Sunday Reds minor league news and notes Doug Gray August 5, 2018 43 Comments Jonathan India hit his first home run for the Dayton Dragons last night. He didn’t get cheated, either. He took a 97 MPH (at least according to the scoreboard – no clue how accurate that is) and turned it around with a quickness. It was the 4th home run of the season for Jonathan India, who has seen time with the Greeneville Reds, Billings Mustangs, and now Dayton Dragons. Between those three stops the Cincinnati Reds 1st rounder is now hitting .268/.435/.507 in 22 games and 92 plate appearances. Mariel Bautista is heating up for the Billings Mustangs Out in big sky country Mariel Bautista is catching fire for the Billings Mustangs. Over his last six games he’s racked up five multi-hit games, and is hitting .467/.484/.700. But he’s been swinging a pretty hot bat for far longer than the last week. Going back to June 30th he’s only gone without a hit three games (of 20). The 20-year-old center fielder has hit .337/.382/.565 in that stretch with seven doubles, a triple, four home runs, and he’s stolen six bases. After a bit of a slow start in June he’s now hitting .307/.355/.496 on the season in 152 plate appearances. DJ Peterson showing off the power for Louisville Last night I posted this on twitter, so let’s just repost it here to show off the stupid amounts of opposite field power that D.J. Peterson showed last night in Columbus for the Louisville Bats. This was DJ Peterson’s home run tonight in Columbus. Over the scoreboard and out of the park. Opposite field. The right fielder barely moved. That’s what you call CRUSHED. pic.twitter.com/iMGBvrxIsa — Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) August 5, 2018 Brian O’Grady quietly putting together his best season Brian O’Grady also homered in Columbus last night for the Louisville Bats. It was his 8th homer of the year, and I’m honestly not sure if it would have cleared the fence if not for the fielder who attempted a leaping catch at the wall and may have pushed it over. But, at the end of the day it goes in the books as a home run. That home run helped him to a 2-3 night with 2 walks. Between his two stops this season, he’s hit a combined .266/.351/.482 with 14 doubles, five triples, and eight homers in 77 games played. The average and slugging percentage are both career bests for O’Grady. 43 Responses kevinz August 5, 2018 Nice to see the power and walks showing up for India. Glad you put something about O’Grady. Felt like his season was being overlooked. When he plays everyday he Produces. Wes August 5, 2018 Former first round pick 26 year old Phil Ervin slashed a 289/373/491 in 3A over 38 games after being sent to down to get reg playing time. Since being called back he’s hit 15 of 33 w 2 walls boasting a 500+ obp. Ervin should be playing for a chance to start center next season or in RF over Schebler. He’s paid his dues through reds system and is good enough to earn a long trial like Romano did this season. He should not be over looked ! I’ll also take Peterson over Tucker. Doc August 5, 2018 Ervin needs to work hard on his throwing, his baserunning, and his all around just mentally being in the game. I’ve liked him since the first AB I saw him in Daytona, and his turnaround hitting is remarkable, but if you are going to play at the big league level, every play is important. If you want to watch the action, buy a ticket and sit in the stands. Not being mentally present has been an all-too-often comment by the broadcast team. That said, I hope he is seriously in the mix next year. gycincy August 5, 2018 I agree, Doc. He reminds me of another player from the past, Kal Daniels. Tampa Red August 5, 2018 Ervin’s hot streak is remarkable. If he can keep it up, the Reds are a better team so I’m pulling for him. Having said that, he’s never hit like this at any level so I’m going to take a wait and see approach with him. Outside of his hitting, his baseball IQ doesn’t seem real high. And nothing I’ve seen from him would lead me to believe he’d be anything but below average in CF. But he does have some flexibility in that he can “play” all 3 OF positions and I like that a lot. If the Reds hire the right guy to manage the team, he can get plenty of AB’s and be productive. I still want to see if Senzel can play CF. The Reds play half their ballgames in a tiny park. If he can, and you add in guys like Ervin, Dixon, Peraza now you have a real dynamic, flexible roster. RedsinWashst August 5, 2018 Agree Tampa Hoyce August 5, 2018 Agree w Ervin’s low baseball IQ. He gets terrible jumps in the OF and routes are also terrible. He has the athleticism to overcome a lot of the bad routes. His throwing is garbage. And his reads of batted balls while on the bases are also terrible. And hard to watch. But, at least for now, he’s getting on base a lot and still would rather watch Ervin flounder than watch anymore of Bham. Jmo I saw a lot of the same basepath errors and mental errors in peraza earlier n year, but he has really cleaned up his game and is lookin like a real big leaguer. I would have been dead wrong to boot peraza, like I wanted to do earlier in year kevinz August 5, 2018 How about we all Give Ervin more than a week of full playing time. Very early to call Ervin or Williams anything but young players for at the MLB level. I do not expect Ervin to keep hitting like he