#REDS MINOR LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT
Juan Dorado checks in with this week’s Reds Minor League Spotlight…
Another successful week for the Cincinnati Reds affiliates ended the minor league campaign for three of the five remaining clubs. While Louisville, Daytona and Dayton ended their seasons on Labor Day, Pensacola and Billings continue on to the playoffs.
Louisville finished the season on a high note, winning three of their last four games and finishing second in the International League West division. Hernan Iribarren won the IL batting championship after finishing the season with a .327 (122-for-373) mark. He became the first Louisville Bats player in franchise history to win the batting title since joining the International League. Highly-touted prospect Jesse Winker finished the season with a .303 (115-for-380) batting average with 3 homers and 45 RBI as he helped the Bats finish the season 71-73.
Daytona had an impressive showing in 2016, recording a 76-61 mark to end the season. The Tortugas won 40 games in the second half, but failed to make the playoffs. Gavin LaValley ended the season well, winning FSL Batter of the Week honors. LaValley went 9-for-21 with two homers, seven RBI and eight runs scored. LaValley had a good season with the Tortugas, batting .275 with 11 homers and 61 RBI. He ended the season with a better BA than FSL Player of the Year Aristides Aquino. However, Aquino had a monster season putting up .273 batting with 26 doubles, 12 triples, 23 homers, 11 stolen bases and 79 RBI.
While Aquino had an impressive season, the Dayton Dragons finished the season 47-93. Despite the tough season, Nick Senzel and company shined for the Dragons. The former Tennessee Volunteer finished the season with a .329 (69-for-210) batting average with 7 homers and 36 RBI. Senzel was leading the charge at the plate, Jesus Reyes was dealing on the mound. The right-hander went 5-5 with 2.40 ERA in 30 games for the Dragons. Reyes fanned 68 in 93.2 innings of work.
Pensacola continued their mastery of the baseball campaign, claiming the second half Southern League title and winning the league with a combined record of 81-59. With 5 straight wins to end the season, the Blue Wahoos surpassed the Mississippi Braves and took the Southern League crown. However, the two teams have matched up in the opening round of the playoffs and are even at 1-1 after splitting the first two games of the five game series in Pensacola. Rookie Davis helped the Wahoos win game one with six innings of one run ball and eight strikeouts. Davis is 10-3 with a 2.94 ERA in 19 starts for the Wahoos.
The Blue Wahoos are think into their playoff race, the Billings Mustangs will have to wait until next Tuesday to begin their Pioneer League Championship quest. Billings finished week 3-3 and have three more games before they face Great Falls in the opening round of the playoffs. Outfielder T.J. Friedl has been swinging a hot bat for the Mustangs. In his last 5 games, he is 8-for-21 with 6 RBI. He has raised his batting average to .347 on the season. The Pleasanton, CA native will look to lead the Mustangs to Pioneer League Championship next week.
With the season ending for most of the affiliates last week, Billings will need to record one win this weekend to ensure that the Cincinnati Reds affiliates end the season with a cumulative record over .500 this season. Right now they have a 347-344 mark with three regular season games to play.