The Cincinnati Reds have promoted Sammy Stafura to Single-A Daytona. The infielder joined the Tortugas on Sunday afternoon but did not play in the game.

After really struggling in his pro debut in 2023 where he hit just .071 in 12 games, the Reds 2023 2nd round pick has been on fire since the start of the 2024 season. Assigned to the Arizona Complex League Reds, Stafura has hit .346/.449/.582 in 15 games. The infielder has been on base in 14 of those 15 games and had hits in 11 of those 15 games. He’s hit well across the board, adding three doubles, two triples, and two home runs to go along with 18 runs scored and 17 runs batted in. But he’s also done well on the bases, going 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. Of those four steals, three of them have been steals of home that have come on double steals.

Reds sign two 2023 Draft Picks

Cincinnati was able to add two players to their 2023 draft class over the weekend. Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline reported that the Reds had signed their 17th and 18th round draft picks from last summer. This is possible because Major League Baseball brought back the draft-and-follow eligibility of players. Basically, a player who is drafted but then chooses to spend the following season at a junior college rather than a 4-year college can be signed until a week before the following year’s draft.

17th round pick JeanPierre Ortiz returned to Chipola where he pitched and played infield. In the batters box he improved in some areas, but not some others. He hit for a higher average and had more stolen bases as a sophomore than he did as a freshman. He his fewer home runs and walked less this past season than he did in 2023. Overall, he was quite similar in his production with small changes in stats here and there.

On the mound there were some real differences from his freshman to sophomore seasons. While he did relieve some as a sophomore, he spent much of the year starting. That led to three times as many innings pitched. He also just pitched better, lowering his ERA by nearly three runs, lowering his walk rate, and raising his strikeout rate.

JeanPierre Ortiz Hitting Stats

JeanPierre Ortiz Pitching Stats

Drew Pestka only pitched in his time at John A. Logan College. He seemed to take a step backwards as a sophomore – at least from a statistical standpoint. His ERA went up, he allowed more hits and home runs while throwing fewer innings, and his strikeout rate took a big time dive. He did pick up some velocity, though, now topping out at 98 MPH after sitting in the low 90’s and touching a tad higher as a freshman.

Drew Pestka Stats

7 Responses

  1. MK

    Looks like neither of the two draft picks, especially Pestka did anything this spring to improve their future draft positions so they might as well sign.

    This might be a good draft strategy to take these marginal, with potential juco guys and see if they are still worthy after another college season.

    I assume this came out of last years signing bonus pool. Did these signings create any financial penalties?

    • Doc

      I don’t recall, but aren’t those players signed for $100k or less exempt from that that money counting in the bonus pool?

      The Reds must still see something worthwhile because I don’t think they were required to sign them.

      Probably a good move for the players also as they can now get professional instruction on the Reds’ nickel.

    • Doug Gray

      Draft and follow players can sign for up to $225,000 and it doesn’t count towards any “overage”. That’s what both players signed for, so there’s no penalty.

  2. DaveCT

    Pitelli to Chattanooga, Stafura to Daytona.

    Wonder if we”ll see Carlos Sanchez in AZ when activated. Probably wouldn’t hurt.

  3. The Duke

    If Stafura can have a nice rest of the year in Daytona, he could potentially start 2025 in Dayton still.

    • Old Big Ed

      The Reds can be peculiar about who they send to the AFL. Typically, they send guys who (a) have lost some time in the regular season to injury, or (b) are at a crossroads as to whether they should be kept or exposed to the Rule 5 draft. And sometimes they send a logical, good prospect to the AFL; Jay Allen may fit that description this year.

      If Edwin Arroyo is healed fully by then, he might be expected to go to the AFL. I’m sure that there is a pitcher or two that they will send there, and Pitelli might be there if he hits in AA. Unless Stafura gets hurt, he will have played from March through at least mid-September, at age 19, and they would likely send him home for the winter. I think the AFL is designed in general for guys older than Stafura.