Juan Dorado checks in with the latest Reds Minor League Spotlight

7/29/16: The Cincinnati Reds affiliates crowned another champion last week, as the Billings Mustangs won the Pioneer League North division first half title on Sunday night. With the victory, the Mustangs guaranteed the Reds two minor league playoff teams in September.

Billings dominated in the clincher, winning 12-2 over Grand Junction. Billings ended the week 3-3 and the first half 23-15. On Tuesday, the Pioneer League announced their mid-season all-stars. The Mustangs will have four representatives, as infielder Hector Vargas, outfielder Jose Siri and pitchers Andrew Jordan and Antonio Santillan will represent Billings in the mid-summer classic. Siri leads the team in batting average (.366), runs (24), hits (45), triples (3) and total bases (74), while Vargas is second in batting average (.360), hits (40) and stolen bases (10). Vargas leads the team in doubles (9) and RBI (24). On the mound, Jordan boasts a 2.86 ERA and Santillan has 46 strikeouts in 39 innings.

Santillan was moved up to Low-A Dayton so he will not participate in the game.

The 2015 second rounder had a big week, receiving an all-star nod and a promotion. However, 2016 second rounder, Chris Okey had an impressive week of his own, leading Dayton to a 3-3 mark. Okey has homered in two straight games, raising his total to six in 19 games with the Dragons. The backstop has hit in eight straight games, raising his average from .222 to .269. In those eight contests, Okey is batting .323 (10-for-31) with four homers and nine RBI.

Daytona’s Aristides Aquino has also hit in eight straight games, leading the Tortugas to 3-2 mark last week. The outfielder has raised his batting average 21 points and is closing in on the .300 mark. During his eight-game hitting streak, he has tallied 4 multi-hit games and two homers.  On Thursday night, Aquino went 5-for-5 with two runs scored and was a homer shy of the cycle.

While Aquino fell short of the cycle, Scott Schebler completed the feat Tuesday night for the Louisville Bats as he went 5-for-5 and became the first player to hit for the cycle since Chris Dickerson in 2007. Schebler helped the Bats go an affiliate-best 4-2 last week, hitting .600 (15-for-25) with three homers and eight RBI. He has hit safely in nine straight games, and is batting .315 with 13 homers and 41 RBI with Louisville.

The AZL Reds and Pensacola bring up the rear as the Reds went 2-3 and the Blue Wahoos went 2-4 last week. The Reds and the Blue Wahoos had a few bright spots. Isaac Anesty led the league with 2 wins last week, while Jonathan Crawford, Gregory Reinoso and Adolfi Telleria each tossed 4.0+ innings of scoreless baseball to tie for the league lead in ERA. Telleria threw five scoreless, Crawford 4.2 and Reinoso four.

Pensacola’s success came on the mound as well. Rookie Davis recorded his ninth win of the season on Tuesday night. The right-hander has won three straight games and leads the Blue Wahoos with nine wins this season.

RED Bites: The Reds have 5 players in the MLB.com midseason Top 100. Nick Senzel leads the group at No. 56, followed by Amir Garrett (57), Cory Reed (59), Jesse Winker (66) and Robert Stephenson (70)… According to MLB.com, the Reds top 5 prospects rank 14th amongst other organizations top 100 classes… Tyler Stephenson was placed on the DL on 7/23 with a sprained wrist…

The affiliates finished last week with a 17-17 mark and did not improve their overall record, as they are 15 games under .500. With a little over a month left of action, the Reds will look to improve their 230-245 overall mark.

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