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 three weeks of action along with personal perspectives from the Old Recliner.

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

The Triple-A Louisville Bats maintain a 8-11 record and reside in 3rd place in the 4-team International League West Division.

Roster Moves

Stuart Turner signed to a minor league contract and assigned to Louisville Bats (04/20/19).
Nick Senzel activated from Injured List (04/23/19).
Brian O’Grady activated from Injured List (04/23/19).
Phillip Ervin promoted to Cincinnati Reds roster (04/23/2019).

Injured List (IL)

Hernan Iribarren (04/03/19).
Juan Martinez (04/03/19).
Aristides Aquino (04/23/19).

Pitchers

Pitchers in the Triple-A International League average a 4.81 ERA; 1.413 WHIP; 9.5 SO9; 2.49 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Triple-A Louisville Bats pitchers average a 4.30 ERA; 1.392 WHIP; 10.1 SO9; 2.46 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Bats pitching ranks 6th among 14 International League teams with a 4.30 ERA. Pitching represents the strength of the Reds Triple-A affiliate, including three top pitching prospects and nine pitchers on the 40-man roster.

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

  • Lucas Sims (SP) – 3.15 ERA; 1.300 WHIP; 15.3 SO9; 5.67 SO/W and 0.9 HR9 in 20.0 innings pitched.
  • Odrisamer Despaigne (SP) – 3.60 ERA; 1.100 WHIP; 9.0 SO9; 2.86 SO/W and 2.3 HR9 in 20.0 innings pitched.
    Jose Lopez (SP) – 4.50 ERA; 1.357 WHIP; 9.6 SO9; 3.00 SO/W and 3.2 HR9 in 14.0 innings pitched.
  • Anthony Bass (RP) – 0.90 ERA; 0.700 WHIP; 7.2 SO9; 4.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 10.0 innings pitched.
  • Ian Krol (RP) – 2.70 ERA; 1.200 WHIP; 9.5 SO9; 3.50 SO/W and 1.4 HR9 in 6.2 innings pitched.
  • Matt Bowman (RP) – 3.48 ERA; 1.742 WHIP; 11.3 SO9; 2.17 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 10.1 innings pitched.

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Sal Romano’s early season performance at AAA represents a solid disappointment and concern.
6.75 ERA; 1.607 WHIP; 12.7 SO9; 2.50 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 10.2 innings pitched
Romano’s lack of results to simply keep runners off base minimizes his excellent strike out rate.

Cody Reed’s early season performance at AAA mirrors Romano’s as a disappointment and concern.
6.14 ERA; 1.500 WHIP; 13.5 SO9; 2.75 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 in 7.1 innings pitched
Reed’s lack of results to simply keep runners off base also minimizes his excellent strike out rate.

Hitters

Hitters in the Triple-A International League average a .257/.337/.430/.767 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Triple-A Louisville Bats hitters average a .245/.332/.392/.723 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Bats hitting ranks 10th among 14 International League teams with a .723 OPS.

The Reds Triple-A affiliate roster contains only one top hitting prospect and one position players on the 40-man roster.

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

  • Brian O’Grady (1B) – .333/.455/.667/1.121 in 45 plate appearances.
  • Aristides Aquino (RF) – .286/.345/.633/.978 in 55 plate appearances.
  • Josh VanMeter (2B) – .304/.380/.580/.959 in 80 plate appearances.
  • Christian Colon (3B) – .362/.466/.449/.915 in 88 plate appearances.
  • Nick Longhi (LF) – .245/.298/.491/.789 in 57 plate appearances.

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Aristides Aquino makes an appearance as a top hitter after three weeks. Aquino demonstrated superior power potential (.243 ISO) in Advanced Rookie League over three seasons (2013-2015) along with a free-swinging plate approach (4.5% walk rate). The Reds promoted Aquino to Advanced-A level, skipping Low-A level, in 2016 and Aquino broke out with a .273/.327/.519/.846 slash, a 6.5% walk rate and a 20.0% strike out rate, resulting in the Cincinnati Reds #6 prospect rating after his 2016 season. Aquino followed with two pedestrian seasons at the Double-A level, although modestly improving his walk rate to 7.8%.

After the 2016 season, fans and the Reds organization had tabbed Aquino as the future right-fielder with a cannon arm, speed and power, but after the 2018 season, the Reds dropped Aquino from the 40-man roster. If a 25-year-old Aquino can maintain anything close to his offensive performance over the first three weeks at the Triple-A level, his prospect star may rise from the ashes, forcing the Cincinnati Reds to reconsider their outfield plans for the 2020 season and possibly even their late 2019 season outfield plans.

