The month of June saw both the MLB Draft and the beginning of the short-season rookie ball leagues, meaning the full slate of Cincinnati Reds farm action is now at our disposal. With that month’s stats now officially in the books, here’s a look back at which players had excellent months, as well as who had a June to forget.
Who’s Hot - Hitters
Aristides Aquino - OF (AAA Louisville Bats)
The 25 year old is no stranger to hot streaks, as his talented bat once had him a spot on the Reds 40-man roster. And when he gets hot, he gets absurdly hot, something that was on display throughout the month of June. He bashed 12 dingers in 24 games (101 PA), fueling a blistering .300/.376/.744 output, with 15 of his 27 hits in the month going for extra bases. He even added 11 walks, something that hasn’t exactly been his strong suit in previous seasons, which is nice.
Stuart Fairchild - OF (A+ Daytona Tortugas, AA Chattanooga Lookouts)
Fairchild had a bit of an odd June, as the 23 year old earned a brief call-up to AA due to a bit of an injury bug in their OF, but despite being an advanced college bat hitting well enough to warrant a permanent call-up, he ended up getting shipped back to Daytona and the Florida State League again. Huh. Anyway, his production in June across both levels was hard to ignore, as he mashed to the tune of .338/.414/.571 in 87 PA, marking the second straight month he’s made the Hot list (after opening the season in a slump worthy of the Not list). Expect him to be back in AA at some point quite soon at this rate.
Mitch Nay - 1B/3B (AA Chattanooga Lookouts)
The Toronto Blue Jays thought highly enough of Nay to select him with a 1st round pick back in 2012 (58th overall), but the then high schooler never quite materialized in their organization. Now 25, Nay is finally putting up the kind of numbers to warrant that kind of selection, and his June was blazing hot. He hit .356/.398/.587 in 27 games (113 PA), bashing 6 homers and 6 doubles while driving in 29 runs in that time.
Who’s Hot - Pitchers
Ryan Lillie - RHP (A+ Daytona Tortugas, AA Chattanooga Lookouts)
Lillie lands on the Hot list for the second straight month, too, and his June was so good he even earned a call-up to AA. The 23 year old former Miami Marlins prospect made just 4 starts in the month - in part due to a layoff as he slotted into the Chattanooga rotation post call-up - but was brilliant in 21.2 IP. He fanned 17 against just 5 walks, and the 3 ER he yielded meant a shiny 1.25 ERA for the month.
Miguel Medrano - RHP (Rookie League Billings Mustangs)
Acquired in early 2018 from the Texas Rangers in exchange for international bonus pool money the Reds couldn’t even spend, Medrano is beginning to look the part of a legit pickup. Just 21 years old, his start to the Billings season has been excellent, and in June he tossed 13 innings of 2.08 ERA ball across 3 starts. With a fastball that sits in the mid 90s, Medrano struck out a batter per inning against just 3 walks, and is hopefully the latest success story from baseball hotbed San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.
Ricky Salinas - RHP (A Dayton Dragons)
A Rice University product, the 23 year old Salinas fired 26.1 IP across his 5 starts in a rock solid month of June, allowing just 3 ER in the process for a tidy 1.03 ERA. He held opposing batters to just a .477 OPS, striking out 22 against just 7 walks in the month.
Who’s Not - Hitters
Miles Gordon - OF (A Dayton Dragons)
It’s been a rough go of it for the former 4th round pick after what appeared to be a bit of a breakout 2017 campaign in Billings. After 57 rather meek games with Dayton last year, he began the 2019 season in A+ Daytona, but is now back in Dayton after a .582 OPS across 19 games in the Florida State League. His June production back with the Dragons wasn’t any better, however, as he hit just .221/.253/.279 with 27 K in 92 PA.
Taylor Trammell - OF (AA Chattanooga Lookouts)
It’s never fun to see a top prospect on a Not list, but here we are. Trammell has struggled with hamstring and wrist issues of late, which surely has helped dent his numbers, and the hamstring even held him sidelined for over a week in June. When he did play, though, it wasn’t pretty, as he hit just .254/.333/.302 in 72 PA across 17 games. In fact, after homering twice in the first 4 games on the season, he’s slugged just .312 across 66 games. Slugging obviously isn’t his calling card, but that’s still an incredibly low number for a player of his talents. Hopefully, he’ll heat up again as his health improves.
Juan Martinez - 3B (A Dayton Dragons)
Martinez posted an .801 OPS across both Rookie ball clubs for the Reds in 2018 as a 19 year old, which was good enough to get him on my radar. Then, he mashed to a .901 OPS in the month of April, and even more eyes began to take notice of his work. Unfortunately, it’s been a steady decline since then, and his June was downright tough. He hit just .200/.270/.300 in 89 PA with 24 K, which is very no bueno. He did homer in his first game of July, however, so hopefully he’s turning the corner again despite these arbitrary end points.
Who’s Not - Pitchers
Tejay Antone - RHP (AA Chattanooga Lookouts, AAA Louisville Bats)
Antone’s June got off to a great start, featuring 8 innings of 1-hit shutout work against the Mobile BayBears on June 3rd that likely helped him earn his promotion to AAA. So, for him to finish the month with a 5.34 ERA means things had to go bad in a hurry for him, which they did. In 4 starts in June after that brilliant outing, he was shelled for 35 hits and 18 earned runs over 22.1 IP, including 10 ER and 21 hits allowed in 11.1 IP at AAA since his call-up. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of adjusting to new surroundings.
James Marinan - RHP (A Dayton Dragons)
With a 3rd round pedigree and reasonably solid 2018 performance under his belt after coming to the Reds from the Los Angeles Dodgers, expectations were high for Marinan in this, his age 20 season. So far, 2019 hasn’t gone quite to plan, and that was again on display in June. Opposing hitters tagged him for an .865 OPS in the month, and he struck out just 10 against 6 walks in 21.0 IP. He also yielded 13 ER in that time for an ugly 5.57 ERA.
Tony Santillan - RHP (AA Chattanooga Lookouts)
As I mentioned with Trammell, it’s never fun to have to prospects on the Not list, but here we are with Santillan as well. His June was downright awful, really, as he allowed 23 ER in 23.1 IP, an 8.87 ERA whose peripherals don’t suggest was unlucky. He was pounded for a .976 OPS in the month, and posted a brutal 13/12 K/BB in that time, too. Hopefully, this is no more than a blip on the radar for the best healthy pitching prospect in the system, but man, was that ever a bad month.