Dayton cruised to an 11-1 win at Fort Wayne Monday behind fourteen hits from the offense and a scoreless outing by starting pitcher Jacob Johnson. The Dragons scored a run in the second and extended their lead to three from a home run by Sean Buckley in the fourth. They put up three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings before Yorman Rodriguez capped off the scoring with at two run homer in the ninth.
Buckley led the way with three hits and four RBI. Juan Silva also had three hits and drove in three. Rodriguez and Jefry Sierra added two hits apiece. Johnson allowed no runs on two hits and four walks over five innings while striking out two for his second win. Dan Jenson allowed one run in three innings of relief and Lucas O’Rear retired the side in order in the ninth.
The Reds definitely had an inside track on Buckley because his father Chris is their scouting director. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the 29th round of the 08 draft, but opted to play at St. Petersburg College instead. The Reds got him with a sixth round pick last year after he’d spent a couple of seasons at South Florida. After that he showed great power by hitting 14 HR in 59 games at Billings which tied him for third place in the Pioneer League. He also had a .389 AVG/.372 OB%. This season has been more challenging in single A but his average is up to .239/.302 OB and last night was his eleventh homer.
Buckley stands 6’4”/220# and bats/throws right-handed. He played third base during his first season in rookie league and was moved across the infield to play first for Dayton. With that move his fielding percentage increased significantly and he’s committed nine errors in 98 games in the field this season. He has the reputation for having a strong arm so another move might be an option in the future.
Oddly, it was other scouts in the Reds system that pushed for his selection. He and his dad had previously determined it would be better for him to make his way in another organization. Finally when he was still available in the sixth round they persuaded the Reds to pull the trigger on Buckley and signed him with a $125,000 bonus. His successful coming-out 2011 season was the first time he’d been healthy in a while. During his time at USF he’d suffered complications from an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and a broken bone in his hand.
Now tops on the 22 year-old Buckley’s list for development is improving contact. In two professional seasons he’s whiffed in around 30% of his plate appearances. He entered this season a consensus top-25 prospect in the Reds system and isn’t likely to stay there while striking out every third trip to the plate on average. His outburst last night pulled him out of a 4-30 skid over the previous nine games.
Bigger things were expected of Buckley before the start of the Midwest League season. Still of all the prospects in the Reds system he has one of the highest projections for raw power including the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field. There’s no rush to move up any Reds first base prospect since the long term contract was signed by Joey Votto. Still, if he can get back on track he might one day enjoy putting his talent to use in the homer-friendly Great American Ball Park.
Other News from the Farm:
Louisville allowed five in the first inning and another five in the fourth in a 10-1 home loss to Columbus. The Bats were limited to three hits and their only run came on Denis Phipps’s fourteenth homer. Chad Reineke got roughed up for six eight runs and was lifted in the fourth for the loss. Carlos Fisher and Jordan Smith combined for three scoreless innings of relief.
Pensacola was rained out at home against Montgomery and will make it up with a doubleheader Tuesday.
Bakersfield allowed eight in the fourth inning in a 16-6 home loss to Inland Empire. Ryan Wright had two hits including a home run. Theo Bowe, Devin Lohman, and Niko Vasquez also added two hits each. Kurtis Muller contributed a homer. Jamie Walczak was charged with eight runs and lifted in the fourth for the loss.
The bats were working for Billings who won 12-3 at Idaho Falls. Carlos Sanchez had four hits and three RBI to raise his average to .311. Not often does a player go 2-5 and lower his average but that is what Zachary Vincej (.418) did. Beau Amaral, Brandon Dailey, and Robert Ramirez also had two hits while Daniel Pigott drove in three. Sal Romano got the win by allowing three runs on four hits in five innings.
The AZL Reds were shut out at home 7-0 by the AZL Royals. Adam Matthews and Jonathan Reynoso had two hits each for the Reds. Jose Williams allowed two runs in five innings which was enough for the loss.
The DSL Reds fell behind by seven in a 9-4 home loss to the DSL Orioles. Jose Fernandez had two hits for the Reds. Franderlin Romero allowed three runs (one earned) in four innings for the loss.