Sunday, April 29, 2012

Reds minor leaguers who are 'blazing'

The switch-hitting Hamilton highlights a group of
minor leaguers who have been red-hot to begin the year

Life as a minor leaguer isn't always as grand as one might think. Whether it be playing in front of a sparse crowd, laboring through an 8-hour bus ride with torn-up seats, or just scraping by with their modest paychecks, the life of a minor league baseball player can be very trying. However, when it comes right down to it the only thing that really matters is their performance on the field.

Here's a look at some of the guys who've been red-hot as of late*:

- Paul Janish: The slick-fielding shortstop leads Triple-A Louisville in hits (23), runs scored (11), doubles (7), batting average (.324) and OPS (.928). He's batting .333 (9-27) with an OBP of .419 in his last nine games.

- Joel Guzman: Thd 6'7" first basemen is batting .368 (14-38) with 2 HR and 11 RBIs in his past ten games for Double-A Pensacola. His OPS and SLG in that span is 1.024 and .605, respectively.

- Henry Rodriguez: The second basemen has scored nine runs while maintaining a .333 (14-42) BA over his past ten games for Double-A Pensacola. He leads the Blue Wahoos in runs (17), hits (31), and total bases (42) this season.

- Donnie Joseph: The southpaw has been lights out for Double-A Pensacola serving as their closer. He's posted a 2-0 record, 0.00 ERA and has converted all four of his save opportunities. He has 13 strikeouts against only three walks in nine innings pitched.

- Billy Hamilton: The speedster boasts a .395/.479/.605 line so far in 21 games for Single-A Bakersfield. He's swiped a league-leading 26 bases -- 15 of those coming in the last eight games alone. Over his previous ten games he's hitting .405 with four XBH and 13 runs scored. The Blaze are currently on an 11-game winning streak.

- Donald Lutz: The German-born first basemen has mashed three homers and 13 RBIs in his past ten games for the Blaze. He's hitting a whopping .429 (18-42) with ten runs scored during that span. He leads the Reds minor league system with 18 RBIs on the young season.

- Tony Cingrani: The southpaw is the proud owner of a 0.39 season ERA and 2-1 record for Bakersfield. He's holding opponents to a .117 clip and has fanned 28 batters over 23 IP.

- Ryan Wright: The former Louisville Cardinal is batting .333 (13-39) with four XBH, five RBIs and three stolen bases in his past ten games for Single-A Dayton.

- Yovan Gonzalez: The native Puerto Rican is hitting .387 (12-31) in his previous nine games with two homers and five RBIs for the Dragons. The catcher is hitting .342 with an OPS of .917 overall.

- Justice French: The right-handed starter is 2-0 with a tidy 2.04 ERA in his last three starts for Single-A Dayton. He's recorded 16 punchouts over those starts spanning 17.2 IP. The Georgia native is sporting a 2.60 ERA and 3-1 record for the year.

Coincidentally, these players are prime candidates to garner Redlegs Review Minor League Players of the Month honors. We'll be publishing our picks for April early next week.

* All stats accurate as of Saturday morning.

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