Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bowden calls Tony Cingrani 'best southpaw starter' in rookie class

Tony Cingrani has been nothing short of impressive in Johnny Cueto's absence this season.

The 23-year-old has compiled a 3-0 record and a 3.15 ERA in seven starts to go along with an immaculate 0.975 WHIP and a 4.60 K/BB in 2013. The former third rounder has been even more impressive in his six Triple-A starts, though, racking up a ridiculous 14.1 SO/9, in addition to a tidy 1.15 ERA and a spotless 3-0 mark.

Needless to say, the organization is very excited about the future of Cingrani. The Reds aren't the only ones, either.

Former general manager and current ESPN analyst Jim Bowden recently called Cingrani the "best left-handed starter" in his rookie class in a piece ranking the top 15 rookies in baseball.

Here is a snippet of what Bowden had to say about Cingrani:

The Cincinnati Reds optioned Cingrani to Triple-A Louisville on May 18 not because of performance but to make room for the team’s ace, Johnny Cueto, who was reinstated from the disabled list. However, Cueto was just placed back on the disabled list, and Cingrani was brought back up to start for the Reds. Cingrani dropped down on my list this week simply because of the break in service time. He’s still the best left-handed starter in this rookie class. 

Cingrani’s fastball has been anywhere between 88-95 mph, and he locates it really well to both sides of the plate. He knows how to add and subtract a little and is an expert on finishing hitters at the top of the strike zone. When he needs a little extra giddy-up, he finds it. His changeup is his best secondary pitch, but his slider is definitely developing. 

Cincinnati finds itself in a good situation with having six really good starters to shuffle around in their rotation. Unfortunately, Cingrani has been the odd man out so far this year based solely on contract options and seniority. Who knows what could happen if and when he is finally afforded the opportunity to stay up in the big leagues.

It should be noted that another player with connections to the Reds also made the list in Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius. Gregorius was included in that three-team trade that sent Drew Stubbs to Cleveland this past offseason and Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati. Gregorius was considered one of the top prospects in the Reds farm system last year, but was presumably deemed expendable this winter because the team already has Zack Cozart at shortstop for the foreseeable future.

Via ESPN Insider

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