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

The Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts maintain a 6-11 record and reside in 5th place in the 5-team Southern League North Division.

Roster Moves

Chris Okey was assigned to Chattanooga Lookouts (04/22/19).

Injured List (IL)

Cassidy Brown (04/22/19).
Nick Howard (04/02/19).

Pitchers

Pitchers in the Double-A Southern League average a 3.62 ERA; 1.304 WHIP; 9.3 SO9; 2.32 SO/W and 0.7 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts pitchers average a 5.31 ERA; 1.528 WHIP; 9.6 SO9; 1.995 SO/W and 1.2 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Lookouts pitching ranks 10th among 10 Southern League teams with a 5.31 ERA.

The Reds Double-A affiliate roster contains four top pitching prospects and no pitchers on the 40-man roster.

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

  • Tony Santillan (SP) – 1.84 ERA; 1.500 WHIP; 12.9 SO9; 1.75 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 14.2 innings pitched.
  • Ryan Hendrix (RP) – 0.00 ERA; 1.043 WHIP; 9.4 SO9; 2.00 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 7.2 innings pitched.
  • Aaron Fossas (RP) – 1.93 ERA; 0.857 WHIP; 9.6 SO9; 2.50 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 9.1 innings pitched.
  • Joel Kuhnel (RP) – 2.61 ERA; 1.065 WHIP; 14.8 SO9; 5.67 SO/W and 0.9 HR9 in 10.1 innings pitched

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Tony Santillan continues to dodge the bullet with a 7.4 BB9 rate.

Joel Kuhnel demonstrates early dominance with good control and very strong strike out capability from the Lookouts bullpen.

Hitters

Hitters in the Double-A Southern League average a .232/.321/.350/.671 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts hitters average a .228/.338/.338/.676 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Lookouts hitting ranks 6th among 10 Southern League teams with a .676 OPS. Hitting represents the strength of the Reds Double-A affiliate, including seven of the top hitting prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization but no one on the 40-man roster.

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

  • Taylor Trammell (LF) – .302/.448/.491/.938 in 67 plate appearances.
  • Ibandel Isabel (1B) – .262/.333/.459/.792 in 69 plate appearances.
  • Brantley Bell (2B) – .240/.377/.400/.777 in 61 plate appearances.
  • Jose Siri (CF) – .233/.329/.383/.712 in 70 plate appearances.
  • Luis Gonzalez (SS) – .286/.342/.343/.685 in 39 plate appearances.

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Among qualified Southern League hitters

  • Taylor Trammell ranks 4th with a .938 OPS.
  • Ibandel Isabel ranks 21st with a .792 OPS.
  • Brantley Bell ranks 23rd with a .777 OPS.
  • Jose Siri ranks 29th with a .712 OPS.

Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas (Florida State League – North Division)

The Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas maintain a 10-9 record and reside in 2nd place in the 6-team Florida State League North Division.

Injured List (IL)

Hunter Greene (04/02/19).
Morgan Lofstrom (04/02/19).
Jose Garcia (04/02/19).

Pitchers

Pitchers in the Advanced-A Florida State League average a 3.26 ERA; 1.215 WHIP; 9.3 SO9; 2.78 SO/W and 0.5 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas pitchers average a 2.95 ERA; 1.215 WHIP; 9.3 SO9; 3.21 SO/W and 0.4 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Tortugas pitching ranks 6th among 12 Southern League teams with a 2.95 ERA. The Reds Advanced-A affiliate roster contains just two top pitching prospects and no pitchers on the 40-man roster.

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

  • Austin Orewiler (SP) – 0.53 ERA; 1.176 WHIP; 6.9 SO9; 2.17 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 17.0 innings pitched.
  • Packy Naughton (SP) – 1.90 ERA; 0.972 WHIP; 10.3 SO9; 9.00 SO/W and 1.1 HR9 in 23.2 innings pitched.
  • John Ghyzel (RP) – 1.23 ERA; 1.091 WHIP; 8.6 SO9; 3.50 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 7.1 innings pitched.
  • Cory Thompson (RP) – 1.50 ERA; 0.750 WHIP; 9.8 SO9; 4.33 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 12.0 innings pitched.
  • Aneurys Zabala (RP) – 2.61 ERA; 1.355 WHIP; 8.7 SO9; 1.67 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 10.1 innings pitched.

Hitters

Hitters in the Advanced-A Florida State League average a .228/.306/.333/.639 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Advanced-A Daytona Tortugas hitters average a .234/.302/.311/.612 slash line during the 2019 season.

