Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher J.J. Hoover (60) pitches during the sixth inning against the New York Mets last week. He opened the season with AAA Louisville. Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

At the Quarterpole: Which Reds Prospect is Having the Best Year?

In general terms, the Reds Minor League affiliates are a quarter of the way through the 2012 season.  Let’s take a look at how each team is faring and select the prospect having the best season so far down on the farm.  To break this down into manageable pieces lets take a quick look at each affiliate starting with Louisville.

Louisville Bats

Not a lot to get excited about in Louisville.  The team has the worst record in the 14 team AAA International League at 15-30.  The best player attached to the team is Paul Janish who is currently on the Disabled List  with a fractured left wrist and a .315 batting average.  Todd Frazier was promoted to the Reds and is hitting .268 with a  .870 OPS, far better than how he performed in Louisville.  J.J. Hoover has also performed admirably now in Cincinnati with just 9.1 innings pitched but a 0.96 ERA allowing a single run in 9 appearances.  He had a 2.00 ERA over 9 innings in Louisville.  He managed to save 4 games in his brief time with the Bats.  Advantage:  Hoover.

Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The first year for the Blue Wahoos has featured top prospects Didi Gregorius and Daniel Corcino who have both been solid if unspectacular.

The Wahoos have also been the launching pad for Mike Costanzo who is now on the Reds roster, he collected his first major league hit over the weekend in Yankee Stadium.  A number of players have been called up to AA Pensacola including Kyle Lotzkar, Andrew Means, and David Vidal.  The best performances in my opinion have been delivered by Henry Rodriguez and Donnie Joseph.  Rodriguez leads the team with a .348 batting average but Joseph gets the nod here for performing exceptionally well as the Blue Wahoos closer.  He has recorded 23.1 innings of 1 run baseball for a 0.39 ERA and 34 strikes.  He is 4-0 with 10 saves as well.  Advantage:  Joseph.

Bakersfield Blaze

I have written a few articles on the intriguing Blaze squad.  While Billy Hamilton has seen his batting average return to earth (.311) and is still piling up stolen bases (40 in 41 games)…and errors (11).  I mentioned the callups of Lotzkar, Means and Vidal.  Today I want to focus on the starting pitching of Tony Cingrani.  Tony has taken the mound 8 times and has a 4-1 record.  He has 65 strikeouts in 46 IP with a miniscule ERA of 0.78 and a WHIP of just 0.83, allowing just 4 earned runs, 10 walks and 28 hits so far.  Advantage:  Cingrani.

Dayton Dragons

The Dragons are much like the Bats in that this year things just aren’t going well.  With a MidWest league worst record of 16-28 the Dragons are not playing good baseball this year.  Talking to a season ticket holder I was informed that the Dragons this year don’t have much power, their batting average is also worst in the league, oh and their pitching is nothing to get excited about either.  Ryan Wright is really the only player accomplishing much but considering the Reds backlog at shortstop this should come as no surprise.  He leads the team in most offensive categories but given the performance of the rest this is a bit underwhelming.  Good thing the Dragons have loyal fans as the Reds organization has not given them a lot to work with.  Advantage:  Wright

So in the final review the best performing Reds prospect in my opinion is Tony Cingrani just barely squeaking by his teammate Billy Hamilton with a solid effort by Blue Wahoos reliever Donnie Joseph.  Let’s hope they keep up the good work!

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Tags: Andrew Means Bakersfield Blaze Billy Hamilton Cincinnati Reds Daniel Corcino David Vidal Dayton Dragons Didi Gregorius Donnie Joseph Henry Rodriguez J.J. Hoover Kyle Lotzkar Louisville Bats Mike Costanzo Paul Janish Pensacola Blue Wahoos Ryan Wright Todd Frazier Tony Cingrani

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