has. I do expect with his swing newer approach he should be in that 270-290 range. Tampa Red August 5, 2018 He’s played a fair amount over the last two years including some time in CF with 9 starts. He wasn’t even playing CF in the minors. I The Reds simply can’t have an OF of Winker in left and Ervin in center. They just can’t. As for his hitting, who knows? Plenty of guys have had hot streaks. In 2000 AB’s in the minors he OPS’ed .750. I think that’s probably his ceiling in the big leagues. If he can do that, he’ll have a good career. kevinz August 5, 2018 Not going to debate if Ervin can play CF. I am only saying is all his playing time all small sample sizes in MLB. He should play everyday to see what he has. He Ops 750 in MILB was with a different stance and a Pull approach. Now he uses all fields with a more balanced stance. Plus he played in Pitcher friendly Parks in MILB. Will that add up to a higher OPS than 750? not sure but betting it will be as long plays enough and is healthy. Also in my mind Winker not Guaranteed a spot proving not Durable. Hurt a lot in Minors now Hurt at MLB level. Tampa Red August 5, 2018 Dayton, Pensacola and Louisville are pitcher friendly? Ok, didn’t know that I guess. But to be fair, he was also facing minor league pitching. I don’t know man, I just think the frustration of the season and the long rebuild is making folks see things that aren’t there. I’d love to be wrong, and sincerely hope that I am. I’ll just finish this with agreeing that Ervin should get the bulk of the PT the rest of the season. Hope it happens! MK August 5, 2018 Like Phillip but taking proper routes to the ball and hitting cut off men is something he should have had ample time to learn in the minors, college and high school. Heck I have benched high school players for not hitting a cutoff man and I got benched for that in college. kevinz August 5, 2018 Well not saying he won’t or should not get benched for them plays. I say if does that over time Ervin will see the bench. I say he trying to hard to make plays plus never knowing if will keep playing. I tend to believe he is better than that before came he came up here on Defense etc. redlegs4ever August 5, 2018 Dayton was really playing a team called the Bung Hammers? Who names these teams???? Doug Gray August 5, 2018 Not their every day name. Gimmick of some kind. redlegs4ever August 5, 2018 I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse, if that was their full time name maybe it could have had an interesting old story behind it that would make it make sense, kind of like the Dodgers. Here’s a story I found on the whole thing. Apparently their normally the White Caps… https://www.milb.com/west-michigan/news/introducing-the-beer-city-bung-hammers/c-280496830 MK August 5, 2018 A bung is the wooden stopper put in a beer barrel. Grand Rapids is known historically for their small breweries. A few years ago when they hosted the Midwest All Star game it had a beer theme with even beer colored all Star shirts. I was there and have one. Obviously a bung hammer is the tool used to implant the bung in the barrel. MikeinSoCal August 5, 2018 Our OF defense is shaky. We have Billy and then hope for the best. Kind of surprised Ervin and Winker made it through the minors without some red flags going up. Winker is a ML hitter but I think he needs to go to 1B. The team has been carried this season by Suarez and Gennett. JV is expendable if we could swing a deal. JV could play forever in the AL. Timing of trades is crucial. RedsinWashst August 5, 2018 No team is going to trade for Votto without the Reds paying a large chunk. Sasgevic August 5, 2018 Votto’s contract is not oppressive at all for his production. His slugging is down this year and that is a concern, but his overall offensive game is still elite. The issue with trading him is he has ten-five protection, doesn’t want to play DH, or go to the big market teams in the AL that wouldn’t balk at his deal. MK August 5, 2018 .288 BA with 9 HRs, poor defense and sizeable contract isn’t going to help to sell him for much. Is this a bad year or is the downward trend with age beginning to surface. Plus he has a no trade contract he says he will not wave. Wes August 5, 2018 I think a player should get a year at big league level to prove themselves if they earn the chance to in first place. Sal earned his chance and got a year and I commend the reds for being patient w him. Not saying he’s rotation long term w his 5 era but he got a chance to earn spot long term and I’m for Ervin getting that chance over billy or Schebler. Backseat to senzel/scooter/winker of course. Alex August 5, 2018 You think Ervin earns a chance over schebler when schebler has outperformed Ervin throughout his whole career? I strongly disagree with that. kevinz August 5, 2018 Most of Schebler career was spent in the Pcl in Minors so easy to rake. I am one of schebler’s biggest fans but he had two years to prove himself. He got hurt in both seasons. Now not going to say Ervin will be better. I just think if Ervin Performs and stays on the field job could be his. I do not see any Guaranteed spots. Winker was injury prone in Minors. Wrist shoulder now should needed surgery. I mean If Ervin and Williams perform and stay healthy who gets the Jobs? kevinz August 5, 2018 *Shoulder needed Bill August 6, 2018 Thus far, Schebler has produced 