Yesterday I selected outfielder Jose Siri as the Cincinnati Reds Minor League Player of the Year. Today we are announcing that Tyler Mahle is the 2017 Pitcher of the Year for the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Unlike the award he got from the Reds last year at Redsfest when the organization hands out their four minor league awards, I don’t have a cool plaque to give the right handed pitcher.

In the first half of the 2017 season, Tyler Mahle spent time dominating the Southern League. With the Pensacola Blue Wahoos he posted a 1.59 ERA in 14 starts in 85.0 innings. That also included 87 strikeouts with just 17 walks. The performance earned him a promotion to Triple-A for the second half.

Once he joined the Louisville Bats he would go on to make 10 more starts. While things didn’t go quite as well as they did in Pensacola, Tyler Mahle was still very strong in the International League. He posted a 2.73 ERA in 59.1 innings for the Bats. That came with 51 strikeouts and just 13 walks. In total, that gave him a 2.06 ERA in 144.1 innings in the Minor Leagues with just 30 walks and 138 total strikeouts.

Tyler Mahle led the organization with his 2.06 ERA and WHIP (0.96). He also finished second in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.6) as well as third in walk rate (5.3%), and strikeout rate (24.5%).

His performance in the minors during the season earned him a promotion to the Major Leagues at the end of the year. He’s now made four starts for the big league club. With the Reds he’s thrown 20.0 innings to go along with a 2.70 ERA so far.

Tyler Mahle 2017 Season Stats

AA 7 3 1.59 85.0 57 5 17 87 0.87
AAA 3 4 2.73 59.1 52 4 13 51 1.10
MLB 1 2 2.70 20.0 19 0 11 14 1.50

Other Candidates

Jose Lopez, Deck McGuire

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19 Responses

  1. Wes

    I don’t care how many strikeouts you get or how hard u throw if you carry an era under 3. I think mahle will be a very consistent #3 starter and give reds excellent matchups when going against other organizations #3s. If I’m reds I’m saving him a spot next year once service time is saved

    • The Duke

      Agreed, once we get to about June I think we see him up for good. Odds are high one of Bailey, Finnegan , or Disco isn’t healthy next year and there is always the possibility of poor performance above him. Long term, if Bob Steve can get the walks down the 4 per 9 or below I think out future rotation is setting up nicely as:

      Luis Castillo
      Robert Stephenson
      Tyler Mahle
      Sal Romano
      One of (Vlad Gutierrez, Tony Santillan, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, Jose Lopez, Scott Moss)

      Not to mention that once we get to this point, we should have Hunter Greene into the upper minors.

      • Wes

        As of now reds are still short an ace. They have resources to trade for one. Here’s a quick list of guys i like to pursue if no one emerges, reds contending, and their organization is down when we need a guy-

        Next tier

        One of those 4 followed by
        Then rest of gang.

        That gives reds very good playoff rotation

        Prob have to give up trammell or Greene as centerpiece of trade

      • Greenfield Red

        I would not like the Reds to give up any of the following in a trade…even Greinke: Greene, Senzel, Trammell, Mahle, Castillo, or Stephenson. Yes, I realize that means we can’t trade for a pitcher like Greinke. There is just too much negative that can happen with an aging ace.

      • CP

        Wes, I would say if Castillo continues with the same kind of performance we saw out of him this year the Reds do have an ace. I’m not so sure I am ready to trade off the Reds top end talent out of the farm system, even if it is for more established ML pitchers. The chance of injury is so high for a pitcher that we are going to need the depth that we currently have to be competitive for years to come.

      • MK

        The Reds are already paying #1 Sarter money to Bailey. Not sure teams other than Dodger, Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs can budget in two so one of the current boys will have to step up and fill the role, then they can rent someone at the deadline, like a Cueto, if they are in the playoff race.

      • Wes

        The rental is still going to cost a top prospect that gf doesn’t want to give up. Castillo can be considered an “ace” of staff but in reality 1/2 the teams n MLB don’t have a true ace. I want a guy who may not be named Kershaw but has a chance to beat him when stepping on the mound. Not convinced that’s Castillo yet.

        Homers contracts done after 2019. So if trade happens that year it may be affordable

    • Colorado Red

      I would think an ERA under 3 consistently is a bit better then a #3.
      Maddox was not a hard thrower and in is the HALL.
      A bit early for comparisons, but my point (other then the top of my head) is that ERA is HUGE.
      He also has to cut the walks, but I think he will do that.

      • Greenfield Red

        Interesting you mention Maddox. Jeff Brantley showed the similarities in delivery for Maddox and Mahle the other day. Pretty similar.

      • Doug Gray

        Greg Maddux, for the first half of his career, had above-average velocity. I’ve always hated hearing how he didn’t throw hard as some point that you don’t need to throw hard. Yes, he wasn’t Randy Johnson. He also wasn’t Jared Weaver circa 2016. Maddux threw 89-92 MPH. When he made his MLB debut, the average MLB fastball was 87 MPH.

    • Doug Gray

      Strikeouts and walks are essential to ERA. It’s why fielding independent ERA estimators work.

      • terry m


        You are right about his early velocity. Lived in Chicago during that time and he used to get upset about his size during tv interviews. They couldn’t see how he could throw that hard with his size.

  2. sultanofswaff

    On a playoff caliber team, Mahle would fit in nicely as a #5, like Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs. There might be a little more projection in there, but for where he was drafted, sticking in the rotation at all is a big win for the scouting/development people. We just played the Cardinals, and they seem to have a knack for producing guys like Mahle—-solid but unspectacular contributors. You need those to weather a 162 game schedule.

  3. DaveCT

    With Mahle and a big hoss like Romano, there will be plenty of innings chewed up, helping, among other things, the bullpen stay healthy and effective.

  4. Reds4ever

    Doug. I know this is off topic, but you reported that garrett has a 4th option, but just a few weeks ago Zach Buchanan said him and Dilson Herrera have to stay on the roster next year, in an article. So who’s the credible source here?

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve spoken with two Reds sources on this – so, I’m going to say that I am in this case.

  5. Sagevic

    How did Tyler Mahle’s velocity read so high during his perfect game? The radar gun there had to be off, didn’t it?

    • Doug Gray

      He didn’t really hit 99/100 like some reports had. But, for most of the year, he was a guy that would go out and throw 91-93 early, but always had 95-96 in his back pocket when he wanted to really bring it. Touched 97 more than a few times throughout the year. Even in his perfect game, that’s pretty much what he did.

      • sagevic

        Thanks for clearing that up. I didn’t think he was every hitting 99-100, but I was concerned the park guns were just completely off base.