’s start in AA this season puts a whole new wrinkle on his development…if he can continue. He has certainly distanced himself from Siri and Friedl…if he can continue.

  3. jreis

    thank you for the write up. Any chance India gets playing time at shortstop this year?

    • Warren Leeman

      India has my vote for significant playing time at SS this season, but neither Dick Williams nor Ricky Gutierrez has the Old Cossack on speed dial.

      The first priority for India must be hitting, after hitting just .240 last season and hitting just .236 for the first two weeks this season. With Jose Garcia on the IL, Carlos Rivero (9 games) and Yonathan Mendoza (5 games) are splitting time defensively at SS.

      India also looks capable of holding his own defensively at SS against the other options available at A+ Daytona.

      Rivero: career .517 OPS & High A .314 OPS
      Mendoza: career .672 OPS
      India: career .785 OPS

  4. doofus

    My oldest son played against Brian O’Grady when they were on Travel teams. O’Grady is a good guy. It is good to see that he is doing well.

  5. Old-school

    Trammell looks to be playing exclusively LF with Siri CF in AA. Does that mean the Reds view Trammell as a LF only?