2.0 WAR this season, 4th best among position players. Last year his performance was equally impressive with the exception of the month or so he played hurt. His PCL performance is irrelevant–he now has a ML track record that is beyond a small sample size. Don’t we want to see the best players on the field? How does it make sense to bench a player on track to produce 4.0 WAR across a season just because he might get hurt again. Ervin and Williams have to show they can sustain their recent performance. But in reality, unless Ervin can improve defensively he will be nothing more than a backup shuttling back and forth to/from Louisville as his defense has more than killed his offense thus far. I’m pulling hard for both as they are getting a legitimate opportunity right now, but they have much to show. kevinz August 6, 2018 Schebler has to prove he can stay on the field. If always hurt it hard to tell what he can do over a full season. His War does not mean jack if only plays 80-100 games a year. That all he has proven so far so schebler should be a backup if he cannot hold up. If Ervin and Williams produce along with staying on the field they should start. Schebler can never reach a 4.0 WAR if can’t play a whole season. Bill August 6, 2018 Schebler is the best outfielder on the Reds by nearly any objective measure. He will continue to start when healthy. If Ervin and Williams start everyday for the remainder of the season, they will still have less track record than Schebler. Hamilton’s spot might be in jeopardy, but not Schebler’s. I am a firm believer that the Reds should have at least 4 major league caliber outfielders if they expect to complete at the highest level as injuries happen. But the team’s best outfielder won’t sit judt because he hasn’t made it through an entire major league season healthy. He will play when healthy. kevinz August 6, 2018 I agree Schebler the best OF at the Moment and need depth to compete. I just feel like other players will get starting playing time anyway. Winker schebler both Injury Prone so my Point will be right anyways. The other OF will play more because other 2 will be Hurt. So here hoping Ervin and Williams can stay healthy. MK August 5, 2018 Glad to see the Rutgers Flash O’Grady doing well but to me he has always been a clone of Kyle Waldrop, with just about the same ceiling, which isn’t bad but nothing to get real excited about. kevinz August 5, 2018 I disagree he is way better controlling the Zone than Waldrop. He can play both corner OF spots plus 1st base so more Versatile as well. MK August 5, 2018 Waldrop played all three outfield spots as well as first base. Both have played AA and AAA this year Waldrop .296 BA, .363 OBP with 10 HRs; O’Grady .266 B.A., .351 OBP, 8 HR (in PCL a very hitter friendly League). Doug Gray August 5, 2018 Just to clarify, Waldrop played in the PCL, not O’Grady. That last part read a tad confusing. kevinz August 5, 2018 For one Waldrop not playing this year that is last years stats. Waldrop played in the tex league PCL league much easier to hit there. Pensacola much harder to hit at, in that league the balls dies in the hot heavy air. Where is Tex PcL where Waldrop played it plays like Rangers park the ball jumps like crazy. So i give edge to O’grady played in a tougher league plus still is actually playing at this moment. Bill August 6, 2018 Hot, air is actually less dense than cold air. That is in a given volume of air there are fewer molecules. Fewer molecules means less friction as a baseball flies through the air. Likewise, gaseous water molecules weigh less than air molecules. It’s not as big of a difference as temperature, but it is easier for the baseball to make it’s way through humid air than dry air. Again, less friction. kevinz August 6, 2018 My only Point was that AAA the only park and league that plays Fair. Pensacola and daytona can lower your Numbers. That is why see players with higher average at AAA than AA. If have a good OBP and low SO rate your bat will play at AAA. CP August 5, 2018 Looks like Reds are finally going to call up Stephenson. Wednesday’s start is TBA and lines up with his next scheduled start. Plus the Reds need another starter with the double header yesterday. Cameron August 5, 2018 Bet he walks 5+ guys A August 5, 2018 Anyone at the Pensacola game? Hoyce August 5, 2018 Stephenson will be a key part of the reds 2019 if he succeeds so will the reds Winker is a top 5 OBP guy in MLB. His power will increase as he gets more mature. He’s gonna be a fixture in LF as a red. Might as well get used to it. Mark August 5, 2018 Does anyone think gabby Guerrero could be late bloomer or discovering something this season? I’m not impressed with Tucker after watching him this past series seems like Guerrero or d j Peterson better option. MK August 5, 2018 Don’t think Peterson has the speed for the outfield. I like Guerrero, but do not see him making 40-man roster this winter with the outfield prospects that need protection and could see him leaving in Rule 5. Guess that is the price to be paid for a strong minor league kevinz August 5, 2018 I hope both players prove me Wrong but if you cannot control the zone in AAA I doubt they can in MLB. I see both struggling like Dixon. They all have nice stats until you see the walk rate kk rate . MLB pitchers will off speed them to death then blow FB by them out of zone.