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

The Tortugas top hitters through the first three weeks of the young season:

  • Alejo Lopez (2B) – .371/.429/.500/.929 in 78 plate appearances.
  • Mark Kolozsvary (C) – .250/.372/.417/.789 in 43 plate appearances.
  • Jonathan India (3B) – .271/.346/.386/.732 in 78 plate appearances.

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Among qualified Florida State League hitters

  • Alejo Lopez ranks 7th with a .929 OPS.
  • Jonathan India ranks 28th with a .732 OPS.

Low-A Dayton Dragons (Midwest League – Eastern Division)

The Low-A Dayton Dragons have a 7-11 record and reside in 7th place in the 8-team Midwest League Eastern Division.

Pitchers

Pitchers in the Low-A Midwest League average a 3.70 ERA; 1.362 WHIP; 9.6 SO9; 2.26 SO/W and 0.6 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Low-A Dayton Dragons pitchers maintain a 5.12 ERA; 1.603 WHIP; 10.2 SO9; 1.96 SO/W and 0.6 HR9 during the 2019 season.

The Dragons pitching ranks 15th 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 three weeks of the young season:

  • Jhon De Jesus (SP) – 3.32 ERA; 1.105 WHIP; 7.6 SO9; 2.00 SO/W and 0.9 HR9 in 19.0 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.
  • Alexis Diaz (RP) – 2.45 ERA; 0.727 WHIP; 15.5 SO9; 4.75 SO/W and 0.8 HR9 in 11.0 innings pitched.
  • Eduardo Salazar (RP) – 2.77 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 8.3 SO9, and 0.7 HR9 in 13.0 innings pitched.
  • Jerry D’Andrea (RP) – 3.38 ERA; 1.313 WHIP; 18.6 SO9; 3.67 SO/W and 0.0 HR9 in 5.1 innings pitched.

Hitters

Hitters in the Low-A Midwest League average a .236/.326/.353/.679 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Low-A Dayton Dragons hitters average a .238/.314/.368/.682 slash line during the 2019 season.

The Dragons hitting ranks 7th among 16 Midwest League teams with a .682 OPS. The Reds Low-A affiliate roster includes four of the top hitting prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

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

  • Pabel Manzanero (C) – .322/.344/.610/.954 in 61 plate appearances.
  • Juan Martinez (3B) – .296/.406/.444/.851 in 64 plate appearances.
  • Shard Munroe (LF) – .279/.360/.442/.802 in 50 plate appearances.
  • Mariel Bautista (LF) – .250/.316/.471/.787 in 68 plate appearances.
  • Jay Schuyler (C) – .286/.344/.375/.719 in 61 plate appearances.
  • Miguel Hernandez (SS) – .290/.313/.387/.700 in 64 plate appearances.

The Perspective from the Old Recliner:

Among qualified Midwest League hitters

  • Pabel Manzanero ranks 10th with a .954 OPS.
  • Juan Martinez ranks 22nd with an .851 OPS.

14 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    Great stuff Warren. Of necessity, it’s all small sample size stuff. But I’m wondering if in some cases problems are self- fulfilling. If Romano and Reed have pitched poorly, but only for 7 innings or so, are they not now getting starts? Sims and Despaigne are in the 20 innings pitched range. I certainly hope that both Sal and Cody get the ball a lot until they either find their form or prove that they can’t get it done over a much larger sample. I don’t care if the Bats win or not, but I care greatly if the most promising pitchers get a chance to pitch at least potential. Those two pitchers and the development of Senzel and Trammell are the key minor league issues for the Reds current season.

    • Warren Leeman

      @CFD3000, you iterate my sentiments exactly. I personally enjoy minor league baseball, but I’m passionate about Cincinnati Reds baseball. There are more minor league components in play, but you identified 4 key elements. The development of any and all key elements to the Reds future success is an absolute necessity.

      Reed and Romano need to pitch a lot in significant roles. I personally do not think Romano has any future as a starter, but he could fill a much needed and important bullpen role going forward. I do want to see Reed working as a starter and as long as he’s pitching at AAA, I want to see him pitching as a starter until he proves unsuitable and ineffective as a starter.

  2. WVRedlegs

    Ready for another Farm Report.
    Lucas Sims out of the gate nicely here in 2019 at AAA. I am puzzled by Romano and Reed so far.
    Senzel will be called up May 13 (off day) or May 14 starting a home stand and a 3 game series vs. the Cubs, and then 3 vs. the Dodgers.
    What is up with Chattanooga? Their roster to start the season looked like they were ready to rock the Southern League. They are looking a lot like the Major League team, tremendous under-achievers.
    Cossack, I thought the Reds 86ed the plan to turn college closers into starters. But then I see last night that Michael Byrne started for Daytona and went 5 innings, and pitched rather well. Byrne was the closer for the University of Florida this time last year. What’s up with that? Do you have any info on that? Apparently, he has more than 2 pitches to work with if that is the case.

