Gator Making Splash at Billings

Reds Draft Pick Led Florida in CWS

Daniel Pigott went undrafted last year and many epxected him to last longer than when Cincinnati selected him in the 9th round this time around. After playing professionally for one month he's proving the Reds correct in bucking the consensus opinion. It's been a productive season for Pigott. After leading UF in postseason play he's now hitting .330 at Billings.

Billings was outscored at Ogden yesterday in an 11-8 loss. The Mustangs fell behind when they allowed four in the second inning and came back to make it 8-6 before the Raptors added three more in the eighth. Jesse Winker and Jon Matthews had three hits each for Billings while Daniel Pigott added two. Matthews and Pigott both homered. On the mound Sal Romano was roughed up for six runs (five earned) on seven hits/six walks and was lifted in the fifth for his fifth loss.

Pigott came into the Cincinnati organization from the ninth round of this year's draft out of the University of Florida. During his senior season with the Gators he hit .381 with 8 HR/41 RBI. That was down a bit from his .331 average as a junior. He also stole 27 bases in 36 attempts over his final two years. He was named MVP in the SEC tournament and led the Gators in the super regional of the college world series, going 3-3 with two home runs in the finale.

He went undrafted last season and many expected him to wait until a later round before hearing his name called this time. How he improved his stock so much over one year is not only a mystery to the analysts. After hearing the news of his selection within the first ten rounds he commented: "I don't know if it was anything specific. Maybe it was just a possibility that they needed to see a little more. I just consider myself very fortunate, very blessed, and I'm very excited." Since he played a senior season he will turn 23 years old in October, so look for the Reds to fast-track him up the system.

He stands 6'2"/205# and bats/throws right-handed. He is an outfielder and has been in the lineup at DH eight times. In the field he has not committed an error in nineteen games while playing all three outfield positions. One thing that likely improved his draft status was solid defense after the Gators moved him to center field to replace an injured teammate.

Pigott's play in the college world series also helped his late climb in prospect status. Since arriving at Billings it appears he has notions to continue climbing within the Reds organization. His average is now up to .330 with a .478 SLG% in 29 games. Even though he was not ranked in the top 500 prospects nationally the Reds invested the 292nd pick in the draft on him. After one month it looks like they were correct in going contrary to the consensus. His versatility in the outfield will help him find a spot at higher levels if he can hit, and that's something he's done plenty since turning pro recently.

Other News from the Farm:

Louisville fell behind by three after two innings en route to a 5-1 loss at Toledo. Henry Rodriguez had a couple of hits and drove in their run. Chad Reineke took the loss when he allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in six innings. Logan Ondrusek allowed a run in 1+ innings.

Pensacola lost a two-run lead in the seventh and then scored the game-winner in the ninth in a 4-3 victory at Mississippi. Billy Hamilton had a couple of hits for the Wahoos and P.J. Phillips added a two-run homer. Wirfin Obispo allowed one run on three hits and three walks in five innings for no decision. Curtis Parch struck out three in 1+ scoreless innings for the win. Justin Freeman retired the side in order in the ninth for his fifteenth save.

Billy Hamilton Theft Watch:

Hamilton led off the game with a single, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. He led off the ninth with a bunt single and advanced on a sacrifice before eventually scoring on a wild pitch. His total is up to 149 SB in 124 games.

Bakersfield allowed four in the seventh in a 5-3 loss at Modesto. Theo Bowe, Steve Selsky, Dominic D'Anna, and Devin Lohman had two hits each for the Blaze. Jamie Walczak allowed one run on four hits and two walks in five innings while striking out six. Blaine Howell allowed three runs in less than an inning for the loss.

Dayton scored the game-winner in the eighth in a 4-3 home victory over West Michigan. Joe Terry and Sean Buckley had two hits each including Buckley's twelfth home run. Jacob Johnson allowed three (two earned) on five hits and two walks in five innings while striking out eight. Jimmy Moran threw three scoreless innings for the win. Ryan Kemp tossed a scoreless ninth for the save.

The AZL Reds tied their game with a run in the eighth before allowing the game-winner in the bottom of the inning in a 2-1 loss at the AZL Indians. Humberto Valor had a couple of hits for the Reds. Jose Williams allowed one run on seven hits in five innings for no decision. Jose Guzman allowed one run in less than one inning pitched for the loss.

The DSL Reds had their final two games cancelled against the DSL White Sox and ended their season with a 40-29 record which was good enough for third place in the DSL Chica Baseball City Division, 2.5 games behind the DSL Diamondbacks.

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