Tony Santillan dominated the Biloxi Shuckers on Monday night in Pensacola. The 21-year-old right handed pitcher has had a breakout kind of season in 2018 and last night could have been his best start. Santillan racked up 11 strikeouts on the night to go with just two walks and four hits in 5.2 shutout innings.

It was the 20th start of the season for Tony Santillan. He made 15 with Daytona in the first half of the season and he’s made five more with Pensacola. Between the two stops he’s now sitting with a 2.48 ERA in 116.0 innings. That’s come along with 29 walks and 105 strikeouts.

The stuff has also been there for Tony Santillan. This season the big difference has been that for the most part he’s been able to pound the strikezone and avoid the walks. His walk rate has gone from below-average in the past to nearly elite this season.  To put into perspective just how much improvement there’s been this season – he could literally have twice as many walks as he currently does and it would still be better than his career rate entering the season.

Rylan Thomas wins Player of the Week

Last week was pretty good for Greeneville Reds first baseman Rylan Thomas. In fact, it was incredible. Thomas, Cincinnati’s 26th round pick in the draft this year, hit .526/.654/1.316 with seven walks, three strikeouts, three doubles, and four home runs. His 1.970 OPS on the week earned him the Appalachian League Player of the Week award.

The Reds may have taken Rylan Thomas in the 26th round, but his talent and signing bonus reflect a very different story than the round he was taken in. His signing bonus of $287,500 was the 6th most handed out by the Reds in 2018. The 21-year-old from Central Florida has been beating up on Appalachian League pitchers through 28 games played. He’s currently hitting .267/.452/.651 on the season. He’s walked more than he has struck out and is in the top five of several offensive categories in the league.

Joey For Prime Minister T-Shirt

68 Responses

  1. The Duke

    On all the recent top 100 lists when people would ask about Santillan the talking heads would say something about him not missing as many bats, but honestly, that never concerned me that much. For starters, even in his “low strikeout” times his rate was something like 7.5 per 9, which was still solid. Plus, his stuff is plus and it also correlated with a large decrease in walk rate. What that says to me is that he is figuring out his control. As his control gets hammered out he’ll be able to marry the plus stuff to the control more and more and once things start to click you get starts like last night. I often talk about how prospect development isn’t linear, but in Santillan’s case, it kind of has been. He’s shown steady improvement each and every year, seemingly picking a deficiency or two and making it a strength. 21 years old now, I wonder if he’ll start next year in AA and get that combined “year” or so in AA before AAA or if he’ll just start in AAA. Once you are in AAA, it’s just a phone call away from being on the big club.

    I expect Rylan Thomas will start next year in Dayton. It’ll be nice to have a 1B prospect worth watching, it’s been a while.

    • RedsinWashst

      Because of his age I don’t know why they don’t move him to Billings or heck just move him to Dayton now.

    • bellhead

      The Duke,

      I honestly think they will bring him back next year to AA to start the year & then move him to AAA, if he has a good start to the year. He is more than likely going to be up in 2020 at least for a look in september if not sooner.

  2. Big Ed

    Rylan Thomas is becoming a cult hero.

    What was the logic of his large bonus in round 26? If teams were willing to pay him that much, why didn’t he get taken much earlier?

    He’s 10-for-his-last-19, with 4 homers, 8 BBs and only 3 Ks.

    • Colorado Red

      question about if he will sign or not.
      If you risk at 26th round pick, it is better then a 6th round pick.

      • Big Ed

        Yeah, but he shows playing at Windermere Prep in Florida for 2 years (where he also pitched), getting drafted in the 26th round by the Mets in 2016. He apparently only went to Central Florida for 2 years. He was almost 19 in the 2016 draft, so maybe he was a year behind then.

        I don’t see where he would have much leverage with a threat to return to UCF, because he would be 22 by the time he would sign next year.

        A legend already, at any rate.

  3. Matt McWax

    Thomas looks great in the numbers and in that video. Strong, quick bat, compact swing as far as I can tell. Nice use of an extra $162.5K.

  4. Champ Summers

    Watched Rylan at UCF the past couple years and he was our guy. When a big hit was needed RT stepped up. The kid is atheltic, great swing and can even pitch a little. e hated to see him go after 1 season. I didn’t think he’s sign but nice bonus money got him to jump. Glad to have him with the Reds.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    The Duvall trade makes a ton of sense when you consider this–Phil Ervin hits LHP better than Duvall and his range as a defender is every bit as good. With Ervin you’ll be getting more average but less power…….I think his floor is the same but the ceiling is higher…….for league minimum salary. Now he needs to go out and prove his worth. To that end, he gets first dibs on playing time over Tucker, but there should be room for both down the stretch.