    • Warren Leeman

      @WVRedlegs, the Lookouts have a few offensive prospects who are struggling early (Stephenson .609 OPS, Friedl .284 OBP) along with prospects receiving regular playing time who are struggling below expectations (Crook .490 OPS, LaValley .613 OPS), but the offense is pretty average overall with 80 runs scored (5th in runs scored of 10 Southern League teams). There are 5 teams narrowly grouped from 76-84 runs scored. The elephant in the room is pitching. The Lookouts rank dead last in giving up runs at 94. When a single reliever with 8.2 IP leads the team in wins with 3, there’s a problem. Even the Lookouts ace, Santillan, is giving up 6.2 BB9 and 8.5 H9.

    • Warren Leeman

      @WVRedlegs, your question about Byrnes and relating that to the prior disposition of drafting college relievers with the intention of converting them to starters is missing a couple of key points.

      The issue with drafting college relievers with the intention to convert them to starters was really overreaching for those pitchers in the draft. The Reds drafted Byrnes in the 14th round of the 2018 rule 4 draft. Byrnes also pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 19 games and 21.2 innings last season for the Tortugas. This season, Byrnes has pitched exclusively as a starter in 4 games and 18.0 innings for the Tortugas.

      The Reds certainly didn’t overreach for Byrnes by drafting him in the 14th round last season and I see nothing abnormal about the way the Reds drafted or handled Byrnes and his development at this point. A starter is always more valuable than a reliever, assuming equal capabilities. Byrnes seems to have harnessed his control during his 4 starts in 2019 and I believe his stuff justifies the effort to use him as a starter until he proves otherwise.

      • WVRedlegs

        Thank you.
        I just hadn’t read anything about moving Byrne to a starting pitcher. I might have missed it over at Doug’s site if he wrote about it. I was surprised to see him in the Daytona box score starting last night. Following Jonathan India last year before the draft also got to see Byrne pitch for UF. He was a pretty good closer for the Gators. He didn’t lack velocity though wasn’t overpowering but he was effective. If I am remembering correctly he had good movement on his pitches. After the draft last year I thought 14th round was a bit low for him to go. That is good he is getting a shot.
        Like you say, that’s even better and more valuable if they can make a starter out of him. I’m sure he was one in high school.

  3. Old-school

    Siri plays CF every game and Trammell plays LF every game. Where does Trammell play a year from now ?

    • Doug Gray

      In a situation where you’ve got both of those players in the same lineup, Siri is the one that should be playing center. He’s the best defensive center fielder in the organization. Ultimately, Trammell may not be able to play center because of his size. He’s got a frame that could still see him add some good weight to it, and if that does happen, maybe he loses the speed. That day isn’t today, though – he’s still got plenty of speed to burn and handle center. But Siri is clearly the better defender between the two, and that’s more of a praise for just how good Siri is than any slight on Trammell’s defensive abilities.

  4. Curt

    additionally, MiLB.com has Trammell listed as a CF, is he a CF or a LF or either??

      • Curt

        Thanks for explanation Doug. So in your opinion what’s the ‘bigger picture’ plan here? Two top Prospects in Trammell and Siri who play CF and top prospect Senzel, an infielder is being moved there. ? Will they move Tram to the infield? (Just kidding). Seriously tho, Isn’t this creating a potential problem rather than solving one? It looks like Trammell is currently the best guy on the Lookouts, how far behind Senzel can he be? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to have a group of these kids coming up, more or less, together. A young core as they say in the NBA. Thanks in advance for any reply.

      • Doug Gray

        I think the plan is Senzel in center for a year, then if and when Siri/Trammell are ready, slide him to the infield at second. But until one of those guys shows they are ready – get Senzel’s bat in the lineup in Cincinnati. Trammell might be 3 months away. He might be two years away. Same for Siri.

  5. Old-school

    The Daytona Tortuga’s Twitter has video of Jonathan India’s 4 th home run last night. He’s got some power.

    • Warren Leeman

      India’s also heating up. Over the first 10 games, India slashed .211/.318/.389/.713. Over the last 10 games, India slashed .317/.349/.488/.837.

      India’s performance last season in Advanced Rookie and Low A league netted a .240/.380/.433/.814 slash in more hitter-friendly environments. His current .776 OPS places him at 21st among league qualifiers and he’s moving up quickly.