Christian Encarnacion-Strand homered again and Andrew Abbott struck out nine batters as the Louisville Bats got back to .500 with a win in Syracuse, James Free homered while Rece Hinds and Jose Torres picked up RBI hits in the 10th inning during a Chattanooga win, Chase Petty and the Dragons bullpen threw well in Dayton’s 4-1 win, and Cam Collier and Ariel Almonte both had two hits for Daytona on Wednesday evening.

If you are interested in getting emailed every day during the season with additional game notes and a rundown on how the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects performed (along with other perks) you can sign up to support the site through Patreon and get all of that for a few bucks a month. If that’s something that sounds interesting you can get more information here.

The Louisville Bats won 8-4. Box Score

The Chattanooga Lookouts won 6-4 in 10. Box Score

The Dayton Dragons won 4-1. Box Score

The Daytona Tortugas lost 8-4. Box Score

5/25 Game Preview

Team Record Time (ET) Probable Box Score Listen Watch
Louisville 23-23 6:35pm Wynne Here Here Here
Chattanooga 21-19 7:35pm Richardson Here Here Here
Dayton 18-23 7:05pm Rivera Here Here Here
Daytona 17-24 6:35pm McElvain Here Here N/A

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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40 Responses

  1. Stock

    Jorge left after being HBP. Hopefully he is fine.

    • Doug Gray

      Hit in the helmet. Walked off on his own, so if nothing else that’s a good thing.

      • Stock

        Thanks Doug. Hopefully no concussion. I am glad they took him out.

  2. Stock

    The following is just my opinion. If you take the time to read this post, you may question where this is all going. I promise you it is going somewhere.

    There are several keys to pitching. First, it is nice to have control. Good pitchers limit walks. Step number two is to limit balls in play. Strikeouts rarely lead to a baserunner. Step #3 to pitching is limiting hard contact. A pitcher can’t control base hits. over the long term a hitter will have a BABIP between .250 and .350. But if a pitcher can limit the number of hits that go for extra bases he is at an advantage.

    There are two ways to limit extra base hits. The obvious way is to entice hitters to hit the ball on the ground. The second way is to have superior command. Command is different than control. Control is the ability to throw strikes. Command is the ability to hit your spots.

    When I was younger three pitchers were dominating baseball. Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson were striking out more than 10 batters per 9 IP as they dominated baseball. Greg Maddux was striking out 6 per nine IP but he too was dominating baseball. Maddux could do this because he had outstanding command. He used his command to keep hitters off balance and as a result they would hit the ball but not very hard.

    Hard Hit % was not a stat in baseball until Maddux was 36 and was approaching the end of his career. That said between ages 36 and 38 combined Maddux held hitters to a hard hit % of less than 22%. Last year Alex Manoah had the lowest hard hit % of 23.7%. At age 36 Maddux had a hard hit % of 17.6%. In short if you have great command you can limit hard contact and as a result minimize extra base hits. This produces a lower ISO.

    I decided to use ISO to as a means of figure out how low you could go in ISO. I only looked at pitchers who were great long term (with 3 exceptions). It should be noted that while most of the pitchers on this list played when the league average ISO was .150-.160, Seaver, Carlton and Koufax played in an era where average ISO was closer to .120.

    Here is the list:

    Maddux 0.108
    Koufax 0.114
    deGrom 0.117
    Seaver 0.116
    Carlton 0.12
    Glavine 0.121
    Pedro 0.123
    RJ 0.132
    Jack Morris 0.133
    Verlander 0.136
    Fergie Jenkins 0.14
    Ashcraft 0.14
    Luis Castillo 0.15
    Lodolo 0.187
    Greene 0.202

    Maddux is at the top of the list. This does not surprise me. I always thought command trumps stuff. Even though Maddux did not have the quality of pitches many on here do his command put him in the HOF.

    But baseball has learned a lot thanks to many, many stat geeks. A great way to limit extra base hits is to make a player hit the ball on the ground. Framber Valdez and Logan Webb are consistently at the top of the leaderboard in GB% so I determined their ISO also:

    Framber 0.104
    Logan Webb 0.117

    It is late now so I am going to go to bed but will explain tomorrow the reason this is exciting news for Reds fans. Some of you may already know half the answer. If you want to take a guess on the reason(s) I typed this up feel free to reply. If this whole post bores you I will try to redeem myself tomorrow. Have a great evening or morning.

    • Stock

      And just because Abbott and Petty are the two top 25 prospects that pitched today doesn’t mean they are the answers, though they may be.

    • DaveCT

      Stick, I did read but I, too, am tired plus my back is barking at me. So, I’ll wait for further interpretation.

      I do want to say, one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen was Seattlecat Boston, Hognson vs Martinez. An absolute clash of the titans. Pedro v Griffey, ARod, and Edgar Martinez. RJ v. Big Papi. Timeless.

    • Luke J

      I want to point out that command was only a part of the reason Maddux dominated and only a portion of the big picture. Maddux had an insane ability to change the shape of his pitches at will. He could throw 4 cut fastballs in a row and all 4 would move in a different direction. Even more than command, if a hitter doesn’t know where the ball is going to end up when it arrives at the plate, he’s less likely to hit it with the barrel of the bat and will most likely end up with weak contact.

      I’m not taking anything away from command. Obviously, it’s important. But Maddux was more than just a soft tosser with great command. He threw above the major league average in velocity, and created soft contact with movement more than anything.

    • Old Big Ed

      I think that Greene’s entire issue is command. He leaves too many pitches in the middle of the plate, and he isn’t precise enough with pitches outside the zone that he hopes the hitters chase. (By which I mean when he misses the strike zone, he often misses it by so much that the hitter doesn’t even consider swinging.)

      The cure for command problems is time, as it is with almost all young pitchers.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Point well taken. The expected batting average on balls with exit velocities over 95mph is something close to .500. Gotta limit that hard contact!

    • Tom

      Been thinking of Bronson Arroyo, in fact, he always comes to mind before Maddox when I think of control and command. It strikes me how underrated Bronson will always be and also under-emulated. He showed the league how it’s done. Make nothing the same. Be unpredictable.

      • Stock

        I agree that Bronson seemed to consistently outperform.

      • Tom

        Those 2006-2014 Reds were a soft contact/pitch to contact regime. Harang, Cueto, Leake, Arroyo. I don’t know what happened. Launch angle?

      • Doug Gray

        Both Aaron Harang and Johnny Cueto led the league in strikeouts.

  3. Hunt4RedsOct

    Abbott was cruising until the ABS system went down and the home plate umpire was tough in him and Karcher. Both gave the ump an earful coming off the mound. Rain seemed to be a challenge for pitchers after the 7th.
    CES was game changer both with the bat and glove. Saved at least 2 runs with his great diving catch then double play.
    EDLC is like Meggett from the longest yard, “he’s so fast that he makes fast guys look like they’re not fast.”

  4. Jonathan

    I’m going to the Dayton Dragons vs South Bend Cubs game tonight in SB. Anyone else going to be there? Looking forward to seeing Nelson, Hendrick, and Dunn.

    Disappointed I am not going to see Chase Petty.

      • MK

        It might be a more productive look at this study if it picked out an age or experience factor that they all have in common, instead of comparing the numbers that include a 32-year-old Maddux with a 23-year-old Greene.

      • Stock

        Sorry for misleading you MK. The ISO against numbers above are career numbers for each player. I realize this puts Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft at a disadvantage but I threw them in because I felt some on here may be interested in their numbers.

  5. Stock

    Actually four Reds pitchers currently have an ISO less than .100. Joe Boyle (.044 ISO) and Lyon Richardson (.049 ISO, .060 ISO in AA) have fantastic ISO but neither of them have an GB% greater than 50% so they lost out in the semifinals.

    The winner is Chase Petty.

    His GB% by game this year is 37.5% in his first game, 66.7% in his second game and 70% in his third game. Overall it is 59.3%. This is quickly entering Framber Valdez territory. Framber Valdez numbers are as follows:

    Career: 65.7% GB%, 23.4% K%, 9.1% BB%, 14.3% K%-BB%, 3.27 ERA, 3.57 FIP.
    2023: 61.0% GB%, 27.6% K%, 4.6% BB%, 23% K%-BB%, 2.45 ERA, 2.91 FIP, .114 ISO.

    Now Petty’s 2023 stats: 59.3% GB%, 28.9K%, 4.4% BB%, 24.5% K%-BB%, 0.75 ERA, 2.02 FIP, .024 ISO.

    I am not sure if something changed between his first outing and his second but his GB% has soared the last two games. Maybe the first game is just a sample size situation. Maybe he truly isn’t a 60% GB% and the three games combined is a sample size situation. What I do know is the most line drives he has given up in a game this year is one. I do know he has given up only two walks this year (45 BF). I do know he has given up only one extra base hit this year (a double). He does very well in all four things I look at when evaluating a pitcher (GB%, K%, BB% and ISO against). His GB% has been fantastic and his ISO against has been even better.

    Amazingly Petty started the year as my #6 prospect and he is still my #6 prospect. Two or three more outings like yesterday and the Reds will be forced to move Petty to Chattanooga. 20 more outings like yesterday and he will be challenging EDLC as the Reds #1 prospect.

    • MBS

      Thanks for the read, it was some interesting stuff. If those 20 starts come in AA, then he should climb the list, not over EDLC but to your 4 spot. He could very well become the #1 next year when the top 3 graduate from the list.

  6. Stock

    Julien Aguiar is having an interesting season. Maybe he should have beat out Petty and won this contest because he is going 5 or 6 innings per start now.

    Here are their season stats side by side this year:

    Petty: 59.3% GB%, 28.9% K%, 4.4% BB%, 24.4% K%-BB%, .024 ISO against.

    Aguiar: 58.2% GB%, 29.7% K%, 6.3% BB%, 23.4% K%-BB%, .042 ISO against.

    Nearly identical. This is where it gets interesting.

    Petty had one start with a GB% less than 45% before he “changed” and has had a GB% greater than 65% since. Aguiar GB% in his first three starts was less than 45%. In his 4 most recent starts it is greater than 65%.

    From an earlier post you may remember Framber Valdez has sacrificed GB% to increase his K% this year. Aguiar seems to has done the opposite. But the results have been outstanding.

    Aguiar 1st 3: 43.3% GB%, 35.2% K%, 7.4% BB%, 27.8% K%-BB% and .100 ISO against.
    Aguiar next 4: 67.3% GB%, 28.6% K%, 0.0% BB%, 28.6 K%-BB% and .000 ISO against

    Framber 2023: 61.0 GB%, 27.6% K%, 4.6% BB%, 23% K%-BB% and .114 ISO against.

    As with Petty, a couple of more starts like the last 4 and Aguiar will be in Chattanooga.

    The change with Aguiar’s GB% is so dramatic it has to be a change in pitch usage. Fangraphs does not track pitch usage for minor league pitchers so someone would have to have a conversation with someone in the know to find out if this is true. I would love it if Doug or MK could use their resources to confirm Aguiar (and possibly Petty) are using the sinker more now than before.

    At YE Aguiar was #24 on my prospect list. He is now #14. A couple of more starts like the last four and he will be in the top 10. This is a very difficult top ten to crack because it is so loaded.

    1. Elly De La Cruz
    2. Matt McLain
    3. Noelvi Marte
    4. Cam Collier
    5. Andrew Abbott
    6. Chase Petty
    7. Christian Encarncion-Strand
    8. Connor Phillips
    9. Carlos Jorge
    10. Lyon Richardson
    11. Leanardo Balcazar (I feel he would be #10 without injury)

  7. MBS

    Current: Salazar, Williamson, McLain, Likely: EDLC, CES, Abbott, Hopkins

    That’s a lot of guys who have or will likely have their 1st shot at the MLB. If you change that to rookie status players, and you’d be able to add Steer to that list.

      • MBS

        I left Stoudt and Legumina off the list intentionally. I only put the guys who have impressed, or I think will impress.

      • DaveCT

        I’d say a debut is a debut is a debut.

        Stoudt is 1-2 years away, according to BA scouting. His spot starts/appearances are all about 40-man practices. In other words, not because he was ‘ready.’ Personally, I think he’ll get to a 4/5 starter given his four average or plus pitches. It’s really only his 2nd full season, as well.

        Legumina’s got a very impressive, live fastball. So, it’s a similar 40-man dance with him, as his other pitch/pitches need time, too.

    • Stock

      It is going to be very interesting to see who graduates this year. More important than graduating is playing well enough to be considered part of the plans for the future.

  8. MBS

    Also can anyone explain what’s going on in AAA with the catchers?

    Robinson .348 BA, .914 OPS

    Pereda .370 BA, .885 OPS

    I’m not used to seeing so many AAA players doing so well. Is there something different happening in AAA this year that’s leading to higher offensive output?

    • Doug Gray

      They are hitting better.

      Really, though, it’s interesting to see. I’ve been wondering the same thing – a lot of guys are hitting well and plenty of them are doing it in a way that they haven’t done it before even if they had hit well in the past.

      • DaveCT

        Might be a good thing to look at the top to bottom hitting program implemented in the last year or so same with DJ’s program for that matter. It’s only more work, Doug, so no big deal .

      • BK

        I too, would enjoy your thoughts on Robinson, Perada, and Hopkins–all are performing well above career norms. Are we seeing results that might translate at the next level?

    • Alex Reds

      Very interesting. It’s a good question. How much longer can Curt Casali keep these catchers from the majors? Maile finally hitting pretty well. Or Reds stick with 2 catchers now?

      • 2020ball

        I personally think Maile is a bit of a mirage so far. He’s fine as a back-up, but I’ve been against the 3 catcher thing from the start. I don’t put much stock in his SSS this year. Trade him or Casali please.

      • BK

        @2020, Maile is certainly performing at a level he has not sustained in the past. I doubt the Reds are even fans of the 3-catcher situation, but I think it was a tradeoff to minimize wear-and-tear on Stephenson this year. He certainly appears to continue to be in recovery mode following his season-ending shoulder surgery last year. With Robinson abusing AAA pitching, I suspect Maile and Casali are likely available if the Reds get a phone call from one of the other teams.

      • 2020ball

        I’m also a bit worried Robinson’s hot start is a bit of a mirage, but he’s earned his shot to prove me wrong. I’m very happy we have him in the system and it makes the 3-catcher system much easier to abandon.

  9. Tom

    Is this true? Saw on Twitter:

    With tonight’s 5-3 win, the
    are over .500 for the first time since July 27, 2016

    • Doug Gray

      If you followed me on twitter you wouldn’t have to ask the question. Yes, it’s true.