Stock Up, Stock Down for Cincinnati Reds' Top 10 Prospects for Week 19
After struggling a week ago, the top prospects in the Cincinnati Reds' farm system played great as a whole this week.
Michael Lorenzen was roughed up, but the rest of the young arms pitched well. Top prospect Robert Stephenson bounced back nicely from a rough start last week.
On the hitting side, Jesse Winker is still recovering from the wrist injury he suffered in a car crash. Alex Blandino continued his hot streak, and Phil Ervin showed some signs of life in what has been an otherwise forgettable season for the 22-year-old.
Let's take a look back at the week that was for the Reds' top 10 prospects.
Rankings are courtesy of the official website of the Cincinnati Reds.
10. David Holmberg, Triple-A
Last Week's Stats: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 5 SO, 1 BB, ND
David Holmberg was hit around in his one start this week. The 23-year-old allowed nine hits in his 5.2 innings of work. However, he did a good job of keeping those runners stranded. Only two of the 10 men came around to score.
After a rough July, the southpaw has pitched far better in August. His ERA sits at 3.86, and Holmberg's control can be attributed to his success.
He has only walked four batters in 18.2 innings. In July, Holmberg allowed 10 free passes in 30.2 innings.
The 23-year-old pitcher still has just one win on the year, but he should pick up more wins if he can keep commanding his pitches.
2014 Triple-A Stats: 17 GS, 87.1 IP, 4.64 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 50 SO, 32 BB, 1-6 W-L
9. Ismael Guillon, High-A
Last Week's Stats: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6 SO, 3 BB, W
Ismael Guillon pitched solidly in his one start this week. After getting hit hard a week ago, Guillon allowed just four hits in 5.2 innings of work. He also struck out six in the winning effort.
The 22-year-old pitcher also kept the ball inside the park—something he had been struggling with since his promotion to High-A. Guillon had been allowing over one home run per start since moving up.
After getting crushed at the High-A level right after his promotion, the Venezuelan prospect has really turned things around. Guillon has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last four starts while striking out 19 in those appearances.
Let's see if Guillon can carry his hot streak into Week 20.
2014 Low-A and High-A Stats Combined: 22 GS, 116.2 IP, 4.32 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 110 SO, 51 BB, 5-6 W-L
8. Nick Travieso, Single-A
Last Week's Stats: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO, W
Nick Travieso continued giving hitters fits this week. He allowed just one hit in six innings of work and struck out four. While he did not allow a run, he needs to work on walking fewer batters.
The 20-year-old pitcher allowed five walks, and he has allowed at least four walks in four of his last five starts. That is really the only thing that can be critiqued about his performance this season.
Travieso has allowed just three earned runs in his last six starts combined, allowing him to pick up four wins in that time span.
If Travieso keeps this up, it might be time to give him a shot at Double-A before the end of the year.
2014 Single-A Stats: 23 GS, 125 IP, 3.17 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 98 SO, 42 BB, 11-5 W-L
7. Alex Blandino, Single-A
Last Week's Stats: 6 G, 25 AB, 10 H, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 5 R
The Stanford product has displayed why the Reds used their 2014 first-round pick on him this season. His hot start continued this week.
Blandino picked up at least one hit in every game this week—including three multihit games. Three of those hits went for extra bases. He also added five runs on the week.
The 21-year-old is hitting .370 with an OPS of .939 this month. Blandino has done nothing but impress since signing with the Reds.
After a great career at Stanford, Blandino has looked great in the minor leagues.
2014 Stats in Rookie Ball and Single-A Combined: 47 G, .310/.410/.517, 18 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 34 R, 7 SB
6. Ben Lively, Double-A
Last Week's Stats: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 SO, ND
After a rough outing last week, Lively looked excellent this week. In his latest start, he struck out seven in six innings while allowing just three hits and one earned run.
Lively is really beginning to settle in at Double-A Pensacola. The 22-year-old has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts.
He dominated Single-A, and now Lively is beginning to assert himself at the Double-A level. The University of Central Florida product is pitching better than prospects ranked much higher. He started the season at No. 13 and has steadily climbed to No. 6 in the Reds rankings.
2014 Stats at High-A and Double-A combined: 23 GS, 11-7 W-L, 135 IP, 2.80 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 156 SO, 47 BB,
5. Nick Howard, Single-A
Last Week's Stats: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, ND
Nick Howard's lone appearance this week was the worst of his young professional career. The biggest thing that jumps out is the three walks. He had only allowed three walks total in his previous six outings.
On the bright side, this was Howard's longest appearance on the year. Cincinnati is slowly trying to stretch Howard out into a starter. He was a closer in college, but the Reds' plan in drafting him was to build him into a starter.
It is a long-term project, so the ups and downs are to be expected as the 21-year-old builds up his arm stamina.
2014 Stats in Single-A: 7 G, 13.2 IP, 3.29 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 10 SO, 6 BB
4. Michael Lorenzen, Double-A
Last Week's Stats: 2 GS, 8 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 4 K, 4 BB, 1 L, 1 ND
Michael Lorenzen, another member of the Reds' outstanding Double-A rotation, made two start this week.
His first start was a rough one.
The Cal State Fullerton product allowed six earned runs in just three innings—matching his highest earned run total in a start this season. However, his second start was much better.
Lorenzen allowed two earned runs and struck out four in five innings of work. While he still needs to work on going deeper into games, Lorenzen has been one of the top pitchers in the organization.
The 22-year-old has allowed two earned runs or less in six of his last eight starts. He will be ready for the next level once he builds up his stamina.
2014 Double-A Stats: 22 GS, 113.2 IP, 4-6 W-L, 3.01 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 78 SO, 38 BB
3. Phil Ervin, Single-A
Last Week's Stats: 6 G, 19 AB, 6 H, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2 SB
After a great year in 2013, Phil Ervin has really struggled this season. His numbers are down across the board, but he did have a solid week.
The 22-year-old had six hits with two RBI and three runs. He also stayed aggressive on the basepaths with two more stolen bases—bringing his total to 28 on the season.
Unfortunately, good weeks have been hard to come by for Ervin. His batting average sits at .232 on the year. Hopefully, he will be able to string a few good weeks together to close out the season and head into 2015 with some confidence.
2014 Stats at Single-A: 118 G, .232/.304/.363, 29 2B, 7 3B, 5 HR, 58 RBI, 59 R, 28 SB
2. Jesse Winker, Double-A
Last Week's Stats: Injured
Jesse Winker made huge strides this season, which led to his promotion to Double-A. Unfortunately, a wrist injury has halted that progress.
The 21-year-old participated in the annual Futures Game, and he had an OPS of 1.006 with 13 home runs in Double-A this year.
A car wreck might have halted his current progress, but Winker has a very bright future ahead of him.
2014 Double-A and Single-A combined stats: 74 G, .287/.399/.518, 20 2B, 15 HR, 57 RBI, 57 R, 5 SB
1. Robert Stephenson, Double-A
Last Week's Stats: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 SO, 2 BB, W
While Robert Stephenson has not been as dominant as Reds fans had hoped this season, he did have a nice start this week.
He picked up the win while striking out five and allowing one earned run over in five innings. Walks have been a problem, so it is good to see he handed out just two free passes this week.
It was a good bounce-back start for the 21-year-old. He allowed 11 baserunners in 2.1 innings last time out. Stephenson has been inconsistent this season, but hopefully, he will be able to carry what worked in this start into to his next few starts.
2014 Double-A Stats: 23 GS, 120.2 IP, 6-8 W-L, 4.48 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 121 SO, 66 BB
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.