I was looking for a Futures Game picture to use because people seemingly won't shut up about Billy Hamilton. Here's the most recent one SBN had, from 2010. It's Yonder Alonso, who doesn't play for the Reds anymore. Thanks, SBN! (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
So the Futures Game was last night, and our very own Billy Hamilton was the toast of Kansas City. His 104 stolen bases at the ASB puts him on pace to surpass Vince Coleman's minor league record, and in case you haven't heard, he'll have a new venue to do it, as he's been promoted to AA Pensacola and will report there (allegedly) in time for Monday night's game.
But back to the action. He got 3 ABs as the leadoff hitter and starting shortstop, and collected one hit, which was a triple to dead center field that drove in 2 runs. It's worth mentioning that it would have probably be a double for almost anyone else. It really makes you think how much of a difference it makes being as fast as he is, and at this point, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him added to the 40-man and brought up sometime in September to get a taste of the big leagues as a professional pinch-runner.
Kyle Lotzkar was the other Reds player in the game, representing the World team as the only Canadian on their roster. He allowed 1 hit in his scoreless inning, throwing 16 pitches, 11 for strikes. From what I saw, he was sitting from 93-95 with his fastball, which is an encouraging sign for someone who had elbow trouble just a few years ago. Assuming he keeps developing, he could be a top 5 prospect in the organization as early as next year.
Anyway, how about this weekend's games?
- Louisville lost 2 of their 3 weekend games against Toledo. They lost 8-0 on Friday, with Neftali Soto collecting 2 of the 4 Bats' hits. They got shut out again on Saturday 2-0, only getting 3 hits on this occasion. They wasted a good start by Pedro Villarreal, who gave up 1 run in 6 innings with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks. Sunday was better, as a late-inning comeback made for a 3-2 win. Sean Gallagher pitched 6 shutout innings, and Mike Costanzo and Cody Puckett had 2 hits each. Up next: All-star break! The IL/PCL All-Star game is on Wednesday, with Dioner Navarro the only Red being represented.
- Pensacola won 2 of their 3 games against Birmingham over the weekend. They won 5-3 on Friday, with Tim Crabbe giving up 3 runs in 4 innings. Saturday was a 8-2 win with Tony Cingrani making another great start. Cingrani went 6 innings of shutout ball, giving up only 2 hits. Beau Mills homered for the Wahoos and drove in 4 runs on the night. David Vidal's homer was the only positive in a 20-3 loss on Sunday, as Mark Serrano actually pitched 4 shutout innings in his start. Up next: Daniel Corcino takes on Mobile at 8.
- Bakersfield stretched their current skid to 7 games. They lost 7-4 on Friday in a 15-inning marathon. B-Ham stole base number 104 and Theo Bowe went 3-for-7 with his 33rd SB. Almost there, T-Bowe. A 7-run 9th wasn't enough as they lost 9-8 on Saturday, as Josh Smith and Jamie Walczak running into trouble. Bowe had another 3 hits and Donald Lutz knockwursted his 15th of the year. They lost 3-2 on Sunday, as Daniel Renken gave up 2 runs (1 ER) in 5 with 6 strikeouts. Lutz hit his 16th and (to) Steve Selsky hit his 3rd. Up next: Lake Elsinore at 10:45 tonight, starter TBA.
- Dayton swept (!) their weekend. They beat South Bend 4-3 on Friday, as Stalin Gerson gave up 2 unearned runs in 5 innings, and Yorman Rodriguez and Ryan Wright each homered. They won 5-3 against Great Lakes on Saturday, as Jacob Johnson had a quality start and Y-Rod and Wright homered again (!) as Kyle Waldrop and Juan Perez joined them in that column too. They won 6-3 on Sunday, as Wright homered in his 3rd game in a row. He has 4 on the season now, in over 300 ABs. I think that's what we call "locked in". Up next: Carlos Gonzalez takes the mound against Great Lakes at 7.
- Billings lost 2 of their 3 weekend games. They beat Helena 12-7 on Friday night, with Sal Romano giving up 1 run in 4 innings. Robert Ramirez was 3-for-4 with 5 RBI, and Fray Sosa, Gabriel Rosa, and Seth Mejias-Brean all had 2 hits each as well. They lost 4-2 to Great Falls, as Drew Cisco gave up 2 run in 2 2/3 innings in his start. On Sunday, they lost 3-1 as Jesse Winker went 2-for-4 and Joel Bender gave up 1 run in his 4 inning start. Up next: Bob Steve takes on Great Falls at 9.
- The AZL Reds lost both of their games over the weekend. They lost 12-9 to the AZL A's as Chris Valaika went 1-for-2 in a rehab start. Also making a rehab appearance in that game was Brett Tomko, who gave up 8 runs (7 ER) in the 1 1/3 innings he worked. Ouch. They lost again on Sunday 11-9 as Valaika went 0-for-4. Up next: AZL Giants at 10.