This guy on the right had a terrific day, tallying five hits and taking over the IL batting lead, but the day is really about two pitchers vying to be the Reds' next top pitching prospect after Homer is called up for good. It's between Matt Maloney, who flirted with a no-hitter, and Daryl Thompson, who has now allowed less than 2 earned runs 7 times in his 8 appearances. Who do you guys like better? I'll go with Thompson, in large part because he's 2 years younger. He was also one of the organization's best pitchers last season and is one of 3 guys below Triple-A on the 40-man roster. Despite his age and lower level, I think he beats Maloney to the majors.
Triple-A: Matt Maloney was 2 outs away from a 7-inning no-hitter in Game 1 of Louisville's doubleheader sweep of Richmond. The Bats won the game 7-0, then turned around and beat the Braves 2-1. Maloney had 7 strikeouts in the complete game and allowed 2 singles in the 7th. He's got some nice strikeout/walk/home run rates despite that 5.23 ERA: 41.1 IP, 37K, 13BB, 1HR. Back to the game, Jay Bruce was 4 for 4 with a home run and 2 doubles, and he now leads the International League in batting average (.348) and is fourth in OPS (.984) and fifth in RBIs (29). The Bats managed just 4 hits in Game 2, one by Bruce and one by Andy Phillips, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games. UP NEXT: At home vs. Scranton, 7 tonight.
Double-A: Daryl Thompson was solid again, but the Lookouts' bullpen blew it in Chattanooga's 9-7 loss. Thompson struck out 5 in 6 innings and allowed 4 hits, 4 walks and 1 unearned run. The 22-year-old has struck out 49 in 49 innings, walking 11, and has a 1.28 ERA. He's in the top 3 in the Southern league in ERA (1.28), strikeouts and WHIP (0.91, 1st). Chris Valaika was 1 for 5, and Tonys Gutierrez was 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and a walk. UP NEXT: Game 4 at Carolina, 7:15 tonight.
High A: Drew Stubbs and Juan Francisco had 2 hits apiece as Sarasota won 7-2. Alexander Smit struck out 8 in 6 innings. UP NEXT: Game 2 vs. Fort Myers, 7 tonight.
Low A: Dayton managed just 3 hits but beat Lansing 2-1. Two Dragons -- Curtis Partch and Philippe-Alexandre Valiquette -- combined to strike out 13 and walk just 1. Dayton (20-14) has a 1-game lead on West Michigan for first place in the Midwest League's Eastern division. UP NEXT: Game 2 at Lansing, 10:30 this morning.