The Cincinnati Reds handed out their minor league awards on the main stage at Redsfest on Friday night. Tony Santillan got the nod as the pitcher of the year award from the organization.

Splitting his season between Advanced-A Daytona and Double-A Pensacola, Tony Santillan was outstanding throughout the year. With the Tortugas in the first half he posted a 2.70 ERA in 86.2 innings, walking just 22 batters and he struck out 73 of them. He also allowed just five home runs.

That performance earned him a promotion to Double-A in the second half of the season. With the Blue Wahoos he made 11 starts and posted a 3.61 ERA. Over his 62.1 innings he walked just 16 batters and he struck out 61 of them. In total he had a 3.08 ERA in 149.0 innings pitched, walked just 38 batters, allowed just 13 home runs, and he struck out 134 opposing hitters.

14 Responses

  1. redleggingfordayz

    Well deserved award and I look forward to seeing him in a Reds uniform hopefully in the second half of 2019!

    • Oldtimer

      More likely in rotation starting in 2020. Reds P who get rushed to MLB (Jim O’Toole, Gary Nolan, Don Gullett to name a few) flame out too soon.

      Each of those three had good careers that ended too soon.

      • Brad Legg

        I do not think that they were rushed. There were unfortunate injuries and illnesses by Nolan and Gullett.

      • Stock

        These guys did not flame out because they were rushed. Injuries derailed and ultimately ended their careers.

      • Oldtimer

        Indeed all 3 were rushed to Reds after 1 season in MiLB (and not even AAA level). None of the 3 knew how to pitch yet. All 3 relied on strong arms only, hence the frequent injuries in their careers.

        Pitchers do better when they spend more than 1 season in MiLB.

      • Stock

        Bob Feller never pitched in the minors. He did pretty good.

        Justin Verlander, David Price, Denny McClain, Bert Blyleven and Jose Fernandez had basically a year in the minors. They did pretty good.

        Additionally players such as Vida Blue, Denny McClain, Dave McNally and Early Winn were pitching in the majors at age 19.

        A guy named Babe Ruth never played in the minors. At age 21 he was 23-12 with a 1.75 ERA (lead the AL), 9 shutouts (Led the AL) and 323 IP. The Yankees moved him to the OF but not because he couldn’t pitch.

      • Oldtimer

        Reds had no luck like that. They DID the chance to acquire Babe Ruth from the Baltimore MiLB team he was on (before the Red Sox) but they chose other players. In fact HE DID play in the minor leagues.

        The vast majority of pitchers (Santillan included) need to pitch a few years in MiLB first learn the craft. The vast VAST majority of them.

      • Optimist

        Only a partial disagreement from this old-timer, at least as I recall the late 60’s/early 70s. If you read the SABR bios of Gullett, and particularly Nolan (and I’d through in Wayne Simpson and perhaps Billy McCool as well) you see how primitive the medical/rehab opinions were.

        If anything, their arrival in MLB was not premature, given their respective early dominance. What was premature was the handling of their injuries, both initially and more seriously over time.

        There was no solution to the tragedy of Jim McGlothlin, but the other three were basically abused to various degrees, and they seemed to know it both then and now.

        While the “learning the craft” argument has merit, I wonder if the organization was even in the position to do that as far as career enhancing mechanics and handling of pitch counts/situations went.

        The Mets seemed to do OK with Seaver, Ryan and Koosman, among others, so maybe it’s not so much the age as the organization.

  2. Brad Legg

    He was self described as an aggressive go after the hitter kind of guy. Doug, do you know his spin rate? Does he translate to a two or three?

    • Stock

      Santillan reminds me a bit of Garrett/Lorenzen. The difference being that the of progression of his FB command has been smoother and for this reason he looks more like a starting pitcher than Garrett/Lorenzen. Right now I think he is nothing more than a back-end of the rotation type because he doesn’t get enough whiffs (I assume from his secondary pitches). However, if he can refine one or both of his secondary pitches to induce more whiffs then he could be a solid #2 or #3. For this reason I have no problem with him not seeing the majors until 2020 or 2021. Give him time. Let him further develop his and don’t rush him.

  3. AirborneJayJay

    Very well deserved honor. He took a huge step forward as the Reds young hurlers ahead of him faltered. Look forward to another big step next year if he is still in the organization. If the Reds make a big trade, his name will certainly come up.

  4. Michael B. Green

    Fits the pedigree of a fromt end to mid rotation component. Wonder if he’ll start 2019 at AA or AAA? I assume the former. Wonder if he gets an invite to. If league camp?

    • Mark

      In AAA we should have Lopez, Reed, Finnegan, Romano, Mella, and Sims. I wonder if 1 or more gets permenently moved to the pen. I’d say all, but Lopez or Sims could or would be likely to move to the bullpen. Depending on how they approach FA starters, and possible trade candidates maybe even Mahle could start 2019 in AAA. My guess is only Castillo and DeSclafani are being penciled into the Rotation at this point. Stephenson, and Wisler are out of options, and Bailey is also an issue. Looks like the Reds will be busy figuring out stuff leading into spring this year.

  5. Brad Legg

    The ability to make it to the show has to early has to do with command of the strike zone.