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Thread: 5/14 Minor League Scores

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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    5/14 Minor League Scores

    Today is Ace Day-- or at least Interesting Pitcher Day. Across all four levels, the Reds have pitchers who are interesting enough to be noteworthy. Let's preview:

    Louisville starts Graham Ashcraft. He's got a phenomenal ERA (1.63) and questionable peripherals. More hits (30) than innings pitched (27.2). A 1.627 WHiP. 4.8 BB rate. Even his pedestrian 6.8 K rate is the very definition of meh. So how is he limiting runs? For starters, it's his 71.4% groundball rate. That's just... ridiculous. Opposing hitters beat everything into the ground. Some fall find holes. But he's not allowing much damage even if they do. That's a remarkable skill to possess and a big-time predictor of future success as either a starter or a relief arm. But he has to bump up his K rate. And limit those walks. Ashcraft's been good as a professional on both fronts-- this is the first time he's struggled to find swinging strikes or the strike zone. Might be players. Most likely, he's going to have to adjust his pitching philosophy a bit.

    Andrew Abbott makes his AA debute for the Chattanooga Lookouts. He's been a pleasant early-season success story. His fastball isn't overpowering, but it'll be fascinating to see if it remains as remarkably effective in AA as it did in High A. Danny Graves said it disappeared ("invisiball", IIRC) on batters up in the zone. That pitch allowed him to use him hammer curve as a true out pitch. They both come in hard and high, but one drops 18 inches. That's a hard combo to guard against. I'm intrigued enough to tune in. How about you?

    Abbott's replacement in the Dragon rotation also goes today. Christian Roa was, pre-season, (much) more highly thought of as a prospect. The 23-year-old 2nd rounder has a four-pitch mix with a mid-90s fastball, an 11-to-5 curve, a sharp slider, and a very good sinking changeup. According to MLB, three of those pitches are above average. He struggles to throw strikes, according to scouting reports. That might not matter much in Advanced A-- it's certainly not hurt Joe Boyle, has it? Roa is likely going to be fun to watch. Game begins just after 7:00.

    Finally, Chase Petty-- the would-be crown jewel of the Sonny Gray trade (sigh)-- plies his trade for Daytona. Petty's been solid (3.24 ERA, 8.24 K rate, 2.75 BB rate) enough, especially considering he's 19 and doing it in A Ball. He's shown an interesting ground ball tendency in limited innings so far (19.2 IP). 53.6 GB% and 0.46 HR/9. Everything looks pretty good so far. I do wonder where RedsZone would place him on their personal prospect lists.

    My own top 10, right now, of those who've not moved onto the major leagues:
    1. Matt McLain-- Jumped over Allen and De La Cruz due to proximity, power, and solid reports on defense. I like him at SS, 2B, or even CF, if need be.

    2. Jay Allen-- Really like the speed/ SB aggressiveness and power possibilites. Looks a lot like ED to me, in terms of production. I think he might be the most underrated Red prospect. 25 Ks against 19 BBs in 125 PAs augers well for future development. He's going to need to hit the ball over the fence more moving forward, but I think he has that skill. And he's only 19.

    3. Elly De La Cruz-- Hasn't done anything wrong, but I'm looking for more power in that bat. I'd like to see about a two-week red-hot streak before I get excited. You know what he's done better? 8 BBs in 100 PAs is real progress. Just a prediction: I'm guessing as the weather heats up, so will De La Cruz's HR pop.

    4. Jose Torres-- If Allen isn't the most underappreciated, Torres absolutely is. He's showing some really interesting pop to go along with good speed and a glowing defensive reputation. The power and speed combination from a SS has me really excited-- and thinking of a future IF with he, Barrero, De La Cruz, McLain, and India all capable of being plus defenders.

    5. Graham Ashcraft-- Those groundball tendencies and the upside (plus the fact that he's in AAA) do it for me. I think he could surprise in the GABP. I'm waiting for his K rates to jump, as they did last year (and throughout his college tenure.)

    6. Andrew Abbott-- Not sure if he's for real or not. His 2022 will likely tell the tale. If not, I still think he's a more than solid relief option as early as next season.

    7. Joe Boyle-- See Abbott, above. Add 10 mph to the fastball and subtract any idea about where the ball is going to go. Add about 50% to the risk, but realize he's Tanner Rainey at worst.

    8. Chase Petty-- Solid peripherals and production. Like that a lot. Nothing not to like, but little jumps off the page either. A whole lot of meh-- until you realize he's 19.

    9. Brandon Williamson-- Has any top 100 guy been this forgettable? He's supposed to be dominating AA. Instead, he's had massive issues throwing strikes and gets hit when he does. Still likely a big leaguer, but far less than I expected for the main return in a deal for an All-Star bat.

    10. Bryce Bonnin-- Even Red fans are sleeping on him. Bonnin's got filthy stuff. The question is whether he can stay healthy enough to unleash it.

    Honorable Mention: Mike Siani-- The "soft skills"-- defense, arm, speed-- were always there. He's added some game power and an approach that's positively Vottonian. Not sure he can sustain the patience with how little over-the-fence pop he's got, but I now think he's going to be a second-division CF starter, whereas before, I assumed he was a fourth or fifth OF. That's real progress.
    Last edited by Bourgeois Zee; 05-14-2022 at 11:20 AM.

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    Re: 5/14 Minor League Scores

    Abbott has struck out 8 of the 13 batters he has faced.

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    NC Reds (05-14-2022)

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: 5/14 Minor League Scores

    Abbott give up just his 3rd hit of the game on his 99th pitch and is removed.

    His final line is 5.2 innings, 3 hits, 0 walks, 12 strikeouts, 0 runs.
    I dont care, Votto said of passing his friend and former teammate. Hes in the past. Bye-bye, Jay.

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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Re: 5/14 Minor League Scores

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Abbott give up just his 3rd hit of the game on his 99th pitch and is removed.

    His final line is 5.2 innings, 3 hits, 0 walks, 12 strikeouts, 0 runs.
    Is that good?

    I think that's good.

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    Old school 1983 (05-14-2022),Tom Servo (05-15-2022)

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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Re: 5/14 Minor League Scores

    Reds go .500 on the day. The offenses did their job-- seven runs crossed the plate in three separate games and five tallied in the other. That's typically enough. Alas.

    Louisville won, 7-1. Ashcraft did some good things: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. The best thing about small samples is how quickly bad ones disappear. Ashcraft's WHiP is still abnormally high, but his K and H rates are both normalizing (as you would expect). He still needs to work on his walk rate, but that's going to take some time, I expect, as he'll never be very pitch-efficient. Nice to see that sparkling 1.65 ERA though. I wonder how long the Reds will resist the temptation to see it in the majors. I expect the All-Star Break (unless Justin Dunn comes back first). Querecuto, Santana, and Aquino all had multiple hits. Aquno's were loud-- a double and his third AAA HR. Votto had a single and a couple of walks.

    The Lookouts won, 7-3. While Ashcraft's performance was typically good enough for at least Mace Memorial Minor League Player of the Day consideration, it wasn't today. Andrew Abbott, in his AA debut, was all kinds of dominant. How does 12 Ks sound? 3 H? He went 5.2 with nary a run nor a walk. Robbie Tenerowicz, continuing his hot streak, had two HR in a 2-3 night. He's up to .289 with an .843 OPS. Francisco Urbaez has also found that sweet hitting stroke he displayed most of the 2021 season. 3-4 with a double has pulled him up to .269 and .711 after a month-long slump to start the year. He did commit his 2nd error of the season.

    Dayon also scored seven runs, but their pitching stunk. No, that's not really the case-- James Marinan stunk. 5 ER in 3 innings and an 8.22 ERA. Woof. That spoiled a really solid 2022 debut for Christian Roa, who went 4 with 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 9 K. Allan Cerda had a couple of hits including his 3rd HR. Rece Hinds has gotten hot-- his 3-4 night with a triple and a double has his OPS all the way up to .731 despite a .220 BA. (That's what power does.) The hitting star of the night was once again Alex McGarry. He hit his 11th HR of the season. The 24-year-old UDFA now has a seasonal line of .326/ .364/ .804/ 1.168. Chattanooga's 1B haven't exactly been killing the ball. James Free and Matt Lloyd are OPSing under 600 between them. Tenorowicz is hot, but he can play 3B too. Might tell you all you need to know if the Reds keep McGarry in High A all season.

    Daytona scored five runs, but lost, 9-5. They were efficient in the use of hits-- only three of them on the game, all singles. Five walks. How in God's name did they score five? Chase Petty was bad. So was Arij Fransen. Not a great night at the park. Ah well, there's always tomorrow.

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    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: 5/14 Minor League Scores

    Joey Votto batted leadoff. Drew a walk and drove in second Bats run on a bloop single. Graham Ashcraft was hitting 97-100 on the scoreboard speed radar. He had decent control of his FB. Got some K's with his breaking ball. Looked really good. Definitely better than Vlad by light years. 98-100 FB with a good breaking ball that will work right?

    Andrew Abbott FB was 94 according to the announcer. Had 5 straight K's at one point. His breaking ball was good got some K's with it, this is a good lefty prospect.

    I don't see this super pitch Graves is talking about. He is a solid prospect though. He has decent command his stuff doesn't compare to Ashcraft who I wish they call up for his next start.

    Christian Roa, man he throws just as hard as Bonnin. 94+ FB according to the announcers and a tight curve very impressive. Gave up a hard hit double to CF in the second it scored a run. His FB is straight but hard. Got touched up for a HR in his final inning another straight FB. Went back to his breaking ball and got K's off it. Good comeback.


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