The Cincinnati Reds made several promotions on Tuesday afternoon, but the biggest and most notable one was that Chase Petty was getting moved up to Double-A Chattanooga. Arguably the top pitching prospect in the organization (he’s currently third on my midseason update), Petty will be joining the Lookouts rotation this week.
The final start for Chase Petty in Dayton came over the weekend. On Saturday night he was charged with an unearned run in 4.0 innings on four hits while walking no one and striking out seven batters. That was his 16th start with the Dragons after missing the first month of the season. The outing lowered his ERA to 1.95.
There were plenty of good things to go along with that 1.95 ERA for Petty. The 20-year-old did not allow a single home run. A big part of that is that he’s been the best ground ball pitcher in the Midwest League this season. Setting the limit at 60 innings pitched in the league this year, Petty’s 58.5% ground ball rate is at the top of the list.
Things don’t stop there. Petty also walked just 14 of the 243 batters that he faced while on the mound for Dayton.That was the 9th best walk rate in the league. His 61 strikeouts gave him a strikeout rate of 25.1%, which ranked 16th best in the league. The 19.3% difference between his strikeout rate and walk rate was 2nd best in the league.
There’s really only one thing working against Chase Petty this year and it’s outside of his control. He’s been limited in his usage each time out. After suffering an elbow injury in the spring, Cincinnati has limited him to no more than four innings in any given start this season. 12 of the 16 starts he’s made this year went exactly four innings. He’s yet to top 67 pitches in a start and he’s only topped 57 pitches in four starts. When he’s been on the mound he’s been dominant, but he’s been limited in his exposure to other teams, too.
While Dayton is in a playoff chase with 11 games remaining in the year, Chattanooga is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs as the first half division winner. Their season is also a week longer. That could potentially give Petty a few additional starts this season in the scenario where the Dragons can’t qualify for the playoffs in the next two weeks.