We are just over a week into the season and now seemed like the perfect time to bring back the Who’s Hot on the Cincinnati Reds farm system articles, which will come out every Friday afternoon. We will look at who has been hot over the last week.

The Hitters

James Vasquez missed a few games after being hit by a pitch, but when he’s been on the field he’s hit the cover off of the ball for Dayton. The first baseman has a double, triple and home run to go along with a .313/.389/.688 line in 18 plate appearances. He has one walk and has only struck out twice.

Narciso Crook has taken well to his second trip through the Midwest League, punishing pitchers in the first week-and-a-half of the season. The 20-year-old outfielder has two doubles and two home runs to go along with a .333/.394/.600 triple-slash line. He’s also stolen two bases and walked three times.

Angelo Gumbs was a minor league free agent signing by the Reds this past offseason. The former 2nd rounder has started out the season on fire for Daytona. In 30 plate appearances the Tortugas outfielder has hit an impressive .423 with three walks (and a .500 on-base percentage) while slugging .500 along the way. He’s also added a stolen base for good measure.

Avain Rachal hit home runs in the first two games of the season for Daytona and is tied for the organizational lead with five walks. In his 30 plate appearances he has hit .292/.433/.542 for the Tortugas, added two steals, scored four times and driven in four runs.

Mitch Piatnik rounds out the top five in a close call with a few other players. While he hasn’t shown much power yet this season, just one double, the Dragons utility player has hit .409 and drawn five walks, leading to an impressive .519 on-base percentage over his 27 plate appearances.

The Pitchers

Amir Garrett has made two starts for Pensacola and the left hander has been strong in both games. In his 12.0 total innings pitched he’s allowed just two runs (1.50 ERA), nine hits, two walks and he’s had 11 strikeouts. That’s good for a WHIP of 0.92, a walk rate of just 4.4% and he’s struck out 24.4% of the hitters that he’s faced.

Sal Romano, Garrett’s rotation mate for the Blue Wahoos has had a similarly strong start to the season. He’s also made two starts and thrown 10.1 innings, allowing just three runs (2.61 ERA) with two walks and he’s struck out 10 batters. The right hander has a 4.4% walk rate and he’s fanned 22.2% of opposing hitters.

Robert Stephenson has only made one minor league start, pitching last night for Louisville in their home opener. He made it count though, allowing just one earned run in 6.0 innings with a walk and seven strikeouts. The 23-year-old righty had 17 swings-and-misses in the game.

Evan Mitchell has been lights out in the Daytona bullpen. The right handed reliever has made three appearances and has yet to allow a run over 6.1 innings pitched. He’s given up just three hits and walked two batters. He’s also sent 10 batters back to the dugout with their bat in their hands. He’s only faced 25 batters this season, meaning he’s struck out an incredible 40% of the batters he’s been matched up against this season.

Carlos Gonzalez has made three appearances for the Blue Wahoos bullpen this season. He’s allowed just one run over 6.0 innings (1.50 ERA). The right hander had given up three hits and three walks to go along with eight strikeouts to this point in the season.

6 Responses

  1. RFM

    What is Sal Romano doing so differently through two starts to make his performance so different than during his nightmarish AA debut in 2015?

    • Doug Gray

      Throwing more strikes is a big part of it. I’d have to sit down and watch his starts this year to really get deeper than that, and I can only go back and watch one of them.

      • DaveCT

        BA had stated the team wanted him to get back to throwing his sinker more in AA than his 4 seamer, and, I think, his curve more than his slider.

  2. Adam

    Hopefully the groin injury for Romano isn’t too serious.

    • Doug Gray

      I wasn’t told, but Zack did tell me that it wasn’t serious at all and he expected to only be about a week behind. Assuming things went as planned, I think we will see him very soon.