Farmers Only: As September 1st approaches, the legend grows

We're reaching the point of Chapman saturation here (Chapuration?), but it's hard to ignore what the guy is doing in Louisville, and national media types are increasingly taking notice.  Here's a sample from twitter Friday night after Chapman reportedly hit 105 on the stadium radar gun:

JJ Cooper:

Got a report that Chapman only touched 104.  Easy to believe seen 103 myself and he has hit that repeatedly...Can't wait for Chapman's callup so we can see him on pitchFX

Peter Gammons:

One of best scouts texted from Louisville that Chapman was 98-105 with a 91 MPH slider and "best velocity I've ever seen" Friday night. Hello, Cinci.

Finally, there are even rumblings he may get called up today or tomorrow.  From Jeff Passan:

Reds source: Team plans to call up Aroldis Chapman and his 105 mph fastball Monday or Tuesday

I'll believe that when I see it, but the fact remains that he is garnering serious national attention, his arrival in Cincinnati is imminent, and he's going to bring the gas with him.

So Chapman makes our 'fresh' list for the 3rd time in 5 weeks.  Who else is impressing?  And who is falling short of expectations?

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Aroldis Chapman

While the velocity is impressive and exciting, results are the most important thing, and he's been getting them.  The ERA is impressive, but dig this: In his last 13.1 innings, Chapman has 21 strikeouts and 4 walks.  He has also only given up 4 hits in that time.  That's crazy.  With Arthur Rhodes struggling a bit of late, you can expect Chapman to get some late-inning opportunities with the Reds.  Let's just hope he doesn't throw near, behind, at, or in the general vicinity of a Cardinal.  It'd be a shame to give them something to complain about.

Yorman Rodriguez

Yorman's been hitting all year, but as of August 20 he only had 1 walk to 17 strikeouts.  I don't care how young you are, that's not good.  Well, in the last 8 games Our-Man has walked 6 times, while continuing to hit.  If he can add plate discipline to his skills, he's going to be scary.

Kyle Lotzkar

Two years ago Kyle was (for me) the most exciting young pitcher in the system, but postseason elbow surgery that year, followed by a completely lost 2009, took him off the map.  Lately, though, he's been showing signs he might be back.  He was sent to Billings, and in his last 2 starts there, totaling 10 innings, Lotzkar has allowed no runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, and has struck out 16.  He's got a ways to go, but with the sudden lack of high-upside starters in the system, it would be great to put him back in the prospect discussion.

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Zack Cozart

Full disclosure: I root for Zack more than probably any other prospect in the system.  I desperately want a real shortstop on the Reds, and I desperately want The Coz to be that guy.  Unfortunately, he's mired in yet another slump, OPSing just .476 over his last 10 games.  His yearly OPS is down to .731, and I'm afraid he won't get a chance to prove himself next year.  Common Zack!!

Miguel Rojas

We're continuing our short stop theme here.  Miguel might be the best defensive SS in the system, and the hope was that he could hit just enough to merit consideration as an everyday player.  Unfortunately, a .564 OPS for the year isn't going to convince very many people.  Even Paul Janish never hit that poorly in the minors.  He's only 21, but he needs to start hitting soon if he's going to be taken seriously.

Brodie Greene

Brodie was this year's 4th round pick as a 22 year old senior out of Texas A&M, a major D1 program.  All of that means he should be performing, but a .670 OPS in high-A ball doesn't exactly qualify.  His average, OBP, and SLG are all mediocre, so hopefully he can pick it up soon.

Check after the break for a recap of a busy weekend!

  • Louisville started the weekend by winning 2-1.  Ben Jukich had a great start, giving up 1 run in 7 innings and striking out 7.  Chapman got the win by striking out the side in the 9th.  The reason it was a win and not a save is because the game was tied going into the bottom of the 9th, and Wilkin Castillo hit a walkoff single to win it, one of his 2 hits on the night.  Yonder Alonso was also 2-4, including a double.  Saturday the Bats lost 8-3.  Todd Frazier had 2 hits and a walk and Alonso doubled.  Sunday the Bats won 8-0.  Micah Owings, Jeremy Horst, Jordan Smith, Carlos Fisher, and Philippe Valiquette combined to throw a 6 hit shutout.  Lots of hitting in this one.  Dave Sappelt went 3-5 with a double, and Devin Mesoraco, Daniel Dorn, and Yonder Alonso each homered.  Alonso's was a deep opposite field shot off of a lefty, Votto-style.  Well done, young man. Up Next: Matt Klinker tries to bounce back at 7:05.
  • Carolina lost 3-2 on Friday.  Brad Boxberger finally had a successful bullpen outing, striking out 2 in his scoreless inning.  Felix Perez tripled and Sean Henry added 2 hits of his own for the offense.  Saturday the Mudcats won in 10 innings, 4-3.  Donnie Joseph blew the save, giving up 3 runs in an inning, 6 shutout innings from Tom Cochran.  Chris McMurray led the way, going 3-4 with a homer.  Sunday the team lost 6-2.  The Mudcats managed 2 runs despite just 2 singles and 3 walks.  At least they were efficient.  Up Next: Travis Webb starts at 8:05.
  • Lynchburg lost 8-7 in 12 innings.  Six different players had multiple hits in the game.  Saturday the team won 3-1.  Josh Ravin allowed just 1 run in 6.2 innings, striking out 5.  Neftali Soto was 3-3 with a walk, and Ryan LaMarre hit his 1st homer in Lynchburg, his 6th on the year.  Sunday the team won 4-3.  Cody Puckett had 3 hits, and Neftali Soto had 2 hits, including a triple.  Up Next: The Hillcats are off Monday.
  • Dayton continued their resurgence, winning 5-3 on Friday.  The Dragons rapped out 16 hits, but the way to score only 5 runs on 16 hits is to have 14 of them be singles.  Still, 6 different players had multiple hit games.  Saturday the team won 7-6.  Four Dragons hat multiple hits, led by Henry Rodriguez, who was 3-4 with a double and a walk.  Sunday the team fell back to earth, losing 8-3.  DiDi Gregorius had 2 hits and a walk.  Up Next: Daniel Corcino starst at 7:05.
  • Billings won 1-0.  Could Kyle Lotzkar be back?  He threw 5 shutout innings, striking out 7 and not walking a batter.  Billy Hamilton is one exciting player.  He went 1-2 with 2 walks and stole 3 bases.  Tucker Barnhart also doubled and walked.  Saturday the Mustangs won 3-2.  Stalin Gerson (with a name like that, he's GOT TO make it to the Reds) threw 6 innings, allowing 1 run and striking out 9!  Yorman Rodriguez was 2-3 with a walk and SB.  Billy Hamilton was 1-3 with a walk.  Not impressive?  Well, he also stole 3 bases, giving him 39 on the year in just 59 games.  Sunday the team lost 9-1 in a game finished early due to rain.  Billy Hamilton doubled.  Up Next: Tanner Robles hopes to continue his resurgence, starting at 7:05.
  • AZL Reds won 3-0 on Friday.  In the "I wondered where that guy was" category, Daryl Thompson threw 3 shutout innings, striking out 4.  Yasmani Grandal was 2-2 with a walk, and David Vidal tripled and walked.  Saturday the team won 5-0.  This year's 5th round pick, 18 year old Wes Mugarian, threw 5 shutout innings, striking out 6 and only walking 1.  El Hajj Muhammad struck out 5 in 3 shutout innings of relief.  Robert Maddox was 3-4 with a double and homer, and Jaren Matthews was 1-2 with 2 walks.  Sunday the team was off.  Up Next: Someone will start, and he'll do it at 9:05!
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