    The Duvall trade tells me that if he could be moved then non-tender candidate Hamilton absolutely should be moved. The Reds front office needs to be bold and continue the rebuild even if it means we finish 20 below .500. See it through!

    • kevinz

      I agree Ervin Ceiling higher than Duvall. Ervin was actually better vs RHP this year in AAA. He hit over 300 vs RHP . I think his new stance helps him hit RHP better.
      Which is actually a good thing since he will face far more RHP.

    • Tom

      Billy might be worth more in fan interest in the remaining 2 months than the return he’d bring today. Definitely a non-tender / trade candidate going forward.

    • LeRoy

      You can trade anybody if you take the players the other team wants to get rid of. Duvall should have been traded but the return won’t help the Reds now or in the future. All it does is take up three 40 man roster positions that are very valuable. As for OF lineups until Schebler returns, I would like to see Williams and Ervin alone with Hamilton continue to mann the outfield. Surely we could have gotten a young prospect instead of some other team’s never will be players for Duvall.

      • Colorado Red

        Not really,
        There are 39 players on the 40 man now.
        Put Winker on the 60 down to 38.
        Adam now down to 37 + 3 = 40.
        Harvey will probably be gone today 39 again.
        If the players do not do will in ST, then DFA then and, and if someone picks them up, so be it.

    • MK

      Agree with about all but average which Phillip has never been, at least since Billings where everyone seems to be.

      • kevinz

        Since Ervin changed his swing and Pull approach he has been a 290 hitter in 5 of the past 7 months in AAA that he has played.

  6. The Duke

    Santillan was on MLB Pipeline’s Top Performers for Monday. Watching the video, he looks a little trimmer than when he was in Dayton. He was a bigger guy when we drafted him (240 lbs I think), so it’s good to see he’s taking care of himself and taking himself seriously. For bigger guys it’s easy to let that get a little out of hand if you don’t watch it.

  7. Jie

    Good trade for both Indians and tigers I like both

  8. Stock

    I am glad to see Thomas is getting some recognition. After settling in he has been on a tear like rarely seen and the underlying BABIP says it is sustainable.

    Since July 7 He has a line of .316/.524/.807. That is an OPS of 1.331 and an ISO of .491. His underlying stats are a good 18.52 K% and a fantastic 29.63 BB%. His BABIP over these three weeks is a highly sustainable .294.

    Thomas’ YTD OPS of 1.103 is currently 3rd in the league in OPS behind Ryan Jeffers (1.121) and Jordan Qsar (1.113). However, if you dig a little deeper his 1.103 is far more impressive and the only of the three that is sustainable based upon the BABIP.

    Jeffers – 1.121 OPS with a .482 BABIP
    Qsar – 1.113 OPS with a .455 BABIP
    Thomas – 1.103 OPS with a .246 BABIP

    Jeffers has been promoted so his OPS is locked in but I think Qsar’s will drop and I think Thomas’ has the potential to rise. This will be extremely difficult though.

  9. Stock

    Impressive outing by Santillan. Still think that by YE he will be in everyone’s top 50. May even crack a top 25 or two.

  10. kevinz

    interesting Archer to Pirates seems like they shut our offense down this year enough it seems lol. Gausman to Atl.

  11. Hoyce

    Reds GM used a personal day today. Had things to do. Errands to run.

  12. Norwood Nate

    Reds fail to get another plan of theirs done. Ridiculous. What a dumb decision to hang onto him. Seriously who’s in charge here and what have you been doing all day?

  13. SultanofSwaff

    So it looks like Matt Harvey stays…….for now. The question becomes–who gets bumped in favor of Robert Stephenson? If it’s no one, then chalk it up to kicking the sorting process down the road YET AGAIN. That said, given that they’ve used Big Sal in relief twice in the last couple weeks, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him bumped.

    • Norwood Nate

      I think this is the biggest issue with Harvey staying. That’s 12 starts Stephenson can’t make this year for the Reds. We’re not doing any sorting. We’re just delaying the rebuild watching Bailey and Harvey take starts away from young pitchers that could be learning and adjusting at the ML level.

      Either Bailey or Harvey needed to go, they serve no purpose to future Red’s teams, all they’re doing is getting in the way of sorting out our starting pitching.

    • Colt Holt

      For the record, the Mets didn’t move mesoraco either…let’s not act the the reds botched this by giving away Devin to sit on harvey. Since Harvey didn’t get moved, it is safe to assume nobody offered…

    • Wes

      Pirates got a terrible return for Cole and overpaid for archer. 1 team reds look better than today

      • Stock

        I think the Pirates did fantastic today. Getting a pitcher who is under control 4 more years and is a stud for a pitcher who walks 6/9 IP and a hitter with Billy Hamilton’s power and Adam Duval’s speed. I think the Pirates stole Archer.

      • Ty

        I’m right there with you, Stock. While the two Pirate players were good, I would have traded them in a heartbeat for Archer. You would have to think there were better offers out there than that.

  14. kevinz

    I thought Harvey would get traded. If Harvey shows up well in August could Fetch more Value. Harvey has been Great so far with The young Pitchers.
    Verlander was just traded in August last year.

    • Colorado Red

      Verlander made a lot more money, that is why he cleared waivers.
      Matt will not clear waivers, just like Zack last year.
      For FO, has got to be one of the worst in baseball.

      • Ryan

        I would’ve liked a couple lotto tickets but it takes 2 to tango. The Reds will have to adjust as far the rotation goes, Stephenson and Reed need to get big league starts possibly Sims and Mella.

        If Mahle struggles in his next start, send him down and let him find his control in AAA. 6 man rotation with Harvey and Sal as long relievers is probably best solution. Sal is hopefully able to get a few bullpen sessions w/coaches to hammer away at his own control issues.

        If all that was being offered were prospects that the Reds thought would never make it…then Dick Williams did the right thing. They are better with Harvey than with Mes.

  15. Norwood Nate

    I mean the Reds had one obvious (to everyone on the entire planet) trade to make and didn’t do it. Stupid. Inept.

  16. kevinz

    I hate older Pitchers taking starts from Younger Pitcher as the next guy.
    More times than not Pitchers Find it at 26 like most Hitters do.
    So why not delay Options Clock Control once they find It.
    So have them in Prime 26-31 or so when much better than at 22-25 when has not Clicked yet.

    • Norwood Nate

      Players have to be added to the 40-man by a certain point, depending on age (or HS vs college) when drafted. Once Spring Training has ended and the player is on the 40-man and not on 25-man an option is used. The only way to avoid that is to expose your player to Rule 5 or to DFA them. Stephenson is out of options after this year. The clock is ticking on being able to further evaluate any progress he has made this year. Next year he needs to stick on the ML roster or be DFA’d.

      But yeah….it’s cool to keep Harvey instead of bringing Stephenson up.

      • kevinz

        Can still bring him anytime this year. September you can even bring him have Years of control anyway. Then he has a full year off season to improve more then he will be up all next year.

  17. redlegs4ever

    I’m in no way excusing not trading Harvey, it really isn’t a good (non)move anyway you slice it. But why is everyone upset that this is taking starts away from Stephenson? Harvey isn’t the worst pitcher on the staff, Mahle is, and he unlike Harvey could just be optioned to work on things and maybe be valuable at some point in time.

    The real bad (non)move here is holding on to Scooter. Unlike Stephenson (who may or may not be ready) who has other jobs he could fill Dilson Herrera is doomed to rot on the bench for the remainder of the year. Dilson is a former top 50 overall prospect in baseball who raked everywhere he went, then got hurt and now is healthy and raking. He can only play 2B (same for Scooter) and will in all likelihood find himself DFA or included in a small trade in the offseason that nets the Reds nothing. Oh and that’s not mentioning trading Scooter woulda saved the Reds in excess of 12 Mil dollars smh. THAT is the inexcusable (non)move!

    • Norwood Nate

      I get to some it may seem something pretty trivial to get upset about. Yet the straw that ended up breaking the camel’s back was pretty small too.

      To me, it’s not that Harvey in himself is taking starts away from Stephenson. It’s that Bailey (who’s actually the worse pitcher on the staff IMO), and Harvey are taking starts away from Stephenson. It brings back the same conversations we’ve had for 3 seasons now about past their prime veterans taking away development time and starts away from the young pitching that needs sorted out. It’s the Arroyos, Simons, Feldmans, Adelmans, Marquis, etc that came before Harvey that have taken a toll. It’s the placeholders that represent the “wait until next year” mentality.

      Harvey represented an opportunity to actually get something out of Mesoraco. It appeared opportunistic and smart to make that flip and try to extract some value by attempting to recoup value from a reestablished Harvey. It was all going to plan, until inexplicably the Reds deviated from that plan.

      Stephenson staying in AAA is the fall out of being inactive and unable to complete the plan set in place. Maybe they will option Mahle. Hopefully they find some way to get Stephenson up. They’ve just wasted their easiest opportunity to do so.

      • Colt Holt

        Looking at today’s box score, somebody begs to differ on who the worst pitcher on staff is.

      • BurgRed

        Homer looked good against a bad Tiger lineup. So not too impressed with that start, but still all games count.

  18. Wes

    No grace from me today for FO. Everyone crying bout bobsteve and rightfully so, but they also just added 2 more starting pitchers, and currently have washed up homer in the rotation with Romano and others needing starts as well.

    August/sept is a terrible time to pretend like u got a good squad. Young players need to be playing daily in cincy for a chance to prove their worth.

    • Cguy

      Good squad? How can they pretend they have a good squad when they don’t have a single ML starting caliber outfielder on their active roster? There are AAA clubs with comparable starting outfields to what the Reds are starting tonight. The FO sure knows how to deflate their own balloon, don’t they?

      • oklared

        Maybe front office has sorted pitchers and you just don’t like their determination that pups aren’t ready. Seems to me these prized prospects have not lived up to promise. Maybe let them set and figure out they have to perform with opportunities

      • Colt Holt

        Darn front office didn’t plan for 2 starters on the DL. These guys…

  19. Shawn

    I read the page daily and rarely comment because the work it take on the iPhone, but here goes.

    I think keeping Harvey around has several benefits.
    1. The power arms of Sal, Castillo, and even Mahle to an extent can learn from him. I don’t personally know Homer, but he doesn’t seem to be a mentor.
    2. The first two mentioned above has been coming around. Thus, it may not be a bad idea.
    3. Why accept a mid level prospect if you don’t think it will help you down the road. We can get that from whomever claims him in August.
    4. If we can keep winning many series, say two out of three, why not try to learn to win. It’s a skill that must be learned.

    Sure I would have loved and 18 year old lottery ticket or even the return duval returned. Harvey just doesn’t have that value. If some teams lose an arm we’ll be in business, if not see 1-4.

    No need to scold me. I’ve read all your post and understand them all. Well, most of them. I just don’t think you give him away for something that won’t help. Even if that’s the best offer. I like the guy so far. Wouldn’t mind an extension. I know he’s a Scott guy, but he won’t command a kings ransom IMO. If he would, we would’ve traded him today. That was a nice way to almost make it to reds live. Cheers.

    • kevinz

      I agree I mentioned the same thing. I even want stephenson and mella to learn from him. He had the high high FB when he started. Harvey can teach them how to pitch without best stuff in starts . He is having to learn how to Pitch with less of a FB he can teach our Power Pitchers alot. The last Month Castillo and Romano seemed to taking nice steps.

      • Tom

        I liked seeing Castillo dial it back last start. The path to longevity and success is not faster, harder, better.

      • kevinz

        Same here Tom. The last month Castillo has been doing much better.
        he is not doing bad waste Pitches. where the Pitch not even close for the hitter to bite on waste Pitches.
        Staying on top of the ball key instead of throwing around or on the side of the ball.
        I believe this is Castillo 2nd or 3rd year ever starting including the Minors.
        Castillo upside is through the Roof.

    • Alex

      Watching the game today and they were talking about harvey some and showed him sitting next to mahle on the bench and the two of them were chatting it up. If Mahle can learn anything from Harvey that could be a plus itself. The reds have said they like the way harvey has been with the young pitchers. I have never heard anyone say that about Homer.

    • Bill

      Great points Shawn. Never good to let yourself get pressured into a deal. The Reds don’t need take on a player or prospect that doesn’t add value to the organization. I understand the opportunity cost with Stephenson, Reed, Sims, etc. But Louisville can mitigate that problem for now. But there’s also a cost to other franchises knowing you take any deal if they wait you out. My guess is he moves in August provided he continues to pitch well. The egg he laid two starts ago surely didn’t help.

  20. MikeD

    In C Trents article he quoted Williams as say that Stephenson may be headed to the bullpen. Good grief!

  21. Red in Knoxville

    Back to on-field stuff, I was at the Greeneville game Saturday night and Rylan hit one that wasn’t on the highlight reel DG posted.
    No lie, the ball hit halfway up the batter’s eye in dead center field. Had to have traveled 420+. The kid, tho not tall, is thick and ultra strong. Very quick to the ball and hits to all fields. I don’t believe he swung and missed all night. Definitely good to have someone at first that should project very well.
    I was also very impressed by MIguel Hernandez at short and Hunter Oliver behind the plate.
    India didn’t play…dammit.
    Fun team to watch!

  22. Colt Holt

    Days like this where the commentary on here is nothing but negative makes it tough to click over to check things out. Who did anyone really think was coming back for Harvey? If Homer threw 175 quality innings on another team next year, it would be the fault of the front office, but they get judgment for starting him now. The guy got his contract for a reason, then he got hurt. If he is healthy, of course you give him a start over a minor leaguer who will be there tomorrow. The tone of these comments is truly unbearable.

    • Red in Knoxville

      Sometimes you have to “grain of salt” the comments on this site. Keep in mind that this is the best site for the Reds’ MINOR league info, so most on here are deep-divers into the Reds’ system.
      So, we’re always looking for the “next best thing”. That’s why there’s some negativity on the players on the big club.
      Hmmm…who can we get out of here so so-and-so can get his shot.
      Hang in there, Colt.

  23. Brad

    Saw Dodgers DFA’d Ariel Hernandez. I believe in his stuff. Has backed it up with good numbers this year. Assume his Walk total is still high. Would like to see Reds re-claim him.

  24. kevinz

    Now springer for hou hurt dang they dropping like flies for sure.

  25. kevinz

    I know made a BR mistake tonight but Ervin and Williams need to play everday.
    Dixon could turn it around but do not see him hitting MLB Pitching.

  26. kevinz

    Listen i know I am the only who thinks Beltre is a top 15 Prospect in System.
    Beltre hitting 9th a shame should be leadoff or 2 hole hitter.
    I still say he will be the starting RF for the reds, before some of the more highly ranked OF in system. He controls the Zone better than any other Prospect Reds have.
    He has a strong arm and can run. The parks he is playing in bigger than GABP his Power will get a Boost.

    • Bill

      Agree he’s having one heck of a year, but at 23 he’s perhaps a little old for A ball. I hope he keeps it up…among our most toolsy prospects for certain.

      • kevinz

        I agree a little older I just think there is more upside. It will be Great to see if controls the zone at AA. He is just a little bit older than Siri.
        Siri only has 40 games or so on Beltre at AA.
        I know has ugly ave at AA but I like Sweet as well.
        He did not get much chance to play everyday at AA.
        Even with the ugly average has a good walk rate to SO rate.
        I heard good things about Sweet when was drafted.
        Nice tools for a 29th rd Pick. Rather see him over Aquino even if Aquino has the Power edge. Heck play Sweet over Lavalley even if at 1st lol .

  27. Jim Delaney

    Have to love what the Pirates front office has done since last season, they knew they needed more depth to there Major League roster and weren’t going to be able to sign Cole to a long term deal. They move Cole for a starting 3B in Moran, a quality middle of the road starting pitcher in Musgrove, they also received a hard throwing reliever in Feliz who has been a disappointment but still under team control for a few years, will likely work out for him. They were able to move McCutcheon for an OF prospect and former top 100 pitching prospect Kyle Crick and he has become a very strong middle reliever this season. They acquired Corey Dickerson from TB for minimal return. These trades allowed them to be more competitive this season and set them up to be BOLD and trade for Archer and Kela. They may fall short this season but they will be ready to contend in 2019.
    They could have one of THE best pitching staffs in all of baseball next season:
    Archer, Taillon, Musgrove, and have a lot of competition for the 4 and 5 spots- Kingham, Williams, Kuhl and Nova
    Bullpen- Vazquez, Kela, Krick. That is 3 guys throwing some serious GAS in the last innings of a game…

    Meanwhile the REDS rotation is a bunch of question marks and and outfield that would rank near the bottom of the NL in production..

    Milwaukee a small market team is contending this season, Pirates may contend this season and set themselves up for next year and beyond to contend… Meanwhile the REDS don’t seem to have a plan or direction and unfortunately the REDS aren’t in the AL Central…