Several prospects in the Cincinnati Reds farm system got out to tough starts in April and have rebounded well since the calendar flipped, but none of them have been quite as good as Ruben Ibarra has since the start of May.

Ruben Ibarra played in 19 games for Daytona in April and he had 12 hits in 70 at-bats. In no game did he have multiple hits. Overall he hit just .171/.244/.200. He had just two doubles as his lone extra-base hits. It was a very tough start for the first baseman.

But for as much as he struggled in April, he has succeeded ever since. The San Jose State graduate has played in 23 games since May began and he’s hit .400/.500/.771 with five doubles, seven home runs, 20 RBI, and he’s walked 11 times with 21 strikeouts. He is currently riding an 8-game hitting streak and the last five of those games have all included multiple hits. On Sunday he hit two home runs in the first game of the Tortugas doubleheader (he didn’t play in the second game).

Part of his hitting streak has led to him being named as the Florida State League Player of the Week for last week. The 2021 4th round pick hit .600/.600/1.200 with 10 RBI, three doubles, and three home runs en route to earning the honor. But that wasn’t even the best news of the week for Ibarra. Chris Boyle, who covers the Tortugas as a part of the USA Today Network, reported that Ibarra is being promoted to High-A Dayton.

As he exits the Florida State League he ranks 4th in OPS, 5th in average, 7th in slugging, 9th in home runs, and 10th in on-base percentage.

Ruben Ibarra isn’t the only Daytona Tortugas standout right now. Owen Holt has been downright filthy out of the Tortugas bullpen. The right-handed reliever has thrown 19.1 innings and allowed just one earned run this season. That’s a 0.47 ERA for those keeping track at home.

One of the biggest ways he’s kept runs off of the board is by keeping the ball in the ballpark. Holt has yet to give up a home run on the season. In fact, he’s only given up 12 hits this year and all but one of them have been singles. The other one was a double that he allowed back on April 23rd.

His fastball has been working in the 92-94 MPH range this season and has touched 95. There’s some cutting action to the pitch according to the metrics from Hawkeye. He has also mixed in a change up and slider – both that work in the low-to-mid 80’s.

12 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    Ibarra must have some serious athleticism to be that big and hit like this. Who’s a comp, Vodelsback or Kruz? Frank Howard? The Big Donkey himself?

    • MBS

      290 my foot, we’re the same height, and I’m telling you, he’s 320 easy. It will be fun to see if he can keep hitting, but his body kinda limits him to DH in my book. I guess he took over McGarry’s roster spot. Tenerowicz got the bump and it caused a chain reaction all the way to low A.

      Is there a AFL player ready to take his spot, or Triana get the extra playing time?

      • DaveCT

        I used to see Big Papi quite a bit at AA in New Britain. He could always hit but could barely play 1B, so I’m not stuck on athleticism. Just curious. I’m glad he’s in Dayton as it should be interesting what the eye rests says.

      • MK

        Garrett Wolford has been hitting well for Dragons getting regular time at first base. Hope he just doesn’t go back to three man catching rotation with Trautwein and Nelson

  2. Bdh

    How much higher of a ceiling does he have compared to someone like Gavin LaValley from the system a handful of years ago?

  3. SteveO

    Cabrera hitting.118 with 7 errors in 7 games. Hope this is just an early season funk. Not encouraging for the highest paid International acquisition.

  4. Redsvol

    Doug – thanks for pointing out these 2 good news stories from Daytona. I was beginning to think Ibarra wasn’t going to be able to handle professional pitching. Glad to see I was wrong. We need a couple guys in the system that can just hit – regardless of body type. The DH in the NL allows us to have that skill set now. Hope that he can handle Midwest League pitching and Holt gets a promotion likewise soon.

    Saw where White Sox designated the Yermin Mercedes kid that was their DH. Bad blood between him and the coaching staff. I would love to see that guy in a Reds uniform if he isn’t a clubhouse cancer. kid could always hit.

  5. Bdh

    Jorge and Balcazar should be in A ball before the end of the season. Hoping Almonte and Valdez really turn it on soon too. Those 4 plus Confidan, Vellojin, and Minier seem to great finds for the reds internationally. Fingers crossed that Cabrera, Valencia, and Pineda continue the success when they’re brought stateside

  6. kevinz

    Ibarra when drafted thought had Vid game like Power.
    until this hot stretch never thought would see it.

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    I think Ibarra would have stayed some more time in low-A so to give consistency in his small sample size numbers. Maybe he still is in a hot streak, i don’t know… Rece Hinds lived something similar in Dayton few weeks ago but he cooled off a little bit right now and fortunately he wasn’t promoted to AA yet