Cincinnati Reds Hidden Gems Part 2: AAA All-Star

Originally, the Reds Hidden Treasure blog was only supposed to be a one time post about the Louisville Bats’ Brian O’Grady. But in a shocking turn of events, the AAA affiliate of Cincinnati has an unprecedented SECOND elite prospect that has not yet been called up to the majors. Arisitides Aquino is having a phenomenal season in Louisville. With 20 home runs, 39 RBI’s and a .293 batting average; he is proving to be one of the best players in the Reds farm system. And his performance landed him a spot in the AAA All-Star game.

As you can see in the tweet from the Bats above, Aquino is no stranger to all-star games. He has played in the Advanced-A, AA, and AAA all-star games. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time until he is playing in the MLB. It is awesome to finally be excited for prospects in the Reds’ system instead of just a couple players on the top team. The wait for another Reds playoff appearance is almost over and now they are building up the young talent to keep them in contention for years to come.

Aquino went 0-2 in his two plate appearances in the 9-3 loss to the Pacific Coast League All-Stars. Also, if anyone can tell me why minor league baseball leagues are named the same way batteries are, that would be great. Follow me on twitter @soft7wic and our main account @soft7sports for everything Reds.

The Reds Hidden Treasure Playing for Their AAA Louisville Bats

The Cincinnati Reds have been truly blessed with solid prospects rising through their farm system. Nick Senzel, after having a 15+ game hitting streak in the minors, was called up and made an immediate impact. He’s solidified his place in the outfield and batting order and doesn’t look to be making a move back to Louisville any time soon. Joseph VanMeter, after hitting about one home run every game, has been called to Cincinnati now for the second time after showing his versatility on offense and defense.

But there is one other prospect that the Reds are well aware of, but won’t call up because, to put it simply, they can’t. And that prospect is Brian O’Grady of the Louisville Bats.

Take a look at the batting leaders for the Cincinnati Reds in the 2019 season:

Now look at Brian O’Grady’s batting stats as of 7/7/19:
Batting avg: .291
Home runs: 22
RBI: 55
OBP: .361
Hits: 86
All while playing 10 less games than the Reds.

Yes, he is playing against lesser competition, but shouldn’t having better stats than the guys in the majors at least warrant a chance to prove his worth? Apparently not, and here is a couple reasons why.

Brian O’Grady plays first base. That has been and always will be Joey Votto’s position until the day he leaves Great American Ballpark for good. After all, he is the pride and joy of Cincinnati with a normal hair color. Nobody, and I mean nobody, dare mess with what he has built.

But why can’t they just stick him in the outfield? Bad idea. The Reds have two good things going for them right now: their uniforms and their defense. The sleeveless uni’s from the I-words game were incredible, and the Reds have allowed the least amount of runs in the the National League and second least in the entire MLB. The outfield of Senzel, Puig, Winker, and Dietrich have been a huge part of that. It would not be smart to mess with that when the Reds have pulled to 4.5 games back in the NL Central.

How about playing O’Grady at the DH? Again, no. The only time the Reds can use a DH is when they are playing on the road against a team from the American League. I am sure you all already knew that, but it is worth pointing out since that only happens one other time for the rest of the season against Seattle. Yes, 75 games remaining and there is no room for an AL opponent. I guess fitting in a little interleague play is difficult when you have to play the teams in your own division roughly 700 times a season.

Unless something drastic happens, do not expect Brian O’Grady to be called up to Cincinnati this season. If it was going to happen, it would have happened by now. So until then, sit back and enjoy the hidden gem of the Louisville Bats and the fact that Louisville Slugger Field actually has some sluggers again.

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The Cincinnati Reds Are Actually the Best in the National League in Something

The Cincinnati Reds are having another typical Cincinnati Reds season. A sub .500 start leading into the All Star break with glimpses of hope but ultimate disappointment is about as typical as it gets. But, one of those glimpses of hope that has not dwindled away just yet has been the shining glory of the Reds’ season. The Reds are actually the best in the National League in something.

Are the Reds the best team in the National League?
God, no.

Are they the best in the NL Central?
Not even close.

Maybe they have the best batting average, home runs or runs scored?
Let’s not get our hopes up any time soon.

The Reds offense has been underwhelming all season, but their defense has been their something to behold. In fact, the Reds lead the National League in runs allowed. Only giving up 319 runs all year before their July 2 game versus the Brewers. And if you can believe it, this is the second best runs allowed in the entire MLB only giving up more than Tampa.

The Reds’ defense has been unreal this season.

Other things the Reds are the best in the National League in:
– Fights with the Pirates
– Lease amount of losses to the Pirates by 13+ runs (@cubs)
– Runs scored on the Marlins in a single game (14)

Scooter Gennett’s Class A Debut for the Daytona Tortugas

After suffering a debilitating groin injury in spring training that landed him on the 60 day injured list, Scooter Gennett has begun his rehab assignment with the Red’s Class A affiliate Daytona Tortugas.

Gennett will play 5 days in Daytona before moving up to AAA affiliate Louisville Bats. Scooter’s time in Louisville will last as long as he needs until he feels ready to return to Cincinnati. So, his return to the Reds is still TBD, but this is a major step to recovery and monumental news for a sub .500 team that could desperately use a spark.

Manager David Bell told ESPN, “We all know he’s going to play. He’s been a big part of our offense the last few years. There’s no reason that would change. There may be some limitations at the beginning, to make sure he’s healthy and all that.” Bell surprisingly has the right idea.

In his Class A debut for Daytona, Gennett had a very mediocre showing. He went 0-1 with a walk in his two plate appearances while also leaving 2 runners on base. Scooter was pulled after his second at bat.

Not the Scooter we have all come to know and love, but understandable after a severe injury. It is going to take a second for him to get back on his feet. While the Reds do need a change of pace in their stagnant lineup, Scooter needs to take his time getting back. Returning to Cincinnati too soon could irritate the injury again and force the cycle to start all over.

Last season, Scooter Gennett hit .310 including 23 HR’s, 181 Hits and 92 RBI’s. Falling just short of Christian Yellich for the batting title.

Best of luck in your recovery, Scooter.

Don’t Let the Reds Record Fool You

As it currently stands after the series with the Pirates, the Cincinnati Reds are 26-30. Dead last in the NL Central and 6 games out of first place. They’ve had all kinds of struggles from offensive efficiency and overall player health to closing out series and completing a sweep. From the outside looking in, it looks like it is just another typical Reds’ season. But don’t let their current record fool you.

The Reds have dug themselves in a hole offensively that is going to be very difficult to get out of. They place near the bottom of the National League when it comes to total runs scored. But here is where it get interesting. Take a look at the NL standings:

Notice anything interesting? The Reds are actually ranked first in something. They are at the top of the leaderboard for runs allowed in the NL and third for the entire MLB. The defense has been their saving grace and after all, defense wins championships.

Something that should also grab your attention is the run differential. As of now, the Reds sit at +36. Not sure how scoring 36 more runs than they’ve given up translates to a losing record. That could only mean that when the Reds win, they win big and when they lose, it is by a small margin. Close games just aren’t going their way. But that could all very quickly change.

The pitching has been great, the overall defense has been phenomenal. All that is left for the Reds to get some kind of spark on offense. Once they get Scooter Gennett back from injury and Votto gets back to 100%, they could string together some wins and put themselves in serious contention for the Wildcard spot. After all, the Reds are only 4 games back at the moment.

In the meantime, a couple more 3 home run games from Dietrich would be nice.