For the next few days, we here at Red Reporter are going to be taking a look at how things went with the Reds’ four minor league teams. We’ll be discussing some notable pitchers and hitters and who stood out on each side of the ball. Up today: The Chattanooga Lookouts.
The 2021 version of the Lookouts had a solid season overall. They had exciting prospects in Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Jose Barrero, who showed up for the early part of the season before getting shipped up to Louisville, so you won’t see a ton of guys who did well for a long stretch because the successful guys got called up fairly quickly. The Lookouts finished with a record of 58-54, coming in second in the North division of AA-South and missing out on the post season by a single game. Here are some of the notable performances for the 2021 Chattanooga Lookouts.
The Chattanooga Lookouts had the benefit of some fantastic starting pitching prospects at points in 2021. The first two who obviously come to mind are Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene. Both pitchers absolutely dominated their Double-A counterparts after being out of real competition since 2019. Lodolo made 10 starts for the Lookouts and allowed only 9 runs in those starts. He walked only 9 batters while striking out 68. He held opposing batters to a .198 average while putting up a WHIP of just 0.91. Damn. Hunter Greene was almost equally impressive. He made 7 starts for the Lookouts, also allowing only 9 runs over 41 innings of work. He put up a 1.98 ERA while walking 11 and striking out 60 before his call up to Louisville.
Another impressive starter was Graham Ashcraft. Ashcraft started the season in Dayton before getting called up to Chattanooga in mid-June. He carried a 23-inning scoreless streak to Double-A and then continued it for another 20 innings after his arrival. His first game as a Lookout was a complete game shutout where he allowed only 2 base runners. In all, he made 14 starts, putting up a 3.36 ERA over 72.1 innings. He walked 24 and struck out 74 while keeping opponents at bay with a .218 batting average.
Chattanooga had a few decent performances out of their bullpen, too. Alexis Diaz led the team in appearances with 35, throwing 42.1 innings in the process. He had a 3.83 ERA, walking 20 and striking out 70. Eddy Demurias was another who pitched well in relief, throwing 40.2 innings in 30 games while putting up a 2.43 ERA. He didn’t have the strikeout numbers that some of the others had, managing only 42 K’s with 21 walks, but he only gave up 24 hits on the year and held opponents to a .163 BA on the season. Other notables out of the ‘pen include Julio Pinto and Nick Howard. Pinto made 32 appearances and put up a 2.76 ERA while Howard put up a 2.25 ERA over 24 innings. He also struck out 35 against 12 walks, which was nice. Howard, if you remember, was the Reds’ first round pick in 2014 and has dealt with numerous injuries throughout his career. It was good to see him be able to bounce back and put up arguably his best season in the minor leagues. Just don’t ask about his Triple-A numbers.
While the Lookouts didn’t have as much success at the plate as they did on the mound, they did have a few notable performances this season. Lorenzo Cedrola had arguably the best year for Chattanooga, hitting .320/.356/.461 in just over 400 at-bats. He didn’t walk much, taking only 17 free passes on the year, but he made lots of contact, leading the team with 130 hits. He also knocked 7 triples and stole 8 bases. At the designated hitter position, Wilson Garcia filled that role nicely. He hit .290/.320/.468 with a team high 17 doubles and 18 home runs.
Leonardo Rivas spent about 6 weeks on the injured list this season, but hit well when he was healthy. In 190 AB, he hit .267/.382/.337. While he didn’t hit for much power, he showed a great ability to get on base, walking 32 times against 45 strikeouts. He also led the Lookouts with 9 stolen bases. I talked about Jose Barrero in the Bats’ preview, but he hit a ridiculous .300/.367/.481 in his 160 at-bats in Chattanooga. He hit 6 dingers and 9 doubles while stealing 8 bases. He was then called up where he continued to hit the snot out of the ball.