Winker Making Impact in Pioneer League

It didn't take long for supplemental first round pick Jesse Winker to get to work after last month's draft. After 12 games he's hitting .422 at Billings. Last night the outfielder went 4-4 with a walk in the Mustangs' loss at Missoula. The Reds have been successful at signing new prospects and now have all picks from their first twelve rounds under contract.

Billings fell behind by four after two innings en route to a 6-2 defeat at Missoula Sunday. Jesse Winker led the offense by going 4-4 with a walk. Sal Romano allowed four runs in two innings for the loss. He allowed only two hits, but walked four in the short outing. Nick Routt threw two scoreless innings and kept a 0.00 ERA after five games. He's allowed only two hits in seven innings.

Winker was a supplemental first round pick in last month's draft out of Olympia H.S. in Orlando, FL. It didn't take the eighteen year-old to make an impact in the rookie leagues because he's now 19-45 (.422) with an OB% of .518. Though he came out of high school regarded as a power hitter he's only has 4 extra base hits thus far without a homer. The gaudy batting average has raised his SLG% to .439. Considering the scouting report on the teenager it would seem only a matter of time before he starts finding the fence more frequently in the hitter-friendly Pioneer League.

Winker was drafted as an outfielder, but many thought he would project better at first base. Of course that does not bode well for someone in an organization that recently signed a ten-year contract extension with an all-star, gold glove winner in that same position. Thus far all of his action has been in the outfield, mostly in right and he's committed one error in eleven games. The main concern about his defense is speed and he did show improved athleticism as he matured in high school. There are no concerns with his arm strength.

The Reds inked Winker with a $1 million signing bonus. Though the deadline to sign draft picks is July 13 they didn't waste any time getting all their picks through round twelve12 under contract. They signed top pick Nick Travieso (RHP), to a $2 million deal last month. Their other supplemental pick, Jeff Gelalich (OF), took an $825,000 deal after UCLA was eliminated in the college world series. Second rounder Tanner Rahier (IF) is currently playing in the Arizona League and third rounder Dan Langfield (RHP) is also at Billings. The top pick remaining unsigned is thirteenth-rounder Matt Boyd (LHP) who has the option of returning for a senior season at the University of Oregon to try to improve his status in hopes of getting a top ten round bonus next year.

Other News from the Farm:

After running off nine consecutive wins Louisville dropped their fifth in a row by a score of 8-3 to Indianapolis in a rain-shortened game at Louisville Slugger Field. The Bats' offense was held to five hits on the day. Tim Gustafson allowed five runs in four innings for the loss.

Pensacola allowed three in the fifth to break a 3-3 tie before losing 10-4 at Jacksonville. Bryson Smith went 4-4 and his now 8-15 in his four games with the Blue Wahoos. Beau Mills added a run with a solo homer in the sixth inning. Tim Crabbe took the loss after allowing six runs in four innings. He limited the Suns to three hits but walked six.

Bakersfield jumped out to a three run lead and held on for a 4-2 win at Lake Elsinore. Travis Mattair had two hits and drove in a run for the Blaze. Starter Josh Smith allowed one run on four hits in five innings for his seventh win. Kyle McMyne threw a scoreless ninth for the save.

Billy Hamilton Theft Watch:

Hamilton reached on an error to lead off the game and swiped second and third base before scoring on a sac fly by the next batter. He singled in the third and did not have an open base in front of him. He's now two shy of 100 stolen bases after 76 games.

It's not often a team scores ten and loses by ten but that is what Dayton did when they lost a 20-10 slugfest at Bowling Green. The game started well enough when Juan Perez scored the first run on a solo homer in the first inning. The score was tied at five after five innings and then the Hot Rods poured it on. Perez was 4-5 and also had a triple while scoring four and driving in three. Joe Terry and Ryan Wright had three hits each. Terry drove in two while Wright had three RBI. Stalin Gerson got the start and the loss after allowing seven runs in five innings.

The AZL Reds allowed three runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth in a 14-9 loss against the visiting AZL Indians. Avain Rachal had three extra base hits and scored three runs to lift his average to .448. Jonathan Reynoso had three hits and scored twice. Brayan Arias and Wilfrel Estevez had two hits each with Arias driving in four. Lorgi Pineda was charged with seven runs in 2+ innings for the loss. Henry Rodriguez has gone 3-14 in four games while rehabbing after going on the DL with Pensacola on May 10. He was batting .348 with the Wahoos.

The DSL Reds were idle. They will play at the DSL Orioles on Monday.

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