Constante Living Up to Expectations

Based upon their record last season, Cincinnati had the second lowest bonus pool for foreign free agents this year. Their biggest signee, Jacob Constante is off to a good start in the DSL and earlier this week they used most of their money left over for Cuban outfielder Reydel Medina.

The DSL Reds allowed only one run in the eighth inning, but that was enough to give them a 1-0 loss to the DSL Twins. The Reds offense was limited only five hits in the game with Miguel Mendez providing two of them plus a walk to raise his average to .327. Hector Vargas reached safely three times from a single and two walks and is now hitting .325.

On the mound Jacob Constante got no decision from a dominant start, allowing only two hits/two walks over six shutout innings while striking out nine. Jairo Martinez relieved him with three innings over which is allowed one run off two hits/two walks which was enough to pin the loss on him.

Constante was the top Reds foreign free agent signee this year when he received a bonus of $730,000. Since that time he's been as good as billed with a sub-two ERA over eleven appearances and a K/BB ratio of 52/20 over 36.2 innings. That walk rate is a bit high, but most young pitching prospects need to work on command and he's gotten off to a good start against DSL hitters.

Of course what makes many young prospects exciting is velocity and Constante's can challenge the mid-90's with a fastball that he mixes in with a good slide while he is working on a changeup. He's a bit old to be making a DSL debut, but the lefthander is still only nineteen and a candidate to move stateside next season.

The bonus pool for foreign free agent signings is determined by final records of the previous season which means the Reds had the second smallest pool at $1,862,100. Most of that was invested in Constante and Reydel Medina, a Cuba defector that signed earlier this week for $400,000. He is a 6'2"/200# outfielder that is expected to debut stateside whenever he gets his visa in order. He's been reported as having great speed that impressed when playing for the Cuban youth national team at the 16U World Championship in Taiwan in 2009. He has a reputation of being rough at the plate which with five tool potential.

That doesn't leave much money left over for others, but if one or both of these prospects turn out it will be worth it. Things are looking good on Constante thus far. There is some speculation that Medina will begin at low-A Dayton. However, the Dragons are late in their season and he may not debut there until 2014.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds lost a ninth-inning league in their 7-6 loss at Milwaukee. Todd Frazier led the offense with three hits and four RBI including a solo home run in the fourth. Chris Heisey had two hits including a two-run homer in the fifth to give his team the lead. Brandon Phillips reached with two hit and a walk while Shin-soo Choo added a couple of singles. Mike Leake left the game with no decision after allowing four runs in five innings. Aroldis Chapman took the loss for allowing a walk-off, two-run homer to the second batter he faced.

Louisville scored four runs in the eighth inning, but fell short in their comeback in a 7-6 loss at Pawtucket. Daniel Corcino took the loss for allowing seven runs (five earned) off five hits/five walks while striking out eight in five innings. Derrick Robinson, Neftali Soto, and Denis Phipps had two hits each for the Bats including a solo home run by Soto and a three-run homer from Phipps.

Pensacola lost a lead in the seventh en route to a 5-1 home loss to Mississippi. Travis Mattair had three hits for the Wahoos and drove in their only run while Devin Lohman added a couple of singles. Robert Stephenson took the loss from a nice outing, allowing two runs of two hits/three walks while striking out five over six innings. He started out with six scoreless frames but allowed a couple of baserunners before leaving in the seventh. Micheal Lorenzen continued his fast track and debuted at AA, which was the fourth different level at which he's played since this year's draft.

Bakersfield fell behind by three runs in the first inning and never caught up in their 6-3 loss at Modesto. The Blaze was held to six hits with Juans Silva and Perez both reaching via a hit and a walk. Jake Johnson took the loss for allowing six runs (five earned) over the first five innings.

Dayton scored two runs in the first inning, added on three two innings later, and cruised to an 8-3 win over visiting Great Lakes. Tanner Rahier finished with two hits, a walk, and three RBI for the Dragons. Jeff Gelalich also reached three times with two hits, a walk, and one RBI. Other Dragons with two-hit games were Beau Amaral and Zach Vincej. Amir Garrett got the win from a "near-quality start", allowing two runs on five hits/one walk in five and two-thirds innings. Jackson Stephens allowed one run in relief and his three-plus inning pitched qualified him for the save.

Billings scored nine runs after the fourth inning in their 8-6 win at Idaho Falls. Carlton Daal had three hits for the Mustangs and Carlos Sanchez added two more including a two-run homer. Other Mustangs with two hits were Gabriel Rosa and Daniel Paula. Daniel Wright got the start and allowed one run over three innings. Jose Guzman relieved him and allowed four runs over four-plus frames with good timing for the win. Oswaldo Mieres entered in the eighth and allowed one run while finishing for the save.

The AZL Reds allowed four runs in the sixth inning in their 5-2 loss to the AZL Royals. Aristides Aquinos reached with a hit plus a walk and scored a run. Kevin Franklin has a double and a sac fly that gave his team the lead in the first inning. Tyler Mahle allowed only one unearned run off two hits/one walk over the first five innings to bring his ERA down to 2.70. Chad Jones was victimized by four unearned runs in less than one inning pitched for the loss.

The DSL Rojos fell behind when they allowed three runs in the first inning in their 5-1 loss to the DSL Brewers. The Rojos were limited to two hits in the game. Warlin Pena took the loss for allowing three runs over the first three innings.

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