Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cingrani on fast track to success

No Billy Hamilton? No problem. Although many Reds faithful were clamoring for the speedster to be called up this month, there's another prospect who may be capable of making a greater impact down the stretch. He goes by the name of Tony Cingrani and the left-hander was recently dubbed as one of the key September call-ups for any team by ESPN's Keith Law.

Here's what the baseball-minded Law had to say about the Reds' 2011 third round pick:

Tony Cingrani, LHP
My sleeper prospect for the Reds coming into the year has exceeded everyone's expectations, reaching the majors less than 15 months after signing. Cingrani will pitch at 91-93 mph and works almost entirely off his fastball. He was roughly as effective against right-handed batters as he was against lefties in Double-A, but the main questions on him remain whether he can start long-term.

For 2012: He can certainly help Cincinnati in a bullpen role, but doesn't have to be limited to specialist duty -- and without a knockout breaking ball, he may be miscast if Dusty Baker decides to use him in that way.

For the future: Cingrani's arm action is long and he has a little sling to his delivery, although it's far less severe than it was when he was in college at Rice. I'm more concerned about the lack of secondary stuff, even though his track record of pitching primarily off his fastball is so strong.

Cingrani posted a 10-4 record and tidy 1.73 ERA in 26 starts split between Single-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola this season. He struckout 172 batters while allowing just 98 hits in 146 innings pitched. He tallied a ridiculous 13.33 K/BB in 13 games last year with Billings (Rookie) over a span of 51.1 IP.

The Rice University product is certainly a guy for Reds fans to be excited about moving forward. He will have a chance to show what he can do in the next few weeks as the club zeros in on a division title.

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