Rahier Shines in Debut

One of the more interesting backgrounds of players in the recent amateur draft belonged to Tanner Rahier. Most experts felt it was a steal for the Reds to find him still waiting when they used the 78th overall selection in the second round. He came out swinging last night with two hits and a homer in his professional debut while the AZL Reds won their season opener.

The Arizona Rookie League Reds opened their season last night by beating the AZL Indians 11-6. At third base for the Reds was Tanner Rahier, the Reds' second round pick in the recent amateur draft. The eighteen year-old had a successful debut by going 2-5 with a home run and three RBI. In the field he made six assists without an error. His home run was part of six-run sixth inning which gave the Mustangs a 6-2 lead. Argenis Aldazoro added two more with a homer in the sixth and also had two hits.

On the mound Pedro Diaz was limited to three innings in his first ever minor league start and allowed two runs (one earned). He was replaced by Wandy Peralta who gave up four in three innings and hung around long enough to get the win. Michael Salter and Richard McCaffrey combined for three innings of scoreless relief.

Rahier was projected as a possible first or supplemental round pick in this year's draft and many considered it a steal for the Reds to get him with the 78th overall selection. Prior to the draft the young man took a very unique path while preparing for his career. First of all he's undergone an intensive physical conditioning program under the guidance of his father, a professional sports performance specialist. That work did not take place in a traditional weight room, but instead incorporated high intensity menial labor to develop hand strength and a muscular 6'2"/205# frame.

The non-traditional path did not stop with his training regimen. He opted not to play for his Palm Desert High School baseball team after starting as a freshman. Instead he played for the ABD Bulldogs in a wooden bat league. The end result of his prepping left him atop the list of southern California prospects. He had previously committed to play with the University of San Diego before accepting a $649,700 signing bonus from the Reds. Rahier was drafted as a shortstop but there may be concerns about his size playing that position. His offensive skills project sufficiently for the corner and he has the arm strength to play anywhere on the field.

The Arizona Rookie League is a frequent stop for high school players and arrivals from the Latin America. The Pioneer League is considered more for players coming out of college or those that have already completed their first season in the minors. It would not be a surprise to see Rahier make the trip to Billings later this year. He also plans to attend the Reds fall instructional league in Arizona after the end of the season.

Other News from the Farm:

Louisville took the lead with a three run seventh and won 5-3 over visiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Felix Perez went 3-3 with two doubles and an RBI. The outfielder has gone 16-41 (.390) over his last ten games. On the mound starter Chad Reineke got no decision after allowing three runs before he was lifted in the sixth. Four Bat relievers combined for 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Bill Bray picked up the win in his re-hab outing and Jordan Smith struck out two while retiring the side in order in the ninth for his eighth save.

Pensacola and Bakersfield are back in action tonight after their midseason break. Dayton resumes playing tomorrow.

Billings upped their record to 2-1 with an 8-6 win over visiting Missoula in a game that had eight errors. The Mustangs scored their runs only four hits while benefitting from five Osprey miscues and nine walks. The biggest hit for Billings was a three run homer by Carlos Sanchez that gave them the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Lucas O'Rear was limited to three innings in his first start of the season and allowed one run. Alejandro Chacin was the pitcher of record and Matt Wiley recorded the final out for the save.

The Dominican Reds scored one in the top of the fifteenth inning to win 4-3 at the DSL White Sox. Johnathan Suero went 2-5 with two walks and lowered his average to .432. Junior Soto added two more hits for the Reds. Their bullpen combined for 10+ scoreless innings including the final two by Josue Castellano who picked up his second win.

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