On Saturday night the Cincinnati Reds four starting pitchers on the farm combined for 21.1 innings, 15 hits allowed, 5 earned runs (2.11 ERA), just 6 walks, and they fanned 27 batters. With starting pitching like that you’d expect plenty of wins, and that’s what happened as the farm system went 3-1 with the lone loss coming for Louisville who watched their bullpen give up 10 runs in the final two innings of the game – but that’s a different kind of story for a different day.
This has been a trend so far in 2021, not just something that happened on Saturday. The Reds farm system has been getting quality starting pitching since the season began two-and-a-half weeks ago. Every single rotation at the four stops in the Cincinnati system has an ERA under 3.00 right now. All of them.
It’s not just the pitching
In Double-A the Lookouts are getting plenty of help from the bats of Alejo Lopez, Jose Garcia, and Mark Kolozsvary. The switch-hitting Lopez has his second straight 3-hit game last night, extending his hitting streak to 11 games (every game of the season) and raised his line to .426/.491/.532 on the year. Oh, and Lopez has twice as many walks as he does strikeouts (six walks, three strikeouts).
Jose Garcia also extended his hitting streak on Saturday night, but he barely beat the clock as it was, saving his lone hit on a 1-4 night that included a walk for the 9th inning when he crushed a 3-run homer to pad the Lookouts lead. He’s hitting .318/.392/.727 with six walks and four home runs through 11 games.
And then there’s Mark Kolozsvary. He’s actually cooled down a bit in the last few days, but picked up three more hits on Saturday to push his average back over the .500 mark on the season. The catcher is hitting .519/.594/1.000 as he continues to make a mockery of the Double-A South.
In Dayton it’s been the Brian Rey experience and the opponent have not enjoyed the showing in the slightest. Last night he went 2-4 with a triple and a home run. It was his 6th homer of the season. That’s more home runs than both West Michigan (5) and South Bend (ZERO in 10 games!), and as many homers as Quad Cities. In nine games played this season Rey is hitting .417/.410/1.028 with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He has walked just one, but he’s also struck out just two times on the year.
Daytona’s been getting plenty of production from Tyler Callihan, Alex McGarry, and Austin Hendrick of late. Callihan picked up two hits and another steal – he now has four on the season – last night. The infielder is hitting .353/.415/.441 on the season and has five walks with just three strikeouts in his nine games played for the Tortugas this season.
Alex McGarry wasn’t even on the opening day roster for Daytona. He arrived a few days later and he is doing everything he can to stay there. Last night he homered for the 3rd time on the season in just his 5th game played. He’s also walked five times and is hitting .333/.458/.889.
Austin Hendrick got out to a slow start on the year, but he’s caught fire the last few days and kept that going on Saturday as he doubled in his only at-bat, and walked in his other three plate appearances. The 2020 1st round draft pick is now hitting .280/.471/.440 with nine walks this season in